Girl Gang Craft #SMALLBIZ SUMMIT
GIRL GANG CRAFT #SMALLBIZ SUMMIT 2019
A couple weeks ago I was invited to attend Girl Gang Craft’s first #smallbiz Summit in Oakland, CA. I thought it was fate because my family and I happened to be staying in the Bay Area (life update post coming next!), and I’ve been following GGC’s blossoming journey for awhile now. So when my friend and fellow Northern California blogger Porsha Carr (www.porshacarrblog.com) connected us I couldn’t be more excited. The summit included workshops on taxes, creative partnerships, boundaries and MONEY$$$. There was a panel on social media strategies and tips, some amazing keynote speakers and a mixer with DJ Ivy + cocktails!
Phoebe Sherman created Girl Gang Craft as a place for local women creatives and healers to express themselves in all that they do. From fine art, ceramics, jewelry, vintage, tarot, reiki, herbs etc. They work with community members to make space, hold events, and foster a welcoming and inclusive place to hang out and create. They believe the empowered woman empowers women. To learn more about Phoebe and her team click here! https://www.girlgangcraft.com/about
10% of their Uterus Line goes to Planned Parenthood.
One of the vendors COCOACENTRIC is a brand of Handmade, Curated, and Vintage accessories, inspired by high fashions bold statement accessories & street style. Designer & Creative Director, LaToya draws deeper inspiration from her Southern roots, ethnic cultures of the world & 70's & 80's Popular Culture!
snacks + beverages
Oakland, CA based designer Taylor Jay began her journey in the fashion world during a transitional period of her life when her body was changing, and like many other women, she realized the fashion industry did not cater to all shapes and sizes.
Elevated fashion basics: Taylor Jay empowers women with beautiful, versatile, comfortable, sustainable fashion basics that easily adapt to any lifestyle.
During the panel she spoke about ways to raise funds, co-working spaces, and the many organizations out there waiting to help you launch or level up your business.
Some that were mentioned included:
I didn’t even think to seek out crowdfunding sites or know where to start looking for grants. These definitely gave me a heads up and made me more aware of all the possibilities. Taylor Jay, and others on the panel also emphasized how these organizations are ready and willing to assist creative entrepreneurs, and there is a lot of money to dispersed.
Now when I tell you, I immediately felt this woman’s vibe and energy the second she came up to the stage to speak, it is no exaggeration. I can just listen to her speak all day and I’ll never have an excuse to NOT be making those money moves again! I think it’s safe to say this this portion of the summit was definitely my favorite! I’m telling you, my mind and whole body vibration just felt lifted. Those who know me know that I’m all about that metaphysical perspective of money, and she was speaking my language. I’ve been on a self-discovery + healing journey for the past couple of years, and my past, present, and future relationship with money has been a focal point. So if anything (but there was so much more) I was meant to be at this summit just to hear this woman speak.
During her segment we partnered up for a couple of exercises.
The first being, what are your thoughts + feelings about MONEY?
The Dyad Exercise went like the following: Money is….
1) Partner A: (Asks) Name, What is money?
2) Partner B: (Responds) Money is….
1) Partner A: (Asks) Name, how do you feel talking about money?
2) Partner B: (Responds) I feel….
Now when performing these exercises you are to ask your partner the question over and over for 2 minute intervals each. Partner A is not to respond, gesture, or engage at all with Partner B’s responses. You’ll be surprised with what your mind comes up with…or doesn’t for that matter! How do you really feel about money?! Did you know that these feelings could mean the difference between you and the energy of money flowing to you easily and effortlessly?
Well I definitely do! And I’ve been working on reprograming my mind and relationship with money ever since becoming aware of the negative things I learned about money growing up. I think a lot of us don’t even realize our negative relationships with money unless you happen to stumble upon an exercise like this. Maybe you’re in therapy and someone finally asks you, or you’re like me and felt like something had to give. Figuring out what that “something” is, could be the very thing that fuels your journey of self-discovery. So many of the key notes Shirley Johnson was speaking about resonated deeply with me. Listening to her speak reminded and confirmed for me that I am heading in the right direction as far as my relationship with money. So what does this have to do with small biz creatives? Um…EVERYTHING! From setting prices + fees for products and services to deciding what your time is worth. Why do you feel guilty about charging your friends and family, or maybe anyone at all? (You know who you are creatives!). Do you ever wonder why one graphic designer is making thousands of dollars per project, and securing big ticket contracts, and another is maybe charging a couple hundred dollars per project/design (and for sake of argument these two designers are at the same skill level and have similar styles)? It’s what we think about money, and our personal relationship with it. I want you to try this: If you start noticing that you have a negative thought patterns about money, then simply change it and see what happens. Whether it be about people who have a lot of it or how can you get more of it. It might be why you’re not attracting it. I personally had a love/hate relationship without even knowing I did! I knew I wanted money (and a lot of it), but I had subconscious preconceived notions of people who had a lot of money. You either had to be a doctor, lawyer, or superstar to have that big money. Or you were doing something shady. I didn’t identify these thoughts until I was asked to think about them. I could go on and on about this, but I will save that for a follow-up post.
