Our Maker’s Retreat: a movement of simple goodness

Oh My! Maker's Retreat, Hollyhock, Cortes IslandThis month a small band of movement makers gathered at Hollyhock for a week of sharing why making matters and to lay the foundation for community gatherings at our Maker’s Retreat. There were no schedules or panels of speakers and yet our days were filled to the top with story telling and skill sharing set against the magical backdrop of Cortes Island and the handmade Hollyhock campus. We all took turns as leaders, teachers, students, and makers of our own experience to co-create the retreat with a loose structure based on the transformative PYE Creative Community model.  Our week together proved that when you do away with the swag, sponsors, and trappings of what you ‘should’ do at an event and break the rules creatively it is easy to get down to the real work of making community together. Without all the distractions simple goodness is abundant and connections unfold with grace. We’ll be sharing stories from our retreat and ways you can be part of making the next October gathering after everyone has had a chance to settle back into our lives and reflect on the adventure. Here are just a few snapshots of moments from our week of community and creativity with more to come!

Oh My! Maker's Retreat, Hollyhock, Cortes Island

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Oh My! Maker's Retreat, Hollyhock, Cortes Island

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Even though we were a small group each of us brought exactly what was needed for our time together: Christina, Arianne and Karen led us in conversations about business, ethics, community and making a living by breaking the rules while Genevieve took us on a wonder walk to collect inspiration in nature, showed us how to mix wool in primary colours, and dye our own yarns. Tara helped us make a glorious mess with papier mache and an evening calligraphy session involving wine, lots of laughter, and lovely lettering. Rob was our resident Renaissance man fitting in meditation, yoga, ocean swimming and a hot tub all before breakfast then surprising us all with his generous offering of his many stories, skills and spells.

Woven in through our days were visits from children, a presenters evening where we got creative with other Hollyhock participants + staff, and lots of time for quiet companionship and island adventures (including a trip to the dump and Free Store). Each of us took turns teaching and being taught which was everything we’ve talked about creating for OMHG over the last four years, not only did it work but we could have used more time together! Uncertainty and unscheduling can be stressful for some people but the most wonderful thing is that when you make space for goodness it creates a container big enough to fill up with what matters most at the time. Next year we’ll take what we learned from our first event to make it more accessible and gather an even more diverse group of us to continue developing our open community led gatherings and a movement that reminds us we already have everything we need to make meaningful connected lives and kinder more creative communities.

Thank you to Janine of Uppercase Magazine for supporting our event and sending magazines and beautiful notebook sets for collecting our thoughts and to Colleen Attara for sending us a box packed full of her salvaged words to use in our collage night.

Hooray for making our own agendas, deciding our own enough & crafting a movement of simple goodness with our heads, hearts, and hands! Be sure to mark your calendars, our next Hollyhock gathering is October 9-13 2015, we’ll be working on it in our community starting now and are planning to bring our family friendly hands-on cooperative gatherings to other areas soon, where should we visit next? 

  • http://aeolidia.com/ Arianne Foulks

    Jessika! Thank you so much for hosting this warm and cozy gathering where we could all just relax, be ourselves, and put our heads together for each others’ businesses.

    • http://www.ohmyhandmade.com/ Jessika Hepburn

      Thank YOU my friend for bringing exactly what was needed & helping to craft this event from the very beginning-can’t wait to work together to plan next year!