Author Archives: Laura Bray

Creating a Business Support Group

A few years ago, I asked 3 of my friends, all of whom had their own businesses and had children at my daughter's school, if they wanted to create a business support group. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. We meet monthly, for about 2 hours in the morning, to discuss our challenges, business goals, and report on what we accomplished over the previous month. Initially, I thought we would primarily hold one another accountable to our business tasks, but it has turned into so much more! It is a safe place for us to meet and talk about fears AND successes in ALL areas of our lives- from business ownership to motherhood, we have supported and cheered one another on.

We come from many areas of expertise: There are crafters, artists, therapists, retail sales, photographers, restaurant owners represented and, while one would think it would be beneficial to have only one industry focus, we've come to realize that's not the point. The point is to have a group of women who are in the same boat. Women who help each other figure out how to deal with the challenges of raising a family and raising a business.

Over the past three years, we have had one member leave, and two more join us. I have moved away, but now I attend the meetings via Skype. We are a close knit group and I feel so lucky to have these women in my life. If you are interested in creating a business support group of your own, here are some tips for making the experience as successful as possible:

  • Keep the group small and intimate. We have 6 women in our group and that's as many as we can handle. We want everyone to have a chance to discuss their business in our meetings and we want to keep the meetings manageable time-wise.
  • Be selective about membership. It's important that you pick people who are trustworthy as there is a lot of vulnerabilty exposed in the meetings. You also want to have members who are serious about their business and will stick to the meeting agenda. This isn't a social hour, it's a business meeting.
  • Set a regular date and stick to it. We meet the second Wednesday of every month and we all make it a top priority to be there. This goes back to the point above-pick women who are going to make this meeting a priority.
  • Have forms to fill-out each month to keep the meeting on track. We have a form that everyone fills out before the meeting that allows us to focus on our accomplishments, hold ourselves accountable, and get focused on where we are struggling and might need help or support. We have a second form, that we fill out during the meeting, that helps us set goals and tasks for the next month.
  • Host a yearly retreat. Each year, we get together to plan out the next year. We eat good food, journal, and do some art and/or personal enrichment exercises. We all look forward to it every year.

This should get you started for creating your own business support group. You can always contact me if you have any questions or need advice for creating your own Business Support Group.

Visit one of my fellow group member's website to buy some awesome jewelry!


The Life of a Craft Designer: Unboxing New Product

Iridescent Gelatos

One of the best things about being a professional craft designer is that I get to work with the latest products my clients release. I'm currently on the design team for Faber Castell's Design Memory Craft blog and just a received a package of new product! One of which is their new Iridescent Gelatos! TheseContinue Reading

Studio Diary: January

Sketchbook watercolor by Laura Bray::

At the beginning of January I wrote about my resolution to make time EVERY SINGLE DAY to work in my studio. Not to work on client projects, not even to work on artwork I will turn into products. Just time to get in my studio and make art. Today, I thought I would share withContinue Reading

Watercolor Hearts Valentine’s Day Printable

Beauty Shot of Cards

Just wanted to pop in quickly and give you a little gift today! How about some sweet and colorful watercolor valentines? It's a free valentine printable, from me to you, because the world needs a little extra love today. Print them out, cut them out, and spread the love. Happy Valentine's Day! Click here toContinue Reading

Saving the Environment One Glass at a Time

Mug Rug Beauty Shot with Watermark

Disclaimer: I received compensation and/or free product in exchange for creating and posting this project. The project and opinions are mine. One of our goals as a family is to reduce our water use and that means keeping our dirty dishes under control. On the flip side, we also don't want to overload landfills withContinue Reading

Guest Designers Wanted!

Bird and Tea

I'm super excited to announce that I will be releasing my new stamp line in March 2017! Do you rubber stamp? Are you a mixed media artist? A creative lifestyle blogger? I'm looking for a few talented artists and crafters to help me spread the word about my stamp designs. I'm not creating a designContinue Reading

Homemade Valentines

Homemade Valentines with

(You can get the tutorial for the lovely valentines shown above here.) My daughter is in middle school this year and her school doesn't have a Valentine's Day party. So sad! It will be the first year since she was four that we haven't made valentines for her classmates. It's the end of an era.Continue Reading


Our view

Date Stamp: Monday, January 9, 2017 This is my first winter in the Pacific Northwest and, apparently, it is a record-breaking year for snowfall, cold temperatures, and freezing rain. You would think a California girl would be out of her element, but actually, I'm enjoying it immensely. Don't hold me to this in March, butContinue Reading

Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Cinnamon Roll Recipe on

Cinnamon rolls are holiday tradition around here. I used to make them for Christmas Day, but they have recently migrated to New Year's. I make the dough the night before and let it slow-rise in the fridge, that way, there's not as much waiting for them in the morning. I typically use The Pioneer Woman'sContinue Reading

My Favorite Craft Projects of 2016

Best of 2016

In my Top Blog Posts of 2016, I shared the most popular posts on my blog (at least popular per Google Analytics!). Today, I want to round-up my favorite projects for the year. Cheater Chopsticks DIY French Press Cozy Tween Memo Board Clothesline Bowls Were any of these your favorite too? Did you make anyContinue Reading