The Agile Startup Week 9: Events, Publicity and Managing Momentum

Note: The Strategic Agility Institute is following GILD Collective, a startup in the crafting industry, as it goes through a nationally recognized startup accelerator. Check out previous posts to get up to speed on this project. 

GILD Collective's Kelsey Pytlik during a recent interview on WCPO Cincinnati.

GILD Collective's Kelsey Pytlik during a recent interview on WCPO Cincinnati.

The past two months have been ones of considerable turbulence for the GILD Collective team, as they’ve taken their business concept and started to turn it into a reality. Now that they’re more than halfway through their program at the Cincinnati-based startup accelerator The Brandery, one would hope that they’ve started to build some momentum. 

And it seems like they have. 

I haven’t been sharing precise metrics such as revenue or number of crafting parties that they’ve held or booked—simply because this blog isn’t supposed to be a scoreboard for GILD Collective. Rather, it’s intended to be a look inside the team as they work through the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) startup world. 

But I will share that it’s been impressive watching the team take their concept and consistently build momentum. For example, they’ve already booked about as many crafting parties in August as they did during the whole month of July. 

Part of that is due to their continual honing of their message. But another part of it is certainly due to some recent publicity the team has enjoyed. For example, the team was recently featured on the local Cincinnati news station WCPO

Here’s the segment on GILD Collective that WCPO recently aired. 

In addition, here are few photos highlighting the team’s refined branding look and feel. 

The team also continues to be involved in the local community, as they hosted a booth at City Flea this past Saturday and will do the same the next two months (photo below). The team sold crafting kits, but their primary focus was on building interest for people to host crafting parties.

As far as their perceptions of VUCA are concerned, the GILD Collective team appears to have had a slightly busier week this week than last, and they predict a similar VUCA level in the near future. 

Here are the summaries of their ratings of each. 

The team is now working on managing the momentum created by their recent publicity.  

They’ve received numerous inquiries about crafting parties and instructor applications based from people who learned about them from their spot on WCPO. As they deal with this influx of interest, they’re attempting to keep up with more projects (with a few new ones up on their site), and they’ve rolled out an incentive program for their instructors. 

One key area that the team continues to work on is figuring out the best way to select and support their instructors. Ideally, these people would also be advocates of the GILD Collective concept, acting as ambassadors of the business and bringing in additional revenue. This requires the GILD Collective team, however, to invest considerable time and effort into picking the right people to become instructors and to ensure they’re supported with training and materials so they’re set up for success. 

Be sure to check back in next week for another update from GILD Collective as they navigate the VUCA world of startups. 

About GILD Collective
GILD Collective is the brainchild of three friends—Kelsey Pytlik, Rachel Bauer McCreary and Jessie Deye. It’s a business focused on crafting, which happens to be about a $29 billion industry. GILD Collective seeks to join that industry by offering instructor-led craft parties, in which customers will pick the project, location and participants. GILD Collective will bring the supplies and expertise, allowing party participants to explore their creative sides and make something with their own hands. For more information, visit:

About The Strategic Agility Institute™
The Strategic Agility Institute™ (SAI) is a collaborative, global effort dedicated to the production and communication of agility-focused knowledge. We're building a community founded upon a common interest in helping people and organizations become agile and thrive in the face of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. For more information, visit: