About Mac & Cheese

“A minute into her talk How to be a Successful Pioneer, Saya had completely reassembled the notion of “success” with a hilarious candor that easily won over the audience—even this jaded agency professional. She reaffirms what our collective gut has always known: when it comes to success we tend to check all the wrong boxes—someone else’s boxes. Her radical mission: to have the world value you for doing what you love. Her vision, to trigger transformation from within by coaxing you out of your comfort zone into your joy zone, challenges the winner/loser narrative that has reigned for too long in our quest for success.”
– CreativeMornings audience member


Mac & Cheese Productions℠ is a lifestyle business that provides creative solutions to common problems born out of a feeling that being an adult is often a lot harder than it should be. That life can be easier — meeting people, choosing a career, finding fulfillment, all that jazz.

Mac & Cheese utilizes play, innovation, and comfortable fear to help individuals find fulfillment and groups a positive culture, addressing universal stressors such as cultivating relationships, comparison disease, and answering “What do I want to do in life?”

Through its Life of Yes℠ offerings — from in-person events to online experiences, 1 on 1s to group — Mac & Cheese manifests communities of everyday superheroes and prides itself on having something for everyone and being something for anyone. With roots of positivity, self-efficacy, playfulness, & community, it’s adult summer camp, for the personal and professional space.

At its core is the belief that the segments which make up our lives shouldn’t be sources of stress but sources of joy and ease. For examples of Life of Yes℠ in action and to see how you can get the goodness in your life, check out Offerings.

Clientele are fondly called Cheese-Its.

About the Head Cheese-It

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In a frugality moment of “Why do I need to hire a headshot photographer when I have everything I need?”, Saya took advantage of a brick wall, late afternoon sunlight, and professionally-done makeup leftover from a PBS shoot. She took selfies in a West Loop parking lot for twenty-minutes. And felt embarrassed for a split second. Then shook off the embarrassment to look pensively into the distance and repeatedly push the camera button.

Saya Hillman, pronounced Sigh-A, started Mac & Cheese Productions℠ in 2004 after she got fired from her last full-time job and had no idea what she wanted to do but knew that she no longer wanted a boss nor wanted to put on pants most days. She also recognized a knack for connecting people, building community, and using what she had instead of focusing on what she lacked. She (now) believes getting fired was the best thing to ever happen to her.

From Evanston, Illinois, with a B.A. in English and Sociology from Boston College, Saya lives in Chicago with her husband aka Best Friend whom she met at one of her own events, and with whom she planned had an almost 100-percent-bartered wedding (she loves frugality and efficiency).

When Saya used to try to fit in — which as an amazonian biracial Black Jew with a single mom, homemade clothes, and bike for a car was difficult — she was miserable. Since learning the power of voice, she is a master at getting others to “Me too!” and now embraces her literal and figurative stretch marks.

Via M&C, she’s a wearer of many hats and thus needs twenty minutes to answer “So, what do you do?”

She has many strong opinions, usually in list form and of little consequence in the grand scheme of things. But that doesn’t stop her from sharing them.

She is ready for a book deal, in possession of the title, synopsis, and pre-order excitement for her obvious NYT bestseller; if you’d like to offer her a book deal, or even just a Lake Como villa for her writing sabbatical, get in touch. You can did help make her Non-Book Tour happen.

She also would love a brand new, free Subaru with one of those ridiculous huge red bows atop. For that too, get in touch.


Saya In Action

TEDx: Design a Life of Yes℠

"Have You Always Been This Way?"

Creative Mornings — "Pioneer"

"If Only My Name Was Alexis"

"Beyonce's Neck Beard"

"A Productive Digital Clutter Free Life of Yes with Saya Hillman"