Candice Wagener has always loved writing since her early years in elementary school to her current experiences as a freelance writer, journalist, and researcher. She also loves making things from scratch - baking yummy treats, making healthy snacks, and creating homemade sugar scrubs and bath salts. And when time manages to offer her a moment of reprieve you might even find Candice sewing!
Quick 5 minute reads to keep you up to date on trends, tools, and tips for the solo professional.
We love giving props to women entrepreneurs helping other entrepreneurs. It is the future of work and the realm of all independents. In today's JILLS 5 post, we recommend taking a few minutes out of your day to read about Kimberly Lexlow and Jess Legge, Co-founders of Sifted, an email sorting service, as they open up about the benefits of investing in a coworking space and the need for more women to consider doing the same.
When it comes to design, Stacey has it all going on - print, graphics, event, and product design are all part of the work that shapes Stacey's amazing career. You can connect with Stacey in THE JILLS DIRECTORY for all your design project needs. We are excited to spotlight Stacey Anderson, JILLS Madison Hub Member, and to let her share a little of what keeps her inspired and focused.
"I am a creative designer with a diverse skill set ranging from the conceptual to the technical. I can lead and be led, work independently or as part of a team and comfortably interact with all levels from peers to executives. I am a strong, collaborative team builder who focuses on cross-functional diversity and an agile thinker who can quickly adapt to new projects and processes.
My Mac and Adobe Creative Suite are my essentials, but I love a really great weighted pen and a sketchpad to capture my initial ideas. A silly sense of humor gets me through any project, and add a cup of coffee to the mix, and I'm pretty much set to go!
I know first-hand the joy of an important "Story" settling first into your lap, then into your heart. My daughter, Story has been the best chapter in my life and sparks my creative juices every time I see her smile or sleeping gently".
Meet Helen Butterly, JILLS member, and fashion designer. Helen is based in Manhattan, NY and works with clients all over the U.S. and the globe! You can connect with Helen in THE JILLS DIRECTORY, along with many other talented JILLS.
We wanted to let Helen share her story of how her love for her brother and for design launched her urban apparel line Rock & Rebar, which has been featured on HGTV.
I started my career in the early 90's in the children's wear industry. After fifteen years of Barbie, Cinderella and other divas, I was motivated to reveal something edgier and new for an all-new market. I embarked on a freelance design career for men's and women's tees, influenced by Classic Rock and a vintage style that had become a dominant influence in the fashion industry. My top-selling designs produced significant trends and sales from properties like The Doors, The Beatles and KISS.
But my true passion for creativity and design was fulfilled when I launched Rock & Rebar - a line of men's work-wear that fulfilled my desire to launch a tribute line to my younger brother, James Daniel Butterly. James was found dead of an accidental drug overdose in April of 2007. "When something like this happens to you... you start to evaluate your life... this isn't a dress rehearsal. This is it."
I grew up in the working class section of Philadelphia and I know what it means to be in a family of union members who are proud of their work and their contributions to society. "Rock & Rebar adds color and style to America's hard-working craftsmen. I am confident they will appreciate a designer line that salutes their profession." After Jimmy's death, I felt inspired that Jimmy wanted me to recover from his loss by doing something that would make a difference in her life and deliver a positive message from within the roots of their family. "I decided to call the collection 'Rock & Rebar' - 'Rock' because construction sites are in essence rock and stone cement, but Jimmy and I are also rockers. We loved the same music and bands... And 'Rebar' because it is the skeleton of a building. I knew my graphics would be full of skulls as the iconic representation of today's edgy lifestyle statement."
Today I continue the Rock & Rebar line and work with diverse clients to design the perfect, edgy apparel for their businesses and organizations.
Thanks to Madison Startups for giving THE JILLS a shout-out. We so appreciate the support.
Madison Startups article, by Audrey Meis
Imagine yourself as a professional with talents that led you to a career of solo work. Now imagine yourself within a system of empowered entrepreneurs that are all searching for their next gig. This is exactly what Corinne Neil and Megan Boswell had in mind when they founded the Jills of All Trades.
