I am JUST home from a dinner I went to with my good friend Rebecca Searles (from Carlson Wagonlit Travel in Midland) It was for the MDWBA (Midland & District Women's Business Association.) I've been wanting to get involved with the MDWBA for ages, but have felt hesitant and shy. (yes. Me. I'm shy sometimes.)
Rebecca is a member and invited me to come to the dinner as her guest. She suggested I bring some business info to hand out to the ladies tables, and also mentioned that there was an auction table that I could donate something to. She was bringing some of her travel specials offered by Carlson Wagonlit Travel Midland.
I wanted to bring a gift certificate, and wanted it to be something that would bring ladies into my art studio. (I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but I have a cozy studio space downtown that I create my art in and invite clients to for readings.) I had considered bringing a sock monkey or dolls, but I ended up making a gift certificate - in much the same manner as I've made scrap book type greeting cards. Glitter pens, fancy papers, a ribbon, some star stickers, and a business card attached. I should have taken a pic of it, but I'll do that when it comes back in.
When Rebecca and I arrived at the MDWBA dinner, with trepidation did I hand over the One Tarot Reading Certificate. I half expected I'd be taking it home with me. This was a room full of business women after all! Bankers and business owners and lawyers and number counters!
It was nice to see some familiar faces that I felt comfortable talking to, and Rebecca did a wonderful job of introducing me around before the dinner started.
Then, it happened. We sat at the second table, and they passed around a Mic for everyone to introduce themselves. I figured being a guest, that I was getting out of this one.
so, with echo-ey mic in hand, I intro myself as a lady who make dolls. Heirloom, playable and displayable. Then I made a joke that I had better just say it, because I brought a gift certificate for it, and that I'm a psychic tarot reader.
That's when things got interesting! Suddenly, I felt like the Belle of the Ball. I have a hard time approaching people "cold"... but after I let the cat out of the bag (not being sure how it would be taken) I had lots of ladies come up to me to meet me - which made it WAY easier to make connections at the MDWBA ladies!
I was so pleasantly surprized. This town is a small one, and I figured that If I had a cold reception after letting people know what I do when I'm NOT making dolls, then I just wouldn't be a part of their group. But, Rebecca and I ended up closing the place down!
I made connections with people who were INTERESTED in connecting with me and my skill. And because I was so busy talking with ladies who were interested in talking to me, I missed the opportunity to approach some business ladies that I was hoping to introduce myself to. (some ladies in the community who are artists, etc.)
And, I think my hand crafted gift certificate went for face value in the auction.
Validation. On so many levels.
Thanks MDWBA. You've just gained a new member.