Today is International Women’s Day and it wouldn’t be right without me shouting out some creative women that have impacted my life. I’m proud to say that they all hail from Sacramento and are sharing their talents right here in the city that I love so much. It was hard to narrow down these 10 ladies, so I’m calling this the official kick-off to a content series I’m starting. I hope you enjoy getting to know these women as much as I have!
I’ve known Ang for over 10 years and at that time I didn’t know how much she was going to affect my life. She did my hair a year before she opened Deeda Salon after I asked a handful of people who did theirs and they said “Angelina at Spanish Fly.” OK, sold. 🙂 We immediately bonded over our San Jose connection (she grew up there, I was in college there at the time) and the fact that we bother were Leo’s. Once she told me she was opening up her own salon, I was so inspired and impressed with her! I remember checking out the space and seeing her vision come to life. I’d later become part of it as an “ambassador” at her famous parties and when I graduated college and moved home, she offered me a job until I got on my feet. She was my unofficial cousin for a big part of my 20’s and while things changed, she has been the same ol’ Ang, except she’s grown into an amazing wife and mother and friend to many. She is someone who has believed and uplifted me, and brightens every day with her smile. I believe Deeda has only scratched the surface of what she is capable of and I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.
Believe me when I say that Kyle and I will have our own show one day. We followed each other on Instagram but like many Sacramento friendships, we met through mutual friends, and we took it a step further: we became neighbors when I moved back to Sacramento from SF. Kyle is the friend that knows how I’m feeling in a room full of people with just a look and one you can share countless laughs with. Maybe you saw our gigglefest on social media when we made these cupcakes? Imagine in real life! If it were up to me, I would stick Kyle in a room all day so all she could do was bake, design and create. She is hands down one of the most innovative people I know. I’m just waiting for her to take over the world.
Everyone needs a Rebecca in their life. I tried to remember when I met Rebecca and after a Gmail search, I figured out that it was back in 2012 following her Bows & Sparrows Closet Case (we were both featured around the same time). I admired her and her partner Meghan’s work with Honey Agency (and still do) and truth be told, I reeeeally wanted to work for her but around that time, I was deciding whether or not I was going to stay in Sacramento or go to SF. I ended up moving but we stayed in touch. Fast forward four years and she is now my friend and mentor (yes, you are, Rebecca). She has always seen more in me than I’ve seen in myself and always encourages me to push the envelope even further and for that, I am grateful!
Jennifer (Jen) is one of those people that leaves me asking the question, “What can’t she do?” Jen is another person I met on social media many years ago, and we later discovered we shared a common past employer, and had even more friends in common. Jen used to blog about people, places and things, and has since grown her personal brand to encompass writing for publications like Comstocks and Sactown Magazine, as well as blogging on her own site. She’s taken it a step further with e-courses like Prompt Club and her own podcast Creating Your Own Path, where she highlights fellow solopreneurs that answered their call to do something great. But wait, there’s more. She just printed her first book, 100 Days of Discussion, which stemmed from a project she took part in back in 2015. I engaged with her questions on Instagram and was so impressed with how easily she engaged with an audience. Jen is a powerhouse, someone who moves people with her words and if you have the opportunity to meet her in person, she’ll move you with her kind nature.
Haley and I met back in the day when we started blogging and many of you may not know this, but she actually did The Lipstick Giraffe logo and branding. I remember our kick off call like it was yesterday. Since then, she has been a sounding board, a friend, and someone I can be 100% unfiltered around. With both of us coming from creative agency backgrounds (me in client services and her in design), we’ve balanced each other out and pushed each other in positive directions. In addition to being a talented designer and blogger over at Colour Me Classic, Haley opened up CommonSpace, a place for creatives to gather, to learn from each other, and to simply just be. I’m so excited for Haley’s 2017 and to be part of her adventure.
Meeting and collaborating with Ruthie has been a breath of fresh air. After stalking each other on Instagram, we met at last year’s Sac Fashion Week and vowed to get together soon after. What I didn’t know was that she would be the first person I contact when I have an idea for the blog as well as the person that I contact when I’m needing a little bit of spiritual guidance. Her energy is contagious. After I leave one of our bi-weekly meetups, I’m immediately inspired to get out and do something. I admire Ruthie for her strength, for her energy, and for her willingness to let us all into her family’s life. She has been her authentic self since day one, and I know that will continue to carry her and her blog to great heights!
I started following Shavonda after her kitchen feature in BHG as A Home Full of Color and I couldn’t believe this lady was in Sacramento. How had I not run into her? It took a while for us to meet in person but once we did, it was like reconnecting with an old friend. Today, aside from our general girly banter, we have a lot of good conversations about blogging and how the landscape has changed over the years and of course, I slip in some design questions. I mean, how could I not? Have you seen her Instagram, and her recent feature on Design*Sponge?! I love that when I am with her she can immediately break down what is happening aesthetically in a space and how she would add her touch. She even did it in my home. While I had an idea of what I wanted to do, she gave me some pointers to bring it to life and I’m so thrilled with the result. Her home decor store is launching soon, and I know it’s the start of something great.
Andrea, affectionately known as Dre is one of my counterparts on a piece of business I have been working on for almost two years. She is the visual yin to my yang, plus she’s really helped me when it’s come to being a buttoned-up businesswoman. After working in-house in design and production, she’s been independent for almost 10 years. We were able to work with a different client on some projects last year and I’m so proud to accept an award with her tomorrow for some of those efforts! She has been a great collaborator, sounding board, and big sister. She also has no problem checking me when I need it – business or personal. 🙂 One day I hope we get to work on something else together so we can really get those creative juices flowing.
Michelle and I knew about each other for a long time, but it wasn’t until we ran into each other at TEAMride that we finally connected. We’ve been friends ever since. Michelle is loyal, patient and compassionate. If you don’t feel like celebrating your accomplishment, she will do it with/for you. I’ve watched her grow her passion with Dressed to Match, which started from her matching artwork in the gallery she’s director of, to traveling all around, matching art in museums to murals on the street. I still don’t know how she finds all of these perfectly matched dresses, but I’m sticking around to find out. I am anxiously waiting for her next move! Michelle, just don’t forget to take me with you… 😉
I met Melissa in 2012 when I was just starting out in the blogging world after I read her feature in SN&R. She actually reached out to me first even though I was girl crushing about collaborating with her new project, Compliment. It was just getting its start in her living room, and Melissa was still teaching full-time. Today, she has grown her brand to have an office, staff, and multiple product offerings. She also leads courses, travels for speaking engagements, and coaches other entrepreneurs to be their best. Bottom line, Melissa is an unstoppable force and she’s is never too busy to build up other women. Over the years she has mentored me, supported my events without hesitation and has even let me cry with her. It’s very rare to have someone in your life that you can easily transition from business to personal with so easily. She’s getting ready to have her first baby and I cannot wait to see her as a mother.
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece! Please tell me about a woman that inspires you in the comments!