Inspired Interview: Crezia Tano - Power to Change Perception, Will to Change the World

Welcome to this {Finding Space} series – INSPIRED INTERVIEWS. This is where I seek out inspiring individuals to share their stories with us. In these interviews we touch on inspiration, passion, community, wanderlust, home + more. Today we catch up with Crezia Tano. We meet many years ago when we were teenagers . I have always been inspired by her drive and creativity. Crezia is a change maker and a community leader, a supportive partner, and devoted mum. Enjoy…


What is your motto or mantra? Do you think it will evolve now that you are becoming a mother? 


Hmmm... I don't think I've really had a motto, but this is my personal signature line:

"Power to change perception, Will to change the world"

I think I've done that in my life - well my work life primarily.   It is still continue to have that be part of how I approach work.  I look at how you change the perception of a community. As for life in general, since I became pregnant, I've looked at things differently.  I look at having the will to keep doing what I do. I come from a different point of view. My assessment of situations are much less urgent or problematic.  It feels more like a re-balancing of perspective on what's important.

What is your passion? 


 My passion is to making change in communities that want it.

I am a Native San Franciscan. I like to root for the underdog. In San Francisco that means neighborhoods like the Bayview and SE sector of the city, Excelsior and Visitation Valley. I am a Project Manager for the San Francisco Mayors Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Below is a picture of me with community members who helped to turn a derelict dead end that had tons of illegal dumping into a pocket park.  We also attracted the first coffee shop to the neighborhood in decades!



I enjoy creating new spaces that help communities to thrive. I genuinely want to understand where the community is coming from and where they wan to go. I am constantly reminding myself to put myself in their shoes. It is a balance of making communities  safer for the people who are currently living in an area and for those who want to come.

Sometimes we work on finding housing developers for vacant parcels. My latest project is

bringing a supermarket in to a neighborhood that really needed this resource...

Why do you travel? What do you bring back?


I travel cause I think it's important to see the world and to also view home - San Francisco from a different perspective.

We traveled to Cabo and Italy in 2015.

helping hand

helping hand

wok note

wok note

I bring back memories and I collect lapel pins and use them as push pins on my cork board at work and at home.

How did you imagine it would be traveling with your baby? 


Well we thought we would be mobile when Nathan arrived, but I have seen both families become stuck at home and families who take the kid everywhere, and as much as I am a planner, I decided to play this one by ear.

(Tell me how Hawaii went and other more recent trips)

What does home mean to you? 

CT: Home is wherever Thomas (and now Nathan) are. I'd say that our taste is a combination of contemporary and cozy. We like hard wood floors but have rugs in every room (except kitchen and bath of course). We are starting to collect more "art", at least art we can afford and we definitely rep San Francisco hard. There are family pics all throughout the house.

Can you share with us how you created a space to welcome your little one? Did you have a design goal?

CT:  In terms of prepping for Nathan, Thomas will probably say that his room is more for me than for the baby. But it was welcoming nonetheless.

We gave up the office to turn it into the nursery. We converted the desktop Nathan installed into a change table/ dresser.

Thomas in office

Thomas in office

In his room there are key nodes.  

The space where we feed him is where the rocker is, the bookcase has framed hand painted water colors by family and friends that were done at his shower. We have 2 framed photos one of Thomas and his dad and then one of my dad and my bro to do the whole father son theme. There is a quilt made by one of my closest friends and then a knit pillow by my mom.  

The other node is his dresser/changing table, we have large block letters of his name and there is a large 24x36 photo poster (that I shot)of my 2 cousins when they were younger. It's a hot summer afternoon and they were using the water hose to spray each other, they are laying on the ground soaking up the sun. We have had this for a while and considered putting it elsewhere in the house but Thomas and I thought it had a good feel to it, a carefree youthfulness.  So we kept it in the room. Also there are hand drawn animals on canvas by my bro.

I'd say our design goal was to keep the room essentially neutral in paint and furniture and to lighten the room with pops of color, like his toys, paintings, and his crib mobile. We also really wanted to put a map wallpaper, so Thomas installed it.

I really want it to send the message to Nathan that the world is big and he should discover it. 

Nathan's room wall

What does community mean to you? What type of events or spaces do you think get people to interact the most? How do you see community playing a role in your life when your baby is born?  

CT: Community. I'd say the simplest answer is a group of people. Some people are supportive, others less so. In terms of interaction I suppose that is based on your definition, you can interact with a hundred people but not really know them.

I personally think one on one interaction is best. I don't think space is the primary factor in encouraging interaction I think it's the people. I think a bustling coffee shop to a medical waiting room to a open field at a park can lend itself to meaningful interaction.

Given that Thomas and I are both born and raised in SF we have all our family here and have a lot of friends. So once we told people we are pregnant we received an immense amount of support. And almost every day after we went in to labor we had visitors. We have a lot of ride or die folks in our lives. He will have a lot of Aunts, uncles and cousins that are not blood related. 

What would you tell your 18 year old self if you had the chance? This can be a message to your child when they turn 18 too... a ways off I know. 

CT: I would tell my 18 old self to do college almost exactly the same way (but to either not sign up for Friday classes or be sure to go them and to make sure you actually drop classes and not assume you will automatically get dropped by the teacher). I would tell myself to be more proactive about assuring success. Look at decision, oversights and lack of action can have long term effects so be cognizant so you can have less regret.

I would also tell my 18 old self to do study abroad! I think in college I really found myself and cut out the bullshit friends and made new long life relationships. 

You are so multifaceted Crezia, How do you stay inspired? 

CT: Taking moments to look at life and celebrate success and evaluate how I in work and home can evolve in to a better contributor to the world and my family. 

What do you want your Legacy to be?

CT: Ive been thinking a lot about that.  I want Nathan to be part of the Legacy. San Francisco has changed so much and I want Nathan to have a City that is economically and ethnically  diverse.  I hope the work I do  everyday to make the city a better place helps to achieve that in the end. I want to make sure the work has a meaningful impact.

Thank you Crezia, you are inspiring!

Be Wonderful.



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