From our TuesdaysTogether Leesburg, VA chapter leader, Bethanne Arthur:
Our TuesdaysTogether Leesburg, VA chapter is comprised of creative small business owners living in or working within the areas of and surrounding Leesburg and Ashburn, VA! Many of our members come from all over Loudoun County, VA, as well as West Virginia and parts of Southern Maryland! The majority of our members are photographers, but we also have graphic designers, food writers, jewelry designers, bloggers, event planners, videographers, yoga instructors, boutique owners, authors, and more within the group! Our TuesdaysTogether Leesburg, VA members bond over the everyday struggles of solo entrepreneurship, as well as work/life balance, and how to use social media as a marketing tool! The TuesdaysTogether Leesburg, VA group has been active since May 2015, and I love watching it grow and the relationships that have formed because of the Rising Tide Society!
What does #communityovercompetition mean to you?
Community over competition, to me, is all about lifting one another up. There is no point in tearing another person down, because there are enough people in this world and enough business to go around. I can’t be a photographer to over 7 billion people in this world. I love forming relationships with photographers and other creatives because when I am unable to do something or fulfill a certain need, I know that there are so many amazing people who can do that! Community over competition is about recognizing that there is so much talent around us, and we can help build each other up by referring business their way, or by simply cheering them on!
James Heller once said, “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” I firmly believe this goes hand in hand with community over competition. We can also rise in our businesses, and we can do it together. I can look at other photographers in my area, and I know that if we are all killing it and doing well, then that’s amazing! I want to help other succeed in their businesses just as much as I want to succeed in my own! I love that the Rising Tide Society is a safe place, and it strongly encourages other creatives to build one another up and rising together!
What has been one of your favorite TuesdaysTogether moments? One of my favorite TuesdaysTogether Leesburg, VA moments within my group was when we put together a styled dinner in April 2016 at a local farm-turned-wedding venue! Over 50 of our members were in attendance, and at least a dozen creatives within our area came together to provide services or create some type of item to be utilized or displayed at the dinner! I was able to put together something beautifully with the help of a friend within the group, and it came out so much better than I could have imagined it! Three amazing florists worked together to provide gorgeous tablescapes for the rustic tables, we had an amazing farm-to-table cuisine prepared especially for us, we had a fun Photo Booth area set-up with vintage furniture and a hand-made paper flower background, and more! We all had an incredible time, and it was a beautiful example of creative minds working together to make magic! Then, the shoot was featured on Pretty Perfect Living’s blog, so that was exciting too! It was wonderful to see all of the hard work put in by our members being nationally recognized!
What has been your favorite monthly topic for your TuesdaysTogether gatherings? Why? Social media has always been a favorite topic of our group! We recognize how crucial social media is not only for our businesses, but for networking as well! I have said time and time again how I owe so much to social media and networking through mediums like Instagram! Life of a creative small business owner can be so incredibly lonely at times, and I have made some wonderful friends in the creative world because of Instagram and Facebook, as well as groups like Tuesdays Together and the Rising Tide Society!
Where does your chapter typical meet up? Our meet-ups typically occur at local, small businesses in our area! I love to have us meet up at coffee shops or restaurants. We did have a meeting at a local winery, and we had a great time! It’s important to us as a group to support other creative, small business owners!
What is something that you do as a chapter that works well for you, and that you think would be helpful for other chapters? It’s been really exciting to see what our group has done for each of the members. I have personally seen people who would consider themselves to be shy and reserved feeling more open and able to converse with others because we understand! We get what each other is going through, and it’s just been really awesome to see so many great friendships and professional relationships as well forming! I think providing a relaxed, casual atmosphere really allows for that to happen! When choosing locations or how to proceed with discussion of our monthly topics, I really try to strive for keeping things casual and comfortable! I want people to feel like they are having a discussion among friends over wine, coffee, and/or food, so I try to not structure things too much!