Just a few women who have inspired me lately…
1. About a month ago I went to the Helena Rubinstein exhibit at the Jewish Museum. I knew practically nothing about her going in, but her story of coming from Poland and the determination she had to become one of the first successful female entrepreneurs was inspiring. She was a true innovator for her time. Plus, the exhibit was filled with her beautiful clothes, artwork and (somewhat strange) dollhouses. My favorite moment were the Picasso portrait preparation sketches. Helena went to Picasso and demanded he paint a portrait of her. When she refused to leave him alone, he drew preparation sketches in which she looks terribly angry and he had no intentions of turning them into a finished portrait.
2. I walk to work every morning and it is blissful to have time to clear my head and stretch my legs. Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts instead of music and a recent favorite is Aisha Taylor’s Girl on Guy. She has a cast of characters that she brings in as guests and asks them interesting questions that will really go anywhere. I loved her interview of Amber Tamblyn if you need a good starting point.
3. Working in finance, I’m always eager to hear about female business success stories and one that is new to me is Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter. This article provides a great read into Natalie’s background and how she started one of my favorite companies to online window shop. When Natalie came up with the idea to create an online luxury marketplace, she had just failed as an Editor at Tatley. I think this is a great reminder that your greatest ideas and innovation can come out of your lowest points.
4. Betty Halbreich’s book, I’ll Drink to That, was fun and inspiring from someone who has lived a very full life. Betty is the original personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman and has been there for nearly 40 years. She’s worked with everyone and has amazing stories to share about her experiences. Her memoir also dives into her past and her privileged lifestyle and family difficulties. She talks about shopping a lot, but also points out how shopping can be (and often is) a vice to hide from bigger problems. Still, the way she describes clothes is almost magical as someone who clearly has a true appreciation for their beauty.