May Member of the Month :: Meaghan Willis of Lucky13Letters by Dorothy Collier

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1 What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

 

I love being a creative entrepreneur in Memphis because everything in this town has two parts- a little bit of sweet and southern, and a whole lot of grit. I can create light and airy invitation suites one day and sassy, sarcastic prints the next and this city will inspire me to create either!

 

2 What is your favorite part of your creative business?

 

My favorite part of being a creative business owner is the freedom and empowerment. I'm an engineer by day and a calligrapher by night. I have so much structure in my day-to-day and I love having the ability to adapt and evolve this business into whatever I want it to be! I'm completely self-taught and there is something so incredibly empowering about that, especially as an adult. It has been so fun to connect and collaborate with other creatives, in Memphis or otherwise, to learn how to grow a hobby into a business!

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3 What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

 

To know the value of your time! I pulled lots of all-nighters with hardly any profit to show for it when I first started. I was creating lots of items, but wasn't understanding the intention behind them. I grew my business, but I was exhausted and getting burnt out quickly. I now focus on putting all my energy into the pieces that I love to create and that my customers feel are created specifically for them! It's much more fulfilling and so rewarding.

 

4 A main revenue stream for you are commissions. What does that process from start to finish look like and how do you plan for pricing your work?

 

Commissions vary so much! That's part of the fun, but also can make pricing difficult. Our custom orders include rentals, envelope orders, wood signs, chalkboards, and much more. Currently, we receive most orders through email or social media. I gather all the details from the customer before pricing and giving an estimated lead time. I have lots of Excel sheets, calendars, and behind-the-scenes notes to make sure our pricing is clear and consistent. If we aren't providing the base product, pricing includes my time and materials with some overhead included. It gets much trickier when we are making the entire piece, like wood signs!

 

5 What is the biggest challenge as a calligrapher? How do you overcome that obstacle?

 

My biggest challenge as a calligrapher has been finding the balance between having a niche market and trying new things. It can be difficult to keep a consistent customer base while being adventurous and evolving as an artist. I do my best to stick to a general style and then expand that out into different markets and fun side projects! It has definitely gotten easier over time to figure out what satisfies both my customers and myself!

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April Member of the Month :: Katie Toombs, Fine Artist by Dorothy Collier

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our nineth Member-of-the-Month, Artist Katie Toombs!  Katie has been a member from the beginning of our chapter and has been enthusiastic, always having a smile on her face and an open heart, willing to give of her time and talents.  We are SO grateful to be able to feature them on the blog! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love these answers!

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What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

Memphis is such a cool place to live and work. There is so much history and so much in the landscape that we take for granted. If I drive around for any period of time I can always find inspiration!!

What is your favorite part of your creative business?

My favorite part of having a creative business is my clients!! Without them I wouldn’t have a business and they are so encouraging to me! They really keep me going!

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What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?  I would tell myself not to worry about being the tortoise! (From the tortoise and the hare). Good things take time to build. Take your time and build a good foundation and the rest falls into place! 

 

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A main revenue stream for you are commissions. What does that process from start to finish look like when wanting a Katie Toombs custom piece?

My commission process is a series of steps. There is an initial contact made by the client via email or social media. Once I receive an inquiry I try to respond within 24 hours. I usually direct them to my website which has a price list and some Q and A’s but I always end with a question or something that keeps the communication going. The lead time on most commissions is 6-8 weeks. I take 1/2 deposit when an order is placed and the other 1/2 at delivery!

 

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What are a few tips for nurturing your clients through the commission process? Any tips for less-than-ideal clients?

It is SO important to remember that you are running a business when you speak with potential clients. The initial interaction (aka first impression) is so very important. They’ve already decided they like your work now they need to like YOU! Never blow this chance to be personable and professional. It matters! 

*I’ve had a few clients in the past that have been ‘difficult’. Some people just need to have their hand held a little more than others and that’s ok. However, if you encounter someone who isn’t nice or has unattainable expectations then you may want to pass on the project. You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes your way!

March Member of the Month :: Caroline & Phillip Smith of 901Drift by Dorothy Collier

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our eighth Members-of-the-Month, Caroline & Phillip Smith of 901 Drift!  These partners are an integral member of Rising Tide Community - as one of the very first members, diving into our community when they just started this new jewelry line in early 2017.  They have scaled very quickly in our city in such a short amount of time.  We are SO grateful to be able to feature them on the blog! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love these answers!

 

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1 What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

We love our city because it offers so much on a small scale. Memphis may not have the abundance of some cities, but if you look you can find just about anything here. Caroline loves to say Memphis is a city that feels like a small southern town. You can get to know a lot of people here pretty easily making it hard to hide when out and about. In other words, it’s easy to run into someone you know and we definitely benefit from that social interaction. Memphis has soul and so do the creatives in our city. We love that and obviously take inspiration from that Memphis soul, which shows in our Jewelry.

