A World of Good

Gutsy philanthropist Corinne Grousbeck finds inspiration everywhere, from pop-culture icons to her Michigan roots.

corinne grousbeck inspirationCorinne Grousbeck gets love from Buck, one of her two Bouvier dogs. (Photo by Jared Leeds)

Whether clad in layers of Rick Owens while yelling at TD Garden refs or helping mentor startups competing for the MassChallenge jackpot, Corinne Grousbeck is as stylish as she is determined. The nonprofit wiz, wife of Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck, and Weston-based mother of two (not counting her Bouvier pups) has made philanthropy her life’s work, and some of her favorite causes include the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Perkins School for the Blind. The last is nearest to her heart—her son Campbell was born blind. In 2012, she helped open the $10 million, 17,000-square-foot Grousbeck Center for Students and Technology after just two years of planning and fundraising. In her spare time, she keeps up on the latest design and fashion trends. “My style’s evolving,” she says. No matter what she wears on the outside, though, she’s still a Michigan girl at heart. “We give Zingerman’s coffee cakes to our friends every Christmas,” Grousbeck says, referring to the Ann Arbor version of Formaggio Kitchen. “We took a year off and people sent hate mail.”

Check out a few of the things that inspire her every day.

corinne grousbeck inspiration

1. Bouvier des Flandres Dogs 

“I was living in California, and I wanted a big dog to protect the family. I didn’t want a shedder, because I don’t like to vacuum. The breed choice was a combination of their characteristics and my laziness.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

2. My MassChallenge Mentees

“They’re brilliant and fearless. They really inspire me because they’re not jaded. They just come up with ideas and are like, ‘Let’s do this!’ It’s nice to be around that optimism.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

3. Mumbai, India

“Perkins isn’t just a school, it’s a community. We’ve exported our teaching methods to 69 countries. When we visit programs in India later this year, I hope to return with some epiphanies.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

4. Newspapers 

“I’m old school. When Wyc and I first met, we would read the Times in an Ann Arbor café. There’s something about the whole family gathering on a winter weekend day, reading the paper together.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

5. Cooking

“My mom’s from Austria, and I could smell the garlic, onions, and butter of her chicken paprikash from two houses away. When I became a mom, I knew I had to cook! My son and I make risotto together—it’s my favorite.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

6. A Lauren Moshi skull painting

“After my mother died, I walked into a pop-up shop on Robertson Boulevard. They had these big Moshi prints. This one—all roses—resonated with me. It’s hanging in my bedroom.”

corinne grousbeck inspiration

7. Boutiques

“I’m such a Barneys girl. I feel like they have a point of view—more cutting edge, more esoteric, not necessarily the name everyone’s wearing. You feel like you’re ahead of the pack. I think they do a good job of editing.”

Photos by Jared Leeds (1, 6); iStockPhoto (2), Getty Images (3, 4, 5), Bob O’Connor (7)



What I’m Listening To

“Nicki Minaj. What this woman is writing—it’s going from her mouth to my ear. I love someone who’s fierce and authentic.”

What I’m Drinking

“Sancerre. I call it French water. I consume gallons of it. You’ll notice I always finagle bottles of Sancerre for our Perkins galas. It’s the one thing that never gives me a hangover.”

What I’m Watching

“A lot of basketball until (hopefully) June, and Gossip Girl. My daughter asks, ‘Why are you watching this blather?’ But no matter what you think about the plot, it’s fun. It’s fiction.”

What I’m Surfing

“I get a lot of info from the more than 200 Twitter sites I follow. I’m obsessed—news, fashion, gossip, and good old snark! I also enjoy the Net-a-Porter website for its genius curation, as well as the Luisa via Roma online boutique. They have items you can’t find in the States. And they ship!”