Pat Bailey

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Pat Bailey is a friend, mentor, and a beautiful free-spririt who has taught me to manifest the hell out of my dreams. I met Pat through the interwebs and attended her free Instagram workshop in San Francisco. This was about 3 years ago: before Girl Gang Craft, before I was really selling my art publicly, and even before my 500 hr Yoga Teacher Training. She taught me the BASICS, and when I mean basics I mean basic hashtags, how to present yourself, plus she told me to archive all my college party pics that I still had on my instagram (which I have yet to do).

Recently we re-connected and she called me into her Hell Yes Life. I participated in the HYL Portal and then the Academy. I built my brand with Pat shouting my name from the sidelines.

Pat is a travel writer, an entrepreneur, and a practicing yogi. She eats, breathes, and sleeps her Hell Yes Life. She is someone who follows her heart, manifests her dreams, and finds herself in places like Paris because that’s where she wanted to be and she made it happen. If it’s not a Hell Yes, than it's a no!

I interviewed Pat to get the inside scoop on her brand and balancing it all to have it all.

How’d you get started with this whole instagram thing?

I literally created my Instagram account when Instagram started because my sisters told me about it and it looked like a really cool way to share things with them, and in general.  My @patbailey account began when Instagram began, nearly 7 years ago and it started as a “moment sharing” account where I shared my #ootd and lattes and every day things…it was a creative outlet for me and I used it in a way that it was originally intended to be used, to share everyday things with people I love.  This start evolved into what it is now, but the start was simple with a simple intention to share what I love.

What was the catalyst for you to be really being SEEN on the platform?

I think people who do well on Instagram don’t necessarily have the original intention to be “seen,” I think we are all being authentic with our stories and creating compelling content and this creates a collection or story that a community is interested in and then this community grows…everything else evolves out of this I believe.  This is what happened with me.  My original content changed when I found my yoga practice again and I started sharing this practice on Instagram daily, then I had a big heartbreak happen in my life and I started writing poetry and I shared my story and used the Instagram space as a creative outlet to heal.  In addition to this I started sharing my cycling in the space and combining all of these things.  While I was doing all of this, which was really authentically me and my story with no solid intention to be “seen,” more and more people started to see me and engage with my story and my community started to grow.  During this time Instagram put me on their “Suggested Users” list in 2015 and Bicycling Magazine featured me in an issue for cycling and yoga and this was certainly a pivotal time for my story, content and account to be “seen."


What is the biggest thing you’ve ever manifested?

I love this question, I manifest big things every single day.  Probably the biggest thing that I’ve manifested is my Hell Yes Life.  Every single day I live a life on my terms doing things that I love.  I’ve designed this life to do work that I have created (my own brand and academy), that I know for certain is my purpose.  I do creative things my heart loves (luxury travel writing, poetry, content creating) and I have designed this life to do these things and this work from anywhere in the world, because I am open to it being “anywhere” I have manifested living in my dream city of Paris currently which is where I am living, working, and creating. 

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What is your advice for those that want to follow their hearts but also pay the bills?

I don’t see these two things as separate things.  My official answer to this question would be that if you feel like “following your heart” and “paying the bills” is two separate things, or independent from each other or not connected, related or possible, then that will be your reality.  Instead I choose to think, say and believe: “I follow my heart which creates opportunities and abundance for me to pay my bills,” and this is my reality.


Can you give our GGC readers an insight scoop on the traveler influencer thing? How do you get to sooo many fabulous places? Is it on your dime? How do you make it work?

I would love, love, love to share every detail with your group and anyone reading this - none of it is exclusive or a big secret and everyone reading this can have access to and create this opportunity and reality.  There isn’t one way to do it but what I do believe and know is that the “traveler influencer thing” is based on currency, just like other types of work.  In my case the currency is trade: I travel to places that host me in exchange for sharing the experience.  In order for this trade to be perfect and effective both parties must have something the other one wants/needs.  The properties have the story and experience that I would like, and I have the audience, skill and creativity to share their story and the experience.  It is a win-win.  So, the first bit of insight is that you must have something of value that travel partners need or want.  Can you write?  Do you have an audience that loves what you do and is influenced by it?  Are you a photographer or creative that can create beautiful content for them?  Most travel influencers have one of these or several of these skills and they offer them in exchange (or for pay) to travel partners.  We are writers, content creators, photographer, videographers, ambassadors, models, etc.

I decided last year that I wanted to add travel writing to my life and creative projects, I had been traveling on my own up until this time and I published my poetry book and I love to write and tell stories and share my travels.  I also had a solid community on Instagram.  At this point my “currency” that I could pitch to travel partners was: content creation, sharing on social and writing…but I didn’t have a single travel writing piece.  I could have started my own travel writing blog which many people do, but I realized that if I wrote for an established blog that I loved that this would be better leverage for me (and I honestly did not want to focus my time and energy on a new travel blog) - so that is what I did.  I was introduced to my current editor by a friend, and I write for The Fit Traveller.  Now when I pitch a travel brand or partner I can say that I have influence (nearly 100K Followers on Instagram), I can create beautiful content (I’ve been successfully doing this for years, and that I am a luxury travel writer with a portfolio of writing (my page of content can be found here on The Fit Traveller: https://thefittraveller.com/author/pat-bailey/); this is a compelling pitch for my brand partners to host me in exchange for this exposure and sharing and we both win.

