Dear lovelies,

The party keeps rolling here at Miss Wyolene! I’ve been hoping to take a few days to impart a bit of the knowledge I have obtained while being on this journey of creative entrepreneurship. (Here and here if you missed it!) I’ve also reached out to some friends who have been generous enough to give you awesome things on my behalf. They are fabulous fellow makers and I can’t thank them enough for celebrating with me.

Speaking of those who have joined me on this journey, I wanted to take a minute to thank the ladies at Love Inspired who created the GORGEOUS site you are looking at right now. Cathy Olsen really captured the look and feel of my brand in this site and I just love the little details that she included. I have a sneaky feeling that our relationship isn’t over…but more on that later. Thank you, Cathy, for this beautiful home for my words and work. You have certainly inspired me!

Probably one of the most important things I’ve learned on this journey is just how important building a solid community of creators has been. When I left my job at an advertising agency of 300+ people, I quickly realized how lonely and scary it can be to send a file off to a vendor without the approval of a creative director or an account executive, many of whom have remained close friends and cheerleaders. Not seeing them every single day was a shock to the E in my ENFP. (Myers Briggs for those of you who are like “???”.) While the peace and quiet (when the little guys is sleeping, of course) is a really good thing at times, at other moments, you feel like you’re floating out there in creative space wondering “what the heck am I doing?” I needed some people. Slowly, through social media, coffee dates, and a few shows, I began to build up my arsenal of like-minded creatives. Building up these relationships has probably been the single most important thing I’ve done to stay in this long term. And it’s so awesome to be able to have different spheres of folks: locally (even down the street) and all over, thanks to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. At any given time, I can call one of these friends and get advice and more often than not, feedback on new projects. I cannot stress the importance of building these relationships over time. Treat people to coffee, ask questions and LISTEN. Buy work that you love. Promote others as much as possible. These people will become part of your inner circle and you’ll have the foundation you need to pay it forward. This approach works SO MUCH BETTER than sending out random emails to creatives (who are pouring their souls, years, and sometimes tons of money into their work) and asking them to tell you everything they know so that you can do the exact same thing they do. Pour into others and they will pour out to you. Those relationships are the best investments I’ve made by far.

Which brings me to a new friend I’d like introduce to you all! Meet Jessica Franco. Jessica owns Xenia Hospitality and Home Decor and makes adorable cake stands out of vintage plates. Jessica is a GREAT example of getting to know your local craft community. She lives here in Greenville and while we haven’t yet met in person, I met her through a mutually creative pal. And for those of you who do live in Greenville (or are looking for some fun events to attend), she will be selling her fabulous wares at both the upcoming Indie Craft Parade as well as the Farm Fresh Fair and Market. (Craft fairs are a GREAT way to connect with makers and artists. Having done a show or two myself, I loved meeting other creatives who had been hard at work for months getting ready! I’ve actually made  some seriously quality friendships through shows!) In the meantime, you can buy the cakestands locally at Mountain Creek Mercantile. Aren’t these lovely?? They make me want to throw a party with lots of desserts.

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Indie Craft 3 Indie Craft 5

And guess what?! Yep, Jessica has graciously provided the plate below to one lucky reader today!

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Here’s how you can get your hands on yours!

1. Post a picture on Instagram of a friend who encourages you. (I know we don’t get to see these people every single day, so a latergram is fine!!) Write a little something about that person and tag them if they have an Instagram account! (It’ll make them happy to know you think they are awesome.)
2. Tag @misswyolene and @Xeniahome (Be sure you are following us so that we can see your entry!)
3. Use the following hashtags in your post: #misswyolenehasanewblog and #igetbywithalittlehelpfromthisfriend

I will be taking entries all day until 12am EST tonight!! Have fun!
And congrats to @jones_blair for winning the Simplified Datebook from Emily Ley in yesterday’s giveaway! (Didn’t win? You can buy one here.)

Have a lovely day, friends!

Love,

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