I think I should give a special greeting to all of my non-US readers, because I know there's a high likelihood that my American readers won't catch this till later-- they're all too busy shopping on Black Friday. haha. Regardless of when or where you are reading this, if you are a creative woman or if you support creative women, this is an extra special interview!
Kate Toney is the founder of the Creative Women's League Podcast, affectionately known as the CWL. Kate is a born creative and cheerleader. I haven't actually met Kate, but I feel like I have, and I feel like we're best friends-- like I could call her up any time I need a little extra encouragement. The best part, is that she's like that for the whole CWL community-- she's cheering for all of us in all of our giant, exciting, creative endeavors. She's amazing like that.
1) Tell us a little about yourself, your hobbies, your family, your creative background, etc. Helllloooooooo everyone! I'm Kate, I am from Littleton, Colorado, I have lived in Orlando, Florida for 14 years and I host the Creative Women's League podcast. I have had a thousand career paths and even more hobbies I SWORE to myself I wanted to turn into careers. I started as a face painter, then a makeup artist, then a hairstylist, then salon manager, presently a long arm quilter and sewing teacher. I have also knit, crochet, hand embroidery, sewing, quilting, furniture restoration...oh yeah. I'm one of those "wandering soul" types, haha I have come to terms with this. I LOVE to create and as you can see I am a full on hobby collector. I'm that type of person who is unapologetic about being themselves and I have always encouraged the same in others. Since I was young one of my favorite things to hear is "Because of you I got the courage/motivation/confidence to...." One day I realized that THAT was the sort of thing I wanted to spread out across the world, that was what I was innately pretty darn good at doing and one hell of a legacy to have. With 1,000 hobbies, no idea which one to make a real career out of and a passion for inspiring others the little seed of the Creative Women's League started to take root.
2) You're the host of the new and fabulous Creative Women's League Podcast (aka The CWL); what inspired you to start podcasting? I was an early adopter of podcasts, from the moment they came out I was hooked. So me starting my own has been a long time coming! I spent years of waffling on subject matter thinking "What the heck do I have to tell people? I don't have anything important to say!" I tried to think of what my area of expertise was....Hair styling? Sewing? Wes Anderson movies? I've had so many careers and hobbies come and go when I realized there were a few things in my life that I have always, always loved: getting to know people, creative endeavors, encouraging others and bad ass women! ......and it only took three years from there to finally get off my butt and get podcasting. Seriously. That's why I am now such an advocate of diving in and getting started.
3) What's your vision for the CWL? What kind of impact do you dream of over the next five years? This past 5 months have been truly remarkable, I am sure five years from now is beyond anything I can comprehend. Firs and foremost the CWL is about community, an unstoppable group of women hellbent on kickin' butt, making their dreams a reality and paving the way for more women to manifest their wildest aspirations. The Creative Women's League is going to continue to be a source of inspiration for women dreaming to start their own business or grow their existing creative business but I want us to expand into other avenues: Meet-ups, workshops, retreats, who knows! But if it is a way to bring women together for inspiration, motivation and growth you had better believe the CWL will be exploring it. In our immediate future the goal is to strengthen our community and majorly expand the amount of resources we offer small businesses. We have got videos and google hangouts on their way! It's exciting stuff.
4) How is creative community important to your work? It's HHUUGGEE for my work! I always admired and sought to know strong, driven women. When I knew I wanted to podcast I couldn't imagine doing it on my own, not because I was scared to do it alone but because I wanted to use it as a platform to meet even more amazing women and raise up the voices of others who wanted to be heard as well. I believe wholeheartedly in the power of people when they come together towards a common goal. I also believe that the world is a better place each time a woman finds her confidence, dares to take risks and takes the time to guide another woman through her journey.
I was told a few times that making a community that centered around creative women was foolish and not gonna work out. In five months this community has not only proven that WRONG but proven that we as a collective of creative powerhouses are absolutely destined for big things. That's why I named it The Creative Women's League....we're like the tougher, cooler version of the Justice League cause we have thousands of Wonder Women.
5) What advice do you have for other makers on their creative journeys? Get started today, right now, do it. I waited sooooo long to finally put myself out there and it's the only regret I have in my life. I let my own fears and other people's hang ups hold me back from achieving what I wanted and being who I wanted. I hid behind the idea of not knowing EXACTLY what I wanted to do but I see that now for what it was: fear and procrastination. If I had just got started with any one of my endeavors I used to dream about I would have gained so much, who cares if you stop doing that ONE thing you decided on, you will move onto to the next journey with even more experience and knowledge than you had prior ....it just gives you more chances to grow into what you want to do and who you want to be.
Before you go, I'd love to send you "3 Easy Steps to Improve Your Free Motion Quilting." These foundational principles make sure that you build a strong quilting practice, so that your skills can grow and develop until you're the quilting rockstar you always dreamed of becoming.
Happy shopping, Christmas sewing, and whatever else you're up to this weekend, my friends!