d*s book tour

d*s book tour: vote + we’ll see you in 2011!

by Grace Bonney

image above via kristen stocks’ sneak peek

since we’re talking about cities, i thought it would be the perfect time to announce the beginning stages of our d*s book tour! next spring we’ll be hitting the road to come to as many cities as possible (we’re hoping 12-15!) to host a number of events and get-togethers where you can come learn, have fun, and meet d*s readers and editors in your town.

but before we nail down cities and the form of the events i wanted to get your feedback about where you’d like us to come, and what you’d like to do when we get to town! i want this tour to be as fun for us as it is for everyone who comes, and to be about supporting the local art and design scene (as well as local arts charities) in each town- as much as sharing the new book. so, if you have a moment, i’d love to get your feedback! i’ve added two polls below where you can cast your votes, and if you have any additional ideas or requests, please feel free to add those in the comment section. i want to make sure we do everything in our power to make these events as fun as possible- and encompass as many of your requests! thanks so much for your feedback, it’s so helpful and will help us create the best events possible! xo, grace.

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Suggested For You


  • How about Houston, TX? It is the 4th largest city in the US (soon to be 3rd) and has a lot to offer on the art and culture side.

  • Pittsburgh isn’t on your list for your book tour…it’s a shame. It’s a great city with a large creative community, and a number of Design Sponge fans. You could go to Wildcard, visit with the Pittsburgh Craft Collective, check out the I Made it Market, furniture shop at Perlora, get inspired at Hot, Haute, Hot, meet Roxanne, the most talented dried floral designer, meet Catherine of Cut and Sew Studio…I could go on. Hope you’ll consider stopping by. We’ll treat you an Iron City and some pierogis.

    • hi guys-

      i had to narrow down cities based on the average number of readers we have in each place. i’m so sorry. :( this is a pretty big trip commitment for us so we really need to narrow it down to the cities where we have the highest concentration of readers for now. i wish i could go to more cities, but traveling to 12-15 cities in one year is going to be CRAZY (and expensive) so we had to narrow it to down cities that had the highest numbers of readers.


  • I know Mississippi doesn’t sound like the kind of place this kind of event would be well attended, but the Jackson area and Oxford both have large art and design presences. Also, Jackson has Lemuria Booksellers… an AMAZING venue for signings. They have at least one big event there a week. Maybe next tour?

    • hi guys!

      quick note- if you feel your city should be on the city please feel free to leave comments in the comment section. i’ll count the number of “add in” city votes and if they beat the cities on the poll, i’ll be happy to go there instead.

      please keep in mind that we’re going to go to as many cities as possible, and even though we’re going to be going somewhere more than twice a month, we won’t be able to hit all the wonderful design areas in the US (not to mention outside of the US). i wish we could, but we won’t be able to keep up with site work if we’re traveling 3-4 times a month for a year. so i’m going to do as much as humanly possible to get to at least 12 cities next year :)


    • thanks for your understanding guys- a lot of you are emailing in now with votes, so please be sure to vote here in the poll, or write in a city/theme suggestion here. i may not get to all the emails in time to count them, so please please leave them here. i’m so sorry we can’t go everywhere, i wish we could. this is the biggest project we’ve ever done at d*s (twice as many cities as the biz ladies in 2008) so we’re going to cover as much as possible.


  • Since St. Louis isn’t on the list, I can offer unsolicited advice without endangering my own chance at a signed book….

    Just pick the cities you most want to visit, and the ones with the best food!!

  • grace, you know you love georgia! so please include atlanta as one of your stops! and i would love to have a little bit of everything at these book tours. come indulge yourself in some southern hospitality. :)

    • tiffany

      there’s no way i’m missing georgia. i feel like part of my heart lives there, so if i have to save up and drive myself down there alone, i’ll be there ;)


  • I hope you make it out to the Baltimore/Washington DC/Philly area!!! I’m super excited for the book to come out

  • You’re going to have a blast on this trip! I’m a little green with envy ; ) Wish I could tuck away in your luggage. Count me in if you decide to do a pop up shop somewhere in Cali — sounds really fun.

