BY Advocate Contributors

February 10 2010 9:00 AM ET


Columbia, Mo. // 38

“Being invited into that intimate moment of birth and empowering women to be in control of their own birth experience is an amazing thing,” Brandy MacDonald says enthusiastically. A licensed midwife who operates her own company, Circle Midwifery, MacDonald fills in for an ob-gyn when a pregnant woman chooses an alternative to hospital birth. Expectant women who seek out midwifery have traditionally been from opposite ends of the political spectrum—they tend to be either very liberal or very conservative. “There have definitely been situations in my career where I’ve been excluded as a midwife because of my sexual orientation,” MacDonald says. “It also has a positive side too, because lesbian women are more comfortable with me, for sure.” After three successful years in Ashland, Ore., MacDonald recently relocated to Columbia, Mo., where she is relaunching her practice. MacDonald’s job satisfaction doesn’t end with birth. “It’s a good feeling,” she says, “seeing 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children on the street that I was lucky enough to be the first one to touch on the earth.”


New York City // 31, 28

Christopher Crawford and Jayzel Samonte’s work life sounds like a sitcom premise: Two young, wisecracking boyfriends launch a fashion line out of their downtown Manhattan loft. Wackiness and success ensue! Crawford and Samonte still cannot believe their luck: Their menswear line, Company of We, has garnered critical raves and a devoted fan base in a mere eight months of existence. “We wanted to do something together, and we had a lot of time that we were spending just watching television,” Samonte says. So, the couple drew sketches of their ideal menswear collection: clean lines, muted colors, military influence throughout. Their stylish and reasonably affordable clothes quickly caught on, especially when gave them the first of many accolades in the fashion press. Soon venerable stores like Saks Fifth Avenue and Fred Segal came calling. “How many people get to live with the person that they love, work with them, and build something with them?” Crawford says. “We’re so lucky.” 

Tags: Business