 

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2 What is your favorite part of your creative business?

Having the freedom and flexibility to design our jewelry in the styles and look we love is rewarding on many levels. But freedom comes with most creatives who own and operate their own business. That’s definitely a favorite aspect. But maybe the other favorite part is watching our customers smile as they put on and wear a new piece of our jewelry. Watching how our jewelry can offer connections to our city, the Mississippi River, and a sense of style is rewarding. It’s really awesome and fills us with an appreciation that makes the hard work we put into this business worth it.

 

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3 What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

Probably to study up and ask for help sooner on the business side by learning more of the accounting, general business requirements, tax questions, and all those administrative things of running a business. We are much better today just after the few months of being in business, but we could have made it much easier.

 

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4 You guys seem to be such an incredible team! Any tips for working with your spouse?

Well, in general we love being able to work together and being around each other as much as possible. That makes it easier. In reality, working together can be challenging but also makes it so much fun being able to share the successes. We really appreciate the work that goes into the business and the work each of us does. Yet, we have our days when we don’t always agree. We have our days when one of us may not be feeling heard or maybe just plain tired. We are partners and learning to communicate our ideas and thoughts can be difficult. But like any married couple or partnership, good communication is so important. Knowing what each of us is doing, thinking, and wanting can avoid a lot of arguments. It also helps to set aside who makes the final decisions in what areas of the business. Ultimately, a decision needs to be made and we trust each other to make the best choices for the business and for each other.

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5 You have grown 901Drift so quickly! What were some key steps to building that growth throughout our city?

In reality, this business has been years in the making. Caroline has a degree in fashion merchandising, made jewelry since 2011, and has started other jewelry businesses previously. That experience and lessons learned, through successes and failures, have been invaluable. With the addition of Phillip’s plastics and fabrication knowledge and general business background, we have been able to leverage each of our strengths and take an idea into something much bigger than we even realized as possible in the beginning. Having a clear plan and direction for the business is an important step. You may not need to necessarily write a formal business or marketing plan but having that basic information in your mind or scratched out on paper helps to prioritize your ideas, goals, and bring next steps into focus. Connecting those next steps and how they apply to the Memphis market is just as important. Who is your target customer? Where can you best reach them, etc. But perhaps the biggest step is realizing you can’t do or know everything yourself. Getting advice and counsel and even seeking help from others such as all of our wonderful creative peers in this amazing group has made a difference and allowed us to grow faster. So we genuinely are thankful to all of you!

February Member of the Month :: Mary Claire White by Sarah Baumann

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our seventh Member-of-the-Month, Mary Claire White! Mary Claire has built a multiple successful businesses, is a leader in the maker community in Memphis and is an integral member of Rising Tide Community - as a member and meetup host in 2017! Mary Claire's main business is Falling into Place, a beautifully curated brick-and-mortar shop in the trendy Broad Ave Arts District in Memphis. She's also created a successful candle line, Falling into Place Candles, which are sold in her shop, online, and in stores around the country. Mary Claire is a connector, innovator, true creative and we are SO grateful to be able to feature her on the blog! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love Mary Claire's answers!

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What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

I am a native Memphian so there is a huge sense of pride that comes with owning a business here. I can't imagine a life where I am not creating. Making money being creative is a dream come true!

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What is your favorite part of your creative business?

I don't answer to anyone! I have full creative control of every part of my business and that is priceless!

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What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

The building inspections are not that big of a deal!

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Falling into Place is such a gorgeous, welcoming environment- where do you get your design/aesthetic from? Where do you go for inspiration for your shop?

My aesthetic is very personal. I have always enjoyed finding interesting and unusual items for myself and my home. My store allows me to bring those finds to my customers!

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You've had so many successful collaborations with other artists and makers, especially within your candles- what is your top piece of advice for other makers looking to collaborate? What fuels a good collaboration?

Mutual respect and admiration is a good place to start. Being open to ideas is important, and making sure you are fair to yourself and the others involved.

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Thanks so much, Mary Claire!!

PHILANTHROPY MONTH :: Carpenter Art Garden! by Sarah Baumann

Sarah and Dorothy here, popping in to let you guys know about our philanthropy game plan! About a month ago we launched a poll in our Facebook group asking which Memphis-based philanthropy we should focus on in the month of November.  SO, drumroll please, the winner of the vote was Carpenter Art Garden! Hooray! the folks at the Garden are doing SO MUCH for the children (and adults) of Binghampton and Memphis and we're thrilled and honored to be working with them.

After chatting with the amazing folks over there, we felt that we could help in two ways: to organize small groups of volunteers during multiple of their Tuesday afternoon gatherings and to help them fundraise for sweatshirts! 

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So what does this mean for you? There are two ways to get involved : by volunteering and/or by donating!

