Local Artist, Entrepreneur Offers Workshop To Help Creative Professionals ‘Make Stuff Happen’

Entrepreneur Anna Lee not only creates many hats — she wears them, too.

Besides being a milliner for her own couture hat line, the Fargo native is also a product developer, mentor and career coach through her independent business, Workerby.

Established in 2015, Workerby (pronounced “worker-bee”) is a design studio that encapsulates Lee’s passion to merge creativity and community, whether she’s producing fashion accessories for global companies, creating colorful hats for her hat line Ruby3 or offering workshops to other artists and creative professionals to help them reach their goals.

Workerby’s next workshop on Tuesday, June 13, called “Making Stuff Happen,” addresses how artists and creative entrepreneurs can find the space in between “planning” and “doing” in their professional development.

“Any time we start our creative journey, whether it’s a painting or our entire career, we don’t know what lies ahead,” Lee says. “The core of my work right now is helping people find the middle ground between having enough of a plan and enough flexibility to make their ideas happen, whatever they may be.”

At the workshop, Lee will lead an open discussion on steps to achieving creative goals, staying accountable and understanding why some ideas come to fruition and others do not.

“It’s more than just making a list and doing it,” Lee says. “There are many steps involved — more than people realize.”

Similar workshops Workerby hosted recently include Perfection Paralysis, which helped artists with the cycles of the creative process, and Currency, which guided artists on how to place both monetary and non-monetary value on their work.

Lee recently moved back to Fargo-Moorhead from Minneapolis, where she built a career establishing the fashion design incubator and fashion show Voltage: Fashion Amplified in 2004, MN Fashion Weekend (which later became MN Fashion Week) in 2005 and MNFashion in 2006.

Because Lee believes in lifelong learning, as the executive director at MNFashion she began bringing in workshops for the designers to give them opportunities to “step up their game,” she says.

She also worked in product development for Target Corporation for nearly a decade, learning the ins and outs of the fashion industry.

Over time, Lee cultivated enough trust among creative professionals in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area that she became known as the “fairy godmother of fashion in the Twin Cities.”

Now that she’s back in Fargo-Moorhead, she hopes to cultivate a similar level of trust and collaboration with local artists and creative entrepreneurs.

Overall, Lee wants to help artists and other creative professionals find ways to keep their work sustainable — and she said “Making Stuff Happen” is a good place to start.

“When people come to my workshops, I’m not going to say I have all the answers, but in my experience I have learned there are a lot of common threads in creative fields,” Lee says.

“I think we tie our sense of self with accomplishment and approval,” she continues. “Until we can say, we are sufficient human beings — no matter if we fail or succeed — that is what helps us continue to create and keep things going for ourselves.”

If You Go

What: Workerby “Making Stuff Happen” Workshop

When: 6-8 p.m. Tuesday, June 13

Where: APT, A Creative Incubator (225 4th Ave. N. in Fargo)

Cost: $20. Register at www.workerby.com/workshops.

This article is part of a content partnership with the Fargo Forum and originally appeared in print on Monday, June 12, 2017.

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