  • Grace- You have done it! You have found a way to take yourself and your crew out and about – traveling – doing what you do best. I am so so excited! I live in a small town, but my brother lives in Brooklyn. If I have to, I’ll arrange to be there for your kick off. I love love love design sponge. It’s my default home page. I wish you guys the very best. Let your faithful readers know (especially me) if you need volunteers to help you pull this endeavor off!

    Cupcakes hugs!

  • I’d love for you to come further south to San Antonio, but I understand you have a lot of ground to cover. ;) If you make it within the Texas stateline, I’ll be there with (Texan) bells on! Can’t wait!!! xo

  • Hartford, CT isn’t on your list. The city is transitioning into more of an artsy place to be and your presence could only help out. There are a lot of people in the metro Hartford area, and I think it would be well attended. I’m not sure the size of the event, but it would be worth looking into having it at The Studio @ Billings Forge.

    Hopefully I’ll see you!

  • i voted for: boston (where i live now), providence (where i love to visit), and portland, me (gotta show some love to the hometown)! i can’t wait, keep us posted!

    • monique

      please see my comment above- unfortunately my analytics tracking doesn’t indicate a concentrated readership there, but if enough comments come through we will definitely be sure to consider it. we have to be careful with not over-traveling or over-spending here (we still have to fund and run the site while we’re out traveling for the book) so we really have to focus on areas where we can meet with as many people as possible.


  • I second the vote for Madison, Wi, but am just excited that you are doing a book tour—congratulations, grace!

  • If you come to Nashville (and I hope you do) my alma mater, Watkins College of Art & Design, might be a great place to do some kind of panel talk or demo. It’s a small private art school with just a few majors including graphic design and interior design and photography.

  • so excited for you and hope to see you in atlanta! if/when you do start getting into the details of each stop, a great local organization to partner with might be Lady Rogue Business Network (an independant entrepreneur network – totally like your biz ladies features).

    again, 1000x congratulations!

  • If you were to come to Durham, NC–which would be terrific–you might consider having the event at either the Scrap Exchange (www.scrapexchange.org) or Golden Belt (www.goldenbeltarts.com). Go Durham!!!

  • I see Va Beach isn’t getting too much love—but I’m so tickled you put it on the list!! Makes me proud of our home town!! I’ll come up to Richmond or DC to meet you guys if I have to though!!!

    • sarah

      i’m from VB (and my family is there) so i’ll be sure to do something there, even if it’s a small event over a break when i’m home ;)


  • C’mon Austin!! If you end up in Dallas though, I’ll definitely make a special trip. No matter what, I wish you safe travels!

  • I voted for New Orleans, as it is the closest to me and a beautiful place to visit (I’m in central Mississippi). I really wish there were more of us Mississippi fans – it would really be awesome to see you in Oxford or Jackson! :)

  • Grace, be reassured you’ll receive a HUGE hometown welcome party when you come to Virginia Beach. You have many readers here in Norfolk/VB.

  • You should add Portsmouth, NH! I live in Boston but LOVE Portsmouth and I know you will too! Cute little coastal town with tons of history, great food, excellent galleries and a really artsy eclectic feel. I worked for the main museum in town, Strawberry Banke Historic Museum for 4 summers and it’s just one of my favorite places – really supportive community too – I know they’d love to have you!

  • yeah! i’m preparing for a move to montreal, this would be a great way to welcome spring in my new stomping grounds!

  • 3rd vote for St. Louis! I voted for Chicago, DC, Nashville on your list though since I have family in all those places and could maybe swing it.

  • I voted for Portland Maine, where I recently relocated, because the creative community is huge here… but I would’ve also voted for the Detroit area (my hometown) had it been among the choices!

  • Of course I picked Chicago because I live here! I picked Sydney because you said you really really really wanted to go there- and I picked Paris just in case via Chicago you suddenly decided you needed that one extra special somebody to come along, to fetch new pens, warm your croissants, speak very broken french. Let me know if 1 & 3 are possible.

  • I too, wish that Columbus was on the list, so this is my add-in vote. It may not be a San Francisco or New York, but it has a thriving design community, a great-big midwestern heart, and is overall an underrated place to visit (especially the Short North, where I live)!

