17 Jan 2016: The Year of the Rising Tide
This is a small story about my introduction to The Rising Tide Society, an amazing community of creatives that I met in 2016.
“A rising tide lifts all boats.”
The Rising Tide Society
in April of 2016, a good friend and former co-worker of mine, Alex of Photos by Alexandria, told me about her new photography mentor. This talented lady was Jennifer of Jennifer Hibberd Photography. As it turned out, she was also the leader of Barrie’s local division of the Rising Tide Society. Alex told me all about The Rising Tide Society: it is a group created by creatives for creatives built on a foundation of community over competition. On the second Tuesday of each month, local groups of ‘Rising Tiders’ from all over the globe get together and discuss different topics related to owning a business and entrepreneurship.
Working as a sole business owner can get very lonesome at times. This group sounded like the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people, so I almost jumped for joy when Alex asked me to come along to her fist meeting. I would still consider myself new to Barrie and I’m still working on networking and establishing my business. I hoped this would be a great way for me to learn some pointers from those in similar creative fields.
Because I am a natural introvert, it took me a while to work up the courage to go my very first meeting. What can I bring to the table? What if my business isn’t big enough or good enough? I was so nervous to introduce myself, but I really wanted to be open with these people. After my early 2016 rebrand to Hello Harmony Studio from RDPRINTS, I still didn’t have a clear focus for my business, which included design, photography and my Etsy shop. And to the group, that was totally okay. They accepted me as I was and were happy to include me in conversations about any topic!
Community Over Competition
Our Barrie Tuesdays Together group is full of creatives from all stages of life and their career. There are some who are years in, some who are just starting out and some switching creative focuses entirely. Barrie’s group includes many talented photographers, designers, calligraphers, artists, bakers, makeup artists, DJs and more!
The beautiful thing about our group is that despite working in similar fields, we see no competition between each other. Each one of us has a unique style and set of skills we bring to the table. We have been able to learn from each other no matter what stage of business we are in. I love all of the tip I’ve picked up along the way, and I hope that my workflow tips can help others as well! I’m so grateful to be a part of such an inclusive and wonderful movement.
“Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” – Jon Acuff
I love that quote. So many times I find myself comparing my business to others. I have to be honest and say that the first few meetings were not easy. People talked about how busy they were with weddings and clients. I felt like my business was in a standstill with very little to no clients. After a while, I saw everything in a new light. I saw their accomplishments as an inspiration. That could be me one day. I can learn from their experience. They started out slow like me. Along the way, they refined their processes, put new workflows in place, and now are more than willing to share their findings. All I need to do is keep moving forward. One day, I will have more knowledge to share!
2016 was an incredible year for Hello Harmony Studio. My little business grew in ways I didn’t expect. I discovered my love and talent for branding and logo design. Being in a group of so many diverse talents, I also saw that there was a need for more designers in our area. I jumped into logo design head first and ended the year having designed 16 amazing logos for customers near and far. Each project taught me how I can refine my process to make my workflow more cohesive and better for my next customers. I was invited to be in some amazing collaboration opportunities (stay tuned to see what!) and even recruited some local creatives I met at a craft show for our group.
None of these would have been possible without a lot of hustle and the support and community of my Tuesdays Together group. They instantly accepted me, believed in me and my work, and shared lessons from their experiences. I’ve made my own mistakes along the way, but it’s all part of the process of becoming better.
Here’s to more forward movement in 2017!