01 September 2015

Supporting Some Favorite Women

Lately I've been amazed at what some dear women I know have been accomplishing. I have a soft spot for these hard-working women out there and just had to give them a shout out...

-Two smart, amazingly creative, and ambitious friends in Brooklyn, Lizzie Heiselt and Valerie Best, have launched a podcast called Cocoon Stories. It's stories of gestation. But more importantly, it's stories of WOMEN. They want to know how your life has changed because of the process, and what you have become. And they are taking this all the way. They've created a beautiful website, music, a podcast trailer and all that stuff that I know requires a lot of late nights. They'd love for you to listen to their very first podcast. It's with another dear friend of mine, Mary Jane Callister, mother of two and former Deputy Design Director of Martha Stewart Living. Are any readers out there suckers for stories of birth, getting pregnant, etc.? I used to devour stuff like this. I once had a huge collection of pregnancy and home birthing books that you could catch me reading on the train. 

-Once in Hawaii, I met a woman named Elon who had been reading my blog. She was the wife of Danny's coworker. We all met for breakfast one day and it lasted like 6 hours because we all were on the edges of our seats talking about transformation. Elon and her husband had been working on TRANSFORMING THEIR LIVES AND THEIR MARRIAGE. And I do mean for real. They decided to literally uproot the way they were doing things. And they HAVE. They are proof to anyone that it can indeed be done. The heart of Elon's journey has involved eliminating fear. Her experiences have been so transformative that she decided to share her journey on a new blog. It's called FEARLESS ELON. And it just launched last Friday. She plans to share a post on Fridays and Tuesdays indefinitely. Writing is part of her journey as she used to be terrified of anyone reading something she wrote (can anyone relate?). Cheers to transforming your life!!!!! Cheers to sharing your voice. Cheers to being fearless. Cheers to inspiring others along the way.

-My friend, Rachel Hunt Steenblik, takes my breath away with her words and her voice; her articulation and her intelligence. We've had some of the best conversations in tiny apartments in Brooklyn. And she just co-wrote a book with Mormon feminist, Joanna Brooks, called Mormon Feminism; Essential Writings. It's the first-ever collection of classic writings and speeches from four decades of the modern Mormon feminist movement. If you've heard of it, have you been affected at all by the Mormon feminist movement? I certainly have. I'm amazed by the women who write about it, speak about it, and advocate for positive changes.

-Have you seen Design Mom's beautiful book yet? (How to Live With Kids: A Room-by-Room Guide) I just adore the yellow and the handprint pattern she chose for her book cover. Really, I adore everything Gabrielle does. I so wish I could've gone to support her at her NYC Book Tour stop last spring. Do any of you have the book? What are your favorite parts? Have you incorporated any of the ideas into your home yet? I had a book shipped to my sister in Brooklyn since shipping is tricky here (also, she has three littles! :). My sister's favorite part: "Help your kids treasure their treasures." Adorable.

-High fives to Natalie (of Hey Natalie Jean) for writing a book! It's such a huge, huge  accomplishment! I wish her many more books to come. I also know the designer (Abby Clawson Low) who designed the book. So awesome for them both. Also: Natalie's life in Brooklyn tugged at my heart strings as just after we moved to Ecuador, she moved in just a few blocks away from my condo. But now she's living in a farmhouse in Idaho! Darn it. I wanted so badly to meet her on the corner and have Brooklyn lunch dates with her someday.

-Jordan Ferney of Oh Happy Day has recently launched what has to be the best ever party store on the planet earth! It makes you feel like it's time to have a celebration of some kind. Have you been able to purchase anything yet? I don't get very coordinated when I throw a party. But yet, as a guest, I have to admit that it's SO FUN when the host adds some thoughtful details. So maybe I need to rethink my parties. Jordan also has started a new company called Bright Lab and she's selling these amazing strands of lights (in tons of colors). I mean, heck - time to start a business! This woman is showing us how it's done.

-Kate Johnson, a friend in my Brooklyn neighborhood, Park Slope, has started selling HAND-MADE quilts. And aren't they are stunning!? I want one so bad. (I'm such a sucker for blankets and quilts.) You can purchase a quilt online at her new shop, One of One. I heard that orders are just rolling in, which is fantastic! It's so exciting to me to see a friend move forward with an idea.

Do you know of any women doing something new or unique? (Or are YOU?) Please, please share! I love hearing about what people are up to - and I certainly have a soft spot for people trying to do something new. Especially since I'm constantly trying to do it myself. ha. :)

XO, Mara

P.S. Take a leap and register now for our Body+Soul Camp retreat in Ecuador Oct. 11-17. I *promise* you that you won't regret it and that it will be a week of a lifetime. It will help you to live your BEST life.

