I was recently interviewed about being an entrepreneur. The engaging young man asked me several questions about my experience developing my "brand" and the many platforms over which I share my craft.
One question, in particular, stood out the most. He asked what mentors I had had along the way to build my business. My mind immediately went to the idea of what mentors had helped me with running the business side of things, such as how to edit videos, what to upload, how to use YouTube, etc. I drew a blank.
You see, I started sharing craft videos as a hobby, because it is what I love, so I did not reach out to others in search of a mentor on how to build a buisiness. I was sort of "running a business" before I realized I was!
The truth is, that although I never sought out a successful crafter to guide me or mentor me along, I owe much to many people, most of whom will never know that they influenced me. Who are those people?
Other YouTubers I think the very first craft channel I subscribed to was Corene's Creations. I was fascinated by her Smash books. I looked up to her as an example of a crafter who had beautiful projects and a beautiful channel. So many YouTube crafters are a part of who I am today, owing to just being themselves. Their love for the craft inspires me, and I have become friends with several of them.
Craft Friends I have met the most amazing people through crafting, and we connect at least weekly. They are my inspiration to keep going, to keep trying, and to keep crafting. They listen to my crazy ideas and tell me if I should pursue them (or just take a nap instead!). They also send me stunning craft projects they've made for me and great video links to inspire me.
My Subscribers My "Lolly Peeps" are so encouraging. They are why I do what I do. Their comments keep me going. They offer suggestions, encourage me, and even let me know when my project is not their favorite. I've had the honor of being able to meet several subbies on their travels, and it's the highlight of my "business."
My Problem Solvers I now have craft business friends to whom I send out the occasional "S.O.S." when I'm struggling with a particular problem, such as YouTube glitches, Facebook page glitches, Cameo operation glitches, blog glitches, Etsy glitches, and SVG creation glitches. Dani, Amira, Sybil, Lorrie, and Michele have gotten me through many mini crises.
My Facebook Admins I could never do what I do on Facebook without such wonderful crafty friends helping me run groups, giving me advice, and being such inspirations.
Facebook Craft Groups Facebook groups inspire me to create and share. "Crafty Vera and Friends" group inspires me to engage in crafty challenges, too, which stretches my pre-conceived limits.
My Own Design Team I have an amazing "team of one" in Connie. Her artwork is phenomenal, and I am proud that she can take my digital images and create things I had never dreamed of!
Shop Owners This may surprise you, but I am inspired by all the crafty shop owners I meet. Their ambition and creativity fuel my desire to create!
My Family Although not all of them appreciate crafting, they are eager to listen to my journey and help support an environment in which I can create. Many of them share their own creative exploits, too, and I'm proud to know them!
And YOU! Thank you so much for supporting my blog and reading my ramblings.
I'd like to answer that question again. Have I had mentors along the way? Yes, definitely!
And I'm thankful for you all!