Meet Wide Ruled Rebel, Mikaela Kiner, Author of Female Firebrands.

Updated: Oct 20, 2020

Dreamers and doers, artists and analysts, doodlers and designers. We are surrounded by Wide Ruled Rebels. What do they have in common? They all see the possibilities of a wide-open future and are doing the work to make it


In coming weeks, we’ll be highlighting some of our favorite Wide Ruled Rebels and how they are writing the future.

Our first Wide Ruled Rebel is Mikaela Kiner, author of Female Firebrands and founder of Reverb, a Seattle based HR company. We first met at a networking event and got to know one another when our daughters joined the same competitive bouldering team. Yes – that’s a thing. You get to know someone pretty well staring at a wall watching your child scamper up without ropes. But that’s a whole different post.

I was an early reader of her powerful book and Mikaela and her family were early testers of Wide Ruled Rebel notebooks.

What makes Mikaela a Wide Ruled Rebel?

While Mikaela has worked hard to build the life she imagined for her business and her family, she knew she could do more. As coach and founder of the HR services firm, she saw everyday challenges faced by women in the workforce. She knew there were stories that needed to be told. Her book, Female Firebrands was born.

By exposing big and small challenges, Mikaela shares important stories for us all. She literarily wrote a guide for our future.

What prompted you to write this book?

Mikaela: I always wanted to be a writer, since childhood. I asked for a Thesaurus for my 9th birthday and sent several illustrated books to publishers - I still have the rejection letters to prove it. Though I read a lot of fiction, I found my strengths were in writing nonfiction. Eventually I set a goal to publish a book before turning fifty, and then it just became a matter of finding the right topic.

The idea for Female Firebrands struck me when I gave a lightning talk on career advice with a group of other women at a Ladies in Seattle Tech event. All five speakers came from different backgrounds, professions, and each had her own take on the topic. When we were done speaking, I watched as women from the audience gravitated toward whichever speaker resonated most with her. That was the moment I recognized the power in women's stories.

How do you use a notebook to organize your thoughts? What’s your favorite Wide Ruled Rebel layout?

Mikaela: When I began Female Firebrands, I asked all thirteen of the women I featured a standard set of questions. I recorded our interviews and had them transcribed. Then the fun began. In order to identify themes, I read through the transcripts one question at a time. This is where the notebook came in. My personal favorite is the college ruled. I need lines to keep me organized (I'm a linear thinker), and I like to fit a lot on one page which college lets me do.

I was looking for commonality (for example, every woman had a #metoo story) and key differences (for instance, what experiences BIPOC women had that did not affect white women). I relied on my notebook to capture and tally information that became the basis for the main chapters - #metoo, #momtoo, privilege, and female rivalry. Writing with pen and paper helps me focus, analyze, and remember important ideas.

On paper I can also doodle, connect dots, and spot themes more easily. Having a dedicated notebook to support my writing process meant no matter when I sat down to write, which happened mostly on nights and weekends, I could quickly pick up where I left off. Before I start my next book, I'll be sure to have a Wide Ruled Rebel by my side.

Our takeaway

Mikaela found a connection between her personal interests, her community and her profession. Her observations about the power of stories developed into an idea and she made that idea a reality.

In support of Female Firebrands everywhere, we are a proud sponsor for her upcoming virtual event the Female Firebrand Summit on Thursday October 22. Join us and save 15%.

In the midst of a tumultuous 2020, Mikaela Kiner and her team are bringing together a fierce group of diverse professional women to share how they overcome daily obstacles and stay resilient. Not just another Zoom call - you’ll get practical tips about ways to re-energize, feel more confident, and stand up for yourself and others.

Interested in her book? Read sample chapters of Female Firebrands, sign up for email and purchase here.

Check out Mikaela's favorite Wide Ruled Rebel notebook: Classic (8.5x11") College Ruled.


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