Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Peek Behind the Scenes at Handmade in KC by Alexis from X37 Adventures

My name is Alexis, co-owner of X37Adventures, along with Amy, who currently resides in London, while completing her master’s degree. [Go, Amy! Go!] We are brand new members of Handmade in KC.

In one part of my life, I am an artist. In another part of my life, I am a professional team builder. Both lenses contribute to my view of the world around me.

When Carolyn, from Hang Ups in KC, talked to me about X37Adventures joining Handmade in Kansas City, I was cautiously excited. Excitement coursed through me at the thought of having a group of like-minded artists who will join in productive, uplifting conversations. The extroverted team builder in me jumped for joy! At the same time, the red flags of groups of my past were raised to half-mast. I have seen too many groups like this become catty, petty, silly, gossipy (is that a word?), and downright negative. Do I need to say it? I will, just to make it clear for you. Those groups are almost always female dominated. My patience for pettiness doesn’t last long and cattiness can send me into the depths of frustration. Carolyn could sense my hesitance to joining a, at this time, female dominated group. She quickly listed off all of the members that I already knew. She was right, they all we creative people with wonderfully kind personalities, but I really needed to experience it to know that this group will be an exception to my past group experiences.

X37Adventures applied to become members of HIKC. We got in! We were quickly added to the facebook group & introduced to everyone! The warm welcomes flooded in. My excitement grew. A group dinner was scheduled just a week away. I put it on my calendar & started praying for our group to become a great team of artists.

The night of the dinner arrived. Amy, living in London, couldn’t attend with me of course. Missing one of my best friends / business partner was on my mind when I sat down at the table, surrounded by seven women I already knew & one I didn’t know. I was also ready for some fun…and prepared to slip out if things took a negative turn. That night we chatted, caught up on life, shared joys, encouraged each other, we even set up an impromptu photo studio right there at the table (see photo). Oh, and we LAUGHED. There was a LOT of laughter at that table.

Honestly, I have been pleasantly surprised by the support, respect, love, kindness, excitement & creativity that is brought to the table every time I interact with my new HIKC group. I can tell that these women are in this group for the right reasons. They accept me & Amy for who we are. I don’t find that they are only looking out for themselves, they truly are looking out for each individual artist in the group. Looking through my lens of team builder, I see not only great friendships growing in this group, but a genuinely healthy community. I look forward to the coming year of creativity and community that is ahead of us. 

If you are a Kansas City based artist or crafter and would like to apply to Handmade in Kansas City click here.  


1 comment:

  1. My inner introvert is always nervous when preparing for gatherings like this for the same reasons you listed. But I am quickly reminded every time I get together with this group how awesome all of you are and how welcoming you all are! I loved laughing with you all and catching up at dinner the other night. I miss you all! We must meet again soon! Thank you for letting me be a "Friend of HIKC"! Much love!

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