biz ladies: coming to a city near you (vote!)

by Grace Bonney

one of my biggest goals for d*s is to help women in design connect with each other to form support groups, collaborate on projects and share resources. today i’m excited to kick off a project i’ve been wanting to start for a while now. starting this fall i’m going to take the d*s biz lady nights national. the goal is to travel to five major cities this fall, winter and spring and host a meet up for local women running design-based businesses. along the vein of the brooklyn meet-ups i’ll be organizing the location, speakers/experts and as many local resources and tutorials as i can. i have a few cities in mind but i thought i’d see what you guys thought of in terms of which cities d*s should visit. i’ve started a survey right here where you can vote for the city where you’d like to see a meet-up. i’ll do my best to set up meet-ups in the top 5 cities this year and hopefully we can kick off a series of biz lady nights in each city that can be run by local artists and shop-owners after i leave. so, click here to vote for the city you want! don’t see your city? leave a suggestion below in the comment section. i’ll announce the top five later this summer and start working on each event asap. see you soon! [i’ll still be hosting biz lady nights in brooklyn, starting this fall]

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  • o Please o Please let there be a biz ladies meet up in the midwest- maybe st. louis. I went to the brooklyn one and it was fantastic! But im moving and i would love to see one in the midwest!!!

  • jennifer

    my last reader survey said most people live on the coasts or in one of the cities listed but by all means, if you’d like st. louis on there please consider it added- if enough people vote for it in here or request a mid-western city i’ll definitely add it :)


  • I’m suprised that Richmond, VA isn’t on there. Seems that there is big Richmond contingent on etsy and in brooklyn in general. Richmond is pretty rad.

  • Ohmgosh, how exciting! I voted for my closest city- San Francisco. I’ve got my fingers crossed hoping you’ll head this way!

  • amanda

    norfolk/va. beach is on there- it’s not far away. but if enough people write in for richmond i’m happy to add that to the list and come back to my home state :)


  • LOS ANGELES! We’ve been anticipating a D’s visit. And there are some great venues for meeting up. How about the Viceroy..or DWR Santa Monica.

  • oh you must visit Seattle! There’s so many creative people here who would love to attend one of these. Myself included!

  • i hope LA is on the list- i’ve never been and have always wanted to go. even if it doesn’t make it i’ll have to go out anyway. ;)


  • Yeah! Don’t forget the midwest! There are design people here too! I’m in Kansas City, but I guess St. Louis might be as close and I can get. Thanks!

  • what about phoenix/scottsdale?! not on the list…

    arizona always seems to get overlooked :(

  • This is such a great idea!! Hope it comes to the Windy City (that is, Chicago) – I will be there and I know many others that would interested too :)

    Thanks for setting this up!

  • just an fyi- i picked all these cities based on where my last reader survey said most people were ;)

    like i mentioned above, if enough people write in here to suggest either something in the southwest or midwest i’ll totally include it in my top 5.

    vanessa’s meet ups sound great- she told me about them this week. i think i’m going for something a little different but people should definitely check hers out- they’re a great resource.


  • Yea. I love what Vanessa is doing for LA’s design community, but I feel it is more interiors-focused. It would be great to try to round up the indie designers/crafters/artists, product designers and students too.

  • if you guys want salt lake, i’m happy to go. just need the votes- feel free to start the campaign here if you want :)


  • What about women who want to start a business but haven’t actually started the ground work yet? I’ve been working on ideas and have been making my protocols but that is about it so far. Choose Los Angeles!!

  • kimmy

    come on down! seriously, at least 15% of our brooklyn audience hasn’t started anything yet, but is about to.


  • That’s a good question from Kimmy…I’m still a student but plan on starting a textile design business, among other possible products. Am I still welcome and can I benefit from these meetings?


  • of course- everyone’s welcome that’s running or planning to be run a design based business. those who aren’t running anything yet will still benefit from the resources available :)


  • aw. no phoenix? i’m sure you’ll have a good gathering there too.

    i hope it’s in SF though, as i live there too!

  • Yes, don’t forget about PHOENIX ….I can’t believe it’s not on the list….it’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country and we NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEED this!

  • i chose SF because i could make it out there but i would love if you could make it out to honolulu, hawaii.

    i’m not sure how may readers are from here but we have such a great group of women artists and designers. it would be great if we could network somehow.