Last year many of the trips I planned were on my dime, I traveled to the properties and they hosted me.  This was my investment in my new idea while I was building my portfolio and proving my talent and skills.  I traveled on my own to places like Mexico, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Italy, Corsica, France…and I built my portfolio along the way.  At the end of last year I was invited on my first Press Trip which was my first travel writing experience that was fully paid, and since then into this year I have been invited on many trips hosted by travel partners, properties, agencies and tourism boards that are fully hosted.  It is indeed a dream job, and it is something I feel is well-deserved because I put in the work and time and investment in myself to do this - I also take the work and opportunities very seriously and I’m incredibly grateful and I know this shows in my work every single day.

I think the biggest misconception is that being a travel influencer or travel writer is easy and pays well/is fully sustainable.  No matter what it looks like, it is not easy, it is work.  The best influencers and writer make it look easy as they are sharing the work, but behind the scenes it is a lot of work capturing content, sharing in real time, managing travel, keeping up with the itinerary, writing, etc.  And, rarely are influencers and writers fully sustaining themselves on being a travel influencer or writing alone - most of us have additional forms of income that off-set the travel we must pay for on our own, additional expenses, and everyday life expenses.  Many of us have additional brands, work other jobs in addition to the travel, up-sell additional content, etc. to travel partners, etc.

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Does your heart belong to a specific place?

This is a popular question that many ask people who travel a lot and it is also the hardest question for me to answer - I love so many places!  What I can tell you is that I let my heart decide on a place right away and I hear my heart clearly and quickly when I land in a new place.  I know almost instantly if a place feels good in my heart or feels like a “heart place.”  Some of my favorite heart places are: Paris, Thailand and Bali, Italy and Greece, Nicaragua, and newly Cook Islands.  To choose one of these wouldn’t be possible…but I’ve currently chosen Paris which is speaking to my heart the loudest these days.


What is your favorite thing about traveling?

This is another hard question!  Traveling is addictive, the more you travel the more you want to travel…and now when I’m not traveling it feels strange and I get the itch to move or go.  I love traveling because it exposes me to the world: people, cultures, beliefs, food...and each new experience teaches me something about the world and myself. I love the empowerment it has given me, I travel mostly by myself and this is a beautifully liberating and powerful feeling.  I love how light I’ve gotten and how traveling more and more each year has taught me to really focus on what matters, instead of material things I focus on experiences.  I love exploring brand-new places and feeling anonymous.  But mostly, the more I travel the more I realize that we are all so much more alike than we are different, this has been a really beautiful realization as I experience people and places all over the world.


What is your favorite thing about instagram?

My favorite thing about Instagram is how small it has made the world, partly by the intention for this to be true that I place on the app, my vibration with it and the energy I attach to it, and partly by design of the platform.  What was once not accessible is literally at our fingertips, people who we may not have ever connected with are magically our new friend, connections, etc.  I have experienced so much magic over the seven years I have been on Instagram.  Magic in experience, magic in abundance, magic in connection, magic in having a space where I can create my own mini universe and glean all kinds of intentional things from it!


What do you think are the components to making a good photo?

First and foremost a good photo is one that you LOVE, it is a HELL YES for you.  You love everything about it.  Great content tells a story, it invites the viewer in, it is edited well, styled beautifully and shows thought and creativity.  


Any advice on how to stay grounded when running your own business?

Staying grounded in life is important in general.  I stay grounded by focusing on ritual, discipline and routines that keep me in my heart, connected to spirit and to myself.  Grounded means connected to myself, to what matters to me.  I stay grounded by meditating, by connecting to my faith, by listening to myself, and by focusing on following my heart and intuition.  All of these things are helpful when you add anything into the mix, including running your own business.  Taking care of yourself first, everything is integrated, means everything else is easier to manage beyond this.


What is the Hell Yes Academy?

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The Hell Yes Academy is a 12-week program in three parts: creation, management and elevation that began as a program to help people with their brands, and it has evolved to be a space for people to shift and evolve in life as well as with what they are creating.  I bring all of the parts of me: teacher, guide, healer, yogi, entrepreneur into the program’s content and I create and hold space for the students I have the honor of guiding to feel fully seen and supported as they learn how to create in their life, manage themselves, their brand and their lives, and elevate themselves, and their brands.  The program is an intimate one, 7-10 students participate each quarter, group classes happen online and students come together from all over the world.  Each student has a Mentor who is a graduate of the program and every single student has unlimited access to me and weekly one-on-one calls.  The program is a holistic approach to branding and business with beautiful integration of intentional living and mindful work.  Students are working on their passion projects, their dharma, their heart work and it is my biggest honor in life to do this heart work of mine and witness their evolution and shifts in this sacred space.  The Academy will be 2 years old on January 1st and it currently has 41 graduates of the program.  I will take the Academy public for it’s 2nd birthday and also launch a Passport concept which will bring all of us together in real life in the coming months.  It has become more than a program, it is community…family, and something I am really proud of.


What is your favorite thing about helping other ladies trying to start their own businesses?

My very favorite thing about helping women is a deep knowing that I am doing what I am here to do, and feeling fully appreciated and seen for doing this work.  Nothing feels better than this.  This is selfless work and it feels incredible to be the catalyst for someone, anyone, to make a shift, evolve, create something they love, live a bigger/happier life, feel better…etc.  I feel so grateful to be able to do this in my life, and to be able to serve in this way.


