Well Crafted Chats
Being a freelancer is hard. Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of benefits, flexibility being absolute number one for me; last year when my dad had a massive stroke and was in hospital for six months, I was so grateful that my work meant that as long as I had my iPad and a place to sit, I could work anywhere, including next to his bed in the hospital ward. But the flipside of this is that you have to be your own boss, all of the time. This means no one to bounce ideas off, no one to lean back on, sometimes not even anyone to talk to (anyone else’s pet hear a bucketload of ideas and worries each and every day?), and I think it might be the isolation and lack of structure that’s the hardest for me to deal with.
And so the idea for Well Crafted Chats was born. I have to admit, after being heavily involved in the Melbourne design community during and directly after uni, I’d retreated into my shell and become a little hermit-y. It was time to remerge! Even though I’ve just complained about freelance being quite isolating, I find meeting new people so challenging, so of course the natural response is to bring the people to you and just create your own event, right? The aim was to be approachable, inclusive, and with just a touch of the out-of-comfort-zones. What resulted was Well Crafted Chats.
I partnered with Work-Shop and we created a night that consisted of a short Q&A (this time between myself and Magda Ksiezak), followed by speed networking where each guest had the opportunity to chat to a number of people, one-on-one, for five minutes. Scattered on the table were craft activities and ice-breaker questions to help the conversation along, although with this group they certainly weren’t needed! I was so encouraged to see that every person – although nervous – had come with a warm and open attitude, and were ready to dive in to any number of conversations.
The overall feedback of the event has been positive, so I’d love to try this again in 2020. If you had any ideas or suggestions, I’d love to here them!