I’m now in my second year of being a full time craft artist and I have lots of thoughts I need to share.
First off, many great things have happened in my life for which I feel grateful: I will once again be at the Oregon Country Fair, a large financial and cultural engine in our community. I’ve become a reserve vendor at the Eugene Saturday Market (booth 323). And, I recently moved into a great new home/workshop that has everything our family needs in a great location. People continue to support my work and my work continues to improve and test me.
After all that, there’s just so much more. Running the business, doing the books, learning how to better use the internet, being a designer (booths, cards, tags, items), financial planning, so much. I don’t want to be misinterpreted here as complaining, quite the opposite. I love challenges. I love to look at a large task, hone in to how I intend to accomplish it, and in the end come out on top. I do it all the time and love the feeling I get when things come together. But, the recipe for success isn’t always simple and, in my case, there are few people in my life who can offer a lot of trade specific help. As a relatively new craft artist seeking to make my way by using old techniques and tools, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to make it, but I’m hungry for more.
My situation is unique in that I have a local, weekly marketplace that only allows handcrafted goods. This gives me a regular venue to display and sell my work, and often I have very successful and lucrative days there. And sometimes I don’t.
That’s really the most challenging thing for me, the uncertainty. Having a weekly market like this means that I’m less motivated to develop new avenues for sales and marketing. I haven’t been seeking out galleries and having them feature my work. I haven’t been researching other craft shows and traveling more, and most importantly, I haven’t been using the internet to my full advantage. It’s like I’ve been putting all of my eggs in one basket.
I want to change that now, and I’m hoping that this blog post is a start.
Right now specifically, I need your support. The market has been slow and I have upfront expenses for summer shows that I need to cover. If you’ve thought about buying a spoon, now would be the most helpful time for me. I appreciate your support deeply and hope to inspire you and the wider world into an understanding of the goodness that comes from simple work with simple materials and tools.
For you support I happily and truly thank you.
In other news/upcoming stuff:
I have a lot of ideas about how I want to restructure my business coming up and most of them are worthy of their own blog post, but here’s a little run down:
- In two to three years, I’d like to open another traditional craft school/store here on the west coast, there’s actually not that many venues that attract the big teachers out here and I’d like to change that.
- I want to start a regular philanthropic giving system. I want to research non-profits that directly benefit my community and feature one of them at the market every week. 10% of gross sales will be donated to the featured charity. This could perhaps be my way of tithing.
- I want to develop a greater internet presence and be more regular with facebook and instagram
- I’ll be featuring my work in a few specific galleries around town.
- Lots more
Thanks for reading and thanks for your support.