About Hearth Matters

Hearth Matters is a new nonprofit that envision a world where mothers and householders are empowered with the respect, knowledge and resources necessary to create nurturing homes, and every child receives the essential care they need to thrive. We are on a mission to improve the social and economic status of mothers and householders by reuniting home and work.

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More about Kathryn and Erin

Hi I’m Kathryn. In my four-decade journey in the food industry as a chef, restaurant owner, food company founder, cookbook author and TEDx-er, I’ve always been drawn to traditional foods and women’s roles in our culinary history.

In my earliest days as a chef and traveler, I remember venturing to off-the-beaten-path locales, eager to learn the age-old recipes and techniques passed down through generations. More often than not, it was the grandmothers, mothers, and daughters who were the custodians of these culinary treasures. Their kitchens, humming with activity, were schools of invaluable knowledge. And it wasn't just about the recipes. Each dish came with a story, a history interwoven with tales of family, love, hardship, and celebration.

In 2016 while doing research for another project, I started to notice a disturbing trend: as cultures modernized and women moved from these traditionally domestic spheres into the market economy, the knowledge wisdom, expertise they had once been revered for, seemed to lose its' social status. Both the soft skills and the practical knowledge that nourish and propel humanity and ensure our species survival have in the last 100 years largely been relegated to the lowest rungs of our societal hierarchies in the developed West. How did this happen?

Finding an answer to this question became an obsession. As I ventured deeper into our historical record, a compelling story began to unfold that not only shed light on our present predicament, but also hinted at paths towards possible solutions.

And then I met Erin, a young woman on the verge of motherhood who was thinking about many of the same topics but through a different lens. Her insights have not only enhanced my own understanding of the issues women of her generation face but continue to shape our collaborative efforts at our non-profit, Hearth Matters.

And I'm Erin. I tried out more than a handful of careers before my maternal instinct showed up and revealed a path to purpose in work that I had never once considered. What if I wasn’t meant to be a marketer or an HR manager or a gym franchisee, or anything related to the various jobs I’d held throughout my 20s? For the first time in my life, I imagined that I could be totally fulfilled as a mother and wife, by building my family rather than my resume.

This primal instinct and the thoughts that came with it were wildly unsettling. After all, I was college-educated and high-achieving, an independent young woman who grew up knowing she could do and be virtually anything she put her mind to. I was supposed to live up to my potential and walk through doors that had been opened for me by generations of trailblazing women who came before. Only one option was off the table: full-time householder.

While developing my plan to transition from wannabe girlboss to a home-based job that fit me in ‘Mom mode,’ I began to notice the way our culture portrays mothers and homemakers as oppressed or lazy and to recognize that I had internalized these narratives from a very early age. I wondered how many women are like me, trying to “make it” in the market economy when they’d much prefer to make home while caring for their children. I also observed a knowledge gap and asked myself why, given all of my education, I knew so little about my own fertility or how to start a family.

Then, I met Kathryn and she told me a story about how the hearth lost its social and economic significance, and where the feminism I was raised with may have fallen short of meaningfully advancing all women’s interests. I was drawn to her pragmatic ideas about how we might upgrade the lives of mothers and homemakers, their families and their communities in the 21st Century. Hearth Matters represents our hope for the future and for the generations of young women who come after us.

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Hearth Matters is on a mission to improve the social and economic status of mothers and householders by reuniting home and work.


Our nonprofit is on a mission to elevate the cultural and economic status of householders and mothers by reuniting home and work.
Have a hearth.
Cofounder at Hearth Matters. We’re on a mission to elevate the cultural and economic status of householders and mothers by reuniting home and work. Substack: https://www.thehearthmatters.com