When I started my blog, Design*Sponge, 12 years ago, it was a straightforward ode to furniture and interior design. Over time, the blog has evolved into a celebration of the people and stories behind those designs. Creatives, from writers and painters to architects and upholsterers, have a unique perspective on the world of business and I love getting to share their advice and life lessons online every week. But when I looked to the world of business books, I wasn't seeing all of the amazing female-owned businesses that I admired. More importantly, the stories that were shared from women seemed to focus on thin, straight, white women, leaving out a wide and wonderful range of stories, backgrounds, and perspectives that deserved to be shared.
So, last year, I set out on an epic cross-country road trip to interview more than 100 of the most talented, hard-working, and inspiring women running their own businesses and creative practices. Those interviews are now available in my book, In the Company of Women. From poets like Nikki Giovanni and musicians like Laura Jane Grace to designers like Joy Cho and wheelchair ballet choreographer Mary Verdi-Fletcher, these women have broken down barriers, blazed their own trails, and set an incredible example for the next generation. I'm proud to introduce you to nine of them today.
Excerpted from In The Company Of Women by Grace Bonney (Artisan Books). Photographs by Sasha Israel, echo and earl, and Alexandra Valenti. Copyright © 2016.