Who do you gather inspiration from?

Whenever we're feeling a little down and out, or that the work we're doing is having the kind of impact that we want, we take to the interwebs and read stories about other women (and men) who have forged their own path and done things differently.

You know, the trailblazers.

People who aren't afraid to try new things, to get uncomfortable, or break the rules every now and then. People who use a bold font when everyone else is using a hand-lettered looking one. People who go left when everyone else is trying to go right. People who stand on the edge of what's comfortable versus staying comfortably in the middle.

Some trailblazers that come to mind:

  • Martha Stewart. She made being a domestic goddess cool when it was seen as the only acceptable option for women. She brought entertaining, cooking, and crafting to the forefront and created a billion dollar company with that skill set. And just when it looked like things were over for her, she managed to turn a doozy of a mistake into something that made her even MORE popular.

  • Oprah. She was one of the first African-American faces on television, in a time when Phil Donahue was king. She stayed true to her calling and didn't follow suit when other talk shows were becoming more and more ... trashy. She is a dedicated activist and is passionate about creating programming for women.

  • Ellen DeGeneres. Falling into comedy accidentally, Ellen quickly rose to fame with her debut appearance on The Tonight Show in 1986. In 1997, Ellen became the first character on a nationally syndicated television show to be openly gay. Her love for pant suits, fun socks, and dancing combined with her wit, humor, and generosity make her a standout in this day and age.

Who are some of your favorite trailblazers?

What women (and men) do you look up to and gather inspiration from? Who is top of your field and doing some really cool work? Is it you? If not, how can you begin to embrace this quality in your own life and work?

Here's to blazing trails and taking names.

Emily and Kate