With the trademarked term of “Work Solo-Not Silo,” the Jills of All Trades is a Madison-based network that launched in 2016. It showcases and supports the professional talents of individuals, particularly women, in a precise area of expertise, such as consulting, creative directing and independent contracting.
“Jills members recognize the power of aggregation to amplify the voice of women solo-entrepreneurs across the nation to lead the new project-based economy,” Neil said.
Working as an independent professional, Neil recognized that hunting for the next gig was a constant challenge.
Coming from the opposite side, Boswell realized how hard it was to find trusted, on-demand talent. During her corporate career, she ran into resource gaps that hindered team productivity when searching for freelancers.
Neil and Boswell, who met through their sons, shared the vision that there must be a solution to this two-sided issue, and from there, the Jills of All Trades was born.
Neil has a background in education and curriculum and content development, while Boswell has experience in marketing and design and launched her own consulting company three years ago. For the most part, company tasks are handled between the two of them, and they make sure to block days to work specifically on the Jills of All Trades.
”As we scale, the plan is to have a community manager as the ‘Jills Hub Leader’ in locations across the U.S.,” Neil said.
These Jills Hub Leaders will take on the “vetting” process of adding new members to the Jills website. Right now, becoming a Jill requires a check of references and portfolio. Men also have been featured on the site and are encouraged to join.
The Jills of All Trades website currently features just under 50 professionals. Their titles span from “Graphic Designer” to “Clinical Trial and Research Consultant.” Project seekers can browse profiles or create a posting for a job.
There is no middleman when potential customers reach out to contact a Jill. The company generates revenue through membership fees, and it also offers a fee-based service to help potential clients match directly with a specific Jill to meet the needs of the job.
With statistics on their side, Neil and Boswell see a bright future for the Jills of All Trades. Fifty-three million people in the United States are currently working as independent professionals, which is about 35 percent of the workforce. That number is expected to increase to 70 or 80 percent in the upcoming decades, according to Neil.
”Independent, project-based, contract-by-contract is the future of work,” Neil said. “And we think women are well poised to lead this new economy.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE LINK:
We're so excited to Spotlight Lisa Ghisolf, Creative Director and Wordpress Designer & Developer. Lisa is part of our Chicago hub of JILLS, and works with clients across the U.S. and even in Australia! She's a talented public speaker and storyteller and we're eager to let her share her story with all of you. You can connect with Lisa in The JILLS Directory along with all of our talented JILLS MEMBERS.
A long-time designer, I started out in high school, with a foray into journalism which focused on quality content, the beauty of clean typography and publication design. This grew into work for the University of Iowa student union, the American Marketing Association and many others over time, creating a breadth of work with a singular focus: Clean, intelligent design.
Of course, no one is a jack of just one trade. I’ve parlayed my experience in HTML and CSS into intuitive user interface design, and build websites primarily in WordPress. I design standards-based, click-friendly emails for Constant Contact, AWeber, MailChimp and other providers. And my print work spans direct mail to business cards and interactive brochures with an eye to spending your marketing budget wisely and creating great, communicative marketing pieces.
The majority of my clients come via referral. Though I have clients across the country [and even in Australia!], I find the personal touch conveys not only my desire to see a client’s vision realized, but also how I help them with reliable, ongoing support if issues arise. There’s nothing better than seeing a client react to a design that meets their every need and still surprises them with its intuitiveness.
If you pick up nothing else, know that my focus is finding the best way to speak to your audience. My work is continually used by many businesses over several years, whether it’s a website, direct mail piece or logo. While this doesn’t feed my bottom line, it just plain works.
A special shout-out to BRAVA Magazine for featuring THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES™.
GIVING SOLO PROFESSIONALS PRESENCE
THE JILLS OF ALL TRADES
By Kate Bast | Photographed by Kaia Calhoun, Styled by Julie Mierkiewicz | Brava Magazine
Megan Boswell and Corinne Neil first met at a neighborhood meetup, and that was all it took for an idea to spark between them. The inspired duo launched their business and online platform called The Jills of All Trades to connect independent female professionals with each other and businesses on project-based work. They hope it will become a national, even international one-stop shop—“a powerhouse of online talent,” says Neil (right).
