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in the company of women {giveaway}…(now closed)

In the Company of Women

In the Company of Women

I have always believed that a big part of achieving success in anything is being able to learn from and be inspired by those who have taken a leap and embraced their dreams. I especially love supporting and learning about female entrepreneurs who are making their mark in the world. Grace Bonney, Founder of Design*Sponge, is one of those people who has inspired my career and who I am lucky to call a friend. Her newest book, In The Company of Women, shares the stories of 100 makers, artists, and entrepreneurs and is sure to inspire. And, I am honored to be included as one of those 100 women who tell their story in her book…

In the Company of Women

In the Company of Women

In celebration of the book release today, we've partnered with Grace to give away her new book In The Company of Women PLUS a ticket to her book tour that includes inspirational panels with those featured in the book (I'll be speaking at the Los Angeles event)!

The book tour is going to 13 cities: Austin, TX on October 7; Atlanta, GA on October 13; Chicago, IL on October 16; Los Angeles, CA on October 17; Seattle, WA on October 18; Rhinecliff, NY on October 22; Washington, DC on October 25; San Francisco, CA on October 27; Marin, CA on October 28; Philadelphia, PA on November 10.  If you are near one of these cities, or want the book and have a friend who could use the ticket, enter by commenting below by telling us who has inspired you in your life. Entries close this Friday, October 7th at 8am PST and one winner will be chosen at random.* Good luck!

UPDATE: Congrats to Carrie H. from Columbus, OH for being our winner this time! 

*This giveaway is open to readers in the United States only. Please do not leave your email or web address in the body of the comment, only in the allotted boxes. $200 USD total value per winner. Winner will be contacted via email once comments close, and announced at the bottom of this post soon after.

{Photos by Sasha Israel}


  1. i’m inspired by one of my fellow Junior League ladies, Erin McDermott. She began making jewelry in college and now has her own studio and is sold in so many stores.

  2. My mother and her best friend! They are strong, awesome women who have inspired me to do everything.

  3. I am been inspired my grandmother, she taugh me the beauty that comes with being true to yourself.

  4. I honestly am inspired by so many entrepreneur mothers out there who raise kids and build their own business. I feel like I can’t take care of myself as it is (I’m single) let alone other human beings and a business. Needless to say, I’ve always admired and been curious how these women do it. This is just the book I want to read! But gah! the book tour isn’t coming to NYC?1 I will have to be consoled by reading the book.

  5. I’m inspired by my mom who has consistently displayed grace and love in times of duress and mourning.

  6. so many women inspire me on a daily basis. my mom, my art friends and art coaches, my fierce 5 year old daughter who loves to sling paint and glue and others

  7. Beautiful! I can’t wait to read the book!
    I am so blessed by the strong women in my life… my grandma isn’t with us any more but she was quietly fierce. My high school English teacher inspired me daily and had the poise of a supermodel (I can’t imagine being a high school teacher let alone one with such grace!) and all the women I’m surrounded by daily at work overwhelm me with their kindness and professionalism. I’d love to read about these amazing women Grace interviews in the book!

  8. My friends D and J. Both have come up against a lot of adversity and both have excelled without looking back – one in business and one has a single parents. Their drive and their ability to work for what they want while caring for others is incredibly inspiring.

  9. My high school art teacher inspired me to pursue a life in the arts, and also to pursue a life of being unapologetic in your own skin! She was a wonder.

  10. My mom – she’s always pushed me to understand success in the arts is as much about business sense as creativity.

  11. I have been constantly inspired by my mother & my grandmother. They were both very different – but, I learned so very much from each of them. My grandmother was an intellectual & modern. My mother is fun & silly. Both of those things are so important. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without each of them in my life.

  12. I am constantly inspired my mom who so tirelessly has embodied the identity of a mother. Now, all her kids are gone and I continue to admire how she’s learning to be more than just that.

  13. My daughter inspires me with her dedication to her profession–she’s an instructor–and her desire to further her career with more education–working on her masters degree in education.

  14. I am lucky to work for an incredibly inspirational woman! She’s started her own company, has a highly technical PhD and doesn’t take shit from anyone. She’s an exec at the company where I work, and I can’t imagine not having her in my life a a mentor.

