hanging with other local creatives + sippin' on cocktails. Yes, please!
Community, isn't that at the heart of what every person desires? To feel like we belong somewhere. Community looks different for every person, but in some form it's the same; coming together around a common goal + supporting each other. Who doesn’t want to grow their personal goals, business, and following? Most people are going to say “yes!” to one of those. But life is not about how many followers you have or get per day, but if you are growing a business it is something to take into account. And this is what I am going to tell you. COMMUNITY! COMMUNITY! COMMUNITY! #communityovercompitition this hashtag is truly something to live by – if you want to grow you need to surround yourself with like-minded people who also want to grow + have goals + who will push you to your limit. Growth comes from being pushed outside your comfort. Are you surrounding yourself with people who are challenging you?
Will you grow without community? Maybe. But man, life is so much sweeter when you bring people together to share ideas, collaborate, encourage one another. You need people who stretch your thinking. Take it as a compliment when someone approaches you who is just starting their photography business or a new blog and they are asking you a million questions. You are inspiring others. Don’t take it as they are wanting to steal your business. No! Take it as one more person who wants to share their voice, share their ideas, make a difference in this world, and you get to be a part of that. I have been part of several friends’ beginnings of an IG account + business. They asked me every question under the sun + now they are 90K+ followers, been in several magazines, + traveled the world. LIKE WHAT? I can’t take credit for their hard work but I think “wow! They are doing something right + I helped them start that.” We should be encouraging each other in our victories + pushing one another to dig deeper + reach further.
How do you find community? Sometimes it happens right away. Sometimes it takes a while. But it definitely doesn’t happen by just wanting it. You have to take ACTION. So here are some tips:
1. Scroll through your local city or local coffeeshop hashtags + comment/follow on fellow creatives. For example: #grandrapids #experiencegr #michiganblogger #midwest (whatever is your local hotspot) I’m talking genuinely take interest in what others are doing around you.
2. Take a chance and ask someone out for coffee that inspires you. This is something I have started to do a couple times per week. If they say “no, thanks”, no big deal + move to the next person.
3. Find a local bossbabe meet-up or photoshoot meet-up + GO. (if you can’t find one. start one.)
4. Go to a local creatives workshop
5. Be intentional, Be supportive, Be courageous, Be YOU – unapologetically authentic (not who you want to be, but your crazy weird self)
6. Push yourself to ask questions + answer some even if they feel uncomfortable or even dumb.
7. IMPORTANT: remember it’s not about what YOU can get from them to achieve your goals, but what you can do to encourage your fellow creative to achieve theirs. Now I’m not saying don’t talk about yourself + what you do. I’m saying don’t take the selfish approach + make connections strictly to get a leg up. Essentially choose relationships over money.
Now on to the Blogger Bash put on by my sweet friend, Lexi Johnson, aka blogger babe In The Hutch. This fun casual meet-up was held at the Coppercraft Distillery in Holland, MI. These kind of events are so great for connecting with new bloggers + creatives because its a warm inviting environment to break the ice, and it gives restaurants or local establishments an opportunity to get their name out to the public while giving us new exciting spots to meet. Every meet-up is a little different some have an event schedule for the evening, some are free flowing + casual where you can mingle, snap pictures, + explore.
Anyways, the evening began by being welcomed with Coppercraft's house punch, which was a mix of their spiced whiskey, cider, maple syrup + citrus poured over rocks. We all mingled for a while, saying “hello” to new faces + sharing social media info.
One by one these beautiful shareables came out for us to taste + enjoy. Oh and we enjoyed them but first with our EYES. haha. Yup! Everyone began to pull out their cameras + snap away. These events make you feel normal, walking around trying to find the perfect place to take a picture of your drink or food. It was fun to watch everyone step into their role as a blogger + capture what this evening is about: creating + connecting.
All the dishes were absolutely delicious. They tasted fresh + full of flavor. It was neat to try some unique ones + as well as classics like deviled eggs.
The dishes they brought out were: Deviled Eggs, Brussel Sprouts, Crab Toast, Roasted Cauliflower, Risotto, Duck Leg, Pork Belly on legumes and their homemade donuts. My personal favorites were Roasted Cauliflower, Risotto, and the Duck Leg. Click Here to view their menu! They also let us pick one of their signature cocktails from the menu. I picked Peaches & Diesel which was very unique + tasty. Some picked the Bee-Gee Flip, Michigan Mule, and Medicine Woman, all which looked amazing.
Lexi went above + beyond to reach out to local boutiques and shops to see if they would be willing to contribute something to our swag bags. And let me tell you these swag bags were FULL!
Fall cookie - Sophie’s Sweet Creations
Teas + discount – Nourish to Flourish Society
Earrings + store discount –Jb and Me
Lavender Syrup – LivingLark
Strawberry Mango Jam – Peace Jams Jellies
Dainty arrow bracelet – Rose Water Designs Boutique
Notebook + store discount – Sparrow Boutique
Two Glasses – Coppercraft Distillery
Fresh Pretzel – Village Baker
Also, a big thank you to Pocket Photographer for the use of your fun Photo Booth. Its always a blast being silly in front of the camera!
If you are interested in hosting a meet-up in your establishment here in the Grand Rapids area or would love to collaborate on a project? Please shoot me an email here. I would love to connect with you + hear your ideas!