What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned in this lifetime of entrepreneurship?

I’ve learned so many lessons as an entrepreneur!  But the biggest thing I’ve learned in my lifetime is that who you are as a person and the work you put into this has everything to do with what you create in your life.  The lesson is to work on yourself to create the foundation for your life in every way: personally and for business.  And, I’ve learned the power of intention; intention is everything.


Any advice for our readers on how to stay positive?

Staying positive is a choice, just like anything else.  I know sometimes staying positive seems beyond our control and certainly we all experience extenuating circumstances that challenge this, but ultimately even when things are beyond our control we have a choice in that moment for how we respond, or our outlook.  Choose to be happy, choose to be positive, choose to look at sadness, difficulty, challenges as a great teacher or contrast for you.  We are as positive as we choose to be, as happy as we choose to be.  If you don’t believe me, next time you aren’t feeling super positive, smile.  Just try it.  It is impossible not to start feeling more positive instantly if you are smiling…see?  We have the power to instantly choose to change how we feel.

Find out more about Pat Bailey and her Hell Yes Life :

insta: @patbailey

site: www.thehellyeslife.com

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Phoebe sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang Craft.

follow her on instagram & check out her site.

Katie Dean

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Katie Dean and I met a few years ago at Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. Her smile was so warm, her booth was swarming with ladies, and you could tell she had a real knack for connecting with her community. Her jewels are dainty and perfect for everyday wear. I have a few of them myself, and can't seem to take them off. Every time I see Katie I am blown away by her authenticity and kindness (also her cute outfits). 

I asked her a few questions about her success and her business practice. 

What were you doing before, and how did you first get into jewelry?

Before I started my line I was working as a styling assistant and dressing celebrities and people in the spotlight for their red carpet events, magazine editorials, etc. It was a really fun but also intense job. I met so many amazing people but the truth about styling is that 5% of the job is creative and the other 95% of the time is shlepping the clothes around, emails and errands. At the end of the day it wasn’t my passion and I wanted to get back to my roots of making something with my own hands. After a while, when I wasn’t feeling creatively fulfilled, I started to do art projects at night when I would get home from my styling job. It awakened me because I was re-energized by creating. Making jewelry was one of the art projects I started. :)

When did Katie Dean Jewelry become your full-time business?

I worked for almost three years doing both my styling job and running KDJ. I had a lot of success from the beginning because people in the spotlight were wearing it so there was media attention on the jewels fairly fast. But even so, it takes time to create a loyal customer base and get orders on the regular. After I had a steady stream of orders coming in and I felt that the company was sustainable, I started doing it full time.

What do you love about Oakland?

I love the authenticity of it. I moved here from LA and I honestly still love it there because I’ve been there since I was 18 years old but I do feel that Oakland has a realness to it that is harder to find (sometimes) in LA. I have a whole running list of places that I have discovered in Oakland (mainly coffee shops!) like The Cro Cafe, Highwire Coffee, Flowerland, etc. Also, there’s a lot of support within the creative community here which is really refreshing.

Why do you live partially in LA?

I partially live in LA because my entire line is made there. I’m a really big believer in keeping my pieces made in California. I may eventually move my production to Oakland but we’ll see!

Who are your customers and how do you relate to them?

My customers are women between the ages of 25 - 35. They are for the girl who cares for quality jewelry and loves a dainty, minimal vibe.

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When did you first start hiring help?

I actually independently contract people per the type of work I need help with. I started doing this about a year and a half ago when I was traveling almost every weekend and I just couldn’t keep up with the demand. I needed to sleep at night. ;)

How do you stay hands-on in your company without over-exhausting yourself?

That’s a tough one! It gets easier all the time to balance things out but man, when it’s a business that you’ve started by yourself from the ground up I think it’s hard for people to let go. That’s definitely been the case with me. Jon, my husband, helps a lot with this! He’s always planning fun things for us to do and it makes me get up from my desk and take a break. I think making lists helps a lot and prioritizing them. Keeping things in perspective is also a huge part of staying balanced with work / life. I always remind myself that I’m really fortunate and it’s not a life or death situation if I don’t answer an email right away.

What is your favorite way to stay grounded?

Oh man! I don’t know if I have just one answer for this! On a day to day basis, working out helps me a lot. Keeps my head clear and gives me a break from technology which is nice! Equally though, going on date nights, making plans with friends, spending as much time with family and traveling — those all are key to helping me stay grounded.

What is the biggest thing you’ve ever manifested?

Hmmm.. I’d say, about the time when I was on the edge of going full time, I needed to make a very big wholesale order come through so that I could buy a bunch of new supplies and also start paying myself. I didn’t know how I was going to do it or where it was going to come from but I just decided that I had to create that. I booked a flight to NY and started to email people that I had met at various events or knew through another person. From that I made a few meetings and when I left NY I had a deal with a company to make a few thousand pieces for them. It was pretty magical.

What is one piece of advice you can give us at GGC about following your dreams and still paying the bills?

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For me a very practical piece of advice that I got which I like to pass along to others is, don’t quit your day job. It may not be what you were expecting to hear but honestly, starting a business is a lot all on it’s own. Don’t add unnecessary stress to your life by quitting your day job and not being able to pay your bills. You can do both and just know that that work load won’t last forever so just have fun with it. Set yourself goals of what you want to accomplish each month and break it down by week. After you’ve done that you can set aside blocks of time in your calendar like before or after your day job to get those plans into action. You could also meet up with a friend for ‘work dates’ to focus on your side hustle so you’re doing two things at once. Friends + work!

