Kimberley Chan and Linda Cajuste are Co-founders of My Creative Break, a company that connects people through fun networking events and meetups all over the world to help them accomplish goals big and small.
What is your business called and what does it do?
Our business is called My Creative Break. We are a community in which people motivate each other to get creative, innovate and step out of their comfort zones so that they can do things they’ve always wanted to do, whether it’s something big like start a business, or something small like pursue a hobby. We connect people through fun events and meetups all over the world.
We connect individuals and groups and motivate them to work on their creativity, which to us means the ability to innovate, adapt to various situations, take risks and do things out of their comfort zones. We do this through different services:
– Creative networking events.
These events help you meet new people, expand your circle, learn and try new things. We structure the events and facilitate icebreakers, activities and challenges, so that even the shyest people have fun. We take the “work” out of networking for participants – we give them conversation topics, we make sure everyone is always connecting and no one is left out and that everyone is having fun. We run these events in Montreal, the West Island, online and in Toronto.
– Creative team building workshops for companies, schools and groups.
We bring an element of fun, connectivity and creativity to work meetings, events and days to ensure good mental health and strong collaboration within teams. We do that through creative team building sessions and workshops that use creative activities and improv (spontaneous thinking/writing/drawing) as a base. Our goal is to help teams feel happy, connected and motivated. We also help teams work on skills like communication, creativity, teamwork and problem solving. We run these in-person in Montreal and surrounding areas and worldwide online.
– Creative online and in-person workshops
Our workshops help people connect, make new friends while working on their creativity. We show them that they can get out of their comfort zones and achieve many things as a group. We do a variety of activities like improv, writing, storytelling, group challenges and journaling. We run these in Montreal and surrounding areas and worldwide online.
– Interactive and creative city walks
Imagine a tour + a workshop + a team building event. We take a small group on a walk so they can discover the city, meet people and do fun, creative activities inspired by the surroundings. We only run this in Montreal for now – our creative Old Montreal walk is popular from May to September.
– Creative retreats
Coming soon, keep an eye out!
What made you want to do this work?
A few years ago, we were both working 9-5 jobs in Montreal, Canada. We both felt like we needed a change. We met at an improv class, which helped us relax, find a community of like-minded people and taught us to push our boundaries.
Linda: During that time, I was stressed, overworked and unhappy. My 9-5 accounting job allowed me to take a one-year sabbatical, so I decided to take it. I had always wanted to live in Paris, but I was hesitant at first. The improv classes taught me to become less shy and say “yes, and” to challenges. So I said “yes, and” to this decision and moved to Paris for one year. During that year, I pushed my boundaries, indulged in my passions of screenwriting and improv and achieved my dream of writing and producing a short film.
Kim: I was also overworked and had just returned to my 9-5 marketing job after an almost year-long medical leave. I felt the urge to get the most out of life. So, I decided to do something I always wanted to do, which was to take some time off to travel. I went to live in Europe and Asia, met people from all walks of life and pushed myself to say “yes, and” and do things I never thought I would do.
After coming back to Montreal from what we called our “creative breaks,” we both felt rejuvenated, learned a lot, and became more creative, meaning better at working, leading, adapting, innovating and seeing things through different points of views. We said “everyone should feel this way!”
My Creative Break was initially born to help people feel this way. We motivated people to take breaks and to make time to do things for themselves. We realized that not everyone could take long sabbaticals and travel, so we wanted to help people find ways to get in touch with their “creative” side – to act on their drive to explore, try new things and create a more meaningful life than overworking themselves.
We initially started as an Instagram page. We posted motivational quotes to push people to do things that would make them happy.
Then, people asked us, “how did you push yourselves to become these better versions of yourselves?”
This resulted in us running online creativity workshops to help people break out of their routines and comfort zones, and eventually team building sessions and events that help people work on this using our “secret ingredients” – improv and creativity exercises. With these, we bring people together to network, have fun, work on new skills, and get the support and motivation they need to work on their creativity and on interactive and problem solving skills.
What problem did you want to solve with the business?
We wanted to motivate people to make time to get in touch with their creative side because we saw that this helped us become better leaders, communicators, thinkers and happier overall.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
Companies who want to strengthen their teams and improve creativity, communication and productivity within, especially if their teams are working remotely, or help team members get out of their shell, gain confidence and take more risks, especially if they are introverted.
Any individual who wants to make new connections, try new things, reveal their hidden potentials while relaxing and having fun, especially introverts and people who are nervous about being around new people. We’ve had everyone from students to entrepreneurs to 9-5 workers to retirees.
How does your business make money? How does it work?
People pay per event, workshop or team building session.
Where in the city can we find your profession?
We run monthly networking events in downtown Montreal and in the West Island. You can join us for our Old Montreal creative walk from May to September, weather permitting, or book an in-person team building session for your company that’s location in Montreal or surrounding areas.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services? Give the answer as well.
Q: What sets you apart from other companies that provide corporate team building or networking events?
A: Our team building sessions are not your typical cookie-cutter programs. We work with each company individually and develop a customized session just for them. We also use our background in improv as a base. We make sure to offer a safe space where each individual feels included and will grow personally; they will also grow and bond as a team, while having fun.
Our networking events are not your traditional networking events. We have invented a new way of networking. Our events are structured with icebreakers, and creative activities that require people to bond and get to know each other in pairs and in groups. This allows everyone to get to know each other in a fun and safe way, and keeps them moving and thinking so that even the shyest people have fun. Everyone leaves with new connections, learns new skills and discovers something new about themselves
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part of what we do is being able to help people connect to others, get out of their comfort zones and see them laugh and smile because they are having fun and are doing things that make them feel good.
What is your favorite joke about your own profession?
We’re one of the few professions that can’t have Chat GPT do work for us!
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another local business that you love?