Meet Our Inspiring Women Creators

Feb 28, 2022
Kimberly

Our Compendium community is made up of incredible women. They are the not-so-secret ingredients that make our books, journals, greeting cards, and accessories come to life. With imagination and intention, they have created many of our most-loved products—and for Women’s History Month we’re shining the spotlight on just a few of these talented writers and illustrators.

Read about their creative inspiration below!

SAY HELLO TO AUTHOR AND EDITOR AMELIA RIEDLER

What is your favorite Compendium project you've worked on?

Oh that’s tough! There are many lovely titles that I’ve had the honor to be a part of. One of my favorites is our guided journal Just for Today.

What inspired you when writing it?

I struggle with anxiety, and saw that many guided journals in the market put a bright spin on everyday living. Their intent often included a push to be wildly happier, to achieve all of your ambitions, or to be fully invested in every moment… While these certainly can be worthwhile goals for some, it’s just not possible for many people—and I know not for me!

I wanted to create a place where it was okay to simply be. Where reflecting gently with yourself could offer a little touch of healing, even if it’s just for a day or an afternoon. Sometimes the little steps we take can really add up, and sometimes they can just be a bit of relief within a single day. And both endeavors are worthwhile.

Discover more of Amelia’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO AUTHOR DANIELLE LEDUC MCQUEEN

What is your favorite Compendium project you've worked on?

I love Now Is the Time for Dreams and the Why You’re So Amazing series, but I’m especially fond of I Choose You: Every Day and Always. The words and sentiment came from such an honest place.

What inspired you when writing I Choose You?

I was most inspired by my own relationship. I’ve been with my partner for 11 years (most of my adult life), and we’re now raising three young boys together. If there’s one thing I’ve learned about love, it’s that it’s an action—a choice. Love isn’t just this thing that exists between us. Rather, we're creating love every day in the little things we do, and in the attention we give one another. When I wrote the book, we were newlyweds and expecting our first child. Life’s gotten much busier since then, and so it’s only become more important to make that choice every day to be there for one another.

Discover more of Danielle’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO AUTHOR M.H. CLARK

What is one of your favorite Compendium projects you've worked on?

Fight On is a favorite of mine. To me, this book is about recognizing one's own deepest, truest, and most unshakeable self—even (and perhaps especially) in moments when those qualities feel difficult to access.

Who is a woman who inspires you?

I am deeply influenced by the words and ideas of Janet Mock, who writes "I believe that telling our stories, first to ourselves and then to one another and the world, is a revolutionary act." Her ideas about finding, strengthening, and using our voices in service to our own well-being and the well-being of our communities are so inspiring to me.

Discover more of M.H. Clark’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO AUTHOR MIRIAM HATHAWAY

What is your favorite Compendium project you've worked on?

Hands down it is Teacher, I Made You a Book. I wrote it during the spring of 2020 when my kids’ elementary school was shut down and we were all isolating at home.

Since it’s a fill-in book for kids, I practiced the prompts with my own school-age son and daughter as we did school at home. It was a great way for them to reflect on the teachers they were missing. My kids’ perspectives were so helpful.

What qualities of a woman’s spirit and experience do you look to capture in your work?

Women know how to sparkle. We know how to dance (even badly!). That’s because we are courageous. We know how to be bold and strong. We know how to make room for others. We know when to stand up.

Sometimes we just have to be reminded of the power we hold and the light that we are. That’s what I hope to infuse into my work. One of my favorite children’s book authors and illustrators, Vanessa Brantley-Newton, says it best in her book Just Like Me, “For every little girl who is becoming a big girl. I like you just the way you are. Shine, girl, shine!”

Discover more of Miriam’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO ILLUSTRAOR JOELLE AVELINO

What qualities of a woman’s spirit and experience do you look to capture in your work?

As women we are bold, brave, resilient, and so many other things and all so unique, and I really try and capture this, from the color palette to the patterns I use.

Discover more of Joelle’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO ILLUSTRATOR MARISOL ORTEGA

What did you enjoy most about illustrating the “One of a Kind” Love Muchly card?

Butterflies are one of my favorite insects to illustrate. I love their symmetry, colors, and how complex—yet simple they can be. I also just really love their symbolism in growth. I relate to that metamorphosis a lot as an artist and as a person.

What do you hope people will experience when they encounter this card?

I hope people find joy in the tiny artful details but, above all, I hope people can resonate with the message of feeling like a beautiful one-of-a-kind being.

Discover more of Marisol’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO ILLUSTRATOR MEENAL PATEL

Tell us about your experience illustrating our “We can begin by doing small things…” Write Now Journal.

I enjoyed reflecting on the actions of powerful activists and leaders throughout history and present day. I also loved thinking about how these ideas can come to life through symbolism in nature. And I always enjoy working with color and adding layers of details and patterns in my art!

What do you hope people will experience as they look at the art in this journal?

I hope they experience a spark of encouragement and inspiration that even our small individual actions have an impact in the world. That we are part of something larger than ourselves. I feel deeply that I have a responsibility to remain active in working toward the world that I want to live in and one that supports and cares for all. Perhaps the journal will be a space for some to reflect on what this looks like in practice in their lives.

Discover more of Meenal’s work here.

SAY HELLO TO ILLUSTRATOR ROEQIYA FRIS

As you were illustrating The Persistence of Yellow, how did the words speak to you personally?

I could really relate to the concept of women that pass wisdom and love on to each other, through generations. Also, the magical atmosphere of abuela’s kitchen sure hits close to home, as I partially grew up in Egypt, where the house, and especially the kitchen is traditionally the domain of women, and is such a place of life, of smell, sounds, stories… just like the yellow kitchen in the book.

What qualities of a woman’s spirit and experience do you look to capture in your work?

I want to capture feminine traits and qualities like strength—not in a fast, masculine/muscular way, but in a more graceful and enduring way, like perseverance, like flowing water. And I want to capture self-reflection and self-knowledge—not in a rational way, but in an emotional, spiritual, and intuitive way. I also want my work to reflect joy, beauty, and freedom to express all the crazy, loud, and wonderful ways a woman can feel.

Discover more of Roeqiya’s work here.

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Looking to celebrate the creativity of a woman in your life? Explore empowering gifts for artists, creatives, and big dreamers here.