The DIY Marketer | Behind the Scenes - An Interview with Katherine Thrower
Welcome to “The DIY Marketer | Behind the Scenes.” Each month we sit down with a different guest to talk about life, business, and more. This month we chatted with Katherine Thrower of Workshop, a woman we’re happy to partner with for our upcoming workshops! Read on to find out what big plans she has this year!
Tell us more about you and your new venture at Workshops! What's your passion? What inspired this new concept?
I am drawn to the importance of gathering people to connect, learn and grow. Hospitality is in my bones, and I really enjoy creating an environment where people can relax and connect. I’ve spent the last 20 years planning the logistics for large and small events (everything from NASCAR gatherings to corporate meetings to neighborhood porch parties). I’ve felt the most inspired when I set aside plenty of time to invest in a new skill, swap stories, or just enjoy a nice meal with old and new friends. I don’t enjoy the feeling of being rushed; I know the importance of margin, and I love to create an environment where others can rest, linger and enjoy the essence of why they have gathered.
Those of us who have always been in charge of “planning the meeting” know that we’re often exhausted when the meeting starts! The little details demand our time and energy, and we always want to make our attendees’ experience special. But I think there’s a way to do that where the planner can even enjoy it!
I desired to have a “home base” space to create the kind of simple but cool backdrop for hosting meetings and workshops. While I do love a party, I don’t love to plan party events day in and day out. I like to have a manageable setting to keep fresh and ready for special gatherings, like meetings, retreats & lunch-and-learns.
So, phase 1 of Workshop was opening the 1200 square foot space for private rentals, and I’ve just launched phase 2, offering public workshops featuring a variety of personal and professional topics.
What types of workshops can one find at Workshop Local?
Each month I hope to offer a variety of workshops that cover everything from art and photography to business planning and professional development.
This month artist Mollie Blackwood (IG: @bigwavepaper) guides us in a watercolor and ink art workshop on February 24. You can find out more by clicking here.
There’s also a class with photographer Hillary Gamble of Jevois Photography, teaching us how to “capture memories like a pro photographer” on March 8. We are setting up three common special memory scenarios and teaching our class how to enhance their phone camera skills to make those memories sparkle.
On February 15, stylist Megan LaRussa Chenoweth of Style Yourself Chic is guiding us through a personal style assessment & closet refresh. She is a master of helping clients connect with their personal style and enhance their sense of self. We will do a fun 2022 refresh in a lunch and learn setting! You can register for that class here.
On March 2, two of my favorite humans, Mindy Santo & Andrea McCaskey, are joining forces to guide our group through a morning of intentional planning to accomplish a personal or professional goal of individual choice.
There is nothing like taking at least a few hours to make progress toward a goal! Mindy and Andrea are “dream-whisperers” who know just how to encourage, nudge and help us make progress on what is important to each of us. Find out more about “On Purpose: Intentional Planning Deep Dive” here.
I have a history and passion for business start-ups, so I enjoy creating topics that small business owners can gather and connect around while learning something new.
Of course, that’s why I immediately connected with Kayla Stinnett at Iron City Social. Her passion for her small business classes is infectious, so after meeting her a few years ago at the Momentum Conference, I reached out to her for advice and expertise on some business skill workshops. We are excited to offer “Get Your Biz Together” and “The Social Struggle” coming up soon!
Describe your space to us. (What's the aesthetic? What types of events do you host?)
Workshop is set in the heart of West Homewood, and I love that it is at the intersection of so many neighborhoods in town and easily accessible from the interstate, I-65.
My goal is to make it feel casual and approachable but still professional and special. The interior is swathed mostly in a clean white, so it’s flexible enough to meet any event’s needs. I’ve given the entry area some color and personality, but it can also be stripped to a blank canvas.
I love form and function, so I’ve selected large white tables on casters that can easily be moved into a variety of configurations, and a sleek modern meeting chair in my signature color gives a little sense of style that matches the Workshop brand. My amazing friend Fran Keenan of Fran Keenan Design talked me into some crazy large light fixtures that make the space so special. Don’t we love a friend who encourages risks…in a good way?!
The location is in a walkable area so that attendees can pop out for a walk to Patriot Park, get an extra snack from Seeds, or walk to Ash or Pizzeria GM for a glass of wine at the end of their workshop.
Workshop also enjoys using the awesome local restaurants and caterers for our meals. Some days we need a fancy burger from Ash and some days we need a chicken biscuit from Hamburger Heaven. And I’m happy to snag any of them for our clients!
What's one piece of advice do you have for small business owners?
Keep notes on people and businesses whom you admire, even before you need their services. Then when you are ready for your big steps, you are excited and know just who to lean on for guidance.
How can we find you?
Thankfully I finally have a live website that I love! find details on our public workshops, private rentals, and teaching opportunities here at workshoplocal.com. To find out more about Workshop you can send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Instagram, or like us on Facebook.