Grand Rapids Community Spotlight: CreativeMornings GR

The older we get, the more difficult it is to make new friends, network, and connect with like-minded folks. Why is this? Well, we get pretty stubborn as we tack more years onto our lives. We tend to frequent the same restaurants, bars, and coffee shops, mingle with the same people, take the same routes to and from work, so on and so forth. It’s a real challenge to intentionally take ourselves out of our comfort zone and explore new ways of doing things, meet new people and learn new skills.

That’s why groups like CreativeMornings are so important.

Community Spotlight: CreativeMornings GR

We recently talked about what an awesome resource CreativeMornings (CM) is to Grand Rapids (and hundreds of cities across the globe!), but we think this super-cool org deserves a little more lovin’—especially since we’ll be one of their creative sponsors in 2018! We can’t wait to be more involved with CMGR. : )

Here’s a quick rundown on CM:

Founded by Tina Roth Eisenberg in 2008, CreativeMornings originated as an accessible event for New York’s creative community but has quickly grown into a global organization, with chapters in well over 100 cities across the world. On one Friday every month, CreativeMornings GR (along with every other CM chapter) hosts a free breakfast and 20-minute creative lecture centered around a theme chosen by one of CM’s chapters. The featured theme and speaker changes monthly. Again, these events are free (booyah!) and open to anyone (Yes, that means you! No, you do not need to consider yourself a “creative” to attend)!

We had the chance to chat with Creative Mornings’ Grand Rapids former host, Molly B. Singleterry, and Copywriter at Herman Miller. She also runs her own invitation and stationery design studio, Spectacle Design Studio. She’s truly a gem—such a gem that we wanted y’all to get to know her from the woman herself.

Check our short Q/A sesh with Molly below!

Molly B. Singleterry

TIS: Molly! When did you discover CreativeMornings? What inspired you to become president?

Molly Singleterry: I was friends with Julia, who started the Grand Rapids chapter in 2014, so I went to the first event at Haworth and was hooked! It was a perfect time for me to get involved—I was freelancing full-time as a copywriter and graphic designer and needed the outlet of seeing people on a regular basis and making connections. I officially started volunteering in January 2015 and was asked by Julia to take over as the host in 2016. I immediately said yes, and then almost immediately said, oh God, no.

The first few months were rough thinking about getting on that mic. But month after month, it started to get easier and more importantly—fun. I love hosting and leading this great group of volunteers. It’s opened up my introverted shell, given me new opportunities, made me more confident, and introduced me to a vast network of wonderful volunteers around the globe.

TIS: How does CM help connect our community?

MS: CreativeMornings provides a place—once a month—for our community to see each other, catch up, collaborate, and get inspired. And our community connects us, too. We’ve grown specifically through word-of-mouth and it shows just how connected the West Michigan creative community really is. 

TIS: What’re some other benefits of attending CM/being a part of the community?

MS: I’ve heard (and experienced myself, too), that our events provide a natural way to network and socialize. We’re not handing business cards out to each person we meet, but we’re creating a natural way for creatives to get together and chat and let ideas spark. It also expands your horizon! One of our main goals for CMGR is to consistently expand our reach and feature community members you might not know, from many walks of life.  

TIS: What’s something you wish folks knew about CM (like maybe those who feel like CM isn’t somewhere they belong)?

MS: Sometimes I’ll hear from people that they think they aren’t creative enough to come to one of our events. But CreativeMornings’ manifesto (as lived throughout the 175 chapters globally) starts: “Everyone is creative” and ends with: “Everyone is welcome.” It’s the truest way I see CreativeMornings. We’re a massive, wide-open hug that wants anyone who is interested to attend and feel the love we do. 

TIS: What are a few of your favorite themes/talks/speakers we’ve had here in GR?

MS: Oh, that’s tough! We’ve been fortunate to have some really excellent speakers in our last three years. Some favorite that come to mind: Jes Kramer, a musician who spoke on “Sound” on a blizzard-y morning; Kimberly Wolting, a designer who spoke on “Compassion” and we dropped balloons on everyone; Oum and Namh Lahade, two teenagers who spoke on “Genius” and blew us all out of the water; Mayor Bliss, who spoke on “Transparency” right before the 2016 election; and Carson Davis Brown, who spoke on “Shock.”

Wanna learn more? Come experience it for yourself!

As previously mentioned, CreativeMornings hosts monthly lectures featuring a different theme and speaker. Make sure to follow CMGR on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the loop for upcoming events! We also highly recommend signing up for the CM newsletter (signup located at the bottom of the page)—so many fun articles, videos and resources!