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Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses

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Get inspired by the women who discovered that working with your best friend can be the secret to professional success--and maybe even the future of business--from the co-founders of the website Of a Kind. "Read this, then plot your own work-wife-driven empire."--Glamour When Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met in college in 2002, they bonded instantly. Fast-forward to 2010, w Get inspired by the women who discovered that working with your best friend can be the secret to professional success--and maybe even the future of business--from the co-founders of the website Of a Kind. "Read this, then plot your own work-wife-driven empire."--Glamour When Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met in college in 2002, they bonded instantly. Fast-forward to 2010, when they founded the popular fashion and design website Of a Kind. Now, in their first book, Cerulo and Mazur bring to light the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. Drawing on their own experiences, as well as the stories of other thriving "work wives," they highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion--qualities central to so many women's relationships--lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation. Featuring interviews with work wives such as Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs of the influential food community site Food52, Ann Friedman, Aminatou Sow, and Gina Delvac of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, and Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of Olympic volleyball fame, Work Wife addresses a range of topics vital to successful partnerships, such as being co-bosses, tackling disagreements, dealing with money, and accommodating motherhood. Demonstrating how female partnerships in the office are productive, progressive, and empowering, Cerulo and Mazur offer an invaluable roadmap for a feminist reimagining of the workplace. Fun, enlightening, and informative, Work Wife is a celebration of female friendship and collaboration, proving that it's not just feasible but fruitful to mix BFFs with business. Praise for Work Wife "Is the old adage 'Friends and business don't mix' true? Not according to college friends Cerulo and Mazur, who translated their love of fashion and desire to support emerging fashion designers into a successful business, the e-commerce site Of a Kind. . . . By exploring topics such as setting expectations, defining roles, dividing responsibility, dealing with finances, and addressing disputes, they deftly demonstrate how female friendships produce empowering business partnerships. . . . This insightful, engaging work is an essential guidebook for friends considering a business collaboration."--Library Journal (starred review) "Engaging and thoughtful, Work Wife champions strong relationships, healthy attitudes, and pragmatic decision-making--an excellent primer for women interested in creating their own opportunities."--Booklist (starred review)


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Get inspired by the women who discovered that working with your best friend can be the secret to professional success--and maybe even the future of business--from the co-founders of the website Of a Kind. "Read this, then plot your own work-wife-driven empire."--Glamour When Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met in college in 2002, they bonded instantly. Fast-forward to 2010, w Get inspired by the women who discovered that working with your best friend can be the secret to professional success--and maybe even the future of business--from the co-founders of the website Of a Kind. "Read this, then plot your own work-wife-driven empire."--Glamour When Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur met in college in 2002, they bonded instantly. Fast-forward to 2010, when they founded the popular fashion and design website Of a Kind. Now, in their first book, Cerulo and Mazur bring to light the unique power of female friendship to fuel successful businesses. Drawing on their own experiences, as well as the stories of other thriving "work wives," they highlight the ways in which vulnerability, openness, and compassion--qualities central to so many women's relationships--lend themselves to professional accomplishment and innovation. Featuring interviews with work wives such as Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs of the influential food community site Food52, Ann Friedman, Aminatou Sow, and Gina Delvac of the hit podcast Call Your Girlfriend, and Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings of Olympic volleyball fame, Work Wife addresses a range of topics vital to successful partnerships, such as being co-bosses, tackling disagreements, dealing with money, and accommodating motherhood. Demonstrating how female partnerships in the office are productive, progressive, and empowering, Cerulo and Mazur offer an invaluable roadmap for a feminist reimagining of the workplace. Fun, enlightening, and informative, Work Wife is a celebration of female friendship and collaboration, proving that it's not just feasible but fruitful to mix BFFs with business. Praise for Work Wife "Is the old adage 'Friends and business don't mix' true? Not according to college friends Cerulo and Mazur, who translated their love of fashion and desire to support emerging fashion designers into a successful business, the e-commerce site Of a Kind. . . . By exploring topics such as setting expectations, defining roles, dividing responsibility, dealing with finances, and addressing disputes, they deftly demonstrate how female friendships produce empowering business partnerships. . . . This insightful, engaging work is an essential guidebook for friends considering a business collaboration."--Library Journal (starred review) "Engaging and thoughtful, Work Wife champions strong relationships, healthy attitudes, and pragmatic decision-making--an excellent primer for women interested in creating their own opportunities."--Booklist (starred review)