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Volunteering Info

So that we don't overwhelm them, they'll need 5 volunteers each regular-gathering Tuesday, except on special party days where they'll need 10. Here's the schedule: 

Nov 7 (5 volunteers) 

Nov 14 (5 volunteers) 

Nov 21  (Thanksgiving Party - 10 volunteers) 

Nov 28 (5 volunteers) 

Dec 5 (5 volunteers) 

Dec 12 (Christmas Party - 10 volunteers) 

They would also love if we could provide a healthy snack each time we go for about 30 kids. 

You can sign-up for one of the time slots here: www.SignUpGenius.com/go/20F054FADAE2BAAFF2-volunteering

Dorothy and I won't be able to be there every Tuesday but all 5 volunteers will have assigned jobs from the staff. If you can come more than once, all the better!! 

Donation Info

We'll be fundraising to buy 120 kids Carpenter Art Garden sweatshirts for their Christmas gift!  In years past they've received shirts and hats.  These gifts are items that they wear proudly!  They've been asking for sweatshirts and we're so excited to be gifting it to them!  Our goal is to raise $1,000 so that all the children can receive a Carpenter Art Garden sweatshirt. 

That's an easy target with our huge group!  Donate through the Carpenter Art Garden link here and put "Tuesdays Together sweatshirt" in the memo line before checkout. 

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Thank you SO MUCH for all the support and excitement around this philanthropy effort already!! We can't wait to get involved with Carpenter Art Garden and come alongside them as they use art to change Memphis for the better. 

Sarah and Dorothy 

October Member of the Month: Nubian Simmons of The Pink Bakery by Dorothy Collier

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our sixth Member-of-the-Month, Nubian Simmons! Nubian has built a wonderful Thank you so much for your thoughtful responses, Nubian!  The Pink Bakery, Inc. is TN’s 1st Big 8 Allergen Free Bakery. Nubian makes desserts and mixes for people with food allergies, becoming the change in the food industry and helping put Memphis on the map for healthier choices in the realm of baking!  Please go visit The Pink Bakery's site for more!

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love Nubian's answers! 

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What is your favorite part about being a creative in Memphis? 

There are so many historical moments that have happened in Memphis which have shaped the consciousness of the people here. For a transplant like me (I'm from Milwaukee, WI whoop-whoop), being exposed to the beauty, the ugly, the joy and the pain of it all sparks a full range of emotion and gets the creative juices flowing. In each experience I encounter, there is opportunity for creative expression. In Memphis, the art is shown on an array of "canvases." From traditional murals around town to the painted rocks I have seen at a local farmer's market. Memphian's use any medium they can get their hands on to create! It is inspiring and equally motivating! 

What's your favorite part about your creative business?

As a former graphic designer turned TN’s 1st Big 8 allergen free bakery owner, I am learning to create on a new medium using new tools. The ingredients are so different from selecting colors off the color palette. It is a unique art form and I am determined to give my fellow allergen community all of the things, (within reason), a traditional bakery is able to offer. I really enjoy creating clean and classic design pieces, and I am bringing that style to my desserts. 

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What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business? 

I love this question! I would tell myself, “that you will get to meet them” and “it is more than you thought it would be.”  

Anything I venture into I do it with a strong spiritual connection. When I started The Pink Bakery in 2012, I kept hearing, "they are waiting for you." I would especially hear this when I wanted to give up and was mentally drained from trying to figure out how to bake without the Big 8 foods (eggs, fin-fish, milk, peanuts, shell fish, soy, tree nuts and wheat). I never saw "their" faces but my heart knew what that meant. "They" were just like me, someone with food allergies looking to have "normal" life experiences.

After spending years learning about: baking in a non-traditional way (but make it taste traditional), food science, all the tests my desserts went through, distributors, food packaging, Trade marking, lawyers, Non Disclosure Agreements and inspections, I was ready to offer my desserts. I was ready to meet “them.”  Now I see “their” faces every time I am at the Farmers Market or a pop up shop. The people I had never met before but, worked so hard for, come to see me with that hope I truly am what I say I am, TN's 1st Big 8 Allergen Free Bakery. The smiles on their faces when they can come and select a dessert, warms me in a way I cannot put into words. I feel so blessed to give them that moment. Imagine never being able to have a cookie or a brownie from a bakery or a store because you will go into anaphylactic shock if that dessert was exposed to an allergen you are allergic to. Very scary stuff. My desserts ease that fear. They are safe. 

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When did you start baking? Have you always loved it? What would you say to someone who is trying to bake or cook with cleaner ingredients? 

I started playing around with baking in 2012. I was tired of either not being able to participate in "normal" eating activities or suffering if I was exposed to an allergen. My first baking attempts were terrible lol! My family members were my taste testers and they will tell you to this day how rough the beginning was! Whew, so glad we were able to get though that. My goal was never to become a baker. In fact, my baking level was subpar. I could open a box of whatever I was fixing, follow the instructions and add water!

