Have you been meaning to join Creative Women’s Circle for a while? Well, now is the time to join us and reap the benefits. Our Mid-Year Membership Drive is on until June 30 – you can save 10% off the full price of membership, just in time for the end of the financial year (and it's tax deductible!).
There are a whole host of benefits, including the opportunity to join a Members-only Facebook group (launching in July!) to discuss the highs and lows of being a creative, entrepreneurial woman; the chance to attend and vote at the AGM in August; plus discounted event tickets, product discounts, and the chance to attend Member-only events.
Photographer Martina Gemmola has been part of CWC for several years, and credits the group for providing support and opportunities for her creative business. Here's her story...
Interior design project by Camilla Molders, photographed by Martina Gemmola.
Why did you join CWC?
I had returned to Melbourne after 6 years away and felt a little lost as how I should go about launching my freelance business, and how to connect with likeminded people. Having joined a 'networking' group overseas, and having felt the benefits of just being part of something, I decided to become a member of the Creative Women's Circle. I felt an instant connection and was warmly embraced by the creative community Melbourne is known for.
Floral & botanical design by Good Grace & Humour, photographed by Martina Gemmola.
What were your first impressions of CWC?
I felt such comfort! Knowing that I had 'found my people' - which is not something to be taken for granted in the sometimes competitive and 'cliquey' world of small creative business. Everyone was so welcoming, and so happy to share their knowledge. Plus they were just generally super to be around. It wasn't long before I was volunteering to help Tess at events and baking up a storm for our morning teas. It was nice to be able to give back to the community that gave so much to me.
What have been the biggest benefits or positives of CWC to your creative life and career?
I can't stress enough the positive effect it has had on my business. In the early days I asked a couple of CWC people on coffee dates and we started to collaborate on some folio projects. What resulted was a greater confidence in my work and in the direction it was going, the freedom to try new things, and refine some old skills. I started to feel a little more at home back in Melbourne, armed with an instant support network filled with absolutely rad women.
Kooyong House by Monique Woodward, WOWOWA, photographed by Martina Gemmola.
Have you connected with other CWC members?
I work a lot with the talented interior designer Camilla Molders, who was my first CWC crush, and she in turn has referred me left right and centre all over the design world, which I am eternally grateful for. She introduced me to Ruth Welsby, who has become my styling guru and dear friend. I've worked with our fabulous president Tess McCabe on several projects, and have had some of my best jobs referred from ladies of the CWC. I've shot some amazing architecture and interiors with fellow members Monique Woodward of WOWOWA and Samara Greenwood of SGArch. I've photographed a wall covered from top to bottom with flowers just for the hell of it with the Good Grace & Humour ladies. I've found myself in the most ridiculously stunning luxury accommodation in Port Fairy with Colleen Guiney, who found me through the CWC, and together we worked on an article that graced the pages of Vogue Living - total dream. It's been an amazing resource for word of mouth marketing (the only kind I do!). I've had the best of fun.
One thing I found at events was how easy it was to strike up a conversation with a stranger, and quickly find common ground. I've never really been one to put myself out there, but somehow the events I went to inspired me to give it a go. The daggy networking group I had been a part of overseas was much more corporate, and felt a little like everyone was out to take, take, take. The CWC was just the opposite and was all about giving. Everyone was so honest and real in the way they related to each other. Following up was always easy - a quick email, a good Melbourne coffee, and I always found myself in excellent company with lots of ideas to explore. What a treat.
Thanks, Marti! Find our more about our Mid-Year Membership Drive here.