Increasingly women are coming together in support of one another and various causes— from rallies on the streets to social media. Why should the creative community be any different?
Two Maryland-based organizations, Speakable Joi, which helps solopreneurs balance life and hustle through community and courses; and Women Creatives Chat, a community and resource for women of diverse artistic disciplines have partnered to present Cocktails & Creatives: A Sip & Shop Event at Impact Hub Baltimore located at 10 E. North Avenue in the Station North Arts District on Saturday, April 28, 2018 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit Mikey’s Miracle Foundation, a non-profit organization which provides support services to cancer patients and their families.
Event attendees can enjoy complementary cocktails, sponsored by Gifted by Grace Financial Service; and appetizers, all while shopping handcrafted jewelry; African-inspired apparel and accessories; products for the hair, skin and body; and visual artwork. There is also music from Queen of the Turntables, a performance by Baltimore-based hip-hop artist Nefertiitii, and an opportunity to win prizes from sponsors.
Book lovers may connect with writers at the Authors’ Corner featuring works ranging from fiction to self help, memoir and children’s literature; presenting writers include: Valerie Keys, D. Antoinette, Rochelle Soetan and Mia Loving. This diverse mix of women creatives runs the gamut in age, artistic discipline and experience.
Sillie Mugo, a young Kenyan artist, who is selling her colorful abstract art pieces said, “Growing up in Kenya allowed me endless color inspiration from the colorful tribal fabrics to the lush Botanical Gardens. My vibrant abstracts are my way of telling my stories on canvas. I hope that everyone who experiences my art is instantly uplifted.”
Mugo is new to Maryland and feels the opportunity to build relationships with other creative entrepreneurs and like-minded, women is exciting.
Ché Vaughn, another vendor who creates handcrafted bath and body products through her business, Ché Naturelles, echos Mugo’s feeling about the benefits of networking with creative entrepreneurs: “Being in community with other women strengthens my business by providing me with a positive network of mothers and entrepreneurs working hard to build their businesses and brands, just as I am. We truly respect and value each others creativity and successes, which ultimately inspires me to go harder in my own business pursuits.”
Nearly everything about the process of creating her products inspires Vaughn, including details such as “measuring, handling and mixing all natural butters, oils and aromatic essential oils… It just feels right, like I’m truly in my element doing what God intended me to do. It’s healing for my soul to make natural self care products. It feels good to do what I love [and] give someone else a piece of my creativity.”
Like Vaughn, Sam Smith, owner of New Vintage by Sam, who creates and sells handcrafted jewelry, is inspired by a wide array of elements and creates using various mediums including design, modeling, styling and directing. Smith says, “fashion and art have always been a means of expression so choosing one over the other is never an option.” And collaborating with other women is also a source of both strength and inspiration for Smith, who adds: “Surrounding myself with other females has propelled my creativity and business acumen. The way women work independently and together is phenomenal. I couldn’t imagine feeling nearly as inspired without a pack of courageous women leading the way, standing beside me, and holding me down.”
Perhaps this collective passion to create and cultivate community is partially behind the growing number of women entrepreneurs. Overall, the number of women-owned businesses grew by 74 percent between 1997 and 2015— a rate that’s 1.5 times then the national average, according to the recently published “2015 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report” commissioned by American Express and detailed in Fortune Magazine.
Event organizers want to foster community for creative women in business, as they feel this group, particularly women of color, are often overlooked in terms of resources and affirming spaces. “It only made sense to combine our [Women Creatives Chat and Speakable Joi] resources and passions to create this project. Together, I know we can foster an environment where creative women feel celebrated and supported by us and the community at large,” said Joi Turner, founder of Speakable Joi.
The event is free, but registration is required. You will find unique gifts for your Mom, too! To register, visit: http://bit.ly/cocktailsandcreatives.