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How & Why I Started Teaching Workshops

How and why I started teaching workshops…..

About a year and a half ago when I started to realize my career working in the speciality coffee industry was something I was no longer interested in, I started to brainstorm what it really was that I wanted to do. What made me happy? What brought me joy? What did I want to focus my time and effort on? What I realized was that I really wanted to be an Art teacher, specifically a visual arts teacher in a high school setting. I have my undergrad degree in Film & Media Arts with a focus in Photography and had spent multiple years of my coffee career building out and implementing education programs. I have always loved teaching and educating people so it seemed like the proper trajectory was to move into the public education sector.

At that point Likewoah Handmade was still a side hustle and I didn’t think it was possible to turn it into a full time job. I spent a few weeks digging into the process of becoming a teacher in Colorado, realizing it would be a bit more complicated than I thought, but I potentially wouldn’t need to take a Praxis exam in order to start my path into teaching as long as I had taken some specific classes in college. Long story short, I was one class shy of being qualified to teach without taking the test, so I studied for the Praxis exam, didn’t pass by a few points, and said well maybe this isn’t for me right now. I also know that Colorado is just a stop on my journey and not somewhere I plan on staying for the rest of my life.

So I decided to turn Likewoah Handmade into my fulltime job and kind of forgot about pursuing teaching as I became swamped with everything that goes into running a business. I barely made it through my first holiday season with Likewoah fulltime and come beginning of the year, 2019, the thought of teaching a workshop was so far from anything I could imagine myself doing, especially for macrame, a skill I had taught myself over the summer of 2018.

The way I stumbled into teaching workshops is kind of a funny story.  Currently, I work out of my kitchen/living room/dining room area until my “Yarn Barn” is completed, and we rent out part of our home on Airbnb. I tend to interact often with our guests since they walk through my workspace often throughout their stay. One morning a guest mentioned I should look into offering some workshops with my macrame skills on Airbnb Experiences. Initially, I thought there was no way I could do that, it’s not a craft I have been doing for very long and I can’t teach (according to standardized tests and the state of Colorado). Spending the day pondering on it I realized I have spent so much of my life teaching, it just had never been teaching crochet or macrame. That day I pulled the trigger and listed a Macrame Plant Hanger workshop on Airbnb Experiences. Within a 24 hours I had a booking for the class and thought well here goes nothing.

My first workshop was with two lovely ladies, and it went AMAZING! I quickly remembered how much I love empowering people with new knowledge, a new skill, a new perspective on something. Things began to happen incredibly quickly. I was offered to teach workshops at local businesses, bachelorette parties, breweries, and the requests have just kept coming in.

My husband pointed it out to me one afternoon that here I was teaching art. Sure, it’s in a different capacity than I thought I would be a year ago, but I made that dream of mine come true. I still want to work in public education in my life, but for now here I am teaching fiber art workshops and loving every second of it.

From a financial standpoint it has truly helped my business grow in a way I didn’t know was possible. From a mental standpoint I get so much energy and joy teaching others and seeing the joy it can bring to people. I’m still working through years of injuries with my body, and teaching workshops has allowed me to take a break from producing products for a few hours at a time, which is a game changer with how my body can feel in a day. I am loving each and every opportunity I have to teach, and hope to see you at one of my workshops in the near future!

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