Amy Phipps: Women Who Create

 Image: Karina Lyrburn

Image: Karina Lyrburn

Meet Amy Phipps—a mentor, podcaster, educator, and author from Nottingham, UK. Amy is a creative who thrives in the company of others. A good listener, a plant lover, a freestyler, and a vegan who is passionate about the welfare of humans and animals alike, she’s extraordinarily driven and colorful, literally--she loves changing up her personal style and trying fun hair colors.

If that wasn’t enough, she’s also the founder of Women Who Create UK, an active community for women in business. Amy empowers women with the confidence to take risks and lead lives that reflect their creative passions.

Women Who Create UK works with women who are looking to create a career that brings fulfillment and joy as well as sustainable income. Amy uses crafts to empower a wide variety of businesses—local corporations, bloggers, or charity organizations.  She co-hosts the Women Who Create UK podcast, sends out a newsletter every two weeks, and holds creative events and workshops.

Growing up, in school, the only class where she felt at home was art.  She has been crafting for as long as she can remember, and knew she wanted to be an art teacher or maker. She decided to specialize in textiles at university, and later applied for a prestigious 3D embroidery degree and was accepted into a fashion textile course outside of London. Quickly, she realized that knitwear, encompassing garment design, handcraft, and crochet, was the specialism for her. Throughout university, she always worked in retail, as it was an exciting way to meet weird and wonderful people and hear their unique stories.

In both her business and her personal life, creativity and creating communities are at the heart of everything Amy does. She has always loved bringing different groups of people together—to introduce friends and to reach out to peers who she admired online to make more personal connections. As an educator, Amy has seen firsthand at her workshops or business retreats how energy, connection and empathy shared between people has a magical power to inspire, heal and help others thrive.

I exchanged emails with Amy to further discuss her career path and learn more about her desire to bring women together through creativity and communication.  

 Image: Karina Lyburn

Image: Karina Lyburn

Caroline Geithner: What’s one philosophy that you live by day-to-day?

Amy Phipps: Embrace your own personal creativity – even in the smallest day to day tasks!

 

Geithner: On your website, you note that crafting is known to “empower groups and individuals, help overcome anxiety, stress, and grief.” Has crafting always been both a passion of yours as well as a form of therapy? And, for others, do you think crafting can help even those who do not consider themselves to be particularly creative artistically inclined?

Phipps: Before I even understood what mindfulness was about I knew that crafting went much deeper than making pretty things for me, and saw how profoundly it could empower the groups I taught. I will openly admit I am rubbish at meditation! But if you pass me a cross stitch sampler or a ball of yarn and crochet hook I can while away hours on end in my calmest most contemplative way creating one stitch at a time… whilst my usually buzzing thoughts come together helping me reset!

I have seen first hand how crafting can also provide this kind of escape for others too! From groups of women with no confidence in themselves leaving workshops feeling empowered by a crochet granny square, to those suffering from loneliness finding like-minded friends for life. Crafting isn’t just about learning a fiddly little skill… it’s about community!

 

Geithner: Women Who Create seems to be an inspiring blend of art, mental health activism, and business. Did these three things naturally come together in your career?

Phipps: Yes, they did, but it took me some time, and having my own personal struggles with anxiety attacks to realise it. Also connecting with other amazing women who use arts and craft as a tool for change such as Art Tiffin and Craftivists Sarah Corbett, really pushed me to embrace the power of creativity for change in my work and business!

 

Geithner: What advice do you have for rising businesswomen?

Phipps: Don’t be afraid of change. Change is equal to growth. You will grow as you continue to learn and experience the world… and the plan you had at the start of your career path may not match up with the vision you have a year down the line. But that is the beauty of creating your own dream career! Allow room for this growth and embrace all the unique opportunities that present themselves to you when you least expect them or when you truly show up as your authentic self. Also, ask for help!

 

Geithner: After mentoring so many women with their creative businesses, what have you encountered as the most common challenge women seem to face?

Phipps: Lack of confidence is the thing I see in the women I work with come up against the most! I work with women at all different ages and stages in their careers, but the one thing that holds them all back is comparison and lack of confidence in their amazing ideas and skills! It’s fair to say that nothing is original, no one idea is brand new anymore… its 2018 everything has been done! So what’s the point in worrying about it! You do it your way, put your unique stamp on that thing and share it with the world! Don’t wait until it’s perfect… you’re only doing yourself a disservice.

 

Geithner: What does feminism mean to you, and how has this evolved over time?

Phipps: Feminism is no longer just about equal pay for the sexes, for equal rights/titles/opportunities. It’s about raising the next generation as kind compassionate beings who understand that the one thing we share as humans on this planet is the opportunity to connect and support each other through the crazy times ahead. Sure it means equality. But without compassion for ourselves and others there will be no society to evolve into. Only greed, mass consumption and fear. Only when we make it our mission to try to understand and continuously learn about the many beautiful differences there are will we be able to evolve.


Author: Maura Sheedy

Makeup or no makeup, Maura always strives to be her real, authentic self. She spent a year without wearing makeup in high school and has since channeled her project into changing all societal standards- beauty, business, leadership, and more through platform Make Muse.Currently studying Business Management at Fordham's Gabelli School of Business with a minor in Digital Tech and Emerging Media, Maura is an involved student, leader, writer, and entrepreneur. She proudly calls New York City her new home and loves spending her days exploring the city and meeting new people. All of her free time is devoted to advancing Make Muse, as it is her passion.