The circle is gathering…
We’re joining hands.
About eighteen months ago, Mark and I were out for our nightly walk. We walk on our back deck, around and around in large circles, under the starry night sky, cats twining around our ankles, amidst the sound of bugs and birds and the animals that walk the woods in the night. Usually, I am wearing our youngest child in my Ergo and he drifts off to sleep with his head against my heart as we talk and walk. During this time, unencumbered by other to-dos and shifted into our right brains by the rhythm of walking, some of our best business discussions happen and ideas are born. On this particular night, we were brainstorming ways to connect more deeply with our customer base, realizing that rather than “find customers,” we instead needed a way to stay connected to the customers we already had. We weren’t looking for ways to sell more products, which were selling well, but rather to develop a most lasting relationship with the people who had already told us they want our products by buying them in the first place!
Hazy at first and then coming into clearer focus as we continued to walk, the idea of a dedicated membership circle came into mind…we started listing off the stories of the people we know who have bought our goddesses and shared a tiny slice of their own stories with us…”we’re joining hands,” we’d say, “with the mother who has had six miscarriages and is expecting her rainbow baby…the woman who has survived breast cancer…the mother looking for a first moon gift for her daughter…the grandmother raising her grandchildren…the parent of an autistic child…the gestational surrogate looking to gift her intended family…with the man honoring his beloved with art…the priestess who is finishing her initiation process…the woman trying to start a Red Tent…” We’re joining hands. The names and stories rippled from us faster and faster, we actually stretched out our hands as we walked, reaching in invisible connection to those lives and those stories we are humbled and blessed to share. We could feel the Circle forming as we talked, like an energy was linking us and the connection was being woven. We tried several names and the Creative Spirit Circle stuck. We started a Facebook group and started inviting people who purchased from our etsy shop to join it. We rebirthed our monthly newsletter into the Circle Journal. I started holding weekly mini rituals for the group.
Rather than try to come up with “opt in” offers to try to get people to sign up for our newsletter, I started developing mini classes to share with our existing community (and, if new people find us that way, very cool, but it isn’t the point. The point is to continue to contribute work of value to the people in the Circle!). Our work started to center around what this Circle wants, needs, and suggests. We listen to what they have to share with us, we delight in photos of their home altar spaces and personal rituals, we respond to their wishes for certain goddesses or charms or opportunities. We get excited to share sneak peeks and special offers with them. We often talk as we work about specific customers, setting aside things and saying, “Oh! So and so will love this!” Or, wonder aloud what has happened with someone who has shared a specific story with us (very often, the very day we speak of them, we get a Facebook message or an email or an order comes in!). Rather than being about what a customer can do for us (i.e. buy something!), the heart of our business is truly what we can do for them. When I get a new ritual kit packet ready to give away in the Circle Journal, I’m so excited to give our community something special. Our whole work day centers around giving to this community and encouraging and supporting the people within in on their paths. It is a truly sacred trust.
The creation of the Creative Spirit Circle was a significant turning point in our business, shifting us into something that is co-creative, mutually supportive, and collaborative. This is our community. Our tribe. We have been moved to tears by reading what is shared with us and with watching the beautiful exchanges and positive energy that takes place within it. Women from the Circle message me to ask me to send special gifts to other women (who they’ve never met!), packages arrive in countries around the world on just the right day to lift the spirits of people who are in grief or who are struggling, resources are shared and exchanged and enjoyed together. We’re joining hands.
Many of the members of the Circle, the majority of whom are women*, are very creative and make many beautiful things of their own. Recently, we asked them to share some of their creations with us. As they did so, our assistant Shellei suddenly realized she should put together a Holiday Gift Guide with all of their treasures, rather than just keep the information squirreled away in a too-easily-lost Facebook thread. She did, and it is here! We also just added a companion Creative Spirit Circle online classroom, where all of our information and ritual outlines and giveaway packets and product announcements and weekly rituals can be housed, rather than losing that too in the depths of the Facebook group. The companion classroom will kick off with a Worldwide Winter Solstice Ritual on December 19th. This, too, is evolving into a collaborative mini-conference of resources, rather than something solely created by me.
We love what we have built, and are continuing to build, together.
Welcome to the Circle! We’re so glad you’re here!