Today was a lovely day, even though we had torrents of rain pouring down. I attended a NAWBO event that included an open house for a spa (my hands are nicely moisturized and massaged) and some yummy cupcakes. The best part was that I came away feeling supported. Networking is not my forte (it can be very hit or miss), and I didn’t have any expectations today since I’m still in a pre-start-up phase. Sometimes when you are more relaxed about something you can be pleasantly surprised.

I remembered to bring two sample cards, and when I whipped them out (it’s easiest to show: “What types of cards do you make?”) received some really nice responses. One woman said “I feel like I am holding someone else’s baby” and I really appreciated that reverence. The scariest part about showing your work to total strangers is that they could completely reject it (friends and family always have a slight bias), but nobody did.

I was so encouraged and received lovely suggestions about resources and potential places to sell.

As much as I love the online world, I do feel that there is a need for local and interpersonal interaction as well to successfully launch a business. I draw much inspiration from other people’s blogs and their journeys and successes. Still, having someone handle your art and seeing their expression and feeling their energy when they are looking at it creates a dimension that the Internet cannot replicate entirely.

One of my wishes for this year was to have more local community, and this is happening both on a social level and a (pre-)business level. My family is scattered around the world, and for that social media has been fabulous. However, due to deadlines, class timing or locational logistics it was hard to cultivate regular in-person interactions the past few years. With the loss of coworker conversations, my life could easily become a vacuum.

Now Spring is drawing more people out for activities, I personally have more energy to go out and interact, and—whether because of my wishing or the “thoughts become things” philosophy there is a surge of new-to-me venues and groups just blocks away from where I”ve lived for 10 years. It is exciting to be part of newly developing social groups and to discover a vibrant local artistic community I can participate in.

These glimpses of my new life are such a treasure. I look forward to developing these relationships further, adopting some mentors (they don’t necessarily know that they are) and eventually be an inspiration to others as well. If you need inspiration, check out this really fun list of joy-generators.

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