  15. i’m most inspired by my circle of brilliant, creative, kindhearted friends — they can do ANYTHING … they’re writing books, doing inspiring art work, building their families, building their careers. we’re all at different phases of our lives, but never fail to connect on trying to inspire each other daily!

  16. I’ve been loving the previews of stories from this book and can’t wait to read it! I don’t know if I can just pick one person as my inspiration. Lately, it’s been a couple of my close girlfriends. We created a private Facebook group to help each other we navigate the many changes in our personal and professional lives. They constantly inspire me every day to be a better version of myself and to go after my dreams.

  17. My first empowering woman inspiration was reading the The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley. She taught me that it was okay to flip the script and take the reins inn your own destiny, as corny as that sounds. =P

  18. My 4th grade teacher was a huge inspiration to me. She taught us about girl power, the importance of acceptance, and choosing kindness above all else. She made all her students feel so valued and important. If I could have just a smidge of her gentleness and grace, I’d be a happy camper.

  19. I am inspired by my daughter who is finishing up her last year in grad school to get her PhD in Clinical and Developmental Psychology. This is a 6 year program plus 1 year internship. She has such a wonderful passion for her career plus has managed to work hard and also to do part time work to be able to afford getting her PhD on her own.

  20. My aunt, she fought with her school administration when she was younger to be taught science and engineering. She wanted to have opportunities equal to the boys in her classes. She’s still advancing her career the same way!

  21. I’m inspired by my late grandmother, who, as cheesy as it sounds, told me that I should always follow my dreams. She was my biggest cheerleader!

  22. This looks so wonderful and I would LOVE the opportunity to attend the tour and hear you speak, Joanna! I am inspired by so many women on a daily basis, but I would say I am most inspired by my best friend Jenn, who is the most kind, generous, and thoughtful human. She has an inspiring work ethic and always finds time to be the most genuine friend.

  23. I’m inspired by my parents who are immigrants and have the strongest most amazing work ethic I know. They overcame so many obstacles to be where they are today and to situate my sisters and I to have a good life and many opportunities.

  24. Like many others, my mom has inspired me the most in life! She is not your stereotypical “Asian Tiger Mom” but instead is a woman with a gentle spirit, kind heart, slow to speak and quick to turn to prayer in times of distress and trouble. She made the decision to become a stay-at-home mother when I was born so that my siblings and I could have her full attention and investment, and went back to school when I was in high school in order to pursue a degree in marriage and family therapy. Now she and my father live abroad and use their time to invest into the local young people there — and I often think of how fortunate they are to receive the love and care that my parents have provided me!

  25. Ruth Bader Ginsburg! Just heard an interview with her yesterday and her determination and work ethic are so so inspirational, besides her being a smart cookie.

  26. My high school math and French teachers, who were excellent at what they did, taught students to love learning, encouraged hard work and mastery of the subject, and reminded their students that they were unique and valuable!

  27. My mom Anita Carrillo! A humble little woman from Mexico. Although she had a tough childhood her determination and perseverance never broke her spirit.

  28. My Mother inspires me everyday. We work together, and live closely. She was a young mom, and has worked very hard to achieve all that she has. Every day she shows me what it means to be dedicated to work and family. xo

  29. My grandmother, Angelina Mollica. She had little formal education but was one of the wisest, most determined and caring women in world. Her guidance and life lessons gave me the tools to become the kind of mother I am proud to be today.
    [email protected]

  30. I am inspired by those that live life “on purpose” – and certainly awed by my mom . She had seven kids and every day I ask myself how she actually did it !

  31. i’m inspired by my mom, who never let a tragic childhood or a toxic relationship with her own mother stop her from being kind and loving. and by my friend who is a mom, a scientist, an amazing friend, cook, baker and all around wonderful person and i can’t believe she has time to do all of it.

  32. I am inspired by my mother, who never got the chance to be and do all that she wanted. In her memory I never take my life for granted and remember to “go for it!”

  33. I’m inspired by you and your ability to show joy to the world in your own unique way. You remind me to have fun in the process and be bold enough to pursue my dreams. Thanks, Joy!

  34. I am inspired by all who are leaning into their talents/skills/professions: EB who is a home schooling mom, my neighbor who is a mom and work from home lawyer, my husband who is building a company with equal pay for women!

