As a story teller and photographer, I love sharing and writing about all the different stories I'm honored to learn about and document. From clients to personal journeys in life, to advice and interesting things I've learned; read along and follow as I document about what's happening and all the things I'm up to. 


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Education, Personal

May 2, 2017

Kreativ Workshop | Back to You

Creative Workshop lived and thrived! A coffee shop conversation over a 4-hour lunch turned into so much more. I could not have been so honored to share this workshop experience with my friends Shaunae and Alyssa. Today I wanted to talk a little about the workshop and some of the reasons behind it. The reasons why it was so important for me to really hone in on the topic I choose to cover. “Business Basics”.
When I first started my photography business over 6 years ago, I had a knack for photography and a skill I hadn’t quite zeroed in on yet. BUT, I had the business know-how and knew the basics of what I needed to run a business. From bookkeeping to finances to filing taxes. That was the boring stuff that is the bones of any business. And thankfully, with my education and experience, I was able to get on my feet. But what I needed, was more time to work on my craft. Most creatives, whether they are photographers, artists, writers, designers etc — start with their creative skill and then have to learn the back end of running a business afterward. I was lucky to have gone the opposite way. Not having to take the time to learn and struggle through the business side, helped me take the time to just….create! And create some more!
I know how much of a struggle it can be for creatives who love their art so much that they made it their careers. And in doing so, they had to figure out how to manage and run a business when they’ve never even had so much as a business class. I have talked with so many artists that struggle to balance their finances — struggle to maintain regular bookkeeping — struggle in organizing their receipts etc. So, as much as I would have loved to host a “photography” workshop, I felt that it was better service to my creative community to offer something much more useful in ANY creative business — not just the one. And the best part was, my cohorts felt the same way about their craft and skills too. And when we all realized that we wanted to cater to ALL creatives, we established the curriculum for Kreativ.

Our mission is to inspire creative entrepreneurs in all that they do. We believe in following dreams and taking risks. It is our goal to help creatives come together to learn how to cultivate a life full of intentional living, balance, and joy.

Kreativ Workshop was held at The Draw in Appleton. We worked diligently to source products and services for the workshop and swag bags from the most amazing vendors. And I think we did a pretty darn good job too 😉 The gorgeous florals and greenery was a vision of art — made real! Sunny, the owner behind Ebb & Flow Flowers was given our mission and our vision of the workshop and she created this organic and friendly scene you see at the workshop. I don’t know how she does it, but she can create some of the most magical scenes!! And even better, she’s added decor and rentals to her business which was so amazing because that’s how we got connected with Vintage Farmhouse Tables!! The chairs and the tables came from this great company and wow — they were stunning!
Matt with Weathered WI provided us a backdrop that looked like we raised the floors and just stood it up against the wall — it was so perfect for the space. It made the best photo backdrop and every attendee got their headshots taken on it as well:)
Lots of coffee was on order and we re-filled throughout the day too!! I’m so happy that our friends at Tempest Coffee Collective catered for the workshop. On our Mondays, when us three instructors would get together for our 4-hour lunches, we’d often find ourselves at Tempest for two or more of those hours. Being one of our favorites spots to hit up in Appleton, we couldn’t have found a better fit.

The day started with a quick introduction and then we went right into learning Watercoloring with Alyssa. My gosh everyone — this lady is SO talented. Not only is she an amazing Fine Jewelry Designer, but she is a fabulous watercolor artist as well. I’m pretty sure EVERYONE was skeptical about their own artistic skills in the beginning. And when Alyssa said “paint your succulents”….everyone froze in fear!! LOL. Isn’t it amazing to try something totally different but then to just do it anyways and find that you ended up really enjoying it and even were — “not that bad” at it??? I think everyone had that moment with Alyssa‘s watercolor class. These succulents were carefully planted into these vintage tea cups by Shaunae. The cups were found at none other than Dwell & Grace — the perfect place to find just about anything you’d want to decorate your home with!!!
After headshots and our lunch break — I helped lead us in a wee bit of yoga stretching. Yoga — being something all three of us are passionate in, we knew it had to be something to add into the workshop to balance our bodies and minds before we set the tone of learning business. After minds were cleared and we were ready to roll with Shaunae’s presentation about Instagram and Blogging. Okay really — this girl is a blogging QUEEN!! Her class really helped so many people with finding their WHY and inserting it into their business. Showing that we have more to share with the world than our craft. Showing that you don’t have to be a photographer to create beautiful content for your Instagram. And more importantly, showing that you don’t need to be a professional writer to have a blog and share your life, your love, and your creativity with the world.
Of course — we needed another self-care break after this — because balance and self-care is SO important to us and we wanted to share that it really IS possible to learn, work, grow, AND live for yourself all at the same time. Laura and Sara of L’aura Be Well led the entire group in a meditation for the heart. Something that left me feeling so warm and emotional and really to LOVE myself! If everyone felt just a tiny bit of what I felt, I think it was an absolutely wonderful thing.
To keep things rolling, I went right into my portion of Business Basics. Teaching those structural basics of a business. Have you ever heard….”figure out what you are good at and then work on building on that” or “do something different than what your competitors are doing” etc. BUT the funny thing is — where did that originate from? Who says we need to do those things to make our business work and prosper. And the military brain in me — I need something to go back to. I needed some sort of standard operating procedure. I NEEDED to know that there was a “book” way of doing things tried and true. And thus, I went to my business background and that’s where I found it. A more structured way to look at the fundamentals of running my business that could be shared with everyone. And that’s exactly what I did. I shared these basis with the attendees. And although it was business basics, and not nearly as fun as watercoloring. (I mean come on….even my Stanley who’s 20 months old LOVES watercolor more than ANYTHING)…I was happy there were no nodding heads during it, haha.
Wow — just WOW. I can’t even describe how wonderful it felt to share this day with so many amazing women. We toasted and mingled and enjoyed each other’s company before saying goodbye. I wished that it didn’t have to end. I loved everyone and look forward to continuing to learn more about each of their business and to watch them thrive!! If you would like to hear more and see more about the workshop — hop on over to Shaunae’s blog and read all about it on there too!!

AND — we could not be more thankful for the folks involved and the Swag bag items that everyone received as an attendee. Below is the list of all vendors and Swag bag peeps!

Venue: Feather & Bone Gallery at The Draw | Design & Florals: Ebb & Flow Flowers | Tables & Chairs: Vintage Farmhouse Tables | Videography: David Schulta Films | Photo Backdrop: Weathered WI | Kreativ Sign: Hello Lemon Studio | Catering: Tempest Coffee Collective | Self-Care Experts: L’aura Be Well

Swag Bag Goodies
Notebooks: Field Notes | Pencils: Rifle Paper Co. | Pens: Poppin | Earrings: Ooh Shiny Art Glass | Prints: Jenna Kast Studio | Coffee Coasters: Grandma Skills | Tea Cups: Dwell & Grace | Succulents: Schroeders | Art Supplies: Winsor & Newton and Strathmore Artistic Papers | Giveaway Prizes provided by: Alyssa & Anna Fine Jewelry, Dwell & Grace, and Jenna Kast Studio


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