Community Spotlight is about giving you, the community, the stage. If you’re looking for collaborators on a passion project (or side project), or you’re looking to hire a creative, or searching for creative work yourself, email us and we will consider your pitch for the next event!

This month we are partnering with The Birthday Party Project to share our birthday. Their cause? Bringing JOY to homeless children through the magic of birthday!

We’re accepting donations of party supplies at our October event, or online contributions

Party Supplies Needed:

  • party supplies (hats, blowers, banners, birthday badges)
  • toys (all ages, $30 value)
  • plastic round and rectangular tablecloths
  • gift wrapping supplies and bags
  • gift cards (target, walmart, visa, toys r us)

Where were you on April 15? Hopefully you were with us talking about pie shops and risk— and not doing your taxes! Megan Wilkes, co-founder of Emporium Pies, shared her experience braving the risks of entrepreneurship. 

Megan gave open and honest advice. That business plan you’re working on? Here’s what she thinks:

When I say “business plan,” I don’t mean a fifteen-page beautifully designed picture book full of what you want your store to look like- while talking about synergy- and how you’re going to bring farm-to-table ingredients and educate people about food. We have that—and that’s important because you want to be able to catch people’s eye with your business plan. But the real meat of our plan was its sixty-five pages of well-thought-out, well-researched numbers. 

Watch the video to hear it all.

We talked with some of our April sponsors about risk. Here’s what they had to say:

What’s your advice to others about taking risks?

Just today I was asked by another aspiring entrepreneur about whether she should quit her day job and follow her passion or continue to play it safe while building her “"side business”" and hopefully one day make an easy transition from one to another.

My advice was: Only you can make that choice. But I have to say that if I was still sitting in my office chair wondering “what if” with all the money in the world, I wouldn’t be happy. I knew it was time when my “side business” consumed my thoughts and was no longer content to continue the safe road. It was worth more to me to see what I was made of and take the leap—if I fail, I can always go back to the cube. But man, if this thing works… that puts a smile on my face no promotion ever could.

—Shanna Lee, CubeFit Yoga

Tell us about a risk you’ve taken.

One giant risk we took was leaving our stable corporate jobs and following our dreams to travel in hopes that our adventure would creatively inspire a business idea, which surprisingly it did! While on the road, we came up with a crazy idea to turn our “'home on wheels”’ into a photo booth. As a former event planner, I saw a need in the Austin market for an innovative, unique photo booth— one that had all the bells and whistles and modern technology but that created an experience. When we were traveling, everyone stopped us to talk about the VW Bus. And there was this instant, nostalgic connection with people when they saw the VW and they wanted to stop and talk to us about their VW story growing up. That intrigue lead to the idea of putting a photo booth inside of the VW Bus, and the rest is history! One of the greatest rewards of our risk is hearing the laughter spill out of the VW Bus as people have a great time posing and making memories with their friends!

—Emily Shrode, Vannagram

What’s a risk you’ve taken?

Can an organization’s declarations and ideals really be their external face? Can its employees really “live” the words written on a piece of paper?  

Universal Mind’s “intentional expansion” in Dallas could have been fraught with risk without such high ideals.  Our ability to become part of a city - as opposed to just doing business here - has eliminated the risks associated with being an interloper.  The foundation of our team and choice to office downtown have given face and voice to these declarations.  Risk is always present, but you can take steps to mitigate or eliminate it.

—Andrew Sevin, Universal Mind