What is the biggest lesson you’ve ever learned?

I would say for me, it’s not just one thing. It’s a few different things combined like you have to know that NO ONE has a magical business plan that will instantly make them successful. There are some ‘rules’ I guess but at the end of the day everybody’s way of starting and running a business is different. From there I would say that you have to be willing to learn new things and take advice from others but also make sure you’re in tune with your own perceptions. If something feels off, don’t do it. Don’t sign the dotted line of anything if you’re having doubts.  

Also, on a more practical subject invest time, energy and money into your marketing materials. Especially if you are going to be based online, you have to make sure your imagery and how you present yourself impinges on the person viewing your website (and social media platforms). They should be able to take a quick glance at your website or Instagram and instantly get a feel for the personality of the brand.

What is next for KDJ?

We just re-did our website to improve our user experience online, which was a huge deal for us! (would love for you to check it out on www.katiedeanjewelry.com) And we’re also in the process of re-doing all of our product and lifestyle images. It’s a fairly big project so we’re aiming to have that all updated by January of 2019. Also, since I’m very involved in the social media side of the business, we’re going to have a Shop My Instagram page on the website where you can shop entire looks that I’ve posted. We are evolving to be not only a destination for jewelry accessories but also a destination for inspiration when it comes to overall style, beauty and travel.

I’ll also be traveling a lot doing events for the line through the end of the year. I announce all of our in-person events on our Instagram as well as on our email newsletter so feel free to follow along and be a part of the KDJ family on either or both of those platforms!

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Phoebe Sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang Craft.

follow her on instagram & check out her site.

Meghan Shimek

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By Phoebe Sherman

I’m sitting in Meghan Shimek’s bright loft, her live-work space on the cusp of Oakland and Alameda. Her room is long and rectangular. The bed is situated right next to a mess of fiber, weavings, and looms, which  are scattered amongst the village of legos that Megan and her son, Grey lovingly built. Above the long room is a loft where Grey sleeps. The space is a gentle chaos mashed with a serene light and deep inner knowing. Her pieces connote healing and softness within the organized disarray. Her cat makes an appearance to say hello.

If you haven’t heard of Meghan, you’ve been living under a rock, and you need to check out her website immediately. As a well-established fiber artist in the Bay Area, Megan’s work hangs in places such as The Assembly, Merchant Roots, and All Birds in  San Francisco. She is a staple at the largest craft fairs, including West Coast Craft, and has held various solo shows in the Bay Area, Portland, and in Paris.

Born in Flint, Michigan, Megan lived there until she was 27. After receiving degrees in both History and Nutrition, she moved to Washington D.C., where she did nutritional research at a farmer’s market and oversaw a program for food stamps.Meghan loved working with food and people, especially because, according to her, everyone is generally in a good mood at farmer’s markets. (so true). The spirit of D.C. just wasn’t quite for her though, and she wanted a change. She and her then boyfriend packed up their entire lives, and bought one-way tickets to San Francisco, both without jobs in the middle of a recession.

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She found a job working with Farmer’s Markets out here in California, and with that work, she became interested in Agricultural systems, focusing on where our food comes from and how it is  grown and raised. Through this work, she learned about how animals are raised for wool, which in turn led her to fiber. She had always “kinda knit and crocheted” since her teens and started to use fiber in her knitting.

When she went home to Michigan, her parents convinced her to take a class at the local yarn store. She took a workshop on weaving scarfs (these are the only two scarfs she has ever woven to this day) and then decided to try her hands at wall hangings. She just started playing, exploring, and became addicted to the art form. She woke up early in the morning to weave and when Grey went to bed at night or when he took a nap. She spent every chance she got at her loom.

A couple months later, Nate, her then husband, got a job offer in Arizona, and they all moved together as a family. Grey started preschool, and Meghan, once again, had extra time to weave. She found a store in town and took Navajo weaving, floor weaving, and spinning classes. She said “which I’m terrible at. I don’t spin. Like yarn spinning not exercise spinning, which I’m also sure I’d be terrible at.” She started to weave more and began to post on Instagram. At some point she opened a small online shop.

At the end of 2013, just one year after starting her business selling weavings, Jessa Carter contacted Megan, saying that she had been following Meghan’s work and wanted some pieces for a pop-up at her gallery in Seattle. At that point Megan was using yarn, found objects- like bark, frawns, and raw fleece (curly like when it’s just been sheared and not processed).

A couple months later, Megan and her family moved back to San Francisco, where Megan began teaching workshops on weaving and fiber arts Then another gallery contacted her in Oakland. “These little opportunities started to present themselves,.” Megan said. There had been discussion of her going “back to work,” but the world’s kinda collided and she was able to put her energy into weaving and was able to get a bit of an income. An Oakland gallery owner encouraged her to apply for West Coast Craft (at the time in its second year as a craft show), and got in.  

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Then, her father unexpectedly passed away. And two weeks later, her marriage fell apart. “The rug was just ripped out from underneath me. My whole life was all of a sudden not my life anymore,.” Megan said.

“Being able to weave is what saved me. It was so mediative, it was an expression of everything I was going through.”  According to Megan, weaving through these painful experiences allowed Megan to connect to others who had experienced loss as well, especially women.  

