My New #SquadGoal, outside of a cubicle
From Co-Founder, Anique Coffee
Picture this: It’s 2015. I’m the farthest from enlightened as I can be, with a stagnant pool of creative juices in my veins, stuck in a cubicle in Silicon Valley, working 60+ hours per week.
I used to work for an NFL team within the exciting creative service group. I used to own a small creative agency, where I helped new companies discover their mission and vision, while developing their logos, overall brand story, and corporate identity. I used to wander around cities with my camera at all times, pausing for snaps when my creative eye caught a glimpse of a gorgeous shot.
Now, I'm stuck in a cubicle, working my ass off to achieve what exactly? While I used to believe success was defined by a high salary and working until the automatic lights turned off for the night in the office, one day, a new kind of light came on - the preverbal idea light, floating delicately above my graying hairline, beckoning me in a new direction.
“I need to get back to my roots,” I thought. No, not the rich, auburn hair roots of my early twenties, but the creative ROOTS that used to inspire me...that used to provide intrigue and excitement and inspiration.
I immediately began to search for a community of like-minded/hearted creatives, makers, small business owners and entrepreneurs, and those overflowing with general curiosity that I could surround myself with to keep my mind fresh and full of creativity and innovation outside of the tech space I became engulfed by.
I happened upon a US-based conference for creatives, enrolled and had an AMAZING TIME with 120 other fools like me. It was one of the best weekends of my life! After the conference, I was back, y’all! Ready to take on the world. I learned so many new career hacks, tricks of the trade, made TONS of amazing friends, many who I am still close with today.
I came back to my cube in Silicon Valley refreshed and full of life - life I could bring to my work and my daily personal experience too. I felt full again and was grateful for my time with this new community.
You’re reading this saying, “Ok Anique - whats the problem? You’re not answering the question you first posed at the jump off of this blog…”
Read on, my friend, because this is where it gets most meaningful for me (and hopefully you)::::::
The experience at this event was incredible - don’t get me wrong. However, when the time came for another jolt of energy (or even a consistent connection/line of communication) from my new community which I left feeling I could rely on, it was extremely hard to find. I was after some mentorship I couldn’t quite get. I wanted support from the group as a whole, to feel that connection we had in person to last after the event. #SQUADGOALS, ya dig?
Enter: The Collective, founded by Jette Virdi, Tom Fisher, and me - Anique Coffee.
You can read our company mission and vision, and cruise our website for our collective reasoning on why we started this community, but here’s an intimate look into why I am so proud to be a part of this team, this idea, this incredible group of humans:
I, like many others I know, crave human connection. I strive to surround myself with others who feel the same, and who have open hearts and creative hands and minds. Folks who are willing to “go there” with me, to try new things, to pitch random product and company ideas over cafe con leche or vino, or to get their hands dirty with creative projects.
I am personally enriched when I am in a community like this. And frankly, I like to provide support and mentorship to others when asked. I love to create symbiotic relationships by connecting people to those that need support, while growing their business or brand. It makes my heart full.
I believe no matter what you’ve done in your past, or plan to do in the future, you have a unique perspective and others can learn from your experience….if you’re willing to share. And my hope is that you are.
So that’s it. For me, this is why The Collective exists. We are embarking on an adventure of a lifetime to create a boundless and lasting community of amazing humans, bursting with creativity and openness to learn and explore and grow! Here, in Europe - where this type of event and community doesn’t exist yet, and where there are HEAPS of amazing humans we want to connect with and provide support to.
Whether you are in need of inspiration, a tech-free weekend, hoping to widen your creative community, starting a new venture, or hoping to network, The Collective is an event just for you.
I hope you will join us on this adventure. I know Jette (link to bio or blog) and Tom feel the same. We can’t wait to meet you.