Updated: Feb 9
It was the perfect day. The sun was shining, the ground was covered in snow. It was our first YorksInstameet at the beautiful Priory Barn & Cottages near Wetherby and an excitement and buzz filled the air.
A few months ago, after years of juggling motherhood and two small businesses which I ran alone and from home (or the car or the supermarket or just about anywhere I could grab a precious few minutes) I could see the huge potential benefits to myself and others of a like-minded creative community coming together to support, help and inspire each other.
Instagram proved an amazing, flexible and informal way of connecting with other people beyond the four walls of home and I built some wonderful relationships with other creatives. We all had questions, information, tips to share - but each of us had so little time.
It was then I had the crazy idea to try and get us all in a room so we could exchange war stories, share our experiences and help to inspire each other to grow our creative businesses.
It was that crazy idea that brought so many of us to Priory Barn & Cottages on 30th January to meet fellow small business owners with the intention of building a support network to advise, motivate and inspire, whilst also learning how to up our Instagram game from the wonderful Queen Beady (@queenbeady).
Queen Beady has been blogging and Instagramming since 2011 and gave a heartening and motivating talk sharing her knowledge and passion for photography and this vastly growing social media platform that is Instagram.
She gave some invaluable advice around how to use social media to your advantage as a creative small business and we could all learn lessons from the experiences she shared with us and the incredibly interactive Q&A session at the end of her talk - I'm always fascinated to hear the questions other people ask, knowledge sharing at its best.
Queen Beady also talked about growing your own community - something close to our hearts and one of the key drivers behind setting up our Instameet.
It's fair to say Louise and I were blown away by the number of people that wanted to join us yesterday and the support this little project has received so far. The place was full of excitement and bursting to the seams with inspiring people representing all sorts of creative industries.
One particular creative in our midst deserves a special mention here - the amazing Charlotte of Charlotte Clemie Photography who photographed the event and produced these beautiful images.
Now, I won't lie, last night I was exhausted! But today, I am relieved and full of positivity.
I'm relieved firstly, that people turned up... but more importantly, I'm relieved that I'm not the only one who believed in the overwhelming benefits of a supportive network to keep me motivated, inspired and on track to grow my businesses into the best they can be.
So my thanks go to all of you who showed up, braved the ice and snow to get to us and supported us and each other. What an amazing start to 2019, I can't wait to see what the rest of the year holds for our community.