creativity

Educator + Founder of Curiosity Pack, Lily Jones

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With the holiday season just around the corner, today I’m talking with Lily Jones, a kindergarten teacher turned educational consultant who also runs a side business making super fun AND educational activity kits for kids called Curiosity Packs.  Lily’s kits are great kids 3-6, and her for travel pack which could come in especially handy for holiday travel is for kids up to 10.

I especially loved hearing about her “feelings kit” — perfect for the kid with Big Feelings   and her upcoming science and friendship kids which sure would have come in handy when my teenager was younger!

SHOW NOTES:

Find out more about Curiosity Pack, learning-filled activity kits for kids.

Lily’s Curiosity Forever podcast:  What happens when a journalist and an educator come together to investigate how kids learn? This podcast! Kevin and Lily Jones interview education & parenting experts to find out everything they possibly can about raising awesome kids.

  • How Lily transferred her experience as a kindergarten teacher and educational consultant to her side business.

  • How Lily created her side businesses based on requests from friends who were looking for fun and educational things to do with their kids.

  • How her own kids have inspired her products.

  • The challenges in producing a physical product.

  • How her side business grew out of really wanting something for “her”.

  • Using Kickstarter to launch her product (while pregnant and then with a newborn!!!).

  • For every 10 Curiosity Packs ordered, one gets donated.

  • Making time for her business on top of her educational consulting work and being home with her two young kids.

  • What’s up next for Lily with her side business.

  • The number one thing Lily wishes she’d known earlier, before she started her business is to have known (believed) that “done is better than perfect”; she would have started a lot earlier.

  • How she gets inspiration for new products that she KNOWS her people want to buy.

  • Lily’s top advice for others who are trying to make room for side business on top a busy life includes sometimes thinking about what you actually enjoy doing--and doing some of that--to give yourself a boost.

  • Lily chooses to take care of tasks in her business, even if she might rather watch Netflix, is by thinking about how great she’ll feel afterwards.

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Special Guest Expert, Melissa Dinwiddie - Artist, Performer, Happiness Catalyst + Creativity Instigator

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Special guest expert and Creativity Instigator, Melissa Dinwiddie, is absolutely one of the most creative, multi-passionate people I know. She’s a visual artist, jazz singer, musician, former ballerina… I could go on!  

But believe it or not, she calls herself a former “non-creative person”! Melissa’s on a mission to change the conversation on creative expression and play, and she teaches people just like you and me to “turn the creative taps to ‘on’,” so you can live what she calls a “full color life”.

SHOW NOTES:

  • Melissa's creative sandbox community and programs, empower people to reclaim their innate entitlement to creative play. Whatever their creative outlet may be painting drawing making music, garden explore in the kitchen.

  • Very creative at a young age, then by high school stopped seeing herself as an artist because she wasn’t great at drawing, then the same thing happened to her with music and then dance.

  • Melissa chronicles quite a creative journey:

    • Got into Juilliard, but couldn’t dance due to tendonitis, and eating disorder cropped up.

    • Let  Juilliard and went to UC Berkeley, but lost her way with dance and the arts, and went into academia instead.

    • Creativity started to come up during her wedding plans and eventually found her love for doing arts and crafts, and she started making a little money with her art through client work doing Ketubah art for Jewish weddings.

    • The Ketubah art wasn’t what she loved to do, but she could make money at it, but then that fell apart which led to hitting rock bottom.

  • Whether or not you consider yourself creative, every person needs “that thing” that fulfills them.

  • How following passions, relationships — whatever it is, there need not be just one and sometimes it takes some time, it’s not always “love at first sight”.

  • For people wondering how to find their passion, it’s important to know that for most of us it’s not a Eureka moment.

  • We talk about my own story with graphic design and rediscovering a love for it now, as a small part of my life using tools like Canva, creating graphics for the podcast.

  • Melissa’s serious, but “lighter weight relationship” with her jazz singing — is a way for other people to think about things they love doing, but don’t necessarily want to commit their life to.

  • How she continues to work to let go of perfectionism, and play with her creative interests and have fun with them and not needing to be “the best” at them. All of her life is better for allowing this imperfection and playfulness in her life.

  • How things that feel easy and fun just might be the things you should most pay attention to — a quote she heard “the things that come easiest to you and are most natural are your highest value offering” and these are things that really feed you.  On the flip side is the erroneous belief that things “should” come easier to you — but many of these things are skills requiring time and practice.  And just because they’re hard, doesn’t mean they should be a “stop sign”.

