Hi! I'm Maile Urbancic, founder and CEO of Boutique Academia. My background is in math, educational psychology, and community organizing. Boutique Academia opened for business in November of 2010, at the forefront of the STEM jewelry movement. A while back I published a Medium article about our origin story:
"When I started my business, Boutique Academia, I was determined to fight against stereotype threat and the subtle bias that suggests that math is for boys. I decided to do this by deliberately combining traditionally feminine objects (jewelry) with images, messages, and symbols from STEM disciplines. My goal has been to create wearable art that both inspires the wearer and sends the visual message that femininity and STEM are completely compatible." (read more here)
Back in 2010, the idea of science and math themed jewelry was very fringe. Over the past few years, the concept has started to gain momentum, with an outpouring of creativity at the intersection of STEM themes and aesthetics. It's been fascinating and wonderful to watch it happen! It has also helped us stay on our game of offering the largest, most diverse selection of math & science jewelry, and providing excellent customer service. I am proud of the reviews we receive --- we definitely aim for 100% customer satisfaction.
I love collaborating with bloggers, journalists, and science communicators! I've had pieces featured in various television shows, including Tomorrow's World Today, The Big Bang Theory and others.
I'm also a big believer in community giving, so we support many causes related to STEM education. Boutique Academia has created fundraisers for open-source computer labs, crisis intervention,hygiene initiatives to keep girls in school, and The Association of Presidential Awardees in Science Teaching. In 2017 we are sponsored the regional fair pin exchange at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair. We also regularly donate pieces for school auctions and STEM club fundraisers.
My team and I are excited to expand our wholesale reach and would like to help museums and bookstores all over the country offer beautiful science accessories to their customers. I love getting feedback, so if you are looking for a particular piece for your store or have a suggestion that would make our jewelry better suited to your display methods or customers, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.