Being able to weave is what saved me. It was so mediative, it was an expression of everything I was going through. In our world, there is so much pain...there’s always war, there’s always death, and there are all these hard edges. I think this [my art] just feels really soft, feels really comforting, and it adds a softness and a texture to things that can speak to people. And [they connect to] knowing what I put into it, and where it came from, it came out of me.

She had spent a month in Michigan when her father passed, and when she returned she had to make pieces for West Coast Craft, with not much time left. She learned she could weave fast with roving. Roving is the step before wool is spun into yarn. It is fluffy and thick and kinda looks like pieces of cotton candy. “Working with the material itself felt so good...it was really healing,” she said. “I could move my whole body. With tapestry weaving, you’re sitting there and beating it down. You don’t get to move as much.” Megan began getting more recognition from roving because of the unique quality to her work.. “No one was working with roving in this way,” she said.  “This style I started to develop was my own. It was something really different.”

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When she first started working with roving, she stuck to neutrals, whites and greys and blacks which are colors she usually wears, and also Grey’s name is Grey! In 2015 she started working with blues and greens, selecting only a few colors at a time due to the high cost of roving.

To her amazement, she sold two large scale pieces at West Coast Craft, in addition to some smaller pieces. To her it felt like she had found her calling. She was doing something for herself, She was doing something that was recognized and that no one else was doing. Weaving with roving was not a common thing. “I knew I was an artist, when I saw that I had done something no one had done before. It wasn’t informed by anyone else’s work. I spent time developing what I was doing and finding my own voice in this work. To this day if people see this work, they knows it’s mine. That’s what defines when you become an artist.”

She got a contract with the fashion retailer Splendid  to make a piece for all of their American stores. They wanted indigos and whites.She inched her way through purples and some “creamsicle” colors and then last year she discovered red.

Growing up, Megan rarely wore red (she claims it was due to her “rosy cheeks”), and she generally stayed away from using red in her work. This changed, however, after seeing a dancer wearing a bit of red roving interact with one of her pieces (a woven cocoon) at a show. Megan thought it was extremely powerful, and changed her mind about red.

After the 2016 election, Megan describes a time when she felt like “All of my nerve endings were on the outside of my body. I was so sensitive, so upset. How were we going to get through this? And I think all of us did. We felt very raw, it was very difficult.” These sentiments inspired a piece titled Exposed, made up of two smaller white weavings connected with red roving. That was her first red piece, and she decided to run with the idea, next doing a show made up entirely of red pieces

Today, Megan is working with a lot of creams, pinks, and earthy tones. She still loves working with the “creamsicle” palette and neutrals, but likes to experiment.

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Meghan gives the ladies of Girl Gang Craft some advice:

  1. Don’t undervalue your work.

Price your work to sell, not to sell fast. When you lower your prices, you lose value. “This is a creative expression, it’s not an hourly rate”

      2.  When you’re first starting out, say “yes” to everything. If something isit’s outside of your comfort zone, do it anyway-maybe you’ll love it, maybe you’ll hate it, and that is okay. Once you are more established then learn to say “no”. Say no to those opportunities that don’t nourish you. Create balance.

       3.  Keep on working, and don’t give up after rejection.

 

Meghan serves as an inspiration to artists throughout the Bay Area. Her work is unique, consistent, playful, and brings a vibrancy to any residential or commercial space. Her calming paletes and literally soft pieces bring a gentle cohesiveness to any environment. She is a joy to talk to. Her works, like her thoughts, are decisive, steady, and warm.


You can find more about Meghan and her work at https://www.meghanshimek.com.

 All photos taken by  Phoebe Sherman . 

All photos taken by Phoebe Sherman

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Phoebe Sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang Craft.

follow her on instagram & check out her site. 

Copy editor: Aviva Maslow

Source: meghanshimek.com

The Girl Gang Guide to Nutrition

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By Carly Wertheim

How can it be that so many amazing, powerful, gorgeous women struggle with food and body image? How can it be that something as simple as the act of eating can become so complicated? 

Mixed food messages, rampant diet culture, hyper-industrialized food production and weight-obsessed media create a conflict. We stop listening to the wisdom of our bodies and move away from the traditional ways of eating that have nourished generations. 

If you’ve ever found yourself wondering why all the kale, juices cleanses, and super foods in the world aren’t bringing you happiness, this article is for you. Rather than follow the fads, here are six bites of juicy food philosophy to help guide the way you think about and engage with eating.

 

1. Eat to Nourish

Food is nourishment. In each bite there is information for both your body and your mind. We consume nutrients that converse with DNA, code for proteins, and impact biological processes like immunity and cell division. We swallow emotions and values that imbed into the psyche. Take in food that makes you feel your best, most vibrant self. Do it in a way that cultivates pleasure and gratitude rather than guilt and shame. Know that there are no good or bad foods, simply foods that promote your wellness and foods that do not. Make it a practice, meal after meal, day after day, to choose what replenishes you and gives you the power to go out into the world to live your purpose.

Tip: If you’re confused with what to eat, try asking yourself this simple question, “What does my body need right now to feel nourished?” Then trust yourself enough to listen to that answer. 

