Bluebird Chic ambassador Kristin of The Awesome Ladies Project shares her experiences with building a community where creatives can share their passions and stories!
Hey Bluebird Chic friends. I’m Kristin and I’m a passionate feminist scrapbooker and an introverted homebody.
Let me tell you a little story about how I found and cultivated my special group of people, and our most recent in-person bash (I know, introverts in person — who knew?)
Are you an introvert or and extrovert? (And why it matters)…
Introverts make up about half of all people; even if we might be the ones hiding in the background some of the time. You can tell an introvert from an extrovert by distinguishing where you get your energy from, if you get your energy from being around people, you’re an extrovert, if you recharge your energy from being alone, your an introvert. Pretty simple.
As creatives, our energy is important to the creation process. Making requires energy. We can’t create something unless we give up energy from ourselves; mental, physical, and emotional energy.
Tip #1 – When it comes to finding people to share your creative energy with, (especially as an introvert) you need to find the right people
When you’re an introvert, the right people will help keep your energy where it needs to be, and as a creative, you’ll be able to channel that energy in awesome ways.
I founded my own online community called the Awesome Ladies Project for the specific type of scrapbooking that I love to do (and teach others to do as well).
I knew that the most important thing I had to do was make these women feel welcome and part of a special group of people. They are Awesome Ladies, and while they were here, we were going to make sure they were having an awesome time.
I made sure that the mantra of our community was always at the forefront; telling your story is a radical feminist act, and your story matters. By making sure that everyone there knew that their story mattered, that their voice was important, it gave everyone the room to speak up and feel comfortable in a big group of people.
Tip #2: Start out small and build those creative bonds.
The great thing about the internet is that you can come and go as you please, ‘hanging out’ and communicating with your friends until you need a break, and then step back until your energy has returned.
After a while, the bonds that we formed at the Awesome Ladies Project, started getting stronger and two or three of us would start meeting up for coffee or at a scrapbook shop.
It was evident that I needed to start planning an in-person retreat for the Awesome Ladies. But knowing that most of our ladies were introverts, and nervous about hanging out with people they had never met before, I had a big task ahead of me.
Tip #3 – Plan your own creative gathering, retreat or conference
For those of us that love staying home and hanging out with ourselves, it can take a lot to travel to a conference where you’re going to be surrounded by people for a weekend, expected to talk about your life and your stories. And even though most of the Awesome Ladies were introverts, normally content to sitting back and letting others do the talking, it was important for every Awesome Lady to feel like she was able to speak and share as much of her story as she wanted.
We had workshops, a panel, a photo walk, and some recharge time between activities. I tried to make this an event that as many of my people would love as possible.
It is truly amazing what happens when you get a group of people together and talk about stories, lives, and the magic of shared experiences; especially when you lead different and diverse lives.
One of the most amazing things about our Awesome Ladies
You can learn more about the Awesome Ladies Project and our free membership at theawesomeladiesproject.com
Kristin is a feminist scrapbooker, passionate about helping women document their lives through photos, stories, and pretty paper supplies. She uses her ‘big girl’ camera to take photos of her adventures around the US as well as photos of her everyday life in East Lansing, Michigan. Learn how to get your photos off the camera and into scrapbook albums you’ll cherish for a lifetime at http://rukristin.com/blog/welcomechic.