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Feminism Meets Entrepreneurship

It’s tough to do it, all particularly in New York: rents are higher, commutes are longer, and distractions are more abundant. Yet Stephanie Newman, founder of feminist platform Writing on Glass, manages to consult, write articles, attend panel discussions, take fiction-writing workshops, and run her own business (and do it all with aplomb). She’s not stingy with her secrets, either. Newman creates resources on her site, coaches other women, and shares her own strategies via blog posts. Below, Newman tells us how the city can inspire, not hinder, major go-getters. 

You take full advantage of the panels and conversations that New York has to offer. What are your go-to sources for information about upcoming events like this? Where are some of your favorite venues to hear speakers, and why?

I’m on email lists for upcoming events from Six Degrees Society, OKREAL, Ladies Get Paid, The Wing, the 92Y, and the New York Public Library. Another great resource for events is the Facebook group Dreamers//Doers: New York, where almost 5,000 members post upcoming panels, workshops, and classes. As for favorite venues, the NYPL has a pretty incredible speaker list (and of course, a beautiful interior). The Wing has also become my go-to place to hear speakers whose insights are highly relevant to my work empowering creative women.

Your work aims to serve feminist entrepreneurs. Who are three New York-based lady entrepreneurs we should all know more about?

Naomi Mdudu, Kellie Wagner, and Claire Wasserman are all entrepreneur superstars in my book. Naomi founded The Lifestyle Edit, a platform for female founders; Kellie has a diversity and inclusion consulting firm called DEI Collective; and Claire started Ladies Get Paid, a company that helps women get paid what they deserve. I love that these founders are building community through their businesses, folding social impact into their work, and giving other women a roadmap for entrepreneurship beyond the typical Silicon Valley startup mold. I list dozens more role models in my resource guide for creative women.

You work for yourself, which means you can work all over the city. What are some of the best locales to send a few emails and grab a casual coffee or bite?

Whenever I have coffee meetings, I suggest Stonefruit Espresso to Brooklynites and Union Fare to Manhattanites. One of my favorite apps, Croissant, lets users access coworking spaces all over the city, which is highly convenient. Spacious and Kettlebell also turn popular dinner restaurants into coworking spaces during the day.

On top of it all, you’re also a writer. How does the city inspire you creatively?

Aside from constantly being exposed to new ideas and getting to hear from so many accomplished writers and artists, I have to say that living in a busy environment helps me find quiet space in my own head. It’s counterintuitive, but true. I love just walking around and observing all the activity, even when “activity” translates to lines around the block, packed restaurants, and ten-second horn honks. Some people focus better in quiet, remote places. I’m not one of them!