The advice I would give to anyone attempting to learn how to bake would be, to be patient! Baking is a science and is so precise. The wrong amount of anything will throw the whole thing off. Learn about each ingredient and the role it plays in the recipe. Once you do that, you just need to practice...a lot! Oh and when it comes to cleaner eating, my advice is, that the quality of food you buy matters, you can taste the difference!

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Taking the Big 8 out of your baking seems like such a challenge. Have you had a hard time sourcing ingredients for your baked goods? What inspired you to initially move away from the Big 8? 

"Such a challenge" is an understatement!! I think learning to bake without the Big 8 foods was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done in my whole life! I approached it all wrong though. I thought it would be easy peasy. I was sooooo wrong!

Sourcing ingredients had been super challenging because I had to search for companies that did not allow the Big 8 allergens into their warehouses or facilities due to cross contamination. It took years! God is so good though because He allowed me to find what I needed so I could give it to my allergy community. 

The inspiration to move away from the Big 8 was that I am allergic to Milk and Wheat. I knew what it felt like to be excluded and so I learned how to bake without all of the Big 8 allergens (eggs, fin-fish, milk, peanuts, shell fish, soy, tree nuts and wheat) so that anyone who fell into those categories would feel included and not like a social pariah. I bake in a state inspected dedicated kitchen free of the Big 8 allergens so people don't have to worry about cross contamination (I have had reactions to cross contamination).

The Pink Bakery is TN’s 1st Big 8 Allergen Free Bakery. We make desserts for people with food allergies to the Big 8 foods. We use only organic, Non-GMO, gluten free, Fair Trade and responsibly sourced ingredients. The desserts are naturally vegan.

We are at the Collierville Farmers Market every Thursday from 8am-1pm and the Cooper Young Farmers Market every Saturday from 8am-1pm.

September Member of the Month : Amanda Torres of The Curious Coconut by Sarah Baumann

 

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our fourth Member-of-the-Month, Amanda Torres! Amanda is a renowned blogger, author, photographer, and neuroscientist and soon to be a certified Primal Health Coach. Her readers rave about her recipes that celebrate the heritage and culture of Latin America (and Southern US) but make them accessible to those with modified diets. Her recipes are fun, easy, gut-friendly AND delicious- what more could you want? As icing on the cake, her cookbook is currently blowing up as a #1 new release on Amazon!! She's a total boss and inspiration to us (Dorothy and Sarah) and we can't wait for you to meet Amanda!! 

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Rising Tide Society Memphis (RTS) : What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

Amanda Torres (AM) : My favorite part about being a creative entrepreneur in Memphis is that I finally feel a strong and real connection to the place in which I live. My business has been 100% online for most of its existence. Since moving to Memphis I have been absolutely blown away by how incredibly supportive and nurturing Memphians are for one another, especially if you are a creative. Now that my book is out, I have people who want to buy it just because I am a local author here in Memphis - which is amazing! I can't say past cities would have been so warm and welcoming to me, and I also never felt that my community wanted me to be more involved with in-person events before I got to Memphis. I have a lot to offer and look forward to hosting things like cooking classes, informational workshops, and soon, one-on-one services as a Primal Health Coach. I never felt a strong pull to do local work in past cities.....there is something special about Memphis in that regard! Everyone is so supportive, people care about what is happening in their city, and we love to get out and do all sorts of things (not just hit up the bars like some cities). It has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of our thriving creative community, especially through Rising Tide Society events! 

RTS: What is your favorite part of your creative business?

AT: I think I would be crazy not to say my favorite part is getting to EAT my handiwork at the end of the day! Haha. But honestly, the part I love the most doesn't necessarily have to do with creativity per se: it's the connection with my readers. I founded my site as a way to reach people with my health & weight loss journey in an honest way, utilizing my background as a neuroscientist to legitimize it all. I was in an extremely dire situation and facing a lifetime of medications and chronic illnesses, and felt so hopeless - I wanted to be able to offer a glimmer of light to people in a similar situation to me. I never imagined I would eventually have millions of visitors to my site and would have people literally thanking God for me and telling me I saved their life on a weekly basis. That makes everything I do worth it, and is more fulfilling than I could have ever dreamed of! So that is absolutely my favorite part of my business, but I also really enjoy the process of food photography. 

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RTS: What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

AT : I would tell myself to start treating it like a business MUCH sooner than I actually did. Even though I was earning income with my blog in the first year, I was still working a "real job" as a neuroscience researcher and so I played it down as just a hobby. I did have a very clear goal in mind to be able to quit my job and blog full time, but it was just really hard for me to take it seriously and have the appropriate mindset. Once I did, things grew very quickly and my income also increased. I also should have been writing an eBook as soon as I launched. So to anyone else looking to start a blog that will become a real source of part-time or full-time income, start to treat it like a real business from the get-go. 

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RTS : Your health story and journey really is so amazing and inspiring- what would you say to someone on the other side, just starting to get healthy and serious about food and exercise?