30 review for Work Wife: The Power of Female Friendship to Drive Successful Businesses

  1. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    I feel like this was written for entrepreneurs, which I am not. But I do work in a male dominated field, and all my work friends were male until a little over a year ago, when my boss put a new member of our team next to me to train. She is the same age as me, has the same values as me, and while I was initially wary because she is way more friendly and chatty than I am, we became fast friends. Reading about the benefits of bringing friendship and personal life into work really resonated with me I feel like this was written for entrepreneurs, which I am not. But I do work in a male dominated field, and all my work friends were male until a little over a year ago, when my boss put a new member of our team next to me to train. She is the same age as me, has the same values as me, and while I was initially wary because she is way more friendly and chatty than I am, we became fast friends. Reading about the benefits of bringing friendship and personal life into work really resonated with me as I thought about my new work best friend and how we work so well together, but also how having each other makes work days better.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nay Keppler

    i am a career librarian so ive had at least 800 work wives over the past 10 years yet i could not relate to this book at all.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Leilani

    This book has a fun title, but it is not a cutesy book filled with solely fluffy quotes and nothing else. Instead, this is a game-changer for your career if you’re a woman! The premise is supported by research - find someone that can help aid you in your career. Research finds 71% of people at with friends work love their job and 43% of highly qualified women with kids leave the workplace. These two statistics set forth that a friend at work is very necessary. The book starts out with the founda This book has a fun title, but it is not a cutesy book filled with solely fluffy quotes and nothing else. Instead, this is a game-changer for your career if you’re a woman! The premise is supported by research - find someone that can help aid you in your career. Research finds 71% of people at with friends work love their job and 43% of highly qualified women with kids leave the workplace. These two statistics set forth that a friend at work is very necessary. The book starts out with the foundation necessary to find a “work wife” and then forming that partnership. Even in companies with the least amount of collaboration, you can find someone in your workplace to advocate for you. Another great highlight of the book is discussing matters we generally avoid in the workplace, but those same conversations come easy with a friend. Find that work friend you can discuss all the matters with candidly. Ultimately, women will continue to struggle at work, but we don’t have to. We especially don’t need to struggle when we create a supportive system.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    This book pleasantly surprised me! It was far more substantive than most women empowerment/business books that I’ve read. The authors present a strong argument for why it’s both an excellent and a lucrative idea for female friends to go into business together. They interviewed many women business partners and those firsthand stories were very compelling. There’s a bit of research too, and my nerdy heart soared when they cited Deborah Tannen. A great read for any woman who aspires to own her own b This book pleasantly surprised me! It was far more substantive than most women empowerment/business books that I’ve read. The authors present a strong argument for why it’s both an excellent and a lucrative idea for female friends to go into business together. They interviewed many women business partners and those firsthand stories were very compelling. There’s a bit of research too, and my nerdy heart soared when they cited Deborah Tannen. A great read for any woman who aspires to own her own business.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Gisela

    I adore this book! I speak a bit more about it as well as share some favorite quotes here: https://giselasbooked.com/2019/03/19/... I adore this book! I speak a bit more about it as well as share some favorite quotes here: https://giselasbooked.com/2019/03/19/...

  6. 5 out of 5

    Claire Parsons

    I liked this one. I wrote a review of it for MothersEsquire. You can read it here: https://www.mothersesquire.com/mother.... I liked this one. I wrote a review of it for MothersEsquire. You can read it here: https://www.mothersesquire.com/mother....