  • Okay, I have to vote for SF….it’s closest to me….although I must say there’s a hellalotta cool stuff coming out of Portland.

    By the way, I am very much into promoting new and emerging designers on the WHAT blog. Even if you are a way from launching your product it is always good to be around other creative minds to inspire you.

  • What about Toronto – yes, it’s Canada – but we have an excellent scene up here. I have a design business and would gladly help you out to do a satellite Canadian version. You are very popular up here and we woudl love to have you!

  • michelle

    canada is definitely is the plan but for this year i’m sticking to the us. but i’m definitely planning to branch out after that- i don’t have many contacts in the canada as far as locations and local resources so i’m trying to stick to what i know for right now ;)


  • please please please please chicago. you have lots of fans here and it’s almost always cheap to fly here. :-)

  • Fabulous idea…how about a trip around the world next year…Toronto…Kuala Lumpur!!! I would love to arrange some locations and local resources here in Asia!

  • Atlanta

    Grace come back to Georgia and visit the Atlanta campus of SCAD and the SCAD shop. Atlanta also has a wonderful artist/ design collective at Beehiveco-cop.com that will make you flip! The shop provides an environment that cultivates and promotes many local artists. I hope you will come to Atlanta! We also have other artists collectives such indie crafts experience (ICE-Atlanta)


  • I, also, was disappointed that Phoenix wasn’t on the list….so if you decide to add it, I vote for it!

  • I can’t wait. I have had my own company for about a year now and can’t wait to share my thought and experiences with others. Do you know when the Brooklyn nights will start up? How often are they?

    See you all soon!

  • L.A loves D*S. We vote Los Angeles. We can’t wait to hopefully see you on the West Coast. Fingers crossed!!!

  • LA LA LA LA LA LA…saying that with our ears plugged. In all seriousness…we would love it if one of the locations chosen were Los Angeles. We’d definately be there! By the way, thanks for doing this Grace…it’s just wonderful.

  • anon

    i’m afraid these are women-only events. there are many like-minded meet ups open to men and women around the country, i’d be happy to point you in their direction.

    as for a world tour- maybe one day- but for now i’m paying for all of this out of my own pocket so i’ve got to keep this within reach ;)


  • Grace – I think this is a fantastic idea! I will 100% be there for the Brooklyn meetups! Even if I do move to Maine in the next year.

  • you’ve gotta come to minneapolis. there’s so much great women-owned design work around here. seriously/ i’d be glad to serve as a contact if you have questions.

  • Here is another vote for Salt Lake City! If you can’t make it here, I would love to come and see you at another west coast city.

  • hey,
    where are all the dc/baltimore d*sponge readers? c’mon ladies! get the vote out :-)

  • jwh

    VA and GA are on there but according to my survey there aren’t any other large contingents of d*s readers down there. At least none that filled out the survey.

    But don’t worry, round two will definitely cover the south.


  • susan

    there have been two already, i’ll announce details for the third in september :)


  • the bauhaus, mies van der rohe, louis sullivan, frank lloyd wright… chicago seems like a nice fit. (granted, those are all men) lets get some biz ladies up in chi town!

  • Grace, obviously Cape Town is way off the beaten track, but I must say that I’ve found just reading about your previous Biz lady nights very inspiring, and I plan to organise something along those lines here some day soon. There are such amazing designers in my city and I think that together, we can only get stronger!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  • Ladies, i’ve just started working for an interior designer who’s gonna launch her own furniture line (fantastic stuff belive me!)and i discovered you blog whaihc i love. If you coming to L.A im in definitely.


  • come to portland oregon! i know that alot of people would be interested, and as i am just starting up my own thing, i would love to be meeting others and getting resources! i’m so excited that you are taking this national!

  • why don’t you ladies out there start your own meet-up and network, you really don’t need grace for that, i’m sure there are many well established women out there who have a very successful business with years of experience who can do this.

  • I can’t believe that no one has voted for a city in Texas, how about Dallas or Austin?

  • Please. please come to Seattle! We have a very active Ladies Who Launch group in Seattle and I’m sure they would love to come and meet you too!

  • i agree with jennifer & katie…would love to see a biz ladies meet up in the midwest…either in kansas city or st. louis.