The body is capable of amazing things. It wants to heal and feel good if you give it the right conditions in which to thrive. I do know this: you won't be able to make sustainable changes until you really feel that fire inside that you HAVE to do something differently. You have to have a very clear goal in mind and be committed to making some sacrifices in order to achieve them. A diet overhaul like going Paleo is no joke. It takes lots of planning, education, and can make certain social situations a little tricky. Of course, given my success with it, I think that a Paleo template is a fantastic place to start, and for many people can be a way to notice improvements in many areas of your health in a very short time (I noticed improvements within the first week, and began losing weight immediately) - but it is not the right path for everyone. The #1 biggest change you can make to improve your health is to cook your food from scratch, and remove processed foods (anything that comes in a can, jar, box, bag, etc.) from your kitchen. 

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RTS: You've written 6 eCookbooks available on your website, and are about to release your first printed cookbook. So exciting! What made you want to go into print, and how was the experience of getting a book printed?

AT : As soon as I launched my blog I knew I wanted to have a print cookbook. And when I set my sights on a goal, I achieve it. The eBooks have done a lot to support me, and I am grateful for the income they have brought in. But I wanted to have a much larger impact with a nationally-distributed book. That's why I wanted to work with Page Street Publishing, who are distributed by Macmillan. They produce beautiful books and I have many friends who have also worked with them - they are one of the top 2 publishers for Paleo cookbooks. Writing a print book was in some ways easier than doing eBooks, because with eBooks you have to wear all of the hats or be in charge of hiring help. Working with a publisher, all I had to do was create the recipes and write them. Someone else edited, proofread, and designed it. They also work with an outside PR firm to take care of a lot of the publicity. It was a lot of work, don't get me wrong, but it was worth it and I hope to write another cookbook!

Amanda Torres the CUrious Coconut

Thank you SO much, Amanda! Weren't her answers so inspiring?? Find Amanda on her website, instagram, facebook, twitter, snapchat, youtube, google +, and pinterest and buy her newly released cookbook on Amazon here

Amanda also recently did an interview with our Rising Tide Memphis Co-Leader, Dorothy! Check it out here. 

If you want more interview content, check out our featured Rising Tide Members from May, June, July, or August! 

And you can find our local Memphis chapter on instagram or facebook! 

Introducing the 2017 - 2018 Tuesdays Together Leadership Board! by Dorothy Collier

Please help us welcome the first Tuesdays Together Board Members!  Dorothy and Sarah are excited to be building this community.  With our massive growing meetups and now our nearly 400 member Facebook group, we need more hands!  

Feel free to reach out to them if you have any ideas for future meet ups or other ways that Tuesdays Together can be better involved in our Memphis creative community!

Membership Chairs - Emily Wickliff & Jenna Bostick

Photography - Kristen Archer

Food & Beverage - Leslie Tiscia

Outreach - Erika Roberts & Andy Torres

Secretary - Natalie Meagan Barnes

Wedding Small Group Chair - Ashley Garrison

Culinary Small Group Chair - Nichole Reed

Graphic Design Small Group Chairs - Emily Harvey & Kimberly Provo

Painters Small Group Chairs - Whitney Winkler & Deanna Hamsley

Makers Small Group Chair - Patrick Spicer

 

August Member(s) of the Month : Josh and Aleah Looney of 3eight Photography by Sarah Baumann

Aleah Josh 3eight Photography Rising Tide Society Blog

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our fourth Member(s)-of-the-Month, Josh and Aleah Looney! Aleah and Josh have built a well-known and respected brand in Memphis and the wedding community with their wedding photography. Their wedding clients rave about their service and experience, and their authentic social media and website presence are refreshing and approachable. They treasure the experience of working with other couples, and bring the perfect perspective for our theme for the month of August : Client Experience! As you'll read in this interview- wedding photography isn't just about poufy dresses and white cakes for them- they love being part of an important day in the life of a couple, and preserving the memories for a lifetime. And obviously, their work can speak for itself!! We can't wait for you to meet Aleah and Josh!! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love Aleah and Josh's answers! 

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RTS: What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis? 

Memphis has an amazing network of talented and passionate creative professionals!  Anything our couples dream up, there's someone who can execute it flawlessly.  


RTS: What is your favorite part of your creative business? 

For us, everything we do points back to relationships.  Working with couples who are getting married puts us as witnesses and friends at a really cool juncture in their lives and we get to see some really important moments in their relationship as a couple - not just their engagement and wedding but often we see graduations, careers, houses & babies too.  On wedding day we get to document their relationships with their families and their chosen families and it's really fulfilling for us to know we're telling a story about where these two people come from, where they are right now, and where they're going together!

RTS: What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business? 

Work from the top down: Figure out why, then what, then how.  If something is not true to why you're in business, don't do it!  Do less, but do it better.

RTS: You guys seem to be such an incredible team! Any tips for working with your spouse? 

