August 20, 2018

Pride, Work and Necessity of Side Projects: Katie Puccio and Liz Wells Advocate Inclusiveness in the Creative Industry Through Their Desk Lunch Newsletter



What are you working on—on the side?

Desk Lunch is a weekly newsletter for women and non-binary folks to share experiences of what it’s like to work in the creative industry. We’re here to celebrate, support and project the stories that often go unheard.

Desk Lunch is a contribution-based platform on which a different person every week shares a short essay on a theme of their choice. In addition to our weekly newsletter, we use Instagram to feature work by female or non-binary artists, designers or other creators that inspire us.

How do you manage to work
on your side project(s)?

We work together at our day job, so it’s easy to grab a few minutes here and there when it’s slow to put each week’s issue together. If one, or both, of us is particularly slammed, we work around our normal hours and put things together first thing in the morning or later at night.

Liz is charged with the design and layout of the issue, including formatting everything in MailChimp and creating the graphics used in the issue and on social. Katie is responsible for editing submissions, identifying key themes, and managing our Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Why have a side project?

Desk Lunch began as a project to address the lack of representation of women and non-binary people in the creative industry. We realized that few platforms adequately represent stories of what it is like to be othered in our industry. We wanted to create a platform that supports, uplifts and normalizes these stories.

A key priority of our mission is to be inclusive. We welcome all who identify as non-binary, queer, lesbian, bisexual, asexual, intersex, transgender, genderqueer or gender nonconforming. This also includes people of color, and people of all ages and abilities. We wanted our community to be as open and accessible as possible, and we see digital culture as instrumental to disruption and change, so we chose to make Desk Lunch a newsletter that’s available every week to whoever signs up online.

We believe that change starts from the bottom up, and we hope this is the first step in switching up the narrative to include more diverse voices. We’re so honored to be able to tell the stories of women and non-binary folks who are making space for others to follow in their impressive footsteps.

• • •

Diptych courtesy of Katie Puccio and Liz Wells.


This series, devoted to side projects, is delivered in association with Chicago creative agency 50,000feet—dedicated to helping brands and businesses soar.


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