All photos by Heather Shane
Being a business of one can get a bit lonely. Most of my work time is spent by myself in my studio. It's very solitary.
Last summer I started listening to a podcast - Dear Handmade Life - put out by Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson. Once a year they host a small business and makers conference called Craftcation.
Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson
Newsletters to social media. Collaboration to inventory management. Oh, and did I mention the bazillion crafting classes? Modern embroidery to indigo dyeing, sewing, block printing ... I could go on for awhile here.
My block printing tote bag with Minnesotan turned Californian Jenny Lemons.
I flew out to California, took a train to Ventura on my own. I didn't know a single person who was going to be there. BUT, I quickly learned I was more of an extrovert than I realized. I made some new friends as soon as I got on the train, and met more at the conference. When you get like-minded people in the same space, they come together. They take you in and you share your stories. It was fantastic.
Seriously, people are so friendly that they pull you into photos. These two ladies were awesome!
Debbie Stoller of Stitch N Bitch Nation and Bust Magazine fame gave an opening keynote about persistence and how to learn from mistakes. Lela Barker gave an amazing closing keynote about what it really costs to run your own business and how to embrace - and learn from - the f*%$ - ups.
Listening to Debbie Stoller on the history of Bust Magazine
I experienced my first earthquake. It felt like I was on a rolling cart. No one was running from the room, so I played it cool and just freaked out internally. I took my first train ride. The view outside my window of the rocky hills of California was beautiful.
Having come from -2 degree temps, the palm trees and ocean were THE BEST THING EVER!
So you most likely don't own your own business, so what is the takeaway for you? Find your people. Get out of the house and try something new. Be a risk taker as my daughter says. Do you like to sew or knit? Or write? Go find a local group who meets up and join them. Want to travel to a new place, but don't know anyone there? Go solo if you have to. You will meet people. Find those like you and you will be taken in. Share your stories. It will be great.