Come visit us Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 12pm-5pm!

Team Staycation: 5 Creative Team Building Activities

Pei Sim

Team Staycation: 5 Creative Team Building Activities

What’s better than trust falls and awkward team building activities?

Pretty much anything else! I felt like we were long over for a team retreat since our team has grown so last month, I hosted our first annual team retreat! I thought it would be a fun opportunity to get to know each other outside of the shop, think grown up version of a sleepover and with crafty themed activities, oh and of course food and snacks!

It really doesn’t seem like that long ago that I was the lone employee and worked every day by myself before slowly adding one person, to now (as of the date of this blog post publication) a team of 4 (including me). Our team feels like so much more than just employees or retail associates, these women feel like a part of the shop beyond just work. They keep the shop running day-to-day as well as ensure every single person walking through our door gets the very best experience! I firmly believe in investing in the people who invest in you, or in this case your small business. This getaway was a small way to treat them to a mini vacation!

I found a cute rental house near the shop and took this as an opportunity for some team building exercises and a much needed “get-away” for relaxing and self-care. From single word activities to paragraph scenarios and even painting,  it was really great to discover similarities and cohesiveness within our individual personalities.  

Top 5 creative ways to connect as a team + small business:

  • Team Building Activity #1: Word Clouds 

  • A lot of larger corporations do this! Instead of voicing the words, we set a timer and wrote down all the words that personally resonated with us before going around the room to share what we wrote. We all shared words that we wanted to associate with our team, as well as the shop. Supportive, trusting, and comfortable were among the words we shared with each other while comforting, inspiring, and oasis were used for the shop. 

    Take it up a notch: Instead of using a generator online, you can design it using handlettered fonts to create an art piece for all the participants!

  • Team Building Activity #2: Your Best Day Ever 

  • I’m a big fan of writing down a “vision” or your ideal day. In this case we focused on a day at the shop. Start out by writing a couple of sentences about how you want your work environment to feel, how you want to feel around your coworkers and, of course, write about how you want every guest to feel in the shop. 

  • Team Building Activity #3: Draw-Your-Team

  • Getting to know your team through doodling! With the help of markers, colored pencils, pens, and more, each of us took a piece of paper and drew a little picture of what the person to our left reminded us of. You rotate papers every turn until your’s comes back to you. At the end of it, we all got a little collage of doodles that represented us in each other’s eyes. Everyone had the opportunity to share and elaborate on why they drew the different doodles for each person.

  • Team Building Activity #4: Group Abstract Painting

  • Start with piece of watercolor/mix media or thick paper and an assortment of paints and brushes. Give everyone a minute to paint whatever they want on their paper with the intention that everyone is going to paint the same strokes and shapes on every piece. The goal is to create art together and at the end of the exercise, you will have multiple (almost identical) pieces of art. 

  • Team Building Activity #5: Clay Play!

  • Using ovenbaked polymer clay, everyone pieced one color to mold into a small shape or charm for each person on the team.  Once baked, the clay cures and each person will have a set of clay charms that represent every person on the team. 

    Tip: Simple shapes are easy and fun - use toothpicks, skewers and any other every day tools. 

    These exercises (besides having fun and getting crafty) was to show that we can have our own ideas and interests but also bring them together to make something just as great. We all produce things differently but that’s why each person has something to offer to the team and each other.  And of course, there was a lot of laughter and conversations that helped us all get to know each other better. 

    A few other fun extras: 

    I got everyone matching sweatpants as well as matching gel nail clings + face masks - naturally I forgot to snap a photo of all of us in our cozy sweats!

    In addition to spending time at the rental for our team building activities, we also ventured around town together and ate some delicious food from a few locally owned spots in Austin:

  • Huckleberry Seafood Truck: A bit of everything did the trick for us because everything on the menu is delicious. From Shrimp Po’ Boys to a Seafood Platter, we were full and happy for the night.
  • Dolce Neve: Their S. 1st location is tucked inside a cute little bungalow and we all enjoyed some delicious gelato! Because there's always room for dessert! 
  • Josephine House: We checked out of our airbnb and ended the morning over brunch. This charming spot in the Clarksvile neighborhood has both indoor and outdoor seating plus a small menu. We enjoyed a delicious breakfast before wrapping up our retreat!

  • I’m so glad we got to take this little trip together and have a day where we were able to hang out and do things aside from work. Because we’re a small team, it’s so important to me that we are always functioning together and checking in with one another on how things are going. This trip was a great way to connect with each other personally while also sharing our goals for the shop. It was also a great way to show the girls some of my favorite food places as well as to our first ever shop location off of 6th street (a couple of the girls on our team joined after we had moved)! 

    So, in case you are looking for some fun alternatives to team building or just want to check out a few new local spots, I hope you enjoyed this post!