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, Work Wife, 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.
Work Wife is a celebration of female friendship and collaboration, proving that it’s not just feasible but fruitful to mix BFFs with business.
When asked about our proudest business accomplishment, the answer is always “Us!” – the friendship we’ve nurtured and the successful partnership it’s fostered.
What we’ve realized in taking a closer look at the way in which our relationship functions is that our professional partnership has been the beneficiary of the tenets that anchor female friendship; emotional intimacy, vulnerability, a penchant for collaboration, and a pattern of mutual support – qualities that have unique power and potential to spawn great ideas and create foundations for strong businesses.
This evolution in the business world coincides, unsurprisingly, with a long overdue cultural shift that recognizes that female friendships aren’t all about backstabbing and cattiness.