Gather Studios, Grand Opening, Maker Pop Up in Garden

I am happy to say that all seven offices in the new Gather Studios space are filled with a wonderful mix of tenants, each of which are business owners. I will hopefully post more about that (and them) at a later date but for now wanted to share about the grand opening and some of the makers that I will have popped up in the back garden.

I have been spending the past few months upfitting the space and getting it geared up to host classes, events and to function as the showroom of the relaunching soon online shop. One of the key differences I was seeking out the most compared to the other Gather spaces was a private office for myself, outdoor and bigger classroom space again, a focus again on community and shared spaces, and a showroom versus an open all the time retail store. I have achieved that with the new space and it feels like I’ve landed on the winning solution after years of editing and refining and of course a year long break to figure out what I really wanted. I also adore being in what feels like a small town where I can walk from my home to here and be a part of a close-knit community but also very close to Raleigh as well.

Gather Goods Co Grand Opening

It feels like now is as good a time as any to host a grand opening event to celebrate this special space, and it lights a fire under me to wrap up a lot of the open ended projects that I’ve been working on non-stop in getting a space up and running again. There are so.many.details. and I seem to always forget that, rose colored glasses and all, but the effort is always worth it in the end, when the space comes to life and functions as I’ve envisioned it and feels like a cozy, serene and inspiring spot for myself and others to interact with and work out of.

To celebrate on Thursday July 19th from 7-9pm I am hosting a maker pop up in the back garden featuring a handful of talented makers, The Humble Pig food truck will be here, Pharmacy Bottle & Beverage will be serving beer and wine, there will be live music and everything in the showroom (lots of new items for the relaunching that day online shop) will be 20% off. Fun!

The new space is located at 417 Kildaire Farm Road, downtown Cary, NC 27511. There is a big parking lot across the street for the Cary Arts Center as well as Cary Elementary and this is where I would encourage you to park. You can find more information at the facebook invitation here.

Below are highlights from the makers who will be in the back garden selling their wares (and there may be a few others joining in as well)

Derek Keller, 440 Gentleman Supply, Leathercraft, Raleigh, NC - Gather Goods Co

Derek Keller of 440 Gentleman Supply makes handmade leather goods like bags, wallets and other accessories from his garage studio in Raleigh. Everything he makes is hand cut, sewn and produced by him and is inspired by modern architecture and vintage motorcycles and gear. He learned how to craft from his parents and recently took his craft full-time.

440 Gentleman Supply Leather Bag, Raleigh, NC, Maker - Gather Goods Co

Liz Esser, Haden Designs - Raleigh, NC Maker - Gather Goods Co

Liz Esser of Haden Designs in Raleigh specializes in brass and leather jewelry and seeks to create pieces that give that feeling of unique beauty to their wearer. Some of her newest pieces combine intricate metal patterns and textile weaving and all are in lovely muted shades that are reminiscent of autumn.

Haden Designs, Brass & Leather Earrings, Raleigh, NC Maker | Gather Goods Co

Erica Gimson, Textile Designer, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

Erica Gimson is a textile designer with 20 years of experience creating home accessories for multiple Fortune 500 companies. She now makes her home in Raleigh where she designs her own pieces which start from hand drawn sketches. She is inspired by the idea of giving people the tools to create a life that they love.

Erica Gimson Textile Design, Raleigh, NC Maker | Gather Goods Co

Matt Booty, Enkle Designs, Raleigh, NC Maker | Gather Goods Co

Raleigh, NC based furniture maker Matt Booty of Enkle Designs has lived in South Africa, Seattle, Greensboro and Raleigh and brings that well-traveled perspective to his work, drawing particular inspiration from Scandinavia. Specializing in handmade furniture and home accessories, Enkle Designs makes each piece by hand and places a high value on sustainable materials.

Wooden Pendant by Matt Booty, Enkle Designs, Raleigh, NC Maker | Gather Goods Co

Liz Kelly Pottery, Ceramics Maker, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

Raleigh, NC potter Liz Kelly’s ceramic work is inspired by traditional craft and contemporary design. She makes functional home goods that are both earthy and elegant. Her time studying at NC State’s College of Design has given her a unique perspective rooted in the craft origins of design.

Liz Kelly Pottery, Raleigh, NC Ceramics | Gather Goods Co

Adam Davis Furniture specializes in handmade wooden furniture and unique wooden accessories and is based in Raleigh.

