the lively show – handling change online + offline with grace bonney


Good morning and happy Thursday Lively Show Day to you!

In today’s episode, I am talking with the candid founder of Design*Sponge, Grace Bonney.

If you’re not already familiar with Grace, she has a (hugely) popular design blog and is the author of Design*Sponge at Home.

In the episode, we cover a wide array of topics that center around the theme of embracing change.

We discuss the resistance Grace felt towards the shift in online content consumption over the past few years, the new way she’s approaching branding and business, as well as her proactive approach to coming out in June of 2013.

Throughout this episode, Grace shares many insights from her journey that can be useful for us all. It is definitely a must-listen if you are struggling with change in your own life, or if you are interested in the future of the online space. 




  • Why Grace doesn’t think of Design*Sponge as her “career.”
  • Why Grace doesn’t believe blogging will be around forever – and what she believes blogging will become.
  • Keys to understanding and embracing change.
  • Grace’s predictions for the visual book industry. 
  • The book that Grace ordered during the show, based on our conversation.
  • Why Grace used to hate the term “business owner” and why she’s changed her mind.
  • Three recent events that have helped Grace gain a more empathetic perspective. 
  • Why Grace’s decision to come out in June of 2013 was one of the best decisions of her life.
  • What Grace would tell someone just starting out on this journey.




Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook

Prêt à Voyager

Seth Godin

Cherry Bomb Jubilee

Things I’m Afraid to Tell You

Rena Tom’s Things I’m Afraid to Tell You post






Want more? Check out past Lively Show episodes here.


PS – If you find this podcast helpful and would like to share, please leave a review on iTunes. Thank you so much!


 photo via

This Post Has 0 Comments

  1. Emi

    oh my gosh I haven’t even listened to this yet but I’m so excited!! I love design sponge 🙂 thanks for featuring such great people!! I look forward to your podcasts every week!

  2. Babasouk

    Thanks for this super honest and inspiring interview! It was a real delight to listen to and seriously it feels so good to listen to people sharing their true experiences and feelings. I’m feeling super inspired.

  3. Brooke Null

    Fantastic episode! Pehaps I’ve been living under a rock but I wasn’t familiar with Grace Bonney before listening to this episode but I will definitely follow her now. She gave wonderful insight and I appreciated her honest perspective in regards to the online world. Well done Jess! This was great!!

    1. That is great to hear! She is one of the best essayists in the design world (in my opinion). : )

  4. Kat Khatibi

    Great interview! Thanks Jess and Grace!

  5. Meredith- Penelope Loves Lists

    Absolutely loved this discussion. Listened from start to finish with rapt attention.

    Grace’s total authenticity on a personal and business level is refreshing and inspiring. Thanks to both of you for taking the time to put out quality, long-form content. Really good stuff.

  6. amberkanescarves

    Such a great interview. Love Grace’s thoughts on rolling with the punches, and how even though things are changing they aren’t as bad as we often make them out to be.

  7. Ashley

    I find Grace’s confidence in what IS happening and what’s NOT happening a little unnerving. This was an interesting conversation to listen to, but her experience with blogging is not everyone else’s and it’s a shame to view the blogging world in that sense. Not everyone “literally has a short attention span”, not everyone wants to only use digital platforms exclusively, and not everyone finds the shift from blogging to also using instagram and twitter and other platforms to be a problem – they embrace it! It’s enjoyable! I stopped reading Design Sponge because of all the complaining, which is disappointing. A lot of people just shifted naturally into what’s the latest and greatest without all the negativity and it worked wonderfully! I continue to read their blogs, and throughly enjoy what I’m seeing.

    1. Thank you for sharing your thoughts about this topic, Ashley. I appreciate it.

      And you are right, everyone experiences different shifts in their readerships and has a different reaction to new platforms. I think Grace did a good job pointing out her own previous prejudices against the rise of Instagram, for example, and how she wished that she would have listened and watched the shifts more than complain (in her words, no mine).

      So you are right, and I believe Grace owned her mistake and shared her lessons learned in this regard in the episode. : )

Leave a Reply