  • Gregg Lavoy’s book Callings says that “blocks are not blocks to creativity, they ARE creativity”... the blocks are actually gifts to get you to you push through the amazing feeling on the other side.

  • When you’re a beginner, it’s totally normal not to be awesome at it immediately.

  • Feeling resistant to something that is calling to you is a classic hallmark of something to in fact pay attention to you.

  • Ira Glass Taste Gap video.

  • Something to be aware of is that as you’re learning your ability to see what is possible grows faster than your ability.

  • Melissa’s “Golden Formula” for finding what you’re interested in is a combination of self awareness + self compassion, which she believes leads to everything good.

    • Self awareness: Noticing everything around you that works for you, that’s good, that you are interested in.

    • Self compassion: Being able to be kind with yourself when you notice these the things that call to you, or that you might need to let go of.

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Special Guest Expert, Tara Gentile—Founder of Quiet Power Strategy® | Episode 05

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Today on the show we have a special guest expert, Tara Gentile. Tara’s an author, speaker, and entrepreneur who works with other entrepreneurs, many of whom are building their businesses as side projects or transitioning side businesses to full time work.

I first came across Tara when I was in my life coach training program a few years ago and looking for ideas to build my business, and I have been an avid follower ever since. She’s super smart and has a really fresh perspective in how she approaches business building.

And be sure to listen all the way through, because Tara’s also got a new side project of her own!

SHOW NOTES:

  • Find Tara at TaraGentile.com

  • On how Tara journey to entrepreneurism started with quitting her original plan to go to grad school to become a religion professor, and then working in retail management at a Borders bookstore (AKA mini-business school)

  • Tara’s used everything she learned at Borders in first entrepreneurial venture and started with a website business, which led to buying a second website business—and with time her business has evolved to where she is now

  • How we tend to discount our previous experience, but how valuable previous experience in whatever jobs you’ve held over your life, are so important to  how you can look at approaching your entrepreneurial ventures.

  • How Tara helps idea-driven entrepreneurs, many who start their business on the side, find focus in their work—this is so important because for these types of businesses, as Tara says, “the message is the money”.

  • Tara’s recommendations for finding focus in your entrepreneurial venture

  1. Give yourself the space

  2. Know what you will say no and yes to

  • String the answers to these four questions together into a statement and this becomes your framework for what you will say no to, and what you will say yes to in your business:

  1. What do you want to create

  2. How do you want to connect with people

  3. Who do you want to create for

  4. How do you want those people to respondWhat do you want to create

  • Tara’s new side project that came about because it’s something she’s been looking for since age 13 and how she realized recently she was the person to bring it to life!

  • Tara’s Creative Live podcast, Profit. Power. Pursuit.

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Episode 04: Office Manager + Jewelry Designer, Kylie Watts of Watts in Maine

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On today’s episode I’m talking to Kylie Watts of Watts In Maine—her line of jewelry inspired by the fishing and lobstering culture of Maine. We talk a lot about the challenges of balancing a growing business on top of her full time job, how she often needs to move slower than she might like—because she just doesn’t have all the time in the world to run the business.

SHOW NOTES: 

  • Kylie’s website

  • Kylie’s “Fur Baby” Catahoula Leopard Dog keeps her extra busy

  • Her interest in fashion, jewelry led to her first product, a bracelet made from the brass lobster gauge

  • Maine Makers, LL Bean, Seabags, rope bracelets

  • Husband is from Vinalhaven, Maine

  • How Kylie jumped in and started to reach out to stores very early on, starting with K Collete a store she admired in Portland

  • How she’s chosen to focus on the product over trying to make the brand “perfect, and now working to refresh her brand and website and launch ecommerce (in Fall 2016)

  • Launching a lobster gauge style ring in rose gold and silver and a new bracelet—follow Kylie on Instagram to keep updated on her product line

  • On staying close to the way of life in Maine, fishing and lobstering and expanding beyond jewelry into other accessories rooted in the fishing/lobstering industry and Maine aesthetic

  • Kylie’s advice to those who want to start a business on the side is to go with your own gut, and don’t pressure yourself to take on more than you can.  

  • How Kylie’s husband helps her stay centered and grounded when she can’t do everything she might want to be able to do.

  • On how Kylie feels it’s important to be authentic about the effort and challenges that go into the business and how it helps her build close connections with her customers and others in business.

Kylie's Watts in Maine jewelry:

Images: Watts in Maine on Instagram

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