The Agile Startup Week 8: Visioning and Gaining Traction

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. 

During the past eight weeks, the GILD Collective team has worked through myriad issues and continues to deal with considerable levels of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA) on a daily basis. But lately they’ve been working more on visioning—clarifying what they’re about and where they want to go. They’re making considerable progress on that front, and that’s helping them gain traction and stay motivated. 

GILD Collective, being a startup comprising three female cofounders, is unusual. And that fact might be one of the keys behind their ability to differentiate themselves in the market. Namely, it’s their collective perspective as women that gives them deep insight into their target market. It’s also helping them with their overall vision. 

This all ties into what motivates them—and what generally motivates most people. People are motivated at work by a host of variables. Money is one of them, but it’s not the most sustaining one for most people. One of the more enduring factors that motivates people is feeling like they’re connected to something bigger than themselves. It’s similar to what Steve Jobs said about wanting to “make a dent in the universe.”

So that brings us back to GILD Collective. The team is still honing the exact wording of their mission, so I won’t share that just yet. But I’ll share that it has a lot to do with helping other women, inspiring them to take the creativity that’s burgeoning online through various platforms (like Pinterest) and making it come to life. Along the way, the women involved gain a sense of accomplishment and confidence, while likely learning some crafty skills. 

They’ve been busy this past week, of course. One of the many events they held was a social event for their instructors.

Some photos of that are below. 

As far as their perceptions of VUCA are concerned, the GILD Collective team appears to still be experiencing a moderate level, but it seems to be consistent in magnitude from last week. 

Here are the summaries of their ratings of each. 

As in previous weeks, the team is continuing to refine what they do and how they do it.  

Although no big pivots are on the near horizon for GILD Collective, they’re continuing to refine their branding and message. Ideally, this should tie directly into their vision for where they’re headed and where they want to go. A good brand starts internally and spreads externally. And that’s the track that the team appears to be headed down. 

An additional consideration that the team is having to wrestle with involves their story for “demo day,” which is their opportunity to pitch GILD Collective to potential investors at the conclusion of their 16 weeks with The Brandery. Now that they’ve crossed the midpoint of those 16 weeks, it’s important for the team to keep an eye on the important events for their long-term growth while simultaneously dealing with the often-urgent demands of being a startup. 

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: