Design, Connection, and the Curious Exploration

In my work with women in design, I’ve noticed a frivolous chase. A chase for... The right project. The coolest employer. The smartest idea. When really, what makes the right project right, the coolest employer cool, and the smartest idea smart, are the people.

Maybe you’re a little introverted and connect in bursts, then retreat to a much anticipated solitary haven. Or, like myself, maybe you voraciously lap up connection as a mainstay. No matter the volume or frequency of connection needed, we all must have it. It is vital to being accomplished individuals and essential to building a good, strong business.

Layers of Connection

There are a couple different layers of people needed for our survival and success. On the outside, there are the patrons—your clients, customers, users, etc. Patrons provide a viable reason for your craft but are not actually able to help you do it. The inner layer of people, on the other hand, provide the support needed to execute. These are your comrades. These are the folks who’ve been there for you through thick and thin. They encourage the crap out of you, allow you to make mistakes and share theirs. They push you to be great and high-five you when you arrive. You need them to keep you warm, for it’s hard to go out adventuring without a base layer.

I call this layer The League of Kind + Kindred.

Trading creativity for money has it’s challenges. What happens when I commit to a project and feel overwhelmed? How do I gently fire a client and avoid burning a bridge? What other resources exist for designers like me that I’m yet not aware of? Who will give me honest, knowledgeable feedback? On top of these struggles, it can be difficult to find camaraderie in the design industry. Again, we sometimes get caught up in the chase and live in the world of measurement: the right project, the coolest employer, the smartest idea. There, we are held in comparison and competition rather than camaraderie and community.

However, if we band together, we can face these challenges in league. We can better one another and therefore, better our industry. And guess what? We women are the key. As natural connectors, we are designed for community development. Designed for making waves. Designed for positive influence. With the slightest movement forward, we can impact one another. Then another, and another. Combined, these become the impetus for a domino effect, cascading across the industry in powerful, unstoppable waves.

The League of Kind + Kindred

Created to help one another grow, enable exploration, and allow failure in order to ensure success, The League of Kind + Kindred employs the domino effect through a series of letters. Personal yet pertinent, women share their experiences as designers, knowledge they’ve acquired over the years, and the fun tips and tricks learned along the way.

Woven into a string of public correspondence, each letter is in response to the last yet addressed to the next.

Here’s how it goes...

  • Erin
    I send out a letter to Krystle revealing a turning point in my creative career.
  • Krystle
    Krystle writes to Laura and shares her thoughts on the creative life.
  • Laura
    Reflecting on Krystle's words, Laura contributes insights from her journey in a letter to Natosha.
  • Natosha
    Moved by Laura's words, Natosha divulges a common struggle with what she wants next in life...

...and so it continues.

"I hardly read any of newsletters I receive, but I always read what Erin sends! Her letters open up a new perspective on business and life, offered from an honest and vulnerable place. I'm continually inspired by what she is doing." — Deborah, Good Luck Place

Join the other Kind + Kindred women in design, along with myself, for this curious exploration of connection.

It won’t be the same without you!