  7. 5 out of 5

    The Literary Apothecary

    In a world where corporate America was not built for women leaders, Work Wife, part primer, part playbook, is indeed a strident call to actively grasp the reins and understand how to build an empire with your closest female friend(s). Work-wife, written by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur, who met in college in 2002, explores common topics and themes present when the idea of a new ventures arises. Yet, there is a twist. This dynamic duo sheds light on the awe-inspiring power of the female ‘work-wife In a world where corporate America was not built for women leaders, Work Wife, part primer, part playbook, is indeed a strident call to actively grasp the reins and understand how to build an empire with your closest female friend(s). Work-wife, written by Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur, who met in college in 2002, explores common topics and themes present when the idea of a new ventures arises. Yet, there is a twist. This dynamic duo sheds light on the awe-inspiring power of the female ‘work-wife’ relationship. Easily viewed as a roadmap sprinkled with the hue of feminism, the text focuses on how to positively exploit the unique characteristics of female relationships - vulnerability, open communication, and undying compassion -in order to leverage and launch profitable partnerships. Highly recommended to any woman who has been dying to launch a dynasty with her bestie and wholeheartedly believes they could pull it off.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessa Franco

    A gift from my own Work Wife, this book has great anecdotes about building lasting work friendships in a male dominated world. I really enjoyed hearing how these women, ranging from lawyers and business women to athletes and designers, developed their own successful careers with the partnership of their best friend. I only wish the book had a little more meat in regards to research. The vast majority of the stories came from the business world, which makes sense as that’s where the authors are f A gift from my own Work Wife, this book has great anecdotes about building lasting work friendships in a male dominated world. I really enjoyed hearing how these women, ranging from lawyers and business women to athletes and designers, developed their own successful careers with the partnership of their best friend. I only wish the book had a little more meat in regards to research. The vast majority of the stories came from the business world, which makes sense as that’s where the authors are from. Additional reports from research studies would broaden the appeal to people who may not be running a business, but are still Work Wives none the less.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Niki

    It's hard not to pick this book up. I have been following Erica and Claire for a long while now and have purchased quite a number from Of a Kind and still, to this day, loved every single one of them. This book feels almost impossible to not read. It's too good to pass up; this chance to peek at the life behind what makes Erica and Claire a wonderful pair. It's no surprise then that this book delivers, just as much insight as it is concise. It's a very easy read and doable over a weekend. But don' It's hard not to pick this book up. I have been following Erica and Claire for a long while now and have purchased quite a number from Of a Kind and still, to this day, loved every single one of them. This book feels almost impossible to not read. It's too good to pass up; this chance to peek at the life behind what makes Erica and Claire a wonderful pair. It's no surprise then that this book delivers, just as much insight as it is concise. It's a very easy read and doable over a weekend. But don't take it lightly. This book holds within it shared stories of work wives, business besties, and chief best friends who are making their dream work. I'm so honoured to be able to see what it's like behind a meaningful partnership and friendship. It's also good to know how to navigate that terrain. They make an excellent case of why relationships for women matter, and why for us, this is perhaps a much better route than trying to fit in the idealised work life through the lens of patriarchy. It's funny how, when this book was announced, that the idea for my podcast was birthed just a few weeks before. It almost feels like kismet because it's called Chief Best Friends, an interview podcast about mixing friendship and business and the messy in-betweens. While Erica and Claire paved the way for this topic through this book and are, of course, living examples of this. I hope I am worthy to carry on that torch and continue telling these stories, our stories. I definitely recommend this book for anyone who wants to understand women and what makes a great work life for us. To women, may we find our own work wives.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Natalie