  35. On my website home page talking about myself, I always give credit to my mom. She inspired me and all of my friends with her love of all people.
    Here are my thoughts on my website: I attribute the success I have had in designing to my positive outlook on life and an abundance of energy, which I am happy to say, I inherited from my mother.
    Sometimes your greatest inspiration comes from someone who so kindly and lovingly raised you.

  36. I’m inspired by all of the amazingly strong, talented women of my high school alma mater. Surgere!

  37. My five older sisters and my mom. They came from a worn-torn country and really made a success out of themselves!

  38. My dynamic, resourceful aunts. I’m blessed to have six unique, strong and loving women in my life whom comfort and challenge me.

  39. I’ve been greatly inspired by my parents who immigrated to the states to give me and sisters a better life. By the amazing designers I work with on a daily basis – their dedication and pursuit of excellence is admirable. And by my sister, who became the first PhD graduate in our family!

  40. My extraordinary mother is the source of my inspiration. Even to this day as of 1 of 3 kids and the only healthy one, i am constantly inspired by her strength, her will and that she remains happy. Even in the midst of illness and aging. She is a nurse and strives to make a difference for someone everyday no matter the cost. I hope that one day I can repay her and be at least a part of the woman she is. I live in Atlanta and would love to attend. Thank you!!

  41. I can’t wait to read this book! As a mom, I find my inspiration from my fellow mom friends in my Moms Group. I met this amazing group of women when our babies were newborns, and remained tighter than ever for years now! I’m constantly amazed by the grace that they give me, just having them in my corner!

  42. I know that this is cliché, but I cannot choose one woman. Every woman that has touched my life has shaped who I am. The girl, now woman, who said that I should always wear makeup because I was not pretty help me embraced my natural beauty and see the beauty in others. Thus, even today I don’t wear it. Well, at times a girl needs a little mascara and chapstick. The professor who said I should not become a draper while I attended Santa Monica College. Thank you. Thank You. I was indeed awful, but it helped me know that I can be creative in other ways. My Girl Gang who had my back when I was not in a positive relationship and supported me before, during, and after. This allowed me take a true look at how I treat others. Any woman boss – good or bad for they are a direct reflection of how they see themselves. So, in part, we should always stand in our authentic truth and be kind – coach up – and lead as you would like to be lead. My sister and my mother. They are my spiritual center. (Oh yes, I cannot leave out all of the women that I revere. No, I do not know them personally, but they are differently my heroines: Brené Brown, Marie Forleo, Gabby Bernstein, Hilary Rushford, and etc) #GIRLPOWER

  43. My mother in an inspiration for always managing work, travel and family so well and always making sure there is time to sing in the kitchen and stop and smell the roses. Would love to go to the book opening tour

  44. Women are husslers. Nearly all the women I know work long and hard AND hussle for more. The female podcasters who are making room for women in the medium are a big hit for me right now.

  45. I’m inspired by my sweet and hardworking Grandma! She traveled from the Philippines in the 70’s with my Grandpa to have a better life for our family. All she had was her degree, little money, and optimism. Those times were tough but she still managed to be giving to those in need and kind to others who were unkind to her. She taught me to always see the positives in every situation and to always work hard. I’m so thankful to have had such an influential matriarch in my life!

  46. I’ve been on the hunt for some inspiration lately – a new/old fave of mine is Julia Sugerbaker!

  47. I’m inspired my my mom who beat breast cancer while working as a teacher AND getting her masters!

  48. im inspired by so many women: environmentalists, photographers, writers, scholars and designers women who are making connections to the outside and bringing the world closer to us. i would love a copy!

  49. My mother inspires me. She was always making something and never afraid to jump into a project. She started a successful ceramic business in the seventies. She signed me up for a sewing class when I was 10. I wasn’t too thrilled at the time but in my 20s I wanted more clothes than my budget would allow so I was glad I had a little background to start sewing. It was the first of many craft addictions I’ve had over the last 30 years. Currently my love for making ceramics has been the one that has had staying power so I really feel like I’ve come full circle because of my mother’s inspiration. Thanks Mom, love you!

