Connecting with the community and celebrating creators in Austin is one of the most gratifying parts of the work that we do at collective blue. In thinking about what we wanted to accomplish this year, one of our goals is to improve how we build community online – and not just at our events. In 2018, we’re excited to experiment with how we can better engage with our community digitally, focusing on themes that resonate with our tribe of creatives, entrepreneurs, and makers.
Our featured creator at the beginning of the month will set the tone for the rest of the month, and we’ll ask our community (you!) to submit work, such as artwork and personal stories, that align with the theme.
To kick off 2018, we’re excited to interview Sophie Kwok, founder of Love Intently. Her story is extremely relevant to us, the collective blue team, right now as we plan for growth and encounter self-doubt about our audacity to dream “that big.”
This month’s prompt is...
There’s a genuine and curious energy about Sophie Kwok. The energy is obvious in the way she speaks, her body language, and in the company she founded, Love Intently.
Love Intently aims to strengthen relationships and stemmed from Sophie’s personal quest to reinvigorate her relationship with her parents. “Something we don't realize until later in life is how connected our relationship with our parents are to how we are romantically and in our relationships outside of that,” reveals Sophie. “It all feeds into one another. My pursuit of a deeper relationship with my parents is the core and heart inspiration behind Love Intently.”
The foundation of Love Intently stems from Sophie’s personal relationship with her parents, but what informs every decision she makes is her belief that everyone can learn to understand and love their loved ones better too. After graduating college, Sophie decided against moving out of the state and stayed in Texas to become closer to her parents and cultivate their relationship. It took a lot of awkward conversations, but ultimately, the reward was a deeper connection with people she loved.
“My relationship with my parents was fully redeemed and took a 180,” Sophie admits. “I didn't believe that [redemption] was unique to us,” admits Sophie. “I believe that other people can have that too. I deeply wanted others to know that they're worthy of unconditional love, they’re capable of giving it, and they’re capable of receiving it.”
Despite her passion to help others, belief that it was possible, and a community that supported her, Sophie’s journey of following her calling hasn’t always been smooth. Like so many of us in the creative community, one of the biggest challenges she’s learning to overcome is self-doubt.
“I feel like my Goliath is myself. Really, all of our Goliaths are ourselves.” admits Sophie. “I underestimated how real impostor syndrome was. In so many ways I was my own biggest hurdle.”
Most of us have been in situations where we can’t help but to compare ourselves to those around us. It’s easy to fall into the trap of feeling like we don’t stack up to our peers or that we’re falling behind, and we begin to question our credibility and decisions. What we often forget, though, is that we’re usually comparing the wholeness of who we are and our life story with only a slice of what other people choose to project.
Taking down this Goliath won’t be done with one hit. It’s a long journey, and Sophie is taking it step by step by being honest with herself and realizing that she doesn’t need to have all the answers.
“We're not supposed to know it all. Be a learner, keep being a learner. We put this pressure on ourselves to be perfect and to get [our work] to a certain fidelity before people can see it,” reminds Sophie. “In actuality, nobody expects you to be perfect. They just want to see you keep trying."
Sophie’s advice for pushing through the imposter syndrome? “Take time to reflect and take a deep inventory,” advises Sophie. “What are the things that are true? What things can I change and what do I have control over? How can I work towards enhancing those strengths? And then, what things do I need to let go?”
Love Intently not only highlights Sophie’s emotional strengths but her professional strengths as well. As Chief Marketing Officer and Chief of Product, she’s excited to test new ideas for Love Intently’s upcoming Valentine’s Day campaign.
“We have a ton of content coming out – a How We Love series featuring couples in the little moments every day,” reveals Sophie. She aims to debunk myths and misperceptions about dating and relationships through Love Intently’s How We Love series. “We want to have a more authentic, real view into love – both the highs and lows.”
“We need to showcase both the highs and lows and let people know that it is possible, and it's worth it,” Sophie states. “We just need to give people more tangible ways on the ‘how.’”
What drives YOU to push through impostor syndrome?
Let us know by tagging us on Instagram @collective_blue and using the hashtag #collectiveblue or shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re always here to champion you and share your stories.
Also, be sure to keep up with Sophie (@sophie.kwok) and Love Intently (@love.intently) on Instagram, and check out their Valentine’s campaign!