 

2. Keep it Real

There is no best diet. Each woman must learn which foods make her feel her best. However, we do know that an eating pattern based on real, whole, nutrient dense foods is key for optimal health. Choose a full color spectrum of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains and legumes, sustainably-raised animal proteins, and nutritious fats like nuts, seeds, avocados, and olive oil. Limit added sweeteners, refined grains, and highly processed, packaged foods.

Tip: Become a savvy shopper by filling up your grocery cart with foods from the outside edges of the grocery store. Look to have every color of the rainbow in your cart at check out. When you venture into the inner aisles, read nutrition labels and choose products with ingredients you can actually pronounce and picture. 

 

3. Stay Flexible

Some years you might try to stick to a vegetarian diet, but some days you may feel like you just really need some animal protein. Listen to your body’s cravings and work to bring balance through food. Do it without judgment, without an ego. Be open to try something new when the old stops working. Our bodies are constantly changing, so it makes sense that our diets will too.

Tip: Check in with yourself from time to time and reflect on what has been working for you nutritionally. What hasn’t been working? What might you shift moving forward? 

 

4. Get Creative

Yes, food is nourishment, medicine, and information, but feeding yourself can also be an opportunity for creativity. One way to make eating a joyful, pleasurable experience is embrace the idea that food can be nourishing and taste amazing. Make your food as vibrant, bold, and exciting as you are by playing with colors, textures, and flavors. Not only will you elevate your meals, you’ll be more likely to feel satisfied after eating.

Tip: Take your taste buds on a tour around the globe and never leave your kitchen. By building unique flavor combinations with herbs and spices, you can capture the essence of your favorite cuisines. Want to go to Mexico? Play with cumin, cayenne, oregano, cilantro, and lime. Italy? Experiment with basil, fennel, red pepper flakes, garlic, and parsley.

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5. Honor the Earth

Food is a direct link to the natural world. By eating locally and seasonally we can cultivate a stronger connection to the land where we live and support ways of producing food that replenish rather than deplete our planet. Luckily, we can vote with our forks three times a day for the sustainable practices we believe in.

Tip: Choose local, seasonal, and sustainably grown food whenever possible. Cut back on food waste by saving your vegetable scraps for compost or stock. Support your regional farmers by trying celery root in winter and bitter greens in spring. Reject the food scarcity mindset and instead show gratitude for this planet’s abundance. 

 

6. Build Community

Coming together at the dinner table is a ritual all cultures enjoy. Shared meals are an incredible way to foster community, connect with loved ones, and strengthen ties to cultural traditions. Slow down to savor whatever’s on the menu with good company in a calm, enjoyable, and relaxed environment.

Tip: Make communal meals a regular practice in your life. Host a potluck and ask each guest to bring a traditional dish from their culture. If you work in an office, set out a time each day to eat with your colleagues rather than eating in front of the computer screen. 

 

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CArly Wertheim

is a health-supportive chef and nutritionist who works with people of all ages to develop their culinary confidence and create foods that nourish the body and spirit. She is a candidate for a master's degree in Nutrition and Education from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute’s Chef’s Training Program. She can often be found wandering the farmer’s market, is an avid hiker, and daydreams about vegetable gardens, redwood forests, and new recipes for her website, www.CarlysWellnessKitchen.com. Follow her on instagram for culinary inspiration and no-nonsense nutrition education.

Revealing Myself | Originally Posted on Lace in Light Blog

 Original Oil Painting by  Phoebe Sherman.  

Original Oil Painting by Phoebe Sherman. 

Originally Posted on Lace in Light Blog

Feminism came to me like a close, outraged friend. A feminism you could have coffee with and discuss the implications of the events around you.

I grew up in a privileged family in Marin County, but I understood this idea of justice from a young age.

I was a “bossy” girl, and later a “tease.”

I was taught by my peers that leadership was not welcome in female form. And later, that woman were meant to be looked at and conquered sexually.

I fed into this. I offered my body up to the world, gave this shell of skin to the people around me. I was not me. I was a service, an exhibition, an illusion of what was. I played the part. I was an actress, a chameleon, I could be whatever you wanted me to be.

I learned to throw up at 13. My friend taught me one day in the middle school bathrooms at Hall Middle School. She taught me how to hate myself. How to wear thongs under skirts and spin around on the field so boys could catch a glimpse.

I continued casual bulimia into my freshman year of high school. My body was different than the other girls. I had a tiny little waist and an apple of a butt, two barely there raisins for breasts. The throwing up gave me a sense of control, and was a good “fuck you” to my parents.

As high school continued, I was donned “Blue Balls Queen” by some seemingly nice boys. I was the girl that teased and made-out with boys but said no to sex. I was prodded and poked, boys searched for answers within my insides. They thought the higher and harder you pressed against my cervix, the more fun was to be had by all!

In college, my bulimia returned. This time it was fierce and consuming and completely taxing. I drowned myself in self-hatred and Trader Joe’s dark chocolate covered almonds. To say my thoughts were repetitive is an understatement. It wasn’t that I was overweight. (Although any or most bulimics will tell you that if you want to lose weight, binge-eating and throwing up is not the way to go about it). Binge-eating was a way to “cure” my loneliness. It was a physical reaction to my depression and anxiety. Oh you had a bad day? Have a box of girl scout cookies. Oh, you ate the whole box and you probably don’t feel that good? Think I’ll throw up now.

It was a vicious cycle.

I think I finally told my roommate. My thoughts were toxic. I couldn’t take it anymore. I was encouraged to get help.