    idk it took me almost a year to actually read this, and i only picked it up again bc im in quarantine. the last couple chapters were interesting to me, but as a whole i think it seemed quite superficial ? it felt like i was reading a how to article with many topics rather than a book, if that makes sense. but at the same time, the how to only include a very broad very vague high level recommendation, with the rest of the chapter supporting why this recommendation is necessary, but not enough det idk it took me almost a year to actually read this, and i only picked it up again bc im in quarantine. the last couple chapters were interesting to me, but as a whole i think it seemed quite superficial ? it felt like i was reading a how to article with many topics rather than a book, if that makes sense. but at the same time, the how to only include a very broad very vague high level recommendation, with the rest of the chapter supporting why this recommendation is necessary, but not enough detail about implementation? i also would have liked a more comprehensive intro / timeline to each duo featured and like key moments mentioned, almost like a case study, just so it's easier to follow? and also because it felt like a how to more than a cohesive narrative, it wasn't that fun to read either. there weren't a lot of stories or anecdotes that really pulled you in. still overall kind of interesting i guess

  11. 4 out of 5

    Divya

    This is a book about the leveraging the power of female friendships into strong entrepreneurial partnerships. Filled with examples, quotes and stories of multiple female founders, this book addresses the gamut of topics from finances to children and the underlying theme is pretty rah-rah to inspire young women to join forces with their bffs to make the most of their ideas and relationships. Interesting perspective from a duo for whom this really worked. Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netgall This is a book about the leveraging the power of female friendships into strong entrepreneurial partnerships. Filled with examples, quotes and stories of multiple female founders, this book addresses the gamut of topics from finances to children and the underlying theme is pretty rah-rah to inspire young women to join forces with their bffs to make the most of their ideas and relationships. Interesting perspective from a duo for whom this really worked. Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Kovach

    I think I loved the concept a little more than reading the actual book. They had some examples of work wives of companies I knew - maybe if it was more of an interview style for different industries, I might have been more engaged. It was interesting to hear about their trial and errors and tips for merging finances together and balancing work life/work wife. Many topics were things I've experienced myself with simply working with other women and friends as that seems to come more naturally to m I think I loved the concept a little more than reading the actual book. They had some examples of work wives of companies I knew - maybe if it was more of an interview style for different industries, I might have been more engaged. It was interesting to hear about their trial and errors and tips for merging finances together and balancing work life/work wife. Many topics were things I've experienced myself with simply working with other women and friends as that seems to come more naturally to me than independent working or in group settings.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Katie Dubielak

    Work Wife is the ultimate love letter to female driven businesses. Some of the suggestions and stories seem a bit inaccessible for people in the working class, of people or color. However, the book does a good job of speaking to the audience which will benefit from it most. Erica and Claire made me want to cultivate my own workplace, with more attention to flexible work environments, and as many women as possible. They made me realize that I want to prioritize female leadership in my next steps, Work Wife is the ultimate love letter to female driven businesses. Some of the suggestions and stories seem a bit inaccessible for people in the working class, of people or color. However, the book does a good job of speaking to the audience which will benefit from it most. Erica and Claire made me want to cultivate my own workplace, with more attention to flexible work environments, and as many women as possible. They made me realize that I want to prioritize female leadership in my next steps, and reminded me why we need to be free to bring the fullness of who we are to the workplace.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Rhonda

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book doesn't really present new information IMO. It's a new spin on studies of women functioning at high levels in the work place, and how women duos with a relationship rooted in trust, common values, and friendship fare better because they get the support they need. It's saving grace is the interviews of several successful pairs of "work wives", presenting the challenges they faced in their relationships. Glad I listened to the Audible (unabridged) version as it was well performed. I would The book doesn't really present new information IMO. It's a new spin on studies of women functioning at high levels in the work place, and how women duos with a relationship rooted in trust, common values, and friendship fare better because they get the support they need. It's saving grace is the interviews of several successful pairs of "work wives", presenting the challenges they faced in their relationships. Glad I listened to the Audible (unabridged) version as it was well performed. I would have had a hard time finishing it if I was reading hard copy.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    This is a great book that I highly recommend. It was a ‘I’m reading this to the end nonstop book’—following the stories of a well chosen and highly diverse group of female friends/partners was fascinating. There were many thoughtful points made that are relevant for startups whether or not they are female-led, and that carry through for those working in corporate settings too. I highly recommend reading this book!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    I appreciate the focus on female friendships and bosses in the workplace and I love that these two celebrate and honor the contributions of women bosses everywhere. I want to give it 3.5 stars because I wanted a little bit more on the struggles and the day-to-day; I want more deep thoughts and less common sense but maybe that’s because I’ve been in spaces with women bosses and a lot of this wasn’t new to me. Still love these two and the stories they told.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    I loved this book!! I loved getting the behind-the-scenes look at starting and running a business, and I really appreciated that they were real about tough issues like raising money and hiring/firing employees. Super inspiring and motivating to read about successful work wives - makes me wish I had one!