There are a couple things that everyone will tell you - like make sure you make "non-work" time for each other, learn how to give and receive constructive feedback, and make sure you always speak positively about one another.  Those are essential, and you should definitely do those things!  

I would say our biggest tip is to make sure you get time away from each other, too.  When you work away from one other, you have work and coworkers and whatever you do on your lunch break to stimulate your mind and then to talk about at night when you're brushing your teeth.  When you work together, it's easy to forget to be separate people, too.  Go do something by yourself - make interesting tooth-brushing conversation!

 
RTS: In your welcome video on your website, you talk about getting to know your couples and becoming friends with them, which we love! How did you guys start to find your ideal client? Or maybe- how did you get them to start finding you? 

This is something we spend a lot of time thinking about, but we find that often the couples who are the most excited to meet us are the ones who heard about us from someone personally.  Whether it comes from another couple or a wedding vendor, the personal referral from someone who's already in our circle means way more than anything we can say on our website.

Thank you SO much Leah and Josh for your incredible and inspiring responses!! If you'd like to read more from Aleah and Josh, check out their blog!

To find or book Aleah and Josh, head over to their website, gorgeous instagram page, or facebook page!! (or shoot them an email at hello@3eightphotography.com)

Want to read more member-of-the-month features? Check out May (Woodworker Patrick Spicer), June (Artist Jessica Tinsley), and July (Kristin Wolter-Canfield)! 

and as always, find our local chapter on instagram and facebook! 

July Member of the Month : Kristin Wolter-Canfield of Everbloom Design by Sarah Baumann

Rising Tide Blog Post Floral Feature

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our third Member-of-the-Month, Kristin Wolter-Canfield! Kristin has built a business of not only incredible floral design, but also education, workshops and artistic direction. Her ability to collaborate with brides and create breathtaking pieces has completely blown us away, and we've been thrilled to have her be such a supportive and collaborative member of the Memphis chapter. She was one of the brave souls at our very first meetups! If you aren't already, RUN to follow her colorful and inspiring instagram feed and her gorgeous website. Thank you so much for your thoughful responses, Kristin! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love Kristin's answers! 

What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

I love the creative energy of Memphis. It is so inspiring to see so many people connected by a common goal of creating beauty and art. I am personally inspired by different mediums and there is no shortage of of inspiration in our community.

Rising Tide Blog Floral Post Community Memphis

What is your favorite part of your creative business?

I love being a part of such an important day in a couples life. I am able to translate into flowers the celebration of their union.

What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

Don't listen to the negative non supportive chatter in your head. Don't compare your beginning to someone else's now.

Memphis Chapter COmmunity Rising Tide

All of your work is so gorgeous and seems to so perfectly match the mood of the wedding. How do you go about taking direction from brides, while also having your own artistic input? Any tips for successful client collaborations?

Thanks!! Most of my couples find me on Instagram. So they are familiar with my style and brand. I do start off with a questionnaire that has a series of questions about not only the venue, date, etc. But includes questions about them, how they met, their interests, and words to describe how they want their wedding to feel not just look. I ask to see their Pinterest boards, not only about the wedding but other topics too like home design, fashion etc. This really gives me insight about them and what they are like. From that I create a mood board that shows them how I translated all that into what I believe will work for me and them. If we don't jive on the look I will work to come up with other ideas. However if a couple wants symmetrical and no greenery, I am not the designer for them. I will recommend other wonderful designers who may fit their style a bit better. I found it really important for me to be excited about a design and that it is draining and not worth it if it something that doesn't fit my aesthetic. In the beginning I took every job I could. I worked really hard to build a brand and now I am able to stick to it.

You've been teaching workshops for a while now, and they always seem to be such a huge success. When did you start teaching floral design, and what is your favorite part of those classes?

I decided to start teaching classes about three years ago. I not only wanted to share my love of floral design but see tremendous value in the creative process. Even if you don't think you are creative you gain so much benefit from just trying and bending your brain in the creative direction. Pushing yourself to do new things translates to other aspects of your life and in turn enriching your life! That is my most favorite part of teaching. Watching how much fun the students have in the process and how satisfied they are with their end results. It brings me so much joy!

(to find out more about her upcoming workshops, follow along on her instagram! That's the first place they'll be posted!) 

