The Right Sisters

The Right Sisters reveals the creative mind at work in a context never before examined so intimately—the journeys taken by ten modern women inventors.  Their stories are compelling and they are instructive.

When Julia Rhodes created the prototype for her first invention, she knew nothing about manufacturing and marketing.  She nevertheless moved ahead wholeheartedly. She took risks and made mistakes. She dealt with the complexities of applying for a patent and navigating the corporate world of business.  She made friends and garnered the invaluable support of women.  The Right Sisters is about the women inventors she met:

  • Fran Rabello is a teacher who grew tired of waiting for someone else to solve a problem when she could easily see a solution.
  • Nancy Kerrigan once believed that all inventors were highly educated men until she and her invention won a spot on the Jane Pauley Show.
  • Sylvia Acevedo used her engineering training to re-conceive a way for employers to communicate with non-native speakers.
  • Beth Butler used entrepreneurial enterprise to transform her taste for food service into creating an entertaining bilingual educational commodity.
  • Wanda Plimmer, once an actress, describes with dramatic flair how a medical emergency served as her inspiration.
  • Wendy Hermann Steele, a former banker, collaborated with her husband to invent products that they subjected to critical evaluation and rigorous trials in preparation for the market.
  • Barbara Russell Pitts and Mary Russell Sarao are a sister team, guided by a shooting star to the goodwill that helped them develop a product that now generates $15 million in sales per year.
  • Rebecca P. Cohen left the corporate world to become an inventor of products that inspire families to spend time outside.

Rhodes has combined forces with Patricia Harrelson to record these stories. The book is rich with imagination, intelligence, and the uniquely feminine perspective that led these women to succeed in a field typically dominated by men. Ultimately each story reveals the generous nature of women as they turn dreams into tangible products.

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