This week I was really struck by something: How thankful I am for all the people who give chances.

I thought about this as I headed to The New Label Project on Saturday to drop off some new rings, cards and hairclips. I realized how lucky I am that people—and companies—like this exist.

It’s because of people like Guilia at The New Label Project and the folks at the Sunday Market here in Amsterdam that I have a place to sell my things.

And it’s because of people like Glenny at Art & Soul, and Gail at Creative Workshops that we—you and me—have the chance to exchange ideas in ways we might not be able to otherwise. Even more important, these classes and retreats offer a community where we can connect with each other, either in person or online. Imagine how lonely it could be otherwise.

Or without the magazines, like the Craft Stamper, Somerset Studio, Stamp & Scrap Arts  and so many more. We’re truly lucky to have resources where we can learn and get inspired by each other.

The thing is, many of these endeavors are not run by big corporations. Very often it’s one woman who sees a need in the artistic community, and works her tail off to make it come true. Sure, she’s following her own dream—but she makes things possible for so many of us.

Without them, it would be so much harder for people like me…and I’m discovering there are a lot of people like me, who write and design and make things and hope to carve out a place in this community because we are passionate about what we do.

Without them, my job would be amazingly hard, if not impossible. Yes, the people who organize the retreats, the classes, the stores and markets and magazines do get paid—but they’re also the ones taking a risk and putting forth an investment. Take The New Label Project—they have the expense of renting a store, display, staffing, and so on. Or Art & Soul, arranging the hotel facilities, the teachers, the website, the advertising. Or a magazine, hoping that contributors like me 1) meet my deadline, and 2) send them good work.

(Of course, it goes two ways: I have to fulfill my part of the deal by providing the best work I can. That’s my investment in the relationship.)

So I’m super-grateful to them. I mean, I could blog or write or teach all day…but these people, and organizations, mean that I can actually turn this writing, designing, teaching lifestyle into a feasible career. And with their help and input and opportunity, I become a better teacher, writer, designer, photographer and maker of stuff.

I’m guessing in everyone’s life there are people and organizations who give chances–maybe this week is a good time to tell them thank-you…and look for ways we can do the same for others.

Have a good week!