I went to therapy, and read a book called Intuitive Eating, which made so much sense to me. Eating when you’re hungry. Stopping when you’re full. Simple. Yet, revolutionary. A theory I understood in concept, but really am only starting to embody now. I started to recover from the eating pattern itself, but what really saved me was my discovery of yoga.

Yoga cured me. It taught me I was responsible for my own happiness. It taught me my body was meant to move and be treated with respect. It taught me that I didn’t have to be perfect, that I didn’t need to look perfect, and that even the physical practice of yoga was a journey and I needed to have patience. I learned to breathe. I learned to trust my intuition. I learned that my body was not the enemy, and even the world wasn’t, and we had the power to change our own reality, our own relationship the circumstances around us.

During this same period I discovered feminism. I was already an Art Major, but being the Virgo I am I craved a second discipline. I took a World & Sex class and discovered the world sucks especially for women and women of color and women of poverty, and I wanted to help.

There was so much anger in my Feminism program though. And YES obviously there should be anger. There should be lots of anger, the world is a terrible and sucky place. But to me a lot of the feminism was jargon and deconstruction, with not a whole lot of solutions.

I wanted a solution. I wanted hope.

These are still things I want today.

For me, yoga and feminism go hand in hand. We have the power to change our interior. We have the power to change our own heart. We have the power to be kind and compassionate to ourselves and the people that surround us. THIS IS HOW WE CREATE COMMUNITY. To me, this is feminism.

Taking care of ourselves and the world around us is a REVOLUTIONARY ACT.

After school I became a certified yoga teacher, but I knew I also wanted to do something with my art. I was already painting and making prints and selling those a bit. But I knew I wanted more.

I came up with my first uterus print right before the first Women’s March. My first print was a success. I ended up screen-printing my uterus design on fabric and making pouches. I wanted to give 10% to Planned Parenthood. I made patches for jackets, and eventually pins.

Last year I gave over one thousand dollars to Planned Parenthood. That means I sold $10,000 worth of uteruses!! (uteri? Still up for debate). I couldn’t be more proud of myself. My uterus designs continue to sell.

Today I am re-focusing on community. I founded Girl Gang Craft, a resource for women artists, healers, and small business owners. We’ve had two successful craft fairs and have another one scheduled for April 14 in Oakland. This will be our biggest event! We will have 40+ artists, healers, a bar, and a restaurant pop-up. Girl Gang Craft strives to help small business owners brand their businesses and connect to their audiences. Making community is it’s own form of resistance.

Oaklanders, we hope to see you at the Spring Show.

Ladies, you can join our gang here: www.girlgangcraft.com

Support planned parenthood by buying your bestie a uterus pouch or pin:

https://www.girlgangcraft.com/shop/uteruses-before-duderuses-girl-gang-starter-pack

 

Thanks for listening,

I love you!

Xoxo

Phoebe

 

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Phoebe sherman

is the founder of Girl Gang Craft.

follow her on instagram & check out her site. 

5 Boss Babe Tips to Elevate your Business

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Are you an artist, healer, or small business owner? Feeling stuck and confused with the Instagram algorithm and why you’re not getting the attention you deserve? Feeling lost on how to translate your business visually on social media? Is it time to step up your game?

Girl Gang Craft is here to help!

(Inspired by my work with Pat Bailey at the Hell Yes Academy)

 

1. Find your audience.

Who is your audience? Can you name the age group? Gender? Location? Chances are you are speaking to your peers. Chances are, YOU ARE YOUR AUDIENCE. This is because you love what you do and you want to share it with people like you!  

Utilize this connection. You are the test audience.

What do you look for in a product/service? What do YOU want in a business that you love and support? Why do you follow certain people on social media? Is it because their pictures are pretty? Is it because they give good advice?

Find the accounts you love and write down WHY you love them.

 

2.  Tell a story.

Most likely people are following you because they like YOU. Yes they might like your handmade soaps or your yoga classes, but these are products of YOU. Introduce yourself to your community. Tell your story. How did you get to where you are today? I always get more engagement on photos of myself rather than my products, especially when I reveal a little something about myself or my process.

 

3. Make it pretty!

Make your instagram pretty! Make a brand map. What sort of fonts will you commit to? What are your brand’s colors? What filter do you use on your images? Make it consistent. SIMPLIFY! Make your page look cohesive and beautiful. You have 2 seconds for someone to decide if they’ll follow you when they see your page. You can use an app like Preview app to see what your posts will look like all together.

(We will touch on brand mapping on a future blog post. Workshop coming in May.)

MY BRAND MAPS:

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4. Your brand is a practice.

You don’t have to stick to the colors / font / layout / filter forever. Your branding is a practice. Try something for a bit, and if it doesn’t serve you find something that does. Have patience with yourself and allow this to be a learning experience. Enjoy the ride!

 

5. Take rest / have fun!

I should be listening to my own advice. I am the number one workaholic. But take time for yourself.  Ultimately you are choosing to be your own business owner because you are curating your own life! You get to choose the life you life. So make time for rest, make time for some sort of practice/self-care/meditation/exercise, and make time for FUN! At the end of the day our productivity is not a measure of our worth. Do the things that make you happy and find time to enjoy.

That’s it for now! More tips and tricks for running your Boss Babe business are coming soon. And stay tuned for our Branding and Squarespace workshops coming to Oakland (and online) in May!

