By Lindsey Adkison The Brunswick News, Ga.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Golden Isles Creative Collective began roughly a year ago with the goal of connecting local creative manufacturing businesses. The members meet once a month to discuss their triumphs and struggles. For many entrepreneurs, it's been an invaluable source of both knowledge and friendship.
The Brunswick News, Ga.
Like many entrepreneurs, Jennifer Moore's inspiration came from a real life problem she hoped to solve.
A few years back, the Golden Isles resident found herself frustrated without an easy way to transport her favorite treat -- Greek yogurt. And she was determined to find a solution.
"I like to eat every few hours and I just had no way to transport my yogurt. You can put it in your purse or briefcase but that wasn't really ideal. I looked at tupperware but that wasn't what I wanted really either. So I came up with my product YoToGo. I started it all with a friend from college," she said. "It's neoprene and it keeps it cool for about three hours."
Today, Moore's item is found in 160 stores, primarily in large grocery store chains.
"They are mostly in places like Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia, but we're on Amazon now too and it's really gone well," she said.
Of course, even with her success, she's always looking for fresh ideas and new ways to expand her business. So when she heard about a local group that connect small area manufacturers and other creative types, Moore was intrigued. "It's called Golden Isles Creative Collective and it was started by Kim Daniels, who is a photographer and blogger. It's a really cool idea that brings creative people together to talk and share ideas. I guess I joined in about April or May," she said.
The Collective group began roughly a year ago and Daniel formed it in the hopes of helping those who started creative manufacturing businesses locally connect. The members meet once a month to discuss a variety of topics in a causal setting.
They share appetizers, drinks and stories about their triumphs and struggles. It's been an invaluable source of both knowledge and friendship.
"It allows you to hear successes from fellow entrepreneurs who are having the same struggles and challenges as you. They can say, 'here's my idea' and then everyone can weigh-in and try to help. It's a great for suggestions and brainstorming. You get to hear what's working and what isn't working," Moore said.
"We're all in the same boat ... trying to get our businesses off the ground and most of us are on a shoestring budget. It's like the One Million Cups meetings but on a much smaller scale."
That was exactly what Kim Daniels was going for when she formed the group.
"I just had a little group of friends who had creative businesses, like my friend, Jennifer Zamudio who owns Dot and Army and my friend, Elizabeth who makes pottery. So there is was a wide variety when we started," she said. "But I just wanted to create a little social meet-up, something that was a little more geared toward creative professionals. And those people may not be involved some social outlet so it's been good to get together."
There are 60 members on the group's Facebook page with attendance fluctuating between 10 and 30 people per monthly meeting. The topics discussed range from marketing to social media outreach, Daniels says.
"Social media is a huge one. We talk about that a lot. We also talk about different areas of social media like Pinterest versus Instagram. But it's all really informal. We just chit-chat and share," she said.
"It's been great to watch businesses grow over the year we've been together. Jennifer at Dot and Army was working out of her house last year and now she has a storefront in downtown Brunswick and also has a studio in the back. She's puts a lot of the Collective's members' items in her store to sell which is a huge help," she said.