Strands of Genius: Boss Lady Zine, Jessica Yellin, Crafty with Honestly WTF

Guest Curated by Alison Taffel Rabinowitz

This year we’re aiming to highlight 50 creative thinkers that have inspired us, by giving them the opportunity to guest curate this newsletter, Strands of Genius. Rosie and Alison met while attending UGA and reconnected while working in NYC. Alison is a badass boss babe who helps other women land their dream jobs and salaries.


PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT: The Finishing School,
Creative/Creative Career Coach

Alison Taffel Rabinowitz, Creative/Creative Career Coach reporting for duty! I'm honored Rosie and Faris asked me to participate in this fun exercise! I met Rosie back in Athens, GA at UGA's New Media Institute. Pre-iPhones, we worked on projects for a future where the world was (omg who thought) wireless! We never could have imagined what would take place 15 years later, could we Rosie? Rosie and I both found each other again in New York, navigating the creative world with the very same prompt our teacher gave us when we started as students, "wouldn't it be cool if..." It's fair to say we both took that to heart in our careers and created roles for ourselves in this new work world that is constantly evolving.

A little about me: I started The Finishing School to help creative women gain the confidence, networking, and negotiation skills needed to land their dream jobs and salaries. I love helping people get the most out of digital coffee networking, perfect their elevator pitches, and know exactly what to say when negotiating their new paychecks. In addition to my own private students, I teach a career course at Miami Ad School and also coach UX students at the Flatiron School. Last year, along with some awesome other friends, I launched Boss Lady Zine, a 28-page illustrated guide to slaying your next negotiation. Later this year, I will be launching a new project with my strategic designer friend Tandi Zulu where we help women with goalsetting exercises to help them take their big ideas to the next level. Before we kick off with the fun links! I think it's important to just do a check-in. Instead of asking how are you? Today I ask, how can I support you? If you are a WOC and working in the creative field, how can I help you get further? How can I help you get paid fairly? There is hard work to do and I want to help. Companies must pay reparations but you need the confidence and the scripts of how to ask. It's a delicate dance and I'm happy to teach you. Companies are finally owning up to the fact that diversity means better business. Now, let's make them pay for it!

Editor’s Note (Rosie): Whenever I have lunch with Alison, it’s at Westville, guaranteed to be longer than I expected, and to leave me with many, many notes. She believes a rising tide floats all boats, and that nail art can make an outfit (samesies! on both accounts!). Oh, and that women should be paid properly. I’ve watched Alison grow her work around negotiation coaching, and love getting to hear about all the women she’s helping get the money they deserve. I’m not sure what I’m specifics allowed to share, but y’all, she’s not helping people get a few hundred dollars more, she’s helping people get thousands to tens of thousands more, and negotiate for perks that I doubted were possible. For our School of Stolen Genius students, she’s coming to your inbox tomorrow with not just thoughts, but some specific scripts you can use to guide tough conversations.

:: THE LINKS :: 

  • Created by Lily Boyce, Tandi Zulu, and Megan McNalley and myself, Boss Lady Zine is a guide full of actionable scripts to teach women to negotiate. Working on this zine, I learned the value of a collective community, a group of people coming together with their separate skill sets to collaborate on something that can affect real change. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work with these incredible women and look forward to the future of Boss Lady Zine as we welcome some new voices in 2020.

    What is a Boss Lady Zine you say? Well, there’s a lot of talk about how women need to negotiate and stand up for themselves – but something seems to be missing. When it comes to negotiating, the problem isn’t just confidence, it’s knowing what to say and when to say it. This is a guide for women who want to earn what they deserve and have no clue where to start. The truth is, the gender pay gap problem is gnarly, and negotiating is hard AF. Boss Lady Zine is here to give you actionable advice and inspiration to help you tell your story, learn to humblebrag, leverage your network, and prove your worth. (The Finishing School)

  • Since my days in J-school, I've been fascinated with media literacy. I am the kind of girl who likes to know the rhetoric behind it all. I'm curious about the lens outside my liberal CNN/MSNBC bubble and even flip to Fox News to hear the other side (for as long as I can handle it). The truth is, every channel has a different narrative – and they're all by run by white men with money and power. One day, I came across Jessica Yellin on an Instagram Live with Ilana Glazer. A former CNN White House News Correspondent, Jessica is doing some of the best reporting out there, right on Instagram! She produces a show called News Not Noise, and that's exactly what it is. Yellin breaks down the headlines in a real, relatable, informative way that actually acknowledges women readers and listeners. She explains the cable news jargon and educates her listeners on what they can do to take action. Her goal, she says, is to let followers know what really doesn’t matter and what important stuff—like families separated at the border who have still not been reunited—is getting buried. “People are getting a fire hose of information coming at them,” Yellin said. “Omarosa is covered with the same seriousness as, I don’t know, Iran.” News overload is a real thing and Yellin has truly figured out a unique way to document and deliver important unbias information that isn't happy and shiny right now and frame it in a thoughtful way to make it digestible and sharable among women. (Instagram)


Looking for more from Alison Taffel Rabinowitz? Those enrolled in The School of Stolen Genius will receive a deep dive from her in their inbox tomorrow, including thoughts on (and scripts for) negotiating for the raise you deserve, tips for navigating a new job negotiation and applying strategy to life. You can access all our expert interviews for SOSG here.


:: Game :: I'm more of a tarot card girl. My favorite are the ones from The Wild Unknown by Kim Krans. I have all of her decks!

:: City :: New York City (Home Sweet Home)

:: Book :: Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann (From the 1960s but still holds up today)

:: Podcast :: Gizmodo's The Gateway (I love everything about cults)

:: Album :: Marquee Moon by Television


Credit: Lily Boyce from Boss Lady Zine

Thank you for letting me share. Now, go get your money honeys! Feel free to email me if you ever want to discuss career coaching or negotiation advice. Tell me you came from Genius Steals and I'll give you a discount! To learn about more of my classes at The Finishing School, sign up at

Alison Taffel Rabinowitz
I like making new friends on Instagram:
personal | business | zine

Strands of Genius is currently read by more than 11,000 subscribers. Support us by sponsoring an issue, becoming a member of The School of Stolen Genius or encouraging friends or colleagues to subscribe.

It's called Genius Steals because we believe ideas are new combinations and that nothing can come from nothingBut copying is lazy. We believe the best way to innovate is to look at the best of that which came before and combine those elements into new solutions. 

Co-Founders Faris & Rosie are award-winning strategists and creative directors, writers, consultants and public speakers who have been living on the road/runway since March 2013, working with companies all over the world. Our Director of Operations is nomadic like us, our accounting team is based out of Washington, our company is registered in Tennessee, and our collaborators are all over the world. Being nomadic allows us to go wherever clients need us to be, and to be inspired by the world in between.

Hit reply and let’s talk about how we might be able to work together :)