  18. 4 out of 5

    paige

    Whether you're starting a business or work in an entirely unrelated field, this novel celebrates the unique excellence of female friendship and its power. It's a conversational and engaging collection of stories and insights. Honest, funny, sincere. "Two enthusiastic thumbs up." --Travis Birkenstock

  19. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    Absolutely loved this. Each topic is presented in a way that's entertaining and digestible, making the book an incredibly quick read, but never sacrificing the substance. So rarely are subjects like how and when to fight, or even how to discuss finances, presented in a way that's directed at women, and this book does that with a huge amount of care and thought.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kayla Hollatz

    While I don't work with a business partner, this book was a really interesting look at how two (or more) business partners can grow influential companies together. I enjoyed the variety of perspectives that were highlighted in the book but the organization could have been improved a bit. Overall a good read for aspiring entrepreneurs!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    Less helpful if you’ve already found a work wife but if you’ve found a great one this is a validating book. 😂 It’s also more for the entrepreneur or start-up minded female duo... I assumed that, but I noticed several of the reviews seemed surprised, so... pick it up if you’re looking to make waves with your bestie.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Love&Lattes

    I wasn’t quite sure how this book was going to read with two different writers perspectives, but it worked! It was refreshing to hear a positive story of two best friends who had a business idea, worked their butts off, and made their dream a reality! This was a wonderful girl-power motivation moment.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dee

    I really enjoyed this. I went in hoping for stories about work wives who had compelled each other through their careers. I didn’t realized the book would focus so much on entrepreneurs, but I still found it enjoyable and I learned a lot.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey Wilde

    Overall a productive read but the points discussed were fairly obvious ones about collaboration, communication, and information sharing. I love the concept, but in execution this book left more to be desired.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    To my favorite work wives, Amie and Megan! I couldn't have done it without you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I’m not sure if I was the auduence. I was hoping for a lesbian novel. Oh well. Good strategy guide. Thoughtful and interesting. A bit dry

  27. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Picked this up as a joke to show my work wife and then started reading. Super interesting and inspiring!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Annabelle Juliette

    Really wonderful book. Beautiful, powerful the authors' identification that only 2% of tech VC capital went to women founders in 2019. You can't ignore a data point like this. Excellent work.

  29. 5 out of 5

    RaeAnna Rekemeyer

    Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo are the cofounders of Of a Kind. They use their experience as work wives to write about the ways female duos and trios are changing leadership and the workplace. For the better in my opinion. Read my full review at: https://onthebl.org/2019/04/27/workwife/ Claire Mazur and Erica Cerulo are the cofounders of Of a Kind. They use their experience as work wives to write about the ways female duos and trios are changing leadership and the workplace. For the better in my opinion. Read my full review at: https://onthebl.org/2019/04/27/workwife/

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jana

    I am a longtime fan of Claire and Erica's work - their podcast and newsletter are great and I always enjoyed shopping at Of a Kind before it closed. I'm not sure I'm the target audience for this book since I have zero entrepreneurial spirit, but I really enjoyed reading these women's stories. And there are never too many reminders of how important women are for other women's success. 3.5 stars, rounded up because I like the authors so much.

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