Our Beliefs


We believe we must design, or be designed.


We believe in the future of design. And designing the future.

We believe resilient, intentional teams begin with resilient, intentional individuals.


We believe leadership is a creative practice.

We believe personal development is professional development. (And vice versa.)



Meet the team.

 Donec consectetur, odio eget porta varius, orci mauris viverra ante, eget egestas turpis sapien vel orci. 

Mia Blume
CEO + Leadership Coach

A former design leader at Pinterest, Square, and IDEO, Mia’s work is informed by her deep understanding of the unique situation creative leaders face in hyper-growth startup environments. She is specifically attuned to the challenges of design leaders in tech and, more importantly, their potential impact on individuals, teams, and organizations when their authentic leadership style is unlocked.

Mia started Design Dept. in 2015 to increase the impact of design and technology on the world around us — from our products and services to the organizations that shape our world.


Ashlea Powell Sommer
Leadership Coach

With over a decade of experience at IDEO, Ashlea has worked with individuals and teams at all points on the creative leadership spectrum. A writer and design researcher by training, Ashlea is innately curious and considers conversation her medium. She has developed multiple conversation formats that help bring new perspective to well-trodden topics, and create a safe space for approaching tough subjects. She believes stories are tools for unlocking change, especially the stories we are unaware we are telling ourselves.

Ashlea was inspired to become a leadership coach based on her experience working with one while on maternity leave (aka her sabbatical), enabling a profound shift from a time often associated with self-sacrifice to one of perspective, alignment and growth.