Success For Authors? Build a Tribe

Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt

The husband and wife team of Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt are the creative geniuses behind the successful Floral Design team at Schaffer Designs of Philadelphia, PA, who recently created The Stars Project, a huge floral pop-up art sculpture on the lawn of the National Constitution Center to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Constitution.

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing them about this project, as well as their business and their upcoming book.

Listen now to their thoughts about creating a successful business and author platform by building a Tribe:

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I was so honored to participate in The Stars Project, and I was struck by the community nature of this project, especially in front of a building with the words “We The People” emblazoned on the face. It truly does Take a Village!

Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt have built a very successful business by creating a Tribe. They design huge projects that they freely admit they would never be able to accomplish without the many volunteers who pitch in to make these amazing creations come to life. They have attracted a community of floral designers from around the world who are willing to drop everything to come and work with the Schaffer Designs team.

The Stars Project was a reflection of their Tribe at work. Inspired by hearing that the Constitution was “an umbrella protecting the rights of our citizens,” Bill and Kris designed a 12 foot tall and 16 foot wide steel sculptural umbrella from which they hung large spheres of red and white flowers which gently swayed in the breeze, and over 200 stars.

Each star was contributed by floral designers from almost every state in the country, plus Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom, and many were made from natural materials indigenous to the state of origin. 95 people contributed hand-crafted stars to this project, plus the students and staff at Garfield Park Academy in Willingboro, NJ.

A local artist contributed the huge steel umbrella sculpture that provided the frame for the Stars Project.

Materials were donated by 4 companies, including the foam spheres, star forms, and the flowers used in the project. And Bill and Kris of Schaffer Design donated their floral artistry design skills, their time, and their expertise to make this project a reality.

17 local people also donated their time to create this floral pop-up artwork in the early dawn hours, including local floral designers, a videographer, and two photographers (I was so honored to be one of the photographers).

You can watch The Stars Project unfold here:

Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt are bringing their Tribes business model to the publication of their first book, which includes quotes and photos from the many people who have participated in their projects over the years.

This is a very interesting model for aspiring authors to take a look at: How can you involve your own Tribe of people in your projects? How can you create a place where people want to join you in creating something larger than yourself?

Bill and Kris always seem to create art that is so much larger than themselves, to invite some of the best floral designers in the world to work with them, and to freely acknowledge and applaud the community of people who come together to learn from each other and to create beauty in the world.

I’ve learned a lot from watching how Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt involve their Tribe in so many of their creative projects, and this is a model that I want to use more in my own writing. How about you?

To learn more about what Bill and Kris are doing, please be sure to visit Schaffer Designs.

Listen now to their thoughts about creating a successful business and author platform by building a Tribe: My Interview With Bill Schaffer and Kris Kratt: Success for Authors? Build a Tribe at New Rules of Book Publishing

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