Friday, September 17, 2010

Who Are The Island Tweethearts?

Welcome back to all of my HIP readers,

In my last Hidden Island Paradise post I introduced you to April Ennis. The reason that I did that is because I came across April at RIJO signs of Montague and I was impressed with her work on the Internet.

Little did I know at that time I was about to let the Genie out of the bottle. As I researched April's work She led me to a group called "The Island Tweethearts". Of course this begs the question WHO, are The Island Tweethearts?

To answer, let me quote from their website.

"A real estate agent, a hair dresser, a copywriter, and a nutritionist walk into a bar. No, it’s not the start of a bad joke—it’s the average supper meeting of the Island Tweethearts, a new PEI networking group.

The idea for the group was conceived during a casual lunch between Twitter enthusiasts Carol O’Hanley, a Charlottetown real estate agent and April Ennis, a Summerville resident in the midst of launching an online magazine.

“Carol was talking about her husband, Steve, also a real estate agent, who meets regularly with friends over lunch to network. I mentioned that I’d recently started meeting for dinner once a month with a group of mothers also affected by autism,” states Ennis who is working on finishing her Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Hospitality. Ennis adds, “Carol proposed that we do something similar so we started building a small group of women we knew from Twitter, each with different professional backgrounds, with whom to share food, ideas, support, and wine every month.”

The first official meeting of the Island Tweethearts took place in May at The Pilot House. The group was made up of six women. Besides Ennis and O’Hanley, the group consisted of holistic nutritionist Rachelle Wood, owner of Insight Marketing Kerry Ann MacDougall, photographer Rachel Peters and UPEIresearcher and lecturer Cheryl Wartman.

Since then, the group has grown to twelve where it has been capped to help keep the meetings intimate. Each Tweetheart represents a different industry.Rounding out the group of twelve are freelance editorChristine Gordon Manley, freelance copywriter Jaime Lee Mann, owner of Rita’s Style, Julie MacIsaac,mortgage broker Lori MacDonald, and Jen MacKinnon who works in business development with a local IT Firm.

.This group has quickly become very tight, with many members connecting at multiple times throughout the month to chat, drink coffee, and/or toss around business ideas. “It’s a tremendous source of support, especially for someone like me who has worked from home for so long,” states Jaime Lee Mann, owner of Morell-based Mann Made Copy.

And the support doesn’t just stay within the group either. “One thing that was important to us was the idea of giving back to the community somehow,” states O’Hanley. She adds, “At every supper, we each chip in $10. We then discuss as a group who we want to help out that month. The first time we did this we had $100 to give to a Twitter friend who was having a difficult pregnancy. The second time, we decided to donate the money to a local family one of us knew was going through a financially draining personal situation.”

“We decided that helping one Islander every month was actually a wonderful thing,” adds Christine Gordon Manley, owner of CGM Editing. “Often times there are many people who need help but can’t access help for whatever reason. And, even more often are those of us who simply need a pick-me-up to help them out of a temporary situation. A hundred dollars or so isn’t much, but it can make someone smile, and that’s what we want to do.”

The Tweethearts do not publicize who they help to protect the privacy of those who accept their donation. You can read more about these acts of Tweetheart kindness here.

You can find out more about each of the Tweethearts here. And, find out what they think about where they’ve eaten by reading their fun restaurant reviews."

I would like to over the next eleven or so blog posts feature one of the Island Tweethearts. Keep an eye open for the first post that should be coming soon. My community banking and economic development background makes me think this is a great story about how the new generation of Island business owners are using the power of the Internet to start , build and maintain twelve dreams right here on my Hidden Island Paradise. If you think so too...Stay tuned!

Till next post, smiles :o)



WFL said...

Hi Gary
Nice post! I am lucky to say that I am friends with many of the Island Tweethearts - including April Ennis. The power of social media has unleashed a new way for small business owners to collaborate together - in work and in play. It is great! Anyway, just wanted to say hello. Perhaps I will meet you if you attend the PEI Tweetup in Oct. I will be flying in from BC for it - once again...proof that social media really does create community. I live in BC but connect everyday with my Island colleagues and friends through blogs, twitter, facebook and more. Take care! Jane

garydotgray said...

Hi Jane,
Thanks for your comment. I have visited B.C. many times during the past 50 years. My first time was in 1961 and most recent in 2005. I have family in the Vancouver area. Most of them were here on P.E.I. this summer. I would like to try to catch the Tweetup in Oct if I am able at all. Please feel free to connect with me on any of my blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Google.
Smiles :o) Gary