Adam Davis Furniture, Raleigh, NC | Gather Goods Co

Hope to see you there meeting these makers in person and supporting their craft (and of course just checking out the space), and if you can, please help me spread the word! 🙂

Recognizing & Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur – Or Giving To One You Love

Recognizing & Practicing Self-Care as an Entrepreneur

Have you ever read the 5 Love Languages book? Whether you are in a committed relationship or not, the ideas presented in the book are ones that I come back to over and over. The book is rooted in Christianity but applies to anyone. The premise of the book’s philosophy is that there are five love languages and most people have a couple that they identify with most, they are: words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time and physical touch.

The idea is that each of us possess a few of these as our dominant “language” and that most often our partners language is different than ours. The book tells us that we should seek to frame our expressions of love in the way that our partners will most intuitively receive and recognize and likewise we should be aware of our own languages and needs. So for instance, if your top love languages were acts of service & physical touch, all the red roses in the world may not register to you as the expressions of love that you need. You (though grateful) will probably still feel lacking in those other more dominant needs. As a parent, it’s also interesting to think of this idea and how you communicate with your child. It’s also interesting to think of it as an entrepreneur.

Giving Someone Flowers | Gather Goods Co

My primary love languages are words of affirmation & quality time, with words of affirmation being the most dominant. Though I don’t feel like I go around fishing for compliments, I do in reality need a lot of words of acknowledgement that I am recognized and seen, to feel whole. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I need to hear grand affirmative statements (though those are amazing – ha!), instead, simple recognition’s and thank-you’s and “hey, good job” go a REALLY long way for me. So when things get tough and I feel like I am pouring my whole self into things and don’t get that in return, business wise, it knocks me off balance. As an intensely introverted entrepreneur who feels like I am constantly “putting myself out there”, my ego can sometimes be especially fragile, as I’m sure are the egos of most other entrepreneurs who face tough decision making and intense output daily.  This is why it is especially important to seek out those around you who will lift you up when you need it and have a network of friends, supporters and encouragers behind and around you.

Affirmation Greeting Cards by Gather Goods CoAt it’s best, entrepreneurship is the most fulfilling thing, being able to follow your passions, skills and effort toward change and a world that you would like to put your stamp on. At it’s worst it can be a harrowing struggle of doubt and faith. I liken entrepreneurship in some ways to being an explorer in a jungle; you are in the middle of a new land, you have a vision and a plan, you know in your gut that promise lies just ahead on the other side, you are frantically cutting down tall plants with a machete, not really able to see the path ahead, but trusting, and listening to your inner compass and intuition, that it exists. The key I think in some ways, is not stopping and looking around you or you will begin to realize that you are in the middle of a jungle, in a potentially scary place with low visibility and unknown threats lurking around each corner. You begin to think “Will I ever get there? What If I am wrong?” And then sometimes, sometimes, you look behind you and realize that you have forged a new path but now you’ve even got some people following you which can be both inspiring and terrifying. That’s when the real panic starts to hit in, “what if” you think “I am leading these people astray – what if all of this path forging has no value or purpose?”

You are my favorite greeting card by Gather Goods Co

Clearly, this line of reasoning shows that I could use a mentor and maybe even a therapist. 😉 Most paths have already been trod by someone before, and I, or other entrepreneurs, shouldn’t have to seek out the totally unknown on my own own. This is valid, I should seek out that wisdom from other more seasoned entrepreneurs, but, as that introverted entrepreneur who feels like I am expending every bit of my energy in seeking and cutting and forging, I oftentimes don’t feel like I have any additional energy to expend on anything else business-wise. I know a lot of other entrepreneurs at this stage of business feel the same way.

So what is the short-term solution? It is in knowing what my primary love languages are and how they relate to me as an entrepreneur and because mine is “words of affirmation”, asking to receive the encouragement I need from those around me when it feels especially lacking. It is also in giving back to those around me: my employees, my network of encouragers, my customers, in the ways that they need and actively thinking about that too. Likewise, if you haven’t yet, think about yourself, and just as importantly, those in your life: your friends and those you admire too, especially the entrepreneurs, in the “Love Languages” perspective. How can you give them what they need so that they can feel validated and continue down the path that they are forging? Do they inspire you? How can you inspire them back? How can you be an encourager to someone who encourages you often in small ways that you might take for granted? What can you give back to them to enrich their lives too?

You can read more about each of the 5 love languages and take a quiz to find out which ones are yours here.