    • thomas

      we’d love to make it to london, paris, and italy if possible, but we don’t have a very concentrated group of readers in belgium, so we’ll need to go to the areas where we can reach the most people in one visit. it’s pretty costly to put on events like these so we need to be efficient, effective, and smart about our spending :)


  • Another vote for Pittsburgh, great DIY energy here…although I would make the quick drive to Columbus if need be!

  • I’m excited enough to just see my hometown on the voting possibilities. I can hope that even though it’s pretty low on the list you guys will still make it out to Asheville sooner or later.

  • It seems like everyone is either in the Midwest, or back East.

    I’d love for DS to make a pitstop at San Diego, CA – America’s Finest City but Seattle, Portland, or SF would work, too, for a roadtrip!

  • San Luis Obispo California! You probably don’t have a huge following here, but we do have the best Graphic Communication program in the country and I’m sure there are a lot of creative students who would love to meet you guys!

  • I’m going to assume that you’re coming to Portland, OR – CraftyWonderland, but I put a vote in for Paris just because I thought you’d like to go there!

  • I totally understand about narrowing down your travels based on readership. Doesn’t stop me from asking for Cleveland, OH. :) Good luck with the tour- I’m sure people will just FLOCK to see you all!

  • Grace – please join us at Wordstock: Portland’s Book and Literary Festival, in October 2011. We’re the largest literary festival in the Pacific Northwest and have 15,000 people attend. Keep it on your radar, I’ll be in touch. I love your website :)

  • a book tour! congratulations!! that’s so very exciting.

    i highly highly suggest hitting San Francisco and LA — i think you’d cover all of your California bases that way. i live in San Diego, but would definitely make the trek to LA to take part in the festivities, and i’m sure other folks in the areas surrounding LA and San Francisco feel the same way.

  • As someone who works in book publishing, I can vouch that 12-15 cities is more than most book tours (we have meager budgets–I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that DS is largely funding their own tour). It’s really not feasible or practical for a book tour to make it to every single little town no matter how awesome it is there (and nothing against smaller cities, I love visiting them). Just my two cents!

    • thanks sarah ;)

      we’re funding this on our own, and hopefully with some sponsors that we’ll need to find and secure on our own, so that’s why we can’t go everywhere ;) i wish the publisher would shell out for a tour, but that doesn’t really happen for newbie authors like me any more ;)


  • I’m really gunning for New Orleans. You will have a blast here and be supporting one of the most unique and deep rooted design cultures in the country. We need you! Plus, you will definently get some of the best food possible.

  • oh! plus we are getting our first Anthro this fall, and hopefully the Prospect 2 New Orleans will be going on by then.

  • how exciting! I’m astounded you even considered Australia seeing as most people turn it down for the travel time etc. but yes come down here!

  • portland, or would be fantastic and it would go so well with the apartment therapy meet ups too! I would love to help if you decide to head up the the pacific nw!

  • I’m so excited to see Denver and Salt Lake City as possibilities. With them being within 3 and 6.5 hours of driving for me in Steamboat, they’re actually as close as I can get to the “big city” happenings! It would be such a blast to come.

  • Hi Grace,

    Please, please please consider coming to Grand Rapids, Michigan. The design community here is truly amazing, There are countless numbers of young, art + design minded entrepreneurs, as well as a thriving design and urban arts community. Among other things, we’re the furniture capitol of the US, and we are the center for the nation’s largest ArtPrize, in it’s second year this fall. West Michigan creatives Shelly Klein, Nicolai Czumaj-Bront, and others, I am sure, have been featured right here on Design*Sponge. I would be happy to provide more reasons for you to visit Grand Rapids, MI. I really believe you’ll be extremely well-received here. Please consider :)

  • Living in Portland, OR I, of course, vote for you to come here (to Powells?) How exciting for you! And yeah for a very good reason to spurge on your (gorgeous) fancy luggage.

  • Wow, not too many mid-west cities:( how about Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Milwaukee, etc. We would love to have you out our way and we have huge art/design communities!

  • Hi Grace,

    If you’re coming down to Sydney and Melbourne (which would be great) It would be amazing if you could make it across the ditch to New Zealand too… Its only another couple of hours away :)

    • alice

      i’d love to. it’s been a dream of mine to visit australia and new zealand so i’m pretty sure we’re coming regardless. just need to figure out a sponsor for that leg of the trip as our d*s budget doesn’t allow for big travel like that ;)


  • I hope you make it to London or Paris! I’m a military wife living near Cambridge, England and I would LOVE to come to a book tour event! And I’ll definitely have a big group with me!

