Chamber creative group holds networking gathering

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Apr. 8, 2011
Debra Smith of PROforma/GraphicWorks displays just one of her firm's offerings at the Glastonbury Creatives' meeting April 7.
Debra Smith of PROforma/GraphicWorks displays just one of her firm's offerings at the Glastonbury Creatives' meeting April 7.

In addition to having networking events for the membership at large, the Glastonbury Chamber of Commerce has begun to form smaller, but more concentrated meetings of people in businesses that are more closely related. A retail council has begun meeting, and last week a group of creative professionals held its fourth meeting at the Connecticut River Valley Inn.

Peter Billard of Peter Billard Photography, the leader of the meeting, said the point of the group is to “better familiarlze ourselves with each other and what we each do.”

“When it comes time to make recommendations and to suggest other people in creative services, we can make really good, high-quality referrals.”

“Creative people work independently,” said Debra Smith of PROForma/ Graphic Works. “So, they don’t have a big support network. It’s good for them to work together and overlap.”

Smith and Billard were among four professionals who made short presentations on what they do.

“We do a lot of different things,” Smith said of her firm. “Whatever you need, we can do it. We’ll figure out how to get it done for you.”
Billard spoke of how he used to shoot a variety of subjects, such as products and interiors, but has found that shooting people is more rewarding.

“It’s important that people look good,” Billard said, “especially in business. I let people know that I’m their advocate, I’m on their side. I want to make them look good. Sometimes it’s more challenging, but it’s endlessly fascinating.

Heather Turner of Forfeng Designs explained that her consulting, marketing and design company specializes in the hospitality industry, but has clients all over the world in all different businesses.

“We do print design,” Turner said, “and we do plackards and brochures.”

Graphic designer Mary Crombie of Acorn Studios said she was glad to see the group come together.

“As creative people, we’re all in this because we love the work,” she said.

Crombie said she has run the business from a studio space in her home since 1990.

“I do love my work,” she said. “I’m lucky to be able to do something like this.”

The group is already working on formulating ideas about how it could combine its efforts on a project that would benefit the community, and several ideas were suggested.

The next meeting of the "Glastonbury Creatives" group will be May 7. The Chamber has also started a retail council, and other diversified groups are being planned.

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