Collaboration over Competition

Collaboration over Competition
29/01/2017 Jenny Cook
In Stuff We're Up To

This week has been a busy, nurturing and collaborative one in our little Drifters hub. We picked up new stock in all 12 of our whimsical prints, I made and packaged our pre-order pieces to be shipped tomorrow and Sarah started cracking out the final print for her new capsule collection. On Wednesday Sarah’s friend Betty popped in to chat about getting involved in production of our orders. She recently set up shop as an independent seamstress and, much like us has rented her own space to work from in her own way on her own time. On Friday we had a meet up with fellow “girl boss” Charlie who owns and produces the jewellery brand Lief and excitedly planned a collaborative shoot while shrieking over sharing photographer inspo in Wharf Chambers, a cosy, arty, pro-diversity pub in central Leeds that is typically filled with an array of beautiful, flamboyant characters. Once again we worked over the weekend, but mostly on the fun stuff. We had a lovely chilled product shoot with fellow Leeds gals Erin and Claire in the studio today and got another bunch of our one off handmade pieces ready to list. We’ll definitely be able to get this stuff onto the virtual shelves by the weekend. It’s taken a little longer than planned but we’re doing things properly and progress is happening!

All in all it’s been a typically insular time for us. Our cosy studio filled with an assortment of eccentric characters has become a bit of a safe haven- a world that we’ve curated to be exactly how we want it to be, filled with our favourite things and in keeping with our particular breed of Zen. Our day to day lives have taken on a tone of collaborative openness to all people and all possibilities and we’re lucky enough to live in a city alongside a whole bunch of people from all walks of life that share our community driven attitudes. Every woman that we’ve worked with has had a similarly D.I.Y. attitude towards her creative pursuits and like us is ambitious and generous in equal measure. I feel like the artists of Leeds have crafted an exemplary micro-society -a world unlike the hyper-competitive stage filled with grotesquely inflated egos and borderline sociopathic attitudes that we were told we’d find ourselves in were we to pursue our artistic passions. Leeds is a hub for the sensitive ones; the loving, caring, gentle souls who believe in mutual progress through collaboration over survival of the fittest through competition, and who see the world’s resources as plentiful, better shared moderately between the many rather than hoarded in bulk by the few.

On this local level I live in the world that my adolescent dreams imagined for me and if I didn’t feel morally compelled to keep up with current affairs I could easily have missed all the evils that have gone on outside our Cosmic bubble this week. But instead the constant news updates about walls and borders and in groups and out groups and fear and suspicion have caused me to reflect along the above line of thought. I’ve personally found it really difficult to digest all of the bullshit policies that Donald Trump has spewed onto America. As someone who has travelled the very specific path that I have to be sat on this specific desk in this particular studio in this caring community right now I don’t feel best placed to empathise with the millions of people who don’t feel like an attitude such as mine is a safe one to live by. I can’t imagine the series of personal struggles and insecurities that it must have taken for individuals to vote for a man like Donald Trump to represent their values but I do understand the origins of our values, and feel compelled to be vocal about them if nothing else. In life as in business we support collaboration over competition and feel that the worlds divisions will only be bridged when individuals start treating those who differ from them with openness rather than fear.

 

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