BUILD AND BLOOM® is a safe space for creatives, both online and in-person. our online community is made up of many different types of creative individuals and all levels are welcome to join in — there is a spot for everyone at the table!

created by our founder, jessica whitaker, in october 2016, build and bloom stemmed from the concept of community over competition. jessica noticed there was a lack of encouraging online communities for young creatives and wanted to fill the gap.

the online community is composed mostly of photographers, and is now one of facebook’s most highly engaged photography groups. because the group is so diverse with different specialties within the industry, members are able to receive many different perspectives on varying topics. collaboration is encouraged and blossoms from this safe learning environment. 

in early 2018 there became a need for in-person meet-ups. however, i wanted these connections to stay community based. we started out by volunteering at other non-profit’s events in new york city, such as the 100 cameras annual spring gala and josephine herrick project’s spring auction fundraiser. this way creatives could still meet and connect while serving a larger purpose.

in 2018, the in-person community came together in 8 free workshops that take place all across the united states and europe. the workshops centered around three topics: photography, social media, and marketing strategies. the workshops were called “RALLY!” and were free to bring equal opportunity to anyone in the community, enabling them to change their legacy through a photography business. at our RALLY! workshops, guest speakers from the local communities would come and teach as well, so that when build + bloom left those attending still had someone in their local area to reach out to and continue cheering them on. build + bloom completed 8 of these free workshops in seattle, los angeles, new york city, dallas, houston, seattle again, pairs, and london. for more information about our workshops, please click here! now, in 2019, build + bloom is taking a pause from the workshops to focus on a greater community project.

in-person connection is still so important though, that is why we have sisterxsister. sisterxsister started in march 2018 and has met in over 16 cities across the united states. sisterxsister is a volunteer program for young girls interested in media. it is for girls, lead by girls. it is a monthly meet-up group that gathers in cities across the united states, connecting hundreds girls who CREATE. each month we host an open discussion around a common issue within the creative media industry and exchange thoughts on how we can change it. this group fosters genuine friendships in local communities via a common interest like media. all high school and college-aged girls are welcome! our intention for this group is to build up our local community of young women in media and empower, encourage, + equip them for the workforce. click here for more information on sisterxsister.

Jessica’s article in the Dallas-based Urban Vacancy press sums it up nicely when asked, “How does B+B stand out against other content creator communities? Whitaker: I don’t look to the right or to the left at other communities. To me there’s no competition because there is enough room at the table for everyone. Our biggest thing is less me, more we. I think it’s all about the team and the core values. Does the team live it out in their own life? Do they walk it out? It’s all about good leadership.”

BUILD AND BLOOM has a lot in store for the future, and we are stoked to have you along for the ride. we will always remain a secure place to share work, ideas, and inspiration.