Thanks SO much to Kristin for her incredibly inspiring responses (and did you check out her work?? ALLL the heart eyes)

You can find Kristin on instagram, on facebook, and on her own website! To read the May Member of the Month interview (woodworker Patrick Spicer), click here! or to read the June Member of the Month interview (artist Jessica Tinsley), click here

June Member of the Month :: Jessica Tinsley! by Sarah Baumann

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WE (DOROTHY AND SARAH) ARE SO EXCITED TO BE INTERVIEWING OUR SECOND EVER "MEMBER OF THE MONTH" FOR THE RISING TIDE SOCIETY'S MEMPHIS CHAPTER. ALTHOUGH WE JUST HAD OUR FIRST MEETUP IN APRIL, WE'VE REALIZED WE ALREADY HAVE SO MUCH TALENT AND SO MANY INCREDIBLE MAKERS IN OUR GROUP WHO BELIEVE IN COMMUNITY OVER COMPETITION. WE'VE BOTH LOVED GETTING TO KNOW JESSICA AND HER HUSBAND, MIKE, AND WE'RE SO INSPIRED BY HER INCREDIBLE WORK. THEY'VE BEEN SO ENCOURAGING, ENGAGED, AND HELPFUL AT BOTH OF OUR MEETUPS, AND JESSICAS WORK IS TRULY UNIQUE- NOT ONLY IN THE INCREDIBLE COLOR AND STYLE, BUT ALSO THE DEPTH AND MEANING THAT SHE BRINGS INTO ALL OF HER PIECES. WE'RE SO EXCITED TO HAVE HER ON BOARD AS A MEMBER OF THE RISING TIDE SOCIETY, AND WE WANTED TO SHOW HER OFF TO ALL OF YOU! 

EACH MONTH THE MEMBER OF THE MONTH WILL ANSWER FIVE QUESTIONS FOR OUR BLOG- THE FIRST THREE ARE STANDARD QUESTIONS WE ASK EVERYONE, AND THE LAST TWO ARE SPECIFIC TO THAT CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR. WE HOPE YOU ENJOY JESSICA'S ANSWERS!

 

Q1     What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis? 

I grew up in a creative family (as the oldest of seven kids) in Memphis. My dad taught my brother and me to draw as children, so we were always doodling and my parents encouraged us to be creative and to think and question things. I think art and music encourage creativity in thinking and I want my own children to have that experience. 

I truly believe that art makes a difference in a community - including Memphis. When you share who you are with the world in an effort to minimize differences and maximize beauty and encourage others, the world changes for the better - one person at a time. I use art to tell people that they are loved, they are good enough, I am with them in their journey.

Q2     What is your favorite part of your creative business? 

The flexibility and the collaboration with other artists. I feel like I can figure things out for myself and learn from other people. If I mess up, I'm only responsible for myself (at the moment). I like to be free to try new things and experiment. I like change. When you go into a corporate environment, things are hard to change because there are traditions and because people are afraid of change. That can be fun and challenging too, but it can also be draining and burn you out when you have good ideas and aren't allowed to try them. Working creatively for myself means I am free.

Q3     What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business? 

Don't quit. Be patient. Be kind to people (even when they aren't kind to you) and don't be afraid to engage with them. Or if you are afraid, be brave anyway. Get out there and do what you love to do and let people see it. Have confidence that there is value inside of you... and it will come out if you have the courage to work hard and show your work.

Q4     Your art with your kids is so beautiful and inspiring! Any tips on painting or crafting with family? Or instilling creativity in your children? 

I read this book by Malcolm Gladwell and in it, he says that children become readers - not by having books available to them, not by reading a lot as a child, not by being read to - but by seeing their parents reading. You've probably heard the phrase - "More is caught than taught." It's true. If your children see you being creative, they will often want to join in. All you have to do is be brave enough to create and willing to let your children join you and make messes in your house. ;) 

I would also recommend that you make creative materials available to your children and encourage them to try new things. Don't tell them they're doing it wrong - give them the opportunity to learn for themselves what works and doesn't. They may surprise you with what they discover. Children are much less inhibited and afraid than we as adult creatives are - which makes them more creative and bold in their choices. We have a lot to learn from them.

Q5     The colors in your work seriously blow us away. Where do you go for inspiration? 

Thank you so much! I love color! 

Have you ever said, "I have the blues" or "she's green with envy?" Did you know that some people actually associate color with emotion? It's one type of synesthesia. Synesthesia is when a person confuses two senses like sound (music/words) and sight (color). So I might hear a name and visualize a color that I associate with that person. I perceive much of the world through feeling and color and it comes out in my work. Each piece represents not just one emotion, but a progression of emotion - from fear to faith and from hopelessness to passion. I'm able to express my feelings through the use of color.

Synesthesia (I paint how I feel), combined with some simple color theory (often, complimentary colors) and some inspiration from other artists and nature - this is how I come up with colors.

Are those not INCREDIBLE responses?? Thank you SO much Jessica! We love you!

You can find Jessica's work on instagram (@jesstinsleyfineart) and on Etsy (Jess Tinsley Fine Art)! Check out our previous member of the month interview here! 

Introducing our May Member of the Month - Patrick Spicer! by Sarah Baumann

Everyone congratulate Patrick Spicer, our first ever Member of the Month!!  

 

We (Dorothy and Sarah) are so excited about starting up a "Member of the Month" for the Rising Tide Society's Memphis Chapter. Although we just had our first meetup in April, we've realized we already have so much talent and so many incredible makers in our group who believe in community over competition. We thought Patrick was a perfect first Member of the Month- aside from his obvious talent as a woodworker, he's been such a welcoming presence at our meetups and shown so much enthusiasm for the Rising Tide Society. We're so excited to have him on board as a member of the Rising Tide Society, and we wanted to show him off to all of you! 

