Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Adventures in Hand Made

Well, "adventures" may be putting to glamorous a spin on the world of handmade as I experience it. Like all businesses it does not matter how good or bad your product is, you succeed or fail based on your ability to promote your work. I think this is where the stereotype of the starving artist comes from. Look at Vincent Van Gogh, he was a brilliant, innovative and productive painter, and even with a brother in the gallery business couldn't make a sale. My personal theory is that if you are a genius in one area you may not be given gifts in other areas. Some of those areas that you are lacking in may include balancing your budget, keeping track of business records/receipts, self promotion/advertising and sometimes even (dare I say it) interpersonal skills. Maybe this is why geniuses are sometimes thought of as crazy or geeks or just hard to fathom in general. I think I'm glad not to be a genius, but I still struggle with many of those areas.

Over the years I have worked in many mediums. One of the few things that remains consistent, is that no matter how good I am in one artistic area I just don't have the a gift for business. Since I'm not likely to win the PowerBall I will just have to work at learning some of those business skills.

This week my adventure had a really exciting event - I was featured in an article in our newspaper! Several weeks ago I was talking to a friend of mine who writes for some of the local papers, and suggested she might want to do an article on people in Delaware with Etsy shops. She liked the idea, and successfully pitched it to her editor! A few weeks later a photographer visited my studio and took lots of pictures, then a few more weeks of waiting and... viola! The article was in the News Journal on Monday! Here's a link if you want to see it:

There was a bump in the number of people visiting my shop and I even made a sale as a result of the article! So maybe I am starting to get a handle on self promotion, or maybe I just got lucky.

The interview was more like a conversation and the photographer was very nice, and the experience (other than all the waiting) was really good. So, if you are looking for ways to promote your business don't hesitate, if you have something unique find a way to pitch it to your local paper. If it fits one of the sections of the paper you may get lucky and get some exposure for free!

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