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Best of the Web + 12 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started My Business

by Grace Bonney

Ever since the turn of the New Year I feel like I’ve been approaching every day as a new challenge, lesson or task to tackle. I don’t know if it’s the fresh start, being a bit older or just having a second chance to re-imagine my business, but I have so enjoyed having this time to dive back into my work life with the sense of excitement and curiosity I had 10 years ago when I started D*S. So I decided to take that feeling and use it to look back and imagine what I would have told myself all those years ago. What would I have wanted to know? What advice should I have taken or not taken? I tend to learn the most – and most effectively – from mistakes I make, so I decided to turn those into a radio show this week: The 12 Things I Wish I’d Known When I Started My Business. And because I think two heads are usually better than one, joined me on-air to share her experiences as well. She is infinitely more patient and understanding than I am, so I was very thankful to have her advice and tips because they represent an important end of the spectrum that I tend to have less experience in (things like: Saying No, The Importance of a Thank You and How to Find and Keep a Mentor). A big thank you for for joining me on the show- I hope you all enjoy the advice, stories and feedback we both have learned from a decade in the home and food worlds. xo, grace [Portrait above by ]

LISTEN: You can , or

Best of the Web This Week:


  • . I cannot recommend watching this full interview more highly. Please do. Also, Bill Simmons is a really great interviewer.
  • …and she NAILS IT.
  • Claire Diaz Ortiz, Twitter’s head of social innovation, set a goal of reading 100 books each year. Amy is bookmarking her for my readers for next year.
  • : 1956’s poster is my jam. Such good pink.
  • : Somehow we missed this when it came out this fall, but it’s worth a watch if you missed it, too.
  • . While I don’t quite agree with all of it, it’s an interesting and thought-provoking read.
  • : Thanks to Lena Dunham, I now have a new website to look at when I want to avoid working and find out who dated who.
  • : a seriously gorgeous exploration of beautiful but minimal interiors.

Best of D*S This Week:


Suggested For You


  • I have oak cabinet with blue speckled corian countertops. My problem is that I cannot find a color to paint my walls. I think the only color that I would be able to paint my walls is yellow. But I have to be careful of the color yellow I choose. I really need help. I also would like to get a kitchen table and hutch in white with the different color chairs .I really need help. Can you help me. I also have an island that is oak and blue countertops.

  • I listened to your podcast and really enjoyed your tips Grace (and Julia). I have to remind myself all the time not to just make “bite size” goals and dream bigger. Still working on that elevator pitch but this was a nice reminder to think about it again. Thanks for sharing!

  • Thank you for this week’s podcast! My biggest two takeaways were: the importance of getting a mentor and saying thank you. I am working on building my network and really think those two lessons really tied into what I am hoping to grow the most in 2014. So – THANK YOU!

  • Just what I needed to refocus and not give up as I move my business, The Queen Bee, to it’s next phase. I have the hardest time delegating and trusting others to maintain the levels of insanity that I do. I especially liked that you both shared your opinions about finding the value in paying someone to take care of even a basic task to allow yourself time to work on something either more important or of more value.
    I’m setting a goal to find a mentor by the end of March! Fingers crossed.

  • Just finished listening to the podcast. Some of your points were great reminders. Case in point….I clicked through to Julia’s website and while surfing there, I came across this: – This is what I want. There I said it. I want to build this – but not around cooking but around gardening and a lifestyle that values a more considerate way of living (I’m still searching for the words to best convey what I mean by that). Anyway – I love that I came across this article – (shocking that it is from 2002!) – it is a model that I have been trying to plot…and it is all based right here in Boston. (perhaps I shall call Mr. Kimball up as he is certainly someone whose vision is a great example for me). Anyway, from knowing and asking for what I want, to trusting my gut, and finding more people to reach out to and establish mentoring relations ship with, I found this all really great. Thank you both.

  • I’m the new one in the business. Frequently I feel overwhelmed with all the possibilities to grow, learn, reach people, etc., but I totally trust myself in building something awesome. This is an adventure, and a learning process. So, I really wanted to thank you for the tips and the permanent inspiration. THANKS! I already made notes based on your podcast and will try to follow your advice.

  • Hi. As this years begins (we are already in February!) , it’s great to hear some tips and advice on how to be a better professionnal. I think being an entrepreneur is the most humbling experience. It is about learning that you are not self sufficient and that you always need help, advice or insights. I’ll be working on this!

  • Great tips as always! I really find your podcasts so inspiring and easy to keep up with. Loved the interior segments earlier, and productivity ones now. Also haven’t had time to read the blog in awhile and realized I missed a big year for you GB – congrats on coming out and getting married to “your lovely wife”!!

  • Quick question – I think you mentioned there was a transcript of the podcasts? I’d love to read it, I like listening to the podcasts, but then I forget everything in it that I wanted to remember, and it would be so handy to be able to go back and look – especially for the app episode.


  • I didn’t know Julia was your wife, what a nice surprise to find her on this episode. I enjoyed It’s All Good, particularly her personal account of the changes she saw in herself as she worked on the book. I’ve developed many food allergies in the past year and have been making the effort to eat clean. Also love the W&R food collages.

    Great tips and I’m in total agreement about contracts, laying everything out in writing is really best. Thank you Grace & Julia!

  • This podcast came at the right time and what great advice! Thank you for your guidance. After being in business for seven years, it is nice to get some entrepreneurial coaching. Thank you for starting my journey of further self exploration.

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