What #communityovercompetition Means to Me

You may have heard of a community called The Rising Tide Society. They coined a movement beginning in 2015 all about the catchphrase #communityovercompetition. I joined the Austin, TX chapter a little over a year ago and I can confidently say that it has been WAY more than just a “catchphrase.” RTS has changed the way I think about not only my own business but also how I relate to other vendors within similar industries. Through being a part of this group, I’ve met so many other talented creative entrepreneurs within the last year! It truly amazes me how this simple phrase has connected me to so many kind hearted people and has helped to mold me into the small business owner I am today.

With that being said, I’d love to highlight a few local people who have inspired me greatly and have also become dear friends of mine. I’m going to introduce these artists to you in the order I first met them…because there are no favorites here!

Laura Yap - Mountain Laurel Floral

I was first introduced to Laura via the Instagram platform back in 2017. I remember seeing her post a photo about providing flowers at one of the monthly Polished Austin meetings. I was relatively new to flowers at that time and was looking for other people and groups to connect with. Laura asked me if I wanted to take over for her in providing flowers for the group and I excitedly said, “YES, I’d love that!”

Fast forward a few more months and Laura asked me to freelance for her on a pretty large wedding. I, of course, said yes and loved being able to gain valuable hands-on experience and learn from Laura on-site that day! We’ve collaborated on a couple more weddings since then and I’ve enjoyed getting to know more about Laura and her cute little family. One thing I noticed about Laura early on was how willing she was to become almost like a mentor to me. She would periodically text me or plan to get together with me just to see how I was doing and if she could help guide me in this crazy world of small business ownership. I’m so thankful for her genuine friendliness and willingness to support someone like me who was newer to the industry!

If you’re reading this, Laura, I want you to know that you inspire me not only to work intentionally on my floral business but also to work on becoming a much more selfless, giving friend like you have been to me. I look up to you not only in your talent as a florist but also for how you are navigating through motherhood and business and the example you are setting for your family. I thank God for placing you in my life at just the right moment in time :)

You can follow Laura on Instagram @mtlaurel_floral or visit her website

Laura Yap - Mountain Laurel Floral

Laura Yap - Mountain Laurel Floral

Jesilyn Roensch - Jesilyn Kay Calligraphy

I first met Jesilyn at the January 2018 Rising Tide Society meeting. I remember walking through the doors and not really knowing anyone yet. (My first RTS experience was at the annual holiday party in December 2017) Anyway, Jesilyn was standing near me and I decided to say hello and introduce myself. I learned about her calligraphy and graphic design work and I told her I had a local floral business. We exchanged business cards and kept in touch through Instagram. A few months later, I hired Jesilyn to design a custom logo for my website and other branding materials. I remember her being very accommodating and flexible. Her design expertise really showed throughout the design process and I still use that same logo today!

Throughout 2018, Jesilyn and I not only got to collaborate on a few other projects together but we also became really great friends as well! From introducing me to an amazing venue called CRAFT where both of us now teach workshops, to sharing fun double date memories between us + our husbands, to collaborating on a couple of holiday wreath/lettering workshops, it’s been a great year getting to know Jesilyn :)

Jesilyn, if you’re reading this, I hope you realize how thankful I am for your friendship and for all of the wonderful business opportunities you’ve introduced to me this past year. You are such a talented calligrapher, graphic designer and artist! I love all of the products I’ve purchased from you- my favorites probably being the Wildflowers of Texas print and hand towel series :)

You can follow Jesilyn on Instagram @jesilynkay or visit her website

Jesilyn Roensch - Jesilyn Kay Calligraphy. Photo by EffJay Photography

Jesilyn Roensch - Jesilyn Kay Calligraphy. Photo by EffJay Photography

Alicia Rios - Alicia Leigh Photography

Alicia and I first met at the June 2018 Rising Tide Society meeting. The topic was all about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). As someone who has about a 90% creative brain, the meeting was a bit overwhelming to me, to say the least! Alicia came up to talk to me at the end of the meeting and I’m so glad she did! She gave me some SEO tips that made more sense to me and my creative brain :)

As the months went by, we began to carpool together to the monthly RTS meetings which made driving through downtown Austin a little less daunting haha! Alicia and I both have lots of pets and we’ve shared many stories of our pet ownership highs and lows. In December 2018, we worked on our business vision boards one afternoon. I think working on those together helped to give each of us a better sense of clarity in our 2019 business goals and plans.

Alicia focuses on portrait and family photography and she is also a talented writer and storyteller too! Seriously, just read one of her Instagram photo captions and you’ll feel like you are right there in the middle of her client’s life story!

Alicia- if you’re reading this- thank you so much for coming up to me at that summer RTS meeting. You have such a genuine and kind soul and I’m grateful to know you! You’re such a strong and resilient person as well as a loving dog/cat mom. Keep on keeping’ on!

You can follow Alicia on Instagram @alicialeighphoto or visit her website

Alicia Rios - Alicia Leigh Photography

Alicia Rios - Alicia Leigh Photography

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