  50. My biggest inspiration is most definitely my mother & my grandmothers. When they were told they can’t all of them would respond with “watch me”. Not only would they be able to but they’d go above and beyond. My mother’s mother raised 6 kids on her own after her husband left her to go be a beatnik. My father’s mother raised 4 children after her estranged husband died. She went on to put herself through school, fight for civil rights, & find her true love (Dolly!). My mother had put her self through getting her GED, college & go on to live a fruitful life/career. These women laid the foundation in my life to become the woman I am today for my son.

  51. Authentic women… They don’t have to be at the top of their game. They don’t have to have impressive social media followers…they’re just comfortable and radiant in their own skin. When I’m having one of those days where I feel like I’ve failed I look to those women who are sharing their truths (sans filter) and I’m able to keep going.
    Professionally I’m in awe of Ava DuVernay. She’s creating the narratives and sharing the stories I’ve always wanted to hear.

  52. I’m inspired by both my parents. My father has owned his own business my entire life and ran it with great success. He’s a hard working man who always seemed to make time for everything that needed to get done. I’m also inspired by my mom, who is the most supportive, wonderful woman I’ve ever met. Who has walked with me every step of my life pushing me towards my dreams without being overbearing. She also suffers from chronic illness while raising two children. I honestly don’t know how I got so lucky when it came to my family.

  53. So many women, but definitely my sister. She’s an amazing doctor, and is doing great work at the National Institute of Health (I’d give her the ticket to the DC show!)

  54. My grandmother is a great inspiration to me. She got her Ph.D., was incredibly smart, and so kind. She died a few years ago but still inspires me.

  55. I’m inspired by those who pick themselves up and continue on after failure. This is what encourages me to do the same.

  56. Women in leadership within the church inspire me. It is a tough context to be a female leader, yet I witness women who are strong in their faith and their identity. It is a joy to witness and aspire to succeed as one as well.

  57. I was inspired by the mother of a childhood friend. While my immigrant parents expected me to stay home after graduating high school and (with hope) marry a nice young man, she encouraged me to look at schools that challenged me so that I could be more than what people expected of me. I thank her every single day of my young successful life. xoxo

  58. My little sister inspires me to be brave and take chances. She moved to a new country for a fresh start, and while I miss her dearly, I’m excited for her adventures ahead.

  59. I’m inspired by my soon to be husband and my daughter. My fiancé has always encouraged me to be better instead of being content with life. Him and I grew up with a challenging childhood but no matter what has happened, we push ourselves to work harder for a brighter future for our family. We make it work.

  60. My daughter has inspired me in so many ways. Even when she was little she was inspiring me. I saw how confident she was, and became more confident myself. She is now a new mother and I am so proud of her. She is currently inspiring me to use my crock pot more. Both my sisters also inspire me.

  61. My mom inspires me to love unconditionally, be grateful for all that I’m blessed with, and to believe in myself! But I’ve been truly impacted by SO many incredibly supportive and fearless women in my life! I’m thankful to have had so many opportunities to be inspired by talented, creative, female bosses near and far. I hope to one day inspire the next generation of women creators and leaders! What an incredible book and opportunity to attend the tour! Thank you for sharing ♡

  62. My grandmother. We were kindered spirits. She saw *my* uniqueness and celebrated it because she was true to herself and didn’t apologize for who she was. She inspires me to embrace who I am, celebrate life and laugh along the way. ?

  63. I’m inspired by all of the women around me who are strong in their own unique ways. My mother who loves everyone and has the biggest heart, my artistic grandmother who showed me the joy of creating things with your hands and my best friend who has recently started her own business. All of these women inspire different parts of me and make me want to do more and be better.

  64. I am honestly surrounded by inspirational people . Maybe it’s my optimism or I am truly lucky to be among them . One person that I always come back to and think of through hard times is my great grandfather . Though I did not have the pleasure of ever physically meeting him , his story stuck to me and helped me overcome many obstacles . Italian immigrant running away from nazis with his father and two siblings . He was a lover of art and romantic things. He left his mark In every spot he landed . His life was everything but easy yet he exceeded every expectation . I loved hearing his stories from my late grandfather . I still find myself googling his name ” Antonio Decanini Tornessi ” quite often just to keep learning about him .

