I’m well aware that a reading list from the depths of an active studio should be filled with tomes of design inspiration and manuals of technique. And, don’t worry. I have plenty of those. The list is dizzying. But while I spend most of any given day either pouring over those volumes or listening to audio books while I work, it seems to be a rare treat when I get to actually pick up and interact with a real story. Finger the pages. Cling to the cover. So I am delighted to just have finished the The Dressmaker of Khair Khana by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon. This beautiful true story tells the tale of a young woman and her family surviving the harrowing years of war and Taliban rule in Kabul. Their strength, wit, and courage inspire while the never failing can-do resiliency and adaptability resonates. From the safety of my American middle class upbringing, I have never confronted true hardship, but by the end of my reading of this book a basic tenant I hold dear was reaffirmed. The best business plan is simple and this: Believe in yourself and what you do. If you don’t, no one else will.