We had the good fortune of connecting with Kate Talcott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kate, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Community is the driving force in all that I do. I’ve worn a lot of hats throughout my life–teacher, librarian, mom, and now artist and business owner. In each of those ventures, creating a sense of community is what lights me on fire. I was always the kid who was trying to get clubs together on our neighborhood block, or hosting a friendship bracelet seminar under the slides at recess so we could all more fully celebrate our friendships.
While I still make a stellar friendship bracelet, this passion for building community has evolved into a passion for creating space for people to connect in all the branches of my business. If the past few years of lockdowns and social distancing have taught us anything, it is how precious and imperative community can be for people to survive, let alone thrive. Throughout my life, all my greatest treasures and achievements have been made possible by the supportive and caring people around me.
In my art, I create greeting cards to help celebrate and love on those who lift us up. Providing tutorials and tips for watercolor artists and dabblers allows me to connect with creative folks daily! I adore being able to cheer people on as they embark on their artistic journey. Tiktok and Instagram have been such wonderful hubs of energy and giving in my little corner of the internet. And most recently, as a business owner, I am passionate about providing opportunity for community and connection through Biz Buds. Hosted on Patreon, Biz Buds is a peer-driven community for creative business owners to share, grow, and thrive!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Starting my watercolor business took me by surprise. I don’t mean in the sense that there were surprising snafus (of course there were MANY examples of that). I mean that I had no intention of starting a business and it just kind of happened.
I picked up watercolor in 2019 as a way to have something to call my own after my first child was born. Upon reflection, I realized I was struggling with postpartum anxiety and depression, but in the moment, watercolor seemed to be the only thing that would help me quiet my mind. I started to do little projects here and there for friends and family and it seemed like it went from something casual to navigating questions of shipping, taxes, UBI numbers, branding, CRM tools and more overnight.
What had once been my creative oasis had now become a full time job. I was doing custom portraits and creating products with absolutely no background in business at all. There were many times in those early days where I was just flailing around, throwing things on the wall to see what stuck. It was also right at the start of the pandemic so my little extravert spirit was champing at the bit to not feel so isolated in my business journey, let alone in a lockdown. As I was at the point where I would have chatted with the lamppost if the light hit it right, I gathered my courage and reached out to other business owners on Instagram. That’s right, I was just sliding on into their DMs! It was just little things at first, “I love the color palette you use there” or “congrats on your new product!”
I distinctly remember at one point, reaching out to my (now) friend Emily Voss, owner of Tusks and Peonies, and sharing about my laser printer experience. Talking about it later, we both reminisced about how it felt like we were online dating – “does she like me?” “am I being weird?!?!?” We were both exploding with new ideas, questions, and thoughts about our little baby businesses and we needed an outlet. We needed a friend! We met in a park, masked and distanced, but as soon as we started chatting, I felt like I had known her my entire life. Having someone to talk to about my art and my business was life-giving.
I knew we couldn’t be the only ones feeling this way. I started reaching out to other creative business owners, to see if they wanted to chat! I was surprised and delighted that all of them said YES! We started meeting monthly to discuss different topics and share ideas for our businesses.
I am so grateful to be able to do what I love for a living. Watercolor continues to delight and excite me every time I sit down to paint. Painting and teaching others the joy of watercolor thrills me to no end. But the greatest surprise in my journey so far has been the amazingly kind, talented, and generous creative community I have connected with along the way.
To be honest, it almost feels too good to be true! Rather than hoard this magic, however, I am SO SO SO excited to have a chance to widen this community to more creative business owners. I never want anyone to feel like they have to go it alone. Starting a business can feel messy, stressful, confusing, and hard, but it can also be exciting, invigorating, enlightening, and life changing.
Enter: Biz Buds!
Biz Buds is a peer-driven creative community all about helping small businesses share, grow, and thrive. It is hosted on Patreon, which allows folks to be involved at different levels to meet their needs. We have a monthly book club, growth challenges, an ever-growing resource library, guest speaker replays, and guided monthly chats! Most importantly, it is affordable. Professional development should not break the bank. The more people who are involved, the more bountiful the resources become! So, dear reader, if this sounds peachy keen to you, consider this your formal invitation to join the Biz Bud Patreon! (https://www.patreon.com/
(Come for the community, stay for the enthusiastic and perhaps overindulgent bee theme!)
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I live in Woodinville, Washington – just outside of Seattle. If you’re anything like me, I know you came for the wine!
Start your weekend off with a lovely patio brunch at Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. As you allow the sweet buzz of your mimosa sink in, check out Woodinville Lavender, a lavender farm especially stunning in mid to late summer! From there you’re just a hop away from tasting rooms galore! Stop by Matthew’s Winery just down the road. With a lovely patio and a stunning dahlia garden, your palate will be quenched as you sit looking out on the lush bountiful blooms! JM Cellars and Novelty Hill-Januik winery are also not to be missed!
After grabbing a bite at Woodinville Tavern for lunch, (be sure to check out Woodinville Distillery next door and get some of their amazing maple syrup to bring home!) mosey on over to Chateau Ste Michelle winery for a performance from their summer concert series!
Throughout your stay there are hikes galore! Be sure to go blueberry or strawberry picking – Bybee Blueberry Farm is nestled at the base of the mountains. Seeing the fog melt away into a glorious sunny day is an experience like no other.
Dupar Café hosts scrumptious pastries, perfect fuel for meandering the School House District. Sidekick Coffee’s “Local” latte is the stuff of dreams. If you’re a green thumb or plant enthusiast, you can’t miss Molbak’s – a STUNNING nursery with lovely home goods, gifts, and a truly impressive plant collection! They even have a little café inside for tea or a light lunch.
Be sure to snag dinner at The Barking Frog at Willow’s Lodge for a truly luxurious dining experience, and Twisted Cuban’s Cafe and Bar has a Cuban sandwich that is not to be missed.
End your trip with a celebratory hot air balloon ride with Over The Rainbow where you can look out over the mountains, the water, and watch the sun set on the lush and bountiful town of Woodinville.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
The Biz Buds group started as an idea. This original group of women and I still meet monthly to support each other and talk about ways to help our businesses thrive.
Jessica Chan-Charette @sowinggrounds
Jillian Soprano @studio.soprano
Erika Wurm @wurmwares
Allie Royston @windsweptdesignstudio
Beth Symons @bethsymonsfineart
I would also like to shout out my first biz bestie: Emily Voss from @Tusksandpeonies.
It has been a beautiful journey to watch each and every one of our businesses grow. I am all the greater for having met you all!
Other: Biz Bud Patreon: http://patreon.com/bizbuds TikTok: https://www.