I’ve had the fortune of meeting two incredible makers at a few of the different craft shows I’ve attended over the years. Dominique Montaro I met in Estes Park when both of us worked together to figure out a way to fit both our booths into a space that should have only held one. Lexi Ibarra and I were booth neighbors at a show in Denver and we bonded over our different jewelry making styles.

Both ladies have become my go to experts for different shows, business tips, and general advice. And honestly, if there’s one big piece of advice I could give it’s to make friends with other artists because they can provide invaluable information that comes in helpful.

Dominique is the artist behind Montano Arts and she paints the most colorful, rad animal prints. Dominique and I caught up over margaritas a few months after we were both neighbors and she gave me some super helpful tips about good shows and Facebook groups to join to help me find shows in the northern Colorado area. In fact, I owe it to her for helping me get into shows at Odell Brewery and a few I have planned for this year in Longmont.

Lexi is behind the Steampunk Butterfly, beautiful jewelry that preserves butterflies that naturally passed on into a wearable necklace. She also makes some amazing raw gemstone jewelry that I love. Lexi is filled with amazing tips, especially as a fellow jewelry designer. She is the one I want to chat with about my website and possibly selling there. She’s the one who helped me with my return policy and helped tell me about some of her experiences (so I didn’t feel so alone). In all honesty if I have a question related at all to my business I tend to ask her first because I know that if she doesn’t know she’ll help me figure it out.

One of my favorite things about having these friends in my life is the fact that every time we catch up we can relate to each other. Dominique and I often talk about the balance between operating a business while having split attention somewhere else full time. And before devoting herself to jewelry full time, Lexi had a fulltime job and had a jewelry side business, so she understands where I’m at and what I’m going through.

Ultimately, we lift each other up and help each other succeed because we enjoy that. There is no competition between us, only excitement and success. Who have you met that lifts you up? in the industry lifts you up? Who are the friends that you turn to with all your questions? Share below in the comments!

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