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Around this time of year, we’re all encouraged to share our love for others. With that extending to celebrating the different friendships and women in our lives, I’ve been reflecting on the women and businesses that are currently inspiring me.
As creative business owners, the people we surround ourselves with, either in person or online, as a friend or a customer, play an important role in shaping our mindset and experiences. By intentionally connecting with women whose values are aligned with your own, it becomes endlessly easier to cultivate the experiences and balance that you’re hoping to grow in your life and business.
During my reflection, a few women in particular came to mind who are running businesses that I’m incredibly inspired by, and help me think more strategically about building a balanced and intentional life as a creative entrepreneur.
The first woman I’d like to mention today (and the one who comes to mind first whenever I’m putting together lists like this) is Satsuki Shibuya. Satsuki is a wonderfully talented painter, artist, and spiritual thinker. Not only has she married her passion and purpose in a beautiful way, but I also feel lucky to call her a long-time friend and client.
Through watercolor, Satsuki creates paintings based on reading energy that are quietly captivating. Her energy reading sessions have also been a transformative to the way I approach my life and business. Satsuki’s warm soul shines through in her paintings and prose, and her ability to work intentionally and intuitively is something that I continually to aspire to.
Another woman who is always top of mind is Heidi Swanson, the author of 101 Cookbooks—my go-to recipe source when working from home. I’ve yet to try a recipe of Heidi’s that hasn’t become an immediate favorite, so much so that I’ll end up making the same dish for several weeks before trying a new one.
All of Heidi’s recipes are vegetarian and wellness-driven while still remaining approachable and easy to make. She also creates the most flavor-packed profiles that keep her recipes from ever feeling stale, even when you eat them five days in a row.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle outside of work, and finding time to cook midweek can be tricky when you run a business, but Heidi’s recipes have helped make the habit much easier, and the process of cooking more enjoyable for me.
The third creative that comes to mind is a woman whose voice I can wholeheartedly stand behind—, Amy Woodside of OKREAL. Her platform provides a place for women to seek out advice about anything from running a business, to relationships, to overcoming adversity. Despite interviewing women that have achieved some remarkable things in their lives and careers, she manages to make it all feel very candid and relatable.
I had the opportunity to take part in one of Amy’s Mentorship Circles a few years ago, and it did wonders in altering my outlook on running a business. Her ability to create a positive space for women to come together and support each other is incredibly inspiring, and something to be valued in this day and age.
To highlight women from a variety of disciplines, I wanted to round out my list with Elizabeth Suzann, a fashion designer who brings an intentionality and mindfulness to her work that I find to be very refreshing. Elizabeth’s collections are a reflection of the modern working woman, and have the rare quality of being both comfortable and elegant on a variety of ages and body types.
Elizabeth also designs with purpose, and has pioneered a conversation around quality over quantity when it comes to fashion, going through a rigorous process to select pieces for her Signature Collection. Her work ethic and dedication not only to aesthetics, but also to functionality and versatility when it comes to a woman’s wardrobe is something to be admired. All of these qualities combine to make Elizabeth a great woman for other creatives to look up to.
Who are the women in your life that you can express gratitude for today? I encourage you to take some time to embark on your own reflection—it will reinvigorate you in unexpected ways, I promise.