  65. my best friend colleen inspires me, and i’d love to give her the ticket to the book tour!

  66. My copy arrives tomorrow BUT I really want to give a copy and the ticket to my mom. She is and always will be the most inspiring woman I know. She slays in every way.

  67. As a new entrepreneur, I’m currently very inspired by my fellow women entrepreneur friends. I’m just simply amazed by the things they’ve accomplished and the work ethic they possess. I’m so blessed to have such an amazing and powerful group of boss lady friends!

  68. My grandmother Ruth has been the biggest inspiration for me! Her legacy of kindness and generosity and her LOVE of life. She beat breast cancer and remained so positive throughout. She is also the one who encouraged and inspired me to go to nursing school! She is my hero….
    Thanks for the rad giveaway! This book looks AH-MAZING.

  69. will always and forever be inspired by my mom Joan Champion … took so many at classes in a variety of art mediums before it was hip or widely available! She died almost 9 years ago but inspires me a little everyday.

  70. I am lucky to have a crew of amazingly inspiring friends, who push me to be a better artist every day. One of those friends is actually featured in this book! Jessica approaches her creative practice with such enthusiasm and joy, her energy and dedication to her work is completely inspiring.

  71. I am inspired by the incredible women that I get to work with everyday. They push me to work harder, do better, be more creative and keep learning everyday. We will definitely be attending the book tour in DC!!!

  72. I am being inspired by my mom daily. She got her degree at age 50 and went on to get her masters subsequently. Her never ending thirst for knowledge is a daily reminder that I can continue to learn and try new things regardless of my age.

  73. YAS x10000. it is an incredible privilege to grow up during a time that is constantly growing in their celebration of women (and still has more growing to do, of course). this book is exciting and i would love to see some of these women speak on the book tour!

  74. YAS x10000. it is an incredible privilege to grow up during a time that is constantly growing in their celebration of women (and still has more growing to do, of course). i am inspired by all, but more importantly inspired by the women i’m surrounded by everyday, whether that be my mom (the ultimate superhero) or my company’s female CEO, reminding me that anything and everything is possible. this book is exciting and i would love to see some of these women speak on the book tour!

  75. Cannot wait to get my hands on this book! The lady who has inspired me most would be my Woo-Woo. My grandmother raised 7 children and ran the family business until age 94 (just a couple months before she died).

  76. I am inspired and driven by both my grandmothers. Two of the greatest souls that together have shown me that there is more than one way to be a successful woman and wonderful mother.

  77. Inspired by my bad ass grandma who was a doctor, opera singer, head of cancer society and chinese teacher to me and my sister!

  78. my mother for her continued resilience, and for raising me and my sister while starting her own company.

  79. My parents for sure. No matter the obstacle they did everything in their power to make sure we were cultured. Day trips to the musesums, weekly library visits, road trips and so much more. They didn’t have a lot but they were resourceful. They shaped the person that I am and I am so grateful.

  80. My mother, my rock and wind beneath my wings. For raising me by herself after my dad died, and for always believing in my dreams.

  81. I am inspired by my Mom. My Mom buried both her husband and her baby boy by the time she was 22 years old and yet she is so strong and she never stopped going, she is still an inspiration to me today, sometimes working 3 jobs to make ends meet for my younger siblings. I would love to be able to gift her with this ticket to her birth place and want to read the book!!

  82. I’m inspired by my grandma. She loved thrifting and always found a creative way to use her finds.

  83. I would say I was most inspired by my mother. The hardest working person I’ve known and the most encouraging and supportive person in my life. A day doesn’t go by that I don’t wish I could share my own accomplishments with her now.

  84. I’m inspired by all the female relationships I have in my life—including my mom, grandmothers, aunts, friends, mentors, and sister.

  85. I’m inspired by all the women I met at Craftcation, an amazing creative business/art retreat every April in Cali. I went for my first time this year and it was an amazing, girl-power fest.

  86. I’m most inspired by the women in the family – mom, grandmothers, aunts, etc. It’s encouraging to see how they rise in challenging situations and turn things around.

  87. I’ve been inspired by so many women, but lately it’s been an instructor at my yoga studio. She’s such a strong woman, mother, wife, teacher!

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