The Company You Keep

Okie Crowe took the stage in my last make: Tulsa blog, Dance Like Nobody Is Watching.

“Testing!  Testing!  Ahem!  Is this thing on?”  [TAPPING ON THE MICROPHONE.]  Uh, now that I am on stage, what the heck do I say?  Oh no, what if the crowd does not understand my song?  What can I do to help them see my unique vision as an artist?  It could be a tough crowd.  I am going to need some help getting this party rolling.  Who can I call on for support, advice, and inspiration?

“It’s the same old scene

It’s the company you keep…”

Thankfully, Okie Crowe has lots of friends, family, fans, and cheerleaders!  With all of these great folks backing me each day, starting my own business is rewarding, but more work than I could have imagined.  There are momentous adventures, disappointing episodes, and times when the rewards overflow.  There are thankless days and nights worrying how to keep the pace and tears of strife to push Okie Crowe out of her nest to finally spread her wings to fly.  To soar, this bird has been helped with a nudge.  Networking, getting involved in organizations, and supporting other local businesses have all helped this fledgling get her start.

“…It’s a backstage drag

It’s too late, it’s too bad

It’s funny how the time has changed

Like a sea sick fool

With nothing to lose

And little to gain

Just a hat full of rain

To hold my tears of love for this song…”

By surrounding myself with creative and knowledgeable resources, my business is strengthened daily.  The people backstage really help make a difference.  I met a super sweet couple at one of the first few craft shows Okie Crowe ever did.  I ended up selling my items in their store, which has now become Made: The Indie Emporium Stores.  That same duo, Christine and Thom, also introduced me to the wonders of make: Tulsa and Indie Emporium.  Thank goodness for crafty folks in the community reaching out to other businesses to help them do the same!

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Being new to business, I have tried to observe other successful businesses and business owners to learn from them.  Even if the businesses differ from mine, watching how they operate offers inspiration, advice, and potential insight to what it takes to be successful in my own business.  I noticed that in-state customers really love buying products made in Oklahoma.  A successful business I admired displayed the Made in Oklahoma logo at events, in their store, and on products.  I researched the Made in Oklahoma organization and soon became a member as well.  Identifying groups of interest can be a great benefit to a business.  Made in Oklahoma provides me with useful information and special member rates for events, access to special products, helps me sport my Okie pride, and promotes Okie Crowe at Made in Oklahoma

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As a member of American Homebrewers Association, I have expanded my beer brewing knowledge and resources with super sweet Member Deals and other perks.

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What organizations do you belong to for assistance with your creative process, personal fulfillment, or educational pursuit?  How do you make a difference?  What do you do to get involved?  Who is backstage at your show?

 

 

 

 

2 Responses to “The Company You Keep”

  1. Sam

    Great post Kelli! It’s so true–as an artist you need to surround yourself with other creative people. I think the first thing I ever did when I learned about steampunk art was to immerse myself in blogs and facebook steampunk groups. The internet can be a great place to find a foothold until you find (or start) groups in your area.

  2. Holly

    I can say that I keep good company, because I hang out with awesome people like you! You did a nice job of promoting a sense of community among crafters and businesses. This post made me glad to know you. :-)

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