Rossi Anastopoulo - The Uncommon Muse
I love The Uncommon Muse - it’s a site by women, for women, about women. It’s an unconventional editorial platform that celebrates women and their stories through interviews, profiles, and essays, as well as a number of other eclectic features like city foods guides, feminist news, and quirky lists. They elevate women's voices and tell their stories so they can share their passions, work, play, creativity, and style. They can discuss health, wealth, bodies, souls, heartbreaks, and triumphs - all in their own words.
Rossi has created a space to enable women to tell their stories, instead of others doing it for them. She’s built a platform that’s committed to taking a stand, even when it's controversial; to fueling curiosity and opening a window to the world of women. The Uncommon Muse wants to celebrate differences and champion common ground, they want to take up space, to stand on their own and lean on a powerful community of women at the same time. I know, without a doubt, Rossi is doing just that.
Over the last 10-months, The Uncommon Muse has quickly attracted a dedicated and enthusiastic audience and has established a community of women from all backgrounds. Rossi and I connected early last year when she was in the beginning stages of launching her platform, and since then we’ve become good friends. Watching Rossi grow and expand The Uncommon Muse has been incredible, and today it’s one of the sites that I read religiously. Plus, I had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed for the site last year, and you can check out the interview here! I’m so excited and proud of her and all that she’s built, and all that’s coming her way in the future. I can’t wait for you guys to learn more about Rossi and follow along!
and it’s been amazing to watch her grow. She’s become a good friend too, and
I'd love it if you'd introduce yourself, what you do, and what you're working on.
Hi! I’m Rossi Anastopoulo, and I’m the founder/editor of The Uncommon Muse, an unconventional editorial platform celebrating women and their stories. The backbone of TUM is interviews and essays from inspiring women doing awesome things, from challenging female beauty standards through nude artwork to running an underground supperclub for queer women in New York City to showcasing artists of color in their community through their photography. Plus there’s funny lists, book recommendations, feminist news, and more.
How did you get started?
The idea for The Uncommon Muse was first sparked in January 2018. I then spent about four months developing it--learning how to setup and design a website, getting writers, developing a publishing schedule and editorial ideas, conducting a first round of interviews, starting on social media, and a whole lot more. Then it launched in April 2018!
What inspired the work that you're doing?
I wanted to create a space for women that was radical but fun, in-depth but lighthearted. A space that might recommend a lip gloss then share an essay about overcoming your greatest fears. Also a place that didn’t hold back and try to conform to one idea of what a woman wants or believes. In a way, TUM is a space where being a feminist isn’t a big deal or a huge rallying cry that needs to ooze out of every word. It’s just a space where feminism is natural and inherent, like basically every woman I know.
What is your biggest passion? Do you feel like you're living your passion and purpose?
Oh man, I don’t know if I have just one passion! But one of my biggest passions is definitely writing and reading, which is why I chose this format as a platform. Selfishly, TUM provides an outlet for me to write my own work and read the super awesome words of other ladies. I’m not sure it’s so easy to isolate passion and purpose into one medium (at least for me!) but this certainly provides a creative outlet to distill my passion for writing, reading, and uplifting women into one package.
What is your joy blueprint? What lights you up, brings you joy, and makes you feel the most alive?
I come from a long line of badass female artists, and I think I have a lot of their creativity, just in a completely different form (I have no traditional artistic talent, unfortunately). I’ve found that I derive a lot of joy from creating--coming up with ideas, bringing them to fruition, and making something (I’m a baker too, and this manifests a lot in the kitchen as well). I also get so much joy reading the interviews from every single one of the women we’ve featured on TUM. They are each so different and so inspiring, and learning about their paths in life and how they find joy just makes me smile like a goof every time.
How do you live intentionally? Are there tools/resources/practices that you rely on to help you stay mindful and grounded?
I’ve recently started trying to emphasize slowing down and not to letting myself work all the time while “multitasking.” Really giving myself the opportunity to be fully at leisure at times. I’ve found it paradoxically makes me more productive. Because I don’t feel like I’m “going” all the time, I have more energy and enthusiasm for tasks or work when I take the time to do them. We have this pressure to feel like we have to be constantly working, and it’s so draining and ineffective. So I consciously try to take time where I stop, and I don’t let myself feel bad or guilty when I do. Similarly, I’ve recently tried to lean into doing things when I feel like doing them. So even if an item is further down my to-do list, if I feel ready to get it done at the moment, I’ll do it right then, rather than try to prioritize what might be more pressing. Obviously not possible all the time, but I’ve found it to be really helpful.
What would your younger self think about what you're doing now?
I think she’d love it! And be pretty unsurprised.
Do you have a go-to mantra or affirmation?
I don’t actually! But instead of New Year’s Resolutions, I do a word of the year, so I guess that’s the closest thing, because it’s a grounding word I constantly return to. Past words have included “Open,” “Yes,” and “Now.”
What is your biggest dream?
I have a million different dreams, and they constantly shift and change. But the one constant is that I want to be helping people, and making other people’s lives better. That meaning is kind of broad--at one point, I was working for a non-profit literally putting food on other people’s table. Meanwhile with TUM it’s much less tangential or immediate--I hope to bring a little bit of joy into people’s lives, and maybe help them think or be inspired.
Joy Corner is a new interview-style blog series brought to you by Seek The Joy Podcast. Our mission continues to be a desire to share your stories, truths, joys and inspiration in your words. We invite you to join our corner, and share your joys, passions, and moments of inspiration as we continue to seek the joy, together. Join this series here