Craftworking Works

 In Blog

This is another look at innovative ways to network.

A month or so ago, I wrote about a SOULpreneur’s gathering at Eastworks in Easthampton, Massachusetts, a night when soul-centered business owners came together to talk about their work but also their lives, loves, goals, passions and projects.

Several weeks ago, I had yet another unique networking opportunity, this one organized by Amber Ladley, a web developer who also has a dynamic flair for the arts and a passion for creative reuse.

Amber is left and right brained. And a genius. She got the idea to gather entrepreneurs together so they could meet one another and raise awareness about their work—while doing a craft project. She called her gathering a “craftworking event,” and I was lucky to be invited.

Amber led two of these events in April to accommodate various schedules. The first was on a Thursday and the second on Friday. Both gatherings were held in Knack at Eastworks, which Amber founded with Macey Faiella in 2012 and sold one year ago to Marjory Zaik.

I attended the Thursday craftworking event, and Marjory was there to greet us when we arrived. And in addition to Amber, there were six of us, including Marjory, who was running her shop while we crafted and networked.

We sat at a long table surrounded by art materials—jars of scissors in all sizes, glue guns, glue sticks, drills, recycled materials and decorative papers of all kinds for decoupage.

Amber offered up several activities—making flowers with origami, creating clever notecards and making a bud vase with a wooden plaque and a vintage-type bottle. I chose the plaque project, as did the accountant, Cecile Lackie, who I sat next to.

Amy Woolf and Christine Southworth made flowers.

We talked about Cecile’s work in offering one-on-one tutorials in accounting software programs; Amy’s gifts as a color consultant; and Christine’s CPR work in Creativity, Play and Relaxation.

For 90 glorious minutes, we made new connections, conducted business and relaxed and let our minds and hands be creative.

Can’t ask for more in a networking opportunity, now can you?

The early outcomes of this gathering are that I will feature Cecile and Christine in the Springfield Republican’s Voices of the Valley column, and I have reached out to Amy for a color consult at my house.

Amber has organized more craftworking opportunities for May and June. Contact Amber if you want the details.

You can also dream up your own innovative ideas for networking with colleagues in the Valley and raising awareness about who you are and what you do. There’s no limit to the clever concepts you might imagine.

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