“I am an eternally curious person who has a love for community and family,” says bestselling author and noted speaker Angella Nazarian when we sat down to chat in Miami recently. “My whole life direction has been based on these basic values.”
LS: What inspired you to write Creative Couples?
AN: While I was doing research and writing about trailblazing women in my two books, I noticed that many of these pioneering women had very supportive men in their lives. So for me, the interesting theme to explore was how men and women interact with one another both romantically and professionally. How do two high-achieving individuals meld their personal lives and work together. The profiles that I included in Creative Couples shows the varying dynamics. What is certain is that when two people put their hearts, minds and talents together, they can give birth to possibilities that they could not do on their own.
LS: What was the most interesting interview you had in Creative Couples?
AN: Since Ruth Bader Ginsburg is my all-time favorite idol, I would say interviewing her was the greatest highlight. The chapter on her relationship with her husband Marty is truly one of the most inspirational love stories.
LS: What did you learn?
AN: The great myth of the 20th century is that of the “lone genius” – people who achieved so much on their own. A deeper look shows us that many of the significant innovations of the 20th century had come about through the joint effort and mutual collaboration of men and women working together synergistically in various forms of relationships. Creative duos have been busy transforming seemingly every facet of our lives since the days of Adam and Eve.
LS: What was your takeaway?
AN: In our culture, we usually get caught up with the “love story” and the passion two people have for one another. But in all successful, long-term relationships, we encounter
the push and pull for autonomy and intimacy. That for any long-term partnership to thrive, there needs to be the constant calibration of values, shared language and mission, and daily practice of problem solving and to listen with the same passion that we want to be heard.
LS: If you could only read one chapter which one would it be and why?
AN: The chapter on the relationship between Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Marty, and a close second would be the chapter on Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.
LS: Tell me about Visionary Women.
AN: Visionary Women is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to the advancement of women. We do this in two ways. We invite thought leaders and changemakers to come and engage with group of female leaders at our Visionary Women Salons. Also, we have come up with a model for philanthropy and impact. One-hundred percent of our membership fee goes toward supporting women’s and girl’s initiatives worldwide. We are proud that over the past four years, we have been able to raise more than $1.7 million in support of women.
LS: I know you’ve had great speakers in the past and love to inspire women. How did you come up with this idea?
AN: I am a great believer that the best way to impart valuable information is through story telling. This is essentially what I have done with my four books. The idea came to me that I could invite the people I interview for my books to come and have in-depth conversations with my community of female leaders and innovators in Los Angeles. I can tell you that this has been a real highlight of my work – to see that we as a group can grow and share experiences together.
LS: Is there anything new on the horizon with you?
AN: I am not joking when I say that Visionary Women is becoming a movement. Just this past week we hosted the icon Gloria Steinem in conversation with the incomparable Cleo Wade. 650 women and girls came to that event. I, along with my fellow board members, want to make Visionary Women the premiere women’s leadership platform. And what is truly powerful is that as a giving circle, we are able to give grants to so many women’s and girl’s initiatives worldwide.