  • I’d like to cast a write-in vote for Louisville! If not here, then I second the commenter who suggested the cities with the best food. :)

  • Oxford, Mississippi is not only a very literary town (the retired mayor is the president of the Independent Booksellers Association), it’s also a very artistic town.
    You would be welcomed by many, many folks. It would also be attended by ones that maybe aren’t readers now, but would be when you left. There’s a large group that supports all book signings. Add in your regular readers… you’d have a very successful event.
    You would also get readers from Memphis and Jackson, MS traveling to Oxford. Maybe Birmingham and Little Rock as well.

  • I am super excited about this book and subsequent book tour! I know you probably won’t end up coming come to VB, but I would LOVE it if you would do a stop here! I’m up at school at UVA, but I would definitely drive home for a Design Sponge book signing. Your website is such an inspiration, and I love that you’re also from Virginia Beach (although I love them, someone else other than Missy Elliott and Pharrell becoming well-known and famous in their world is awesome!)

    • katie

      i’ll def be doing something in vb. even if it doesn’t win the votes, i’ll be having a smaller event when i come home to visit my family, so i’ll definitely be coming back to the 757 ;)


  • I hope you pop through Denver! I am a daily reader of your blog and absolutely LOVE your style. I miss Domino magazine, but your blog has filled that void for me. It’s even better…daily updates!! Hope to see you in 2011!

  • …oh, and if you make it to Canberra (the small capital!), I’d be happy to give you the low down on the best places for coffee, design shopping and pretty parks….

  • Yay Seattle! When you come here, depending on how many people you expect I def. recommend Elliot Bay Book Club, and the University Bookstore. They’re both institutions in the area and can def. hook you up with the appropriate venue and I’m sure with a lot of the details.

  • umm.. Does your publisher know that when your book is released you are going to crash servers kind of like when Apple releases an iPhone. They should totally be paying for some of your book tour…
    See you in LA :)

    • bekka

      well i don’t know about that, but i hope that we can sell a few copies. we’ve all worked so, so hard on this book and i hope everyone likes it :)


  • Hi! N.Y. is my favorite. Please try to incluide Mexico city. You’re wellcome! Here theres a lot of fantastics boutiques, artcrafts and good ideas in every desing shops.

  • I live in the boonies, so I didn’t figure there would be a stop near me (Chicago is the closest at 3 hours) but since I am lucky enough to have a project in the book, I will make it a nice excuse for a trip to the city. :)

  • I was so excited to see Raleigh, NC on your list. Gives me hope and I’m going to stubbornly keep my fingers crossed (even though currently it only has 5% of the votes). So Raleigh, any of the First Fridays at ArtSplosure or any day at the new and fabulous Art Museum – it’s a date!

  • ohhh… Ann Arbor. (A2 affectionately). Michigan loves you and would love to see you up here in the Yankee North!

  • Yay for the book tour and horray for a few votes for MILWAUKEE! :) Count my vote as well but as others have said we could make the drive to Chicago as well ..if we have to ;)

  • pittsburgh, pittsburgh, pittsburgh!!!!! we were named america’s #1 MOST LIVABLE CITY, we hosted the G20 summit… pittsburgh is rapidly becoming more and more trendy and in the past few years weve seen an explosion of arts, culture, fashion, design, hip new restaurants and bars, etc. please come visit!! :-)

  • also, if pittsburgh makes the list, your readers from cleveland could drive here too – its a short & easy trip!

  • I, like Sarah, work in book publishing and agree with her comment. I handle PR, and national book tours. It’s incredibly difficult these days to plan tours because quite simply, they cost a lot of money, with very little yield. Publishers realized long ago that tours aren’t cost effective for 90% of books. However, several of the books on the NYTimes Bestseller list started out with no tour budget. I think you’ll have strong support in many cities, but I hope you’re getting some strategic planning support from your publisher at the very least. I’m moving to Germany in a few weeks so I’m now freelance, but I would be more than happy to answer any questions you might have about the process, or can offer good media contacts in certain cities. It’s definitely very smart of you to post this voter poll to measure where your readership is and who is most active. Best of luck to you.

