Friday, November 30, 2007

Holiday Sales and Business

Now that we've survived the infamous Black Friday and Cyber Monday, I'm thinking about this year's sales patterns and how to plan for 2008.

Business thinking can be tricky for artists. So many creative people struggle with the idea of asking for money for their work, no matter what they think about its artistic merit. I think it's particularly awkward when we've started a conversation with a potential customer that centers on the work itself - we get to talking about design and color and style, and then it seems strange to bring money into this relationship that's started to develop as a personal one. I know that, when I speak with people at craft shows, I end up with lots of intimate information about their lives. For some reason, stories about crazy mothers-in-law seem to come up more often than anything else. ;-)

In all seriousness, though, art as a business has its own nuances. As individual producers, our businesses are limited by what we can produce with our own hands. The idea of coming up with a design and leaving the construction to someone else isn't appealing to me right now - but for many artists it's the only viable way to a significant income.

Liz Fuller's blog, More Than We Know, offers advice, information and insight to women entrepreneurs, and she's featured a few artists (including me!) lately. Check out her site for more thoughts about art and business.

And now for something completely different: I have to share this new design, because it's so close to my heart. I call these "Sarah's Style" earrings, as a nod to my six year old daughter. Sarah has her own inimitable sense of style and quite definite opinions about not following the crowd. I hope she'll hold on to these traits!

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's to a restful and renewing weekend.

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