after the jump: the importance of real-life connections

by Grace Bonney

Last week I wrote about Rena Tom’s fantastic new venture, Makeshift Society. It’s an organization that focuses on connecting creative people in San Francisco so they have the space, resources and connections they need to stay inspired. Rena inspired my original in-person Biz Ladies series and her new project got me thinking again about the importance of in-person meetup groups and opportunities. Inspired by that thought process, I devoted this week’s radio show to discussing the importance of in-person, real-life connections in the digital creative community. In addition to having Rena call in from SF (thank you to Rena for tracking down the last land line in California) I was thrilled to be joined by Morgan Evans, Community Strategist for Etsy.

Photo of Rena Tom by Bonnie Tsang

Rena and Morgan shared so many interesting thoughts about the rise and importance of groups that encourage in-person connections and shared some great insights about the positive effects of these groups and what they can do for both your business and personal life. We talked about different niche groups, groups and trends they’d like to see better served in the community and some of the ways they like to unwind when they’re not busy planning meetups. Morgan and Rena also shared some great tips and encouragement for anyone who’s ever thought about- or wanted to- start an in-person meetup group in their town. They’ve got great tips and ideas for getting over the initial hurdles. Thanks so much to Rena and Morgan for joining me, I hope you’ll listen and enjoy their interviews as much as I did. xo, grace

*You can visit Makeshift Society online and be sure to check out the Etsy Craft Party happening on August 24th!

“When you’re in a smaller town, you bump into like-minded people more often. The choices are endless in a city — people go into their own micro groups . . . it’s easy to silo yourself away and not run into new people.”
— Rena Tom on After the Jump

“As things get bigger and bigger, wanting to get back in touch with singularity and one-to-one connections will become more necessary to us.”
— Morgan Evans on After the Jump


*Previous episodes of After the Jump: Todd Oldham, Of a Kind, Genevieve GorderJason Goodman of Third Ward, Eric and Jonathan of The Brooklyn Flea, Meg Mateo Ilasco, Sibella Court, Tina Shoulders, Owyn Ruck and GB Tran

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  • yes I agree, I am very lucky to have a great network support that keeps growing more and more, designers I have met in trade shows, bloggers, etc…we meet regularly for drinks, chats, ideas and help each other. London is huge and working from home can be very isolating, so I appreciate what this new friends bring to my life and business. If i were in SF I would defenelty join your group. I am off to listen the radio versions. Regards from London Marga.