  • My fiance and I have just bought our first flat. It is a old victorian flat and was in horrible condition and needs lots of love. We are knee deep in DIY… please, PLEASE come to jolly old London town. We even have a ‘spare room’ ready for you. All the best xx

  • Savannah definitely is a must for a destination. Our beautiful city is home to a thriving creative and cultural community. Come connect with SCAD and perhaps be a part of their annual Style Event. We would welcome you with enthusiasm and a tall glass of iced tea!

  • Another vote for Houston – it’s the 4th largest city in the country! Lots of design-friendly people here!

  • I love D*S and was so happy to see European cities on list ( I’ve cast my votes). I live in Edinburgh, but if you come to London I would travel down for it. I would just like to let you know that if you did want to come to Scotland I would be dedicated to helping that happen with; sourcing sponsorship, accommodation, promotion et al… But kudos for book and tour, can’t wait!

    • thanks so much, rea! we’d love to come to london and scotland, so if we can secure funding for a trip to london (we’re going to need to find funding for every city we visit) perhaps we could work with a local scottish business to support the short jump over from london :)


  • Glad to see Asheville in mid-ranking. Of course you know we’d love to have you here. And even though it’s not a Lark book it’s going to be a smashingly WONDERFUL book and I know some folks at Lark Crafts, me included, would love to lend a hand.

  • ohhhh I don’t see Europe on the map ?? How about Geneva/Switzerland ?? chocolate ? cheese ? mountains ? watches ;) I can help you !!

  • Looking forward to making a trip-but we would love to have you in Detroit or Ann Arbor, Michigan. I would make a special trip to New Orleans to support the area after the “you know what.” Thanks for my daily fix, can’t wait to have it in touchable form.

  • i’m so excited for this tour! i do hope north carolina makes it higher on your list because we have the beautiful and thriving unc school of the arts campus down in winston-salem. we have a lot of set designers (myself included), props artisans, scenic painters and art directors who would love to come see you guys and check out the book! have a great time!

  • Come to Austin , Texas! We have great food, good local music and a strong design vibe. Just don’t come in the summer. Early Spring and Fall are the best.

  • What a fabulous idea! I live in Manchester, NH (biggest city in the state that no one has heard of) and have been working on a grassroots campaign to bring together artsy folk and refocus on the arts. Having you come to NH would be soooo completely awesome as part of this. But alas, I realize the majority of your readers do not live here so it wouldn’t be worthwhile. I’m so jealous of all the bigger cities that already have so much going on. Congratulations to you on your book tour! Sounds like it will be a blast and you will be warmly welcomed everywhere.

  • I hope Chicago makes it on your list! If you schedule your tour right around The Renegade Craft fair in early fall, you could reach vendors and attendees who travel from across the country. The Biz Ladies/ Biz Advice would be perfect for the ever growing small businesses here in Chicago. Oh and there’s lots of fun things to do in this fabulous Midwest city!

  • Grace – thanks so much for allowing us to vote. Love it! And have fun on the book tour. We all wish you well.

  • Cleveland, Ohio should be on this list. We have a wonderful loyal following of DIYers & artists who would love and benefit from something like this. Please consider.

  • Grace-San Francisco is gorgeous in Fall and is filled with Design*Sponge lovin’ folks. Wherever you go in CA, I’ll be up for a road trip to support your book tour!

  • Dallas! Please come to Dallas! There is a big following here and a great design atmosphere! We would love to meet you!

  • I definitely agree regarding Houston. I will bring a bevvy of fans, I promise! Obviously Houston readers are a big deal, look who was FIRST to comment!

  • For some reason the site only allowed me to vote for the first part—the events—but not the cities.

    My top three picks:
    New Orleans

    Please come to one of those three!!

    • rachel

      did you get an error message? i just did a test and it worked ok for me– what are you seeing when you click a city and then vote? it may take a few seconds to load your response…


  • This is so exciting! Come to London and while you’re over come to Hastings and to Brighton where I live – you’d love it here!
    What a wonderful year you’ll have traveling the world – you deserve it!

  • I might be too late, but I really think you should come to Chicago for the tour! Just make sure you do it outside of January-March, because no one likes the city that time of the year! Best of luck!