It fills a need, says Boswell (left), in this age of the shared economy, where companies are trying to figure out how to embrace workers who are less tethered to their jobs thanks to technology and a desire for greater flexibility, balance and different ways of collaborating and sharing resources.
The pair has worked in both the corporate and freelance worlds. Of the latter, they deeply know: “It’s hard,” says Neil, “to do the work while also hunting for the next job and trying to self-promote when you’re only one person.” The Jills’ platform removes that barrier, getting female contractors, freelancers and consultants out of those limited work silos and into a visible network with large-scale promotion power.
The Jills’ network is membership based. Boswell and Neil help each member curate her professional bragging rights, with bios, statements and headshots. Member Jills connect with each other at events and meetups, and have the benefits of a built-in peer network, for community, but also for potential collaboration on each other’s projects. Interested businesses connect directly with each Jill—there is no middle man, or woman—and Boswell and Neil also offer a fee-based connection curation service for clients.
The Jills’ broad talent pool includes creative types like designers and photographers, along with business strategists, attorneys, engineers and even postdoctoral scientists looking to market their expertise to the corporate world.
But it’s not just a job network. At its core, says Boswell, “It’s about women championing other women."
original article link: http://bravamagazine.com/giving-solo-professionals-presence/
Although the statistics are hard to pin down precisely, the Freelancers Union tells us approximately 34% of the current US workforce is ‘freelance’ - equating to 54 million people in the United States. With estimates from the likes of Robin Chase and Fast Company suggesting that in the next 20 years those independent workers will rise to 70-80% of us. Liz Ryan reports in a recent Forbes article that we need to “Wake Up and Smell the Coffee. Employment is Over”. And in a LinkedIn post, Reid Hoffman, agrees that ‘lifetime employment might be over”, and offers that “lifetime relationship remains ideal” suggesting that our work will come from our alliances.
It likely means that you and your partner and your friend and your brother and your sisters will be working on a contract by contract, project by project basis consulting, creating, and collaborating with each other, with previous colleagues, with new startups, with anchor businesses. It means you’ll be marketing yourself, operating your own business, working from spaces you chose, and hunting up your own work. You will be empowered to carve your career how you will like. It means you will be responsible for your own success.
With this ‘new’ economy on the brink of exploding, one has to wonder, how exactly is this going to work? And be sustainable.
Companies like Uber, Fivver and TaskRabbit, are evidence of a ‘gig’ economy and are built on leveraging excess capacity showing us how the sharing economy can and does make our lives more efficient and possibly more profitable. But we cannot ignore that Uber is routinely under scrutiny for under or de-valuing the independent workers, and Mattermark suggest that the company itself is not profitable. Fivver operates on the premise that you can get work ‘done’ for just five bucks, and TaskRabbit focuses on easing the daily tasks in your life like cleaning your house, fixing your repairs, and completing your grocery, laundry and mail deliveries - none of which seems to fit a professional model for being ‘employed’. Add in campaigns like that of the Freelancers Union, which is blogging and tweeting that #FreelanceIsntFree as they create the world’s longest invoice of unpaid bills, and it can make stepping into the world of independents seem rather daunting.
Yet there are others recognizing where this economy could go and all that it has to offer. In her June article How the Gig Economy Could Save Capitalism, Rana Foroohar begins to explore new directions for the gig economy and offers up the potential benefits of a shift from big employee/employer systems to smaller more entrepreneurial system. Her article considers the future of what she describes as community based capitalism and suggests the need for new thinking on labor laws, regulatory systems, and crowd-based capitalism. Faisal Hoque reminds us of the “value of small” in his Fast Company article while painting the global picture of the gig economy and describing the future of work as one where we can work how we actually want to work. He sees the future of a robust freelance economy where both independents and companies gain mutually and beneficially.
The world of work is clearly changing and there is a growing need to establish the necessary infrastructure to support this new workforce . As we move through this transition, where almost half of us will work as solo professionals in the next 10 years, let us be thoughtful and intentional in how, as independents, we can lead this new economy in ways that are positive and profitable and most importantly sustainable for us all.