Collaboration Corner: Sheryl Ott & Monique Johnson

We are so excited to highlight Dare to Detour, a company that puts on transformational retreats for women, founded by Hivery member Sheryl Ott who collaborated with several others in our community to make her dream a reality. One notable partnership was between her and Monique Johnson, founder of MOJO Design, a branding and design firm. EXCITING NOTE! The next Dare to Detour retreat will be Sept. 13-16, 2018 at the Nine Quarter Circle Ranch in Gallatin Gateway, Montana.

Our conversation with Sheryl and Monique...

Sheryl Ott

Sheryl Ott

Monique Johnson

Monique Johnson

Tell us a little about your backgrounds?
Sheryl: I was born in San Francisco, grew up in Oregon and moved to New York City right after college on a dare. I worked in new product development for American Express, then moved back to the Bay Area about 20 years ago and fundraised for local non-profits until earlier this year when I decided to launch Dare to Detour.

Monique: I studied illustration in school, but soon after merged more into graphic design. After designing for many years, I gradually honed in on my true love: branding!

How did you first hear about The Hivery?
Sheryl: I read about The Hivery back in 2015 in the Marin Independent Journal and thought it was interesting, but it wasn’t until early 2016 when I saw a post on Facebook about the What’s Next program that I decided to sign up to see what it was all about. I took the class and met Monique there, who was also participating. I was impressed because she quit her job in the middle of the class!

Monique: I heard about The Hivery through a friend when we were talking about clarity around my career and that I was in need of work/life balance.



How did you come up with the idea to collaborate?
Sheryl: Laura and Linda, the What’s Next leaders, were really supportive of my idea for Dare to Detour from the start. I actually came up with the idea while driving to class one day. I felt as if I had no business being in the class with other women who were working in the “real world.” But they encouraged me. Monique also believed in my idea from the start. She was so supportive, it felt like the logical next step to ask her to help develop the logo, brand, and website. This, and the fact that she is so talented.

Monique: When I heard what Sheryl was brewing up, I immediately knew I wanted to be part of it. All aspects of the retreat she was creating were appealing to me personally and I absolutely thrive on helping new businesses get off the ground.

Who else have you collaborated with at The Hivery and why?
Sheryl: Dare to Detour has truly been a Hivery collaboration. In addition to Monique’s help, I’ve also collaborated with Laura Riordan and Linda Lesem of What’s Next to teach workshops at the retreat, Kelli Ronci to lead a creative practice workshop and the women of Prim’d Marketing for support. Also, Grace has been hugely instrumental with her encouragement since I joined The Hivery.

Monique: Outside of collaborating with Sheryl on Dare to Detour, I’ve worked with Susan George on the Big Picture project, which was really fun because it was in a new industry for me, and great for my portfolio. I helped Deborah Green with LiveaMoment clarify her brand and build her website, and most recently Grace connected me with Carolina Boutique, my newest client, on designing her brand and website.

What do you think it is about The Hivery that allows for such beautiful collaboration?
Sheryl: The Hivery provides a safe and supportive place for self-exploration; the environment really facilitates open communication and celebrates the strength and empowerment of women. It also helps that the atmosphere is uber positive and aesthetically beautiful.

Monique: The workspace is utterly gorgeous and inspiring, and the women that work there are incredible. Each has their own story and one is more amazing than the next!

For women who haven’t yet found a collaboration partner at The Hivery or elsewhere, what advice can you offer them?
Sheryl: Don’t hesitate to inquire, ask, and explore new relationships. Attend workshops, Hivery Circle events, and fully participate. Put yourself out there. I felt like an imposter for the first six to eight months at The Hivery. I was uncomfortable, but I put on my best outfits and put myself out there. If I can do it, you can too!

Monique: Sit next to someone new. Chat with people during lunch because conversation is the best marketing tool.

Why is collaborating so important to you?
Sheryl: For me, it’s always been about bringing together the right team for the job. I am more interested in facilitating the process, so having the right team to collaborate with allows me to focus on the things I do best and know that I can trust others to have their eyes on the end result.

Monique: I really love empowering entrepreneurs by building beautiful brands to amplify their message. It makes me proud.