  • I’ve got one word for you…Winston-Salem. Okay, that’s two but you get the idea. NC is great and Winston is the home of America’s first Art’s Council.

  • how exciting! i can’t wait to see the book & come to the event in SF. i do hope you will get funding from sponsors and/or from your publisher…i’m surprised you have to pay your own way because of how great your blog is

  • Oh please come to Asheville! I would be there with bells on. This book tour looks so fun- I hope you have a wonderful time!

  • no ohio!!?? we need you here! we are the most underrated, nicest, most crafty and down to earth city ever:)


  • Another vote for St. Louis. Left Bank Books would be a great stop. Or…I work at Maryville University and they offer a great interior design program. Have you thought about the touring the university circuit?

    Anyway, best of luck on the tour. So happy for you!

  • Grace,
    I voted for New Orleans but see it is towards the bottom of the list… Yikes! It is a city like no other. Please keep it high on your radar!!!

  • PLEASE, You have to come to Denver! We are in the middle of the country and I won’t get to see you if you don’t come here…

    Come on Coloradans SHOW THE LOVE! :)

  • Come to Des Moines! It’s sad that Iowa always gets overlooked. Des Moines is such a crafty and designy city. There is a huge culture and a huge Design*sponge following here. I would LOVE to see you!

  • Hi Grace! I will be casting my vote for Miami because it is the closest to me, but I highly consider that you visit the wonderful city of St Petersburg, Florida. Even if it’s not part of your tour, though I wish it were, it was voted the TOP Art Mid-Sized City by American Style magazine. We are chock full of awesome museums, local shops, galleries, studios, and the new Chihuly exhibit will be coming to downtown so soon. Gorgeous waterfront and tons of history to explore. Thanks! Can’t wait to make the trek down to South Florida :) But maybe consider the Tampa Bay area too!

    Thanks! Antoinette

  • Houston, Tx. Please! Most musicians, artists always skip our town and go to Dallas and Austin. There really is a lot of art here and honestly, I would say you have more readers in Houston then Dallas! Please come to Houston instead ;)

  • Detroit, Royal Oak, or Ann Arbor Michigan would be awesome. There is a VERY strong handmade movement going on here in Michigan right now!

  • Detroit/Ann Arbor would be a great stop! The design/DIY/handmade community has a strong presence in our communities and d*s would have a great time here!

    • ctyler

      i’ll def. have something in VB, even if it’s a small event. that’s where i’m from so i’ll at least have a little meetup over a break or something when i’m home with my family ;)


  • I agree that I’d drive to Richmond, but… have you considered Charlottesville? You have quite a following here!

  • I really think if you come to Los Angeles it would be totally worthwhile. The Rosebowl Flea Market in Pasadena is amazing; Vroman’s (independent) bookstore would be a great tie-in location to promote your book. Plus the whole rest of LA would have abundant places to check out and draw a crowd from.

  • Congratulations! What an awesome experience. Maybe this will open even more doors for you. I think DC is in the top 15. Can’t believe more people haven’t given the Nation’s Capitol more shout outs. Hope to see y’all here or Baltimore. Good luck!

  • If you come to Atlanta, I’d love to show you the all women’s collective art studio I share with some cool chicks. I make hat & headpieces that will knock your socks off! Plus, Atlanta is my hometown, I can tip you off the hippest ‘hoods” in town.

  • Is the voting closed? I can’t seem to get my votes on the polls. My first choice is New Orleans! It is only an hour away from me. You know you can’t miss an opportunity to visit this cultural mecca!

  • OK. My votes went in that time. #1 New Orleans, #2 Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill (near my hometown), #3 Austin, TX (great excuse for a road trip to a cool town!) And we visit Seattle & Vancouver, BC every summer so maybe, just maybe our trips will coincide?

  • Might be a bit late, but I had to add my support: I’m another Clevelander who would love to see you here!

  • Oh god, this is so exciting, congrats!

    Me and my friend Sally have been your biggest fans from the UK for a long time now and we are praying to the gods of DIY and crafts everyday that you are able to come over to London on your tour!!!

    Fingers and toes crossed!!


  • How about Destin, Florida!!!! It’s absolutely gorgeous here and I know that you would love it. :)

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