Each month the Member of the Month will answer five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to that creative entrepreneur. We hope you enjoy Patrick's answers! 

What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis? 

PS: Memphis is just such a creative and inspiring city, I’ve lived all over the country and traveled the world, but have always ended back up in Memphis. There is something about this place that keeps bringing me back. I’ve been wanting to get more involved in the local maker community and thats why Ive been so excited about Rising Tide. Everytime I leave a meeting my mind is just flooded with new ideas and perspectives that I hadn’t thought of yet! It's been great to get out of my little world and get involved with other creatives.

What is your favorite part of your creative business? 

PS: The best part is just having the freedom to make stuff, I have the luxury of not having to pay the bills with my creative venture, so I have the freedom to make whatever I want and just be creative and try new things!

What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?

PS: I would tell myself to not be scared to try new things, I often pushed more complicated/new projects to the back burner, because I didn’t think I was good enough yet. Then when I would actually take the leap and try, it would turn out to be not as complicated as I thought it would.

How did you get into woodworking?

PS: The short answer is that I was too cheap to buy furniture for my first apartment, but really I’ve always been a tinkerer. I love taking things apart and building new things. I built most of the furniture in my first apartment and then saw a bunch of wood turning videos on youtube and that’s when I got really excited about it. Once I bought my first lathe (sarah note: lathe = a woodworking machine that spins the wood really fast so you can carve/shape it), it was all down hill from there!

You've killed it at some festivals recently- any tips and tricks on selling in-person?

PS: I really think that as much as your selling your stuff, you are really just as much selling your story. I can pick up every piece that I’ve made and tell my customer the whole story behind it, where I got the wood, why I decided to make it, when I made it and how the process went. I really think that helps make the sale for a lot of my customers. I work very hard to be efficient with my time and expenses, so that I can make a profitable item and still have an affordable price point. Another good tip is that I always scout out a show before I will apply for it, I try to find shows that I can stand out in!

You can find Spicer Brothers Woodworking on instagram, facebook, or at spicerbrothers.com! If you want to check out his products in-person, head to Bingham and Broad on Broad Ave!

Thank you so much, Patrick! Make sure you follow along on the Rising Tide Society Memphis instagram for a mini-series feature on Patrick and Spicer Brothers Woodworking!

Introductions from your Co-Leaders! by Sarah Baumann

Well hello there!!

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We're Dorothy Collier and Sarah Baumann, your Memphis chapter co-leaders, and we could not be more excited to lead and build this incredible community. We're the faces behind all the social media, emails, we're at all the in-person meetups, and we can't wait to meet you if we haven't already! Here's a more personal introduction from each of us: 

I'm Dorothy 

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Hey y'all!  I'm Dorothy Collier, the artist behind Dorothy Art. I started my art career 8 years ago, painting original oil paintings atop vintage book pages.  I'm a wife to John, and a mama to our 11-month-old baby boy Johnny and a fur mama to Oxford "the pup," a 6 pound yorkie.  I'm a proud midtowner and Memphian, originally from Franklin, TN but moved here happily after meeting John at Ole Miss.  I have traveled the southeast selling my artwork, prints, and greeting card line for years. I'm now very excited to be starting a new chapter in my career, working on more one of a kind pieces and being able to spend time at home with Johnny!  I recently launched a podcast for creative entrepreneurs, Positively Creative. Subscribe on iTunes and listen along while you paint, bake, drive, bathe, anywhere, anytime!  Follow along for new artwork at @dorothyart and at @positivelycreativepodcast for new episodes. I'm so thrilled to be the co-leader alongside Sarah for this wonderful group of makers!  

 

and I'm Sarah! 

 

Hi friends! I'm Sarah Baumann, and my business is called Signet Sealed. I'm an illustrator, rescue greyhound-mama and Texas native currently living in Memphis! I may get some hate for my diehard love of the Spurs but I have so much love and respect for Memphis and I'm so thrilled to be co-leading this community with Dorothy. I moved to Memphis from San Antonio a few years back to attend Rhodes College, and started my business selling prints out of my dorm room as a Junior. My business grew and grew while I was at Rhodes, and I started working for myself full-time after graduation! I mostly create city-themed watercolor illustrations, but I also illustrated a Memphis Coloring Book in 2016. My business has grown from prints and includes mugs, dishtowels, paper products, blankets, and more. I'm an extroverted, color-loving, tassel-obsessed midtowner and I'm so excited and honored to be part of the Rising Tide Society. You can find me on instagram/facebook @signetsealed, or check out my website! 

We hope you follow along with the Rising Tide Society's Memphis chapter on facebook, on instagram, and join our mailing list below!