Did you like this post? If so, please share it or leave a comment below! XO


  1. Love these! So many of these women I'm already following, but I will definitely check out the others!

    I recently wrote a children's book and have started selling my paintings online: www.apricotandbee.com

    Keep up the good work! Love women supporting women.

    1. LOVE this. Thanks for sharing. What an awesome accomplishment to have completed a book. And for readers, I saw the concept for her book and I love it:

      "Do you know all of the silly names for different groups of animals? Gaggles of Giggles highlights some of these groups while the animals engage in their secret silly activities that humans rarely get to see." Sounds darling.

    2. Thank you so much, Mara! I admire you greatly and your kind words really spoke to my heart in a special way.

  2. Hi, Mara! I'm still loving your blog. My high school FB friend Stephanie started Good Cloth, www.shopgoodcloth.com. It's a great mission:

    "Here at Good Cloth, we handpick designs that are beautiful and ethically sourced, meaning they are created respecting people and the planet. The curated pieces are limited edition and produced in small quantities, often made by hand on a small scale with locally sourced materials. In buying these products you are not just gaining unique garments or accessories, you are fashioning change and pushing the pendulum in the design industry toward transparency, ethical sourcing, fair treatment of workers, sustainability and high quality."

    What's not to love, right?!

    1. Susan!!! Oh, such a joy to see your name here. I hope you know you're in my heart and always will be. And thanks for sharing this amazing business. I absolutely love what she's doing. XOXO

  3. Thanks for such a great post, Mara! I'm all about the sisterhood and women raising up one another.

    One of my dearest friends, Molly, makes incredible hand-woven backpacks. They're like a basket you can wear and tote around to farmers' markets, etc. https://www.facebook.com/waldenhillbaskets

    She describes the baskets: "Bringing handmade, authentic, environmentally sustainable alternatives to those who embody conscious efforts in living an eco-friendly, active lifestyle." and her business mission: "Our mission is to produce a smart, green, multi-purpose alternative for those who are eager to reduce waste & to support those who are feeding their wanderlust one journey at a time."

    Not only that, she's one of the most incredible women I know (and I know some pretty phenomenal chickies). Thanks again! So good meeting you in Vermont xoxoxo

    1. IN LOVE with those baskets!!!! Thank you so much for sharing these.
      I just shared them on the blog FB page.

      And Courtney, I've just thought of you a ton this week as I prepared that post about Vermont. I seriously just melted over meeting you and having your amazing kindness and love there at our retreat - even if for a short time. I regretted so much not getting a photo with you. But know that I'll never forget you! (And you also seriously tempt me to dye my hair purple. :) Lot of love to you. xoxo

  4. What a fun post to peruse! I am checking them all out now. Those quilts!! And I totally loved the Design Mom book- got it from the library, but really want to own it.
    I remember several years ago when you posted some of my products that I'd made for one of your "yellow" posts, Mara. It caused such a surge in traffic for my shop and I couldn't even believe that I had been mentioned on one of my all time favorite blogs! I called my mom right away :) I've totally changed product lines since then, but still love yellow!

    1. Hi dear Lauren!! I feel like you're an old friend. THANK YOU always for your comments here. And for any readers who see this, here is Lauren's amazing Etsy shop, L.Perkin.: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LaurenPerkin?page=1

      She sells awesome bow ties, handkerchiefs, and scarves.
      I see that's it's a 5-star shop with 259 reviews! So awesome.

  5. I love seeing women lift and support other women. I am familiar with a few of these ladies, but I'm excited to check out many of these women + their projects/companies I didn't know about. Thanks!

  6. Since you asked... I LOVED the Design Mom book. I LOVED it so much I made three kinds of notes, and you can see pics of all my colorful tabs on my book blog. The link is www.evereadbooks.com/designmom My blog is my creative project of choice! :D

    Incidentally, I've been reading Clay Christensen's book The Power of Everyday Missionaries, and when he said 'you all should go check out A Blog About Love' I was like, "aw yeah, I'm already on the right track!" :D

    1. YOUR BLOG IS AWESOME!! We're about to start a movie but I got sucked into reading your posts. So fun to read....really! And how fun that you got to meet Gabrielle.

      And...Clay...what an amazing human being. We're so glad to know him and we can't believe we made it into his book!

  7. Oh hi! Fun surprise to be on this list with primo women. Thanks!

  8. Wow! What a fun post! I loved reading about these inspiring women! My sister is very inspiring, and you might like to take a look at her website(s). She is a children's book author and illustrator and has just come out with a website and reading log to promote literacy by reading 1000 books to your child before kindergarten. Her book series are all about taking a closer look at where you live...here are the links:

  9. I am a believer! It is all about love and once we can count on love we begin to discover the power of creativity. I have written about that part of our soul in a pamphlet called A Remarkable Journey Towards Creativity, it is on my blog http://annfarnsworth.com/ and I would love to have you read it. The promo code is 'free'. Thank you for being you!


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