Another key point I took from Shirley was the negative impact of setting fees + prices too low. Not only does it continue the story of our low self-worth, but we’re also lowering the value of our craft. So the example used was photography services. Sure one might think researching fees + prices of our fellow photographers in the area, and then setting your prices lower than everyone else might help you in the market. But, you’re actually lowering the value of the market and everyone can be effected. So be CERTAIN about your prices and the services you have to offer, and you will see how the money starts flowing to you.
For more info about Shirley Johnson be sure to check her out on instagram. I linked her profile above. If you are local to Oakland and the Bay Area I recommend you attend one of her yoga classes, sign up for a retreat, or therapy session with her. Her energy is magnetic and uplifting, and I can’t wait to reconnect.
Jessie Susannah Karnatz is an Intuitive Financial Coach, educator, and tax preparer. She takes on a different approach than what you would think a financial adviser would starting with each individual’s relationship with money.
I think as creatives we often neglect the financial side of running our businesses because we’re too busy being creative. Sure money may be flowing to you easily and effortlessly, but how do you manage that money for yourself and your business? The Money Witch made great points about knowing the ins and outs of your entire business. Whether you decide to outsource certain areas to the experts, you still need to know how and what they are doing as well, and when you don’t…'“that’s how you get played”! Taxes....who likes doing taxes!? I’m pretty sure no one. Ok, well maybe some people...like the Money Witch. She broke down a simple guidelines about how to prepare yourself for taxes as a small business. You can learn more about the Money Witch and what she has to offer on her website. (https://www.instagram.com/ivyt/)
Plus! Money Witch is offering 50% off her Business Basics for Not-so-Basic Business Babes
coupon code: "GIRLGANG" for 50% the course.
LISANDRA VAZQUEZ: PANEL + HEADSHOTS
I was both excited and terrified about the headshots portion. Since growing my personal brand and business I’ve come to the point where I can no longer hide my face, and I need more pictures of myself! But I feel sooooo awkward in front of the camera these days unless it's a selfie of course because I know how to work my own angles lol. So this was great way to step out of my comfort zone. The photographer Lisandra Vazquez is also known for her aura photography which I think is pretty dope!
Carissa’s speech was a perfect ending to the day. I loved her raw, funny, and real perspective on her craft and running her businesses. Being a creative and making money while doing so may appear fun and exciting on the outside, but it can also be an emotional rollercoaster. Carissa expresses her emotional struggles through her art, and it’s totally relatable. We’re in a pro-positive happy go lucky culture, and while we all try to strive for that, it’s not the reality.
Since putting myself out there as a creative brand and business I find it beneficial to emerge myself in the local networking scenes. I find it particularly beneficial for women to connect with other local women creatives and businesses because there’s nothing like the energy and sense of community I get from it. Personally I’m a work from home mom, and I find myself sometimes digressing my creative focus from the day to day with young children. I’m also completely self-made and I don’t have any formal training or mentoring in running my own business. So connecting with organizations like GGC and attending these events reminds me of my ultimate goals. Being around like-minded and supportive women is one of the best ways to boost your vibration. I left feeling empowered and motivated to take myself and my brand to the next level. The event touched on so many aspects of being a creative entrepreneur and I left with so many great tips and resources I’ve already started to implement. It was really incredible to see the diversity of women and disciplines in this space. We are truly powerful beings and I felt the energy. Women we must continue to link up. It only results in magic!
Photos below from the event are by Ayesha Walker @eshiitaughtme
Other Speakers + Workshops included:
LISE SILVA: BOUNDARY WORK
NKECHI NJAKA: NAVIGATING CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS + COLLABORATION
ANNA-ALEXIA BASILE: NAVIGATING CREATIVE PARTNERSHIPS + COLLABORATION
FREDIA: PANEL HOST
KATIE DEAN: PANEL
JENNIE LENNICK: PANEL
Photos and artwork courtesy of GGC IG. Other photos I obtained from highlighted person’s website or social media accounts.
Headshots by Lisandra Vazquez
Photos of COCOACENTRIC and snacks + beverages were taken by me.