did I ever tell you about the time...
…that I led an entire San Francisco public bus of strangers in a round of singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame together?
Granted, most of the people on the bus were on their way to watch an actual baseball game at the Giants’ stadium (this was 15 years ago and I think it was called Pac Bell Park back then?) but there were some people in suits or uniforms headed to work that got caught in a mostly out of tune but enthusiastic chorus with the rest of us.
Now, I know this is going to sound weird but at one point I cried a little. I was wearing sunglasses and I don’t think anyone noticed. I could say it was the shot (or two) of whiskey I’d had with my coworkers at the bar where I waited tables before we all hopped on the bus. I could say it was leftover post-break up emotion from the heartache I was just about over. But, since it’s been almost two decades, I’ll tell you what really happened.
There’s something strange that happens to me when I’m in a group of people (especially strangers) and everyone is singing together. I get overly emotional. I remember prepping myself up before my 27th birthday party at the Sunday Gospel Brunch at the House of Blues. I knew there would be singing and sing-a-longs and that it would be too dark in there for me to wear sunglasses so I tried to psych myself out by creating a mental list of non-emotional things to think about if I felt that familiar quiver at the back of my throat that would inevitably lead to crying. Algebra… Snakes… Turtlenecks… Nothing worked. And the next thing I knew… I was full-blown cry-singing to Amazing Grace.
It was the same thing that happened to me on that San Francisco bus and in basically every church service I’d been dragged to since I was a kid. It took me years to figure out what was really behind all that emotion that always seemed to overtake just me and no one else I was with. It wasn’t that I loved music or was drunk or tired or heartbroken although most of those things could be contributing factors at some point.
At the heart of it was the unmistakable feeling of being part of something that was bigger than I was...
Something that could only exist when a group of people worked together, shared an emotion and created a bond (even that bond only lasted a few verses). I know this must sound silly to those of you who were on sports teams as kids or who worked in office buildings where you all gathered in the conference rooms for birthday sheet cakes or who spent summers at church camp. I was the weird only-child art kid who spent too much time alone and choreographed one-woman dances to the theme songs from TV shows like Three’s Company and Punky Brewster. I was the kid who started a business selling one-of-a-kind “stationery” I’d created from my scrap paper and junk mail to the neighbors in the condo complex where I grew up. I was the kid who always had a best friend but never fit in any group. I would have been a perfect addition to The Breakfast Club.
Eventually, near the end of high school, I found my besties, a diverse group of weirdos who I’m still very close with today. But, it wasn’t until I walked into the first Craftcation Conference that we ever produced that I realized that I’d FINALLY found my creative business besties. Everywhere I turned there was someone else who was also all about crafting a life full of passion and meaning, who preferred getting vulnerable and putting it all out there over small talk and who saw the value and joy of making things by hand.
These were my people! Being with them made me feel an even bigger sense of togetherness than on that San Francisco bus or singing Amazing Grace at brunch. And, as you probably guessed, I cried a lot at Craftcation.
The difference is, at Craftcation I don’t have to hide my tears in the dark or behind sunglasses. Even if the person next to me isn’t feeling the exact same way, I know they’re not judging me. And that most of the people there are feeling pretty similar.
There’s something magical about being with people who “get it”.
People who know what it’s like to put everything you’ve got into making a living doing what you love.
People who value honesty and aren’t afraid to get deep.
People who will be by your side to share their experiences.
To offer help & support when you need it.
And celebrate with you when you have a big (or small) win.
When you have a group of people to depend on like that, this domino effect of awesomeness happens. There’s a reason animals travel in packs, it’s not just to survive, it’s to thrive. Every year at our Craftcation Conference we hear story after story about how life-changing the experience is. Yes, it’s the classes. Yes, it’s the events. Yes, it’s the time away. Yes, it’s our legendary themed dance party. But, a huge part of what transforms people is the community.
Community is everything. The camaraderie we get every spring at Craftcation is life-changing but some of us (ahem… me!) would love to get year round support. And, it’s not just being able to turn to your creative business besties for advice or an ear to hear your struggles. Getting the mentorship, resources and education to up-level your business is key to that whole “thrive > survive” thing I was talking about.
and that is why we created...
Dear Handmade Life, The Club is a members-only community for creatives and passionate small business owners to get the tools, mindset, accountability and support to take your next big leap.
Monthly Mentorship-Focused Group Coaching
Quarterly Creative Boss
We go beyond just reading the most inspiring and transformative business and self-growth books through our guided discussions about what we’re learning as well as accountability and support to help you implement the strategies that will move the needle for you and your business.
Unlimited Access to the
Club Class Library
Inside The Club Class Library (open 24/7!) you’ll find ready-to-watch classes and workshops led by some of the most sought-after teachers in our community.
Exclusive Access to the
Club Resource Hub
The Club Resource Hub is your one-stop-spot to find our curated list of the service providers, platforms and services that we use and love.
Early Access to Select Events and Courses
You won’t have to worry about missing out on Dear Handmade Life’s exclusive events and courses because they’re sold out, you’ll get access before everyone else to select Dear Handmade Life products and services.
Networking with Like-Minded Creative Business Owners
The Club provides a safe inclusive space for you to meet other creative business owners. There’s no “who’s-who” or pretension in here. Everyone is welcome! This is the place where you next business bestie is waiting for you.
Are you ready to find the community who’ll cheer you on and mentor you as you go after your goals?
Save the date. Set your alarm. Tell a friend.
ENROLLMENT FOR The Club is only open for two weeks
from September 15th – October 1st, 2021. After that, we close the doors until 2022.