I'm so grateful Sarah at Makers United contacted me about applying for the Makers United Workshop because I really wouldn't have applied otherwise. It took that nudge of encouragement.
I applied, a process that involved submitting photos of my work, information about my website and social media account(s), and information about my business. A few days later, I received an invitation to join the workshop, a 2-day immersive experience that promised to help me build a strong brand identity and provide me with guidance around product photography, along with some sample photos.
Now, I'm still working on all the things I learned. In fact, so much of what I got out of the experience isn't actionable. It's emotional. While I've done little things we were instructed to do, like organizing my Instagram "highlights," the most meaningful and powerful result of participating in this small workshop was making connections and becoming empowered.
Making connections. Ugh. Just the thought of small groups or breakout sessions - one of my worst fears. Over the past two years, I feel like I've become feral. I haven't had to go to an office or make small talk with co-workers and clients. If I do much talking during the day, it's with my dogs. Knowing that I had two full days - no! three full days including the market on Sunday - to be social and "on" was a real test of my energy batteries. Did they still hold any charge?
Turns out, yes. It was so moving to see everyone else's work. There was so much talent and creativity in the space. And people were kind. It made it easy to connect. Because the workshop was designed to have a small group, longer breaks, and a full 2-day schedule, we had opportunities to share our vulnerabilities. We shared our stories and discovered that we had the same fears, doubts, and unknowns. There is a lesson in there.
By the end of the workshop, we had completed our sample photo shoots and sat through numerous breakout sessions with inspiring and thoughtful mentors. We had one last presentation -- ours. We were expected to stand up and present the photos of our work to the group, to the Makers United, Hermès and Blink teams, and to fashion designer Tracy Reese.
We all clapped for each other - not polite applause, but sincere, supportive applause. Tracy or Peter from Hermès would provide some thoughts or feedback. I'm still so energized by people I met, the lessons I learned, and the feedback I received. I'm thankful for the opportunity that wouldn't have happened if I hadn't said yes.
yarns and snippets is a little corner where I'll share some writing, recording my story in a way that's more comfortable for me - long form over social media. so, a bit of a journal and a record of my work, workshops, markets and weaving and knotting journey.