I love you!

Xoxox

Phoebe Sherman (Founder of Girl Gang Craft)

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Phoebe Sherman 

is the founder of Girl Gang and an artist herself.

Find out more at her website. 

Time's Up!

 Illustration by  Phoebe Sherman. 

Illustration by Phoebe Sherman. 

A few nights ago, Oprah said, “A new day is on the horizon!”

And it is! Can you feel it? Oprah was the first black woman to win the Cecil B. DeMille Golden Globe award. In her acceptance speech, she told the story of Recy Taylor and Rosa Parks. In Alabama, in 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother who was abducted by six, armed, white men when walking home from church. She was raped and left blindfolded by the side of the road. Rosa Parks took her case, and together they tried to persecute the men that destroyed Taylor. And although they did not receive justice at that time, they started a movement that continues to this day.

Oprah used this story to say remind us that this time is up! Justice must be served moving forward.

If you haven’t seen the whole speech, you can watch it here:

Did you see the women from the Golden Globes last night? Did you see the public outcrying of truth and support? Time’s up!

This is why I’m here. Sometimes it takes a reminder in the form of the fabulous Oprah, to get me to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.

(If you don’t know what I’m doing yet, check out www.phoebesherman.com but I will also discuss who I am and what I’m doing if you keep reading)

It’s so easy to get caught up in sales, to do lists, and “creating content.” Sometimes, the internet feels like a black hole and a popularity contest all at once.It can make me sick with greed and jealousy. It’s a spiral of, “Why don’t I have that?” or, “Why can’t I be like that?”

This thirst for MORE MORE MORE is something I’ve always had. And yes, sometimes this thirst is benefical.  My friends know that if you want shit done, you come to me. I have goals and to-do lists. I can multitask like crazy, and the sheer number of things I do in a day astound people. But why am I doing these things? What drives my passion? Why do I need to create? And why do I create what I choose to create?

There are plenty of reminders why I need to create. One of these reminders came when I listened Oprah’s speech. These moments are sometimes jarring and sometimes gentle. The reminders come in the form of spells and tarot readings prompted by The Many Moons Workbook  by Modern Women. (You can find the book here or at local stores like Resurrect, Oakland). The reminders come in the form of a Tribe, the collective welcoming of a new group I’m working with through the Hell Yes Academy lead by Pat Bailey. A new tribe feels charged and readies me to say “HELL YES.”

The more jarring reminders come in the form of  posts from my peers sharing their #MeToo stories. The truthful words sting, and remind me of my own experiences and the collective experience of women and minorities who have been stepped on, torn apart, or  taken advantage of. A reminder comes to me when a woman in medicine who lives in Kentucky (whom I met in Belize) tells me there’s only one abortion clinic in the whole state (not a Planned Parenthood even) and they’re only sometimes allowed to perform abortions. She tells me she used to work at two sister high schools that cater only to pregnant teens. Two high schools in the same town where the only students are pregnant teens!

This whole past year has been a giant reminder of why I do what I do. This man who sits in the White House has actively bragged about sexual harassment. The time is ripe with a need of protest and activism. The outpouring truths from women in Hollywood has highlighted abuse in other environments. This collective screaming of truth has ignited my power and identified my purpose. This year of authenticity and shouting from the rooftops has empowered me to create thought-provoking, political, and personal art, but also has invited me to hold space. A space to gather collectively and explore a way to better ourselves and better our world.

I hold space in my yoga teaching, I hold space in the events we create for Girl Gang Craft, and I hold space by donating to Planned Parenthood and creating a safety net for those in need.

I acknowledge my privilege as a white, sort-of Jew, woman from a wealthy suburb.

But,

Me too

Me too

Me too

Me too

All of us.

I dedicate this business to you.

To the boy in 11th grade who called me Blue Balls Queen because I was collectively known as someone who would only make out. To all of you boys who called me a tease for the same reason. To the boy I was in love with for 6 years who asked me to keep it a secret after we kissed, and wouldn’t talk to me ever again after I told a friend. To the boy who grabbed me and held me down and eventually chased me as I ran out of his house and into my car after I said no. To the emotionally abusive alcoholic ex-boyfriend who taught me the term “gaslighting” (if you don’t know what this term means check out this article). To the gay restaurant manager who would comment on the other girls boobs to me, talking as if we were friends, and as if he could not possibly be misogynistic because of his sexual preference. To this terrible, terrible absolutely incompetent president who is a known sexual predator.

This is also for you. This is why I choose to create. This is why I choose to harness community. This is why I choose to donate. This is why I choose to write and think and paint and love.

I choose to move forward with heart and passion. I ask you as well, Why do you do the things you do? I invite you to float into 2018 with the question, How do I lead with love? How do I create a business that is heart-forward? Please feel free to share in the comments.!

That’s it for now, gang.

Thanks for hanging around at Girl Gang Craft. Here's to the launch of the Girl Gang Craft BLOG!!! Stay tuned for artist and entrepreneur interviews, tips and tricks to run a business, and so much more!

I love you!

Xoxo

Phoebe Sherman (Founder of Girl Gang Craft)

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Phoebe Sherman
 

is the founder of Girl Gang and an artist herself.

Find out more at her website. 

 

 

PS Want to be a guest writer on the Girl Gang Craft Blog? Please send me an email at girlgangcraft@gmail.com.