Entrepreneurship / Craft Labs Schedule & Topics

Support for HandMade in America’s Craft Labs is generously provided by the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, North Carolina Arts Council, and Windgate Charitable Foundation to offer the following seminars tailored to the needs of the artisan.

2014 Craft Labs Schedule

Please click HERE for the most up-to-date schedule of Craft Labs.
Note: Prices and topics vary by location.

Registration is REQUIRED. We require a minimum of 7 pre-registrants to run each class. Unless otherwise noted, contact Lindsey Mudge at (828) 252-0121 x 303 or lmudge@handmadeinamerica.org.

2013 Craft Lab Locations

Asheville Area Arts Council- 346 Depot St., Asheville, NC 28801 / (828) 258-0710

Ashe County Arts Council- 303 School Ave., West Jefferson, NC 28694 / (336) 846-2787

Surry County Arts Council- 218 Rockford St., Mt. Airy, NC 27030 / (336)786-7998

Arts Council of Henderson County- 401 N. Main St., Third Floor, Hendersonville, NC 28792 / (828) 693-8504

Spring Creek Community Center- 13075 NC 209 Hwy., Hot Springs, NC 28743 / (828) 622-7236

Burke County Arts Council- 115 E. Meeting St., Morganton, NC 28655 / (828) 433-7282

Andrews Valley Initiative- 985 Main St., Andrews, NC 28901 (in the old Bradley Inn building) / (828) 644-3471

Isothermal Community College, Polk County Location - 1255 W. Mills St., Columbus, NC 28722 / (828) 894-3092

JE Broyhill Civic Center - 1913 Hickory Blvd. SE, Lenoir, NC 28645 / (828) 754-2486

Energy Xchange Campus - 66 Energy Xchange Dr., Burnsville, NC 28714 / (828) 766-1295

Toe River Arts Council (TRAC), Arts Resource Center - 269 Oak Ave., Spruce Pine, NC 28777 / (828) 766-1295

A-B Technical College - 1459 Sand Hill Rd., Candler, NC 28715, Small Business Center, Room 2046 / (828) 398-7903

Qualla Arts and Crafts - 645 Tsali Blvd., Cherokee, NC 28719 (Across the street from the Museum of the Cherokee Indian) / (828) 497-3103


2013 Craft Labs Topics



Creating Your Artist Statement
Have you always wanted to know how to write your own artist statement? What should be included in it? How long should it be? Why do I need to include this in my portfolio? If you have asked yourself any of these or other questions relating to the Artist Statement, then this free class is for you! You will actually begin to write your statement as a part of the class exercises and walk away with a clearer understanding of what your statement should be.

How to Tell Your Story
Telling stories is how we identify, learn, and share our history. If your goal is to educate, persuade, or simply connect in a meaningful way with a particular audience, storytelling is the single most powerful communication tool available to you and can be your best selling tool. Come learn how to tell your story as a craft maker. The teacher will teach you the importance of learning how to tell your unique story and hone your skills at story telling. We will talk about the three steps in a good story and group exercises will lead you through each step of YOUR story.

Pricing and Budgeting
Dealing with your inner creativity, often doesn’t leave time for dealing with your business. Come find out how to set up a budget for your business, giving you an idea of what it will take for you to run a sustainable business. Learn how to set up a budget in Excel and how to create a way to document your expenses and income. Bring your laptop if you have Excel to create your own budget.

Social Media for Beginners
Do you know what Facebook is or how to tag a photo in Pinterest? If you are just starting out in Social Media, come find out the basic tricks to make it work for your creative business. Please bring a laptop if you have one.

How to Get Your Work Seen
Come find out what goes in a portfolio, how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn how to approach galleries, create a portfolio, and what is the difference between an artist’s bio and statement.

Approaching Galleries (panel)
Come listen to a group of panelists who are curators, gallery managers/owners, and jurors on how to make artwork that stands out. The panel will share what makes them pay attention to an artist and his work, how they chose artists for exhibitions/acquisitions, and other insider secrets to getting your work seen.

Artist Portfolio - Digital and Print
Come find out what should be in every artist’s portfolio, what your portfolio is judged on, and how to approach galleries. You will also learn how to think outside the box about exhibitions, and some insider tips of how to get your work seen. Learn about how to approach galleries and create a portfolio for digital and print.

Artist Critique
Having your worked critiqued can be daunting, but it is a wonderful tool to improve your products. We will discuss the fundamentals of design, so you can learn how to critique work with a professional eye. Everyone who wishes to participate must bring one piece for critique.

Wholesale Versus Retail
Are you interested in creating a product for the wholesale market? Do you want to better understand the aspects of wholesaling your work? What things do you need to consider? How do you know your product is a good candidate for wholesale? Learn about the wholesale market and the various aspects that need to be considered before you decide to enter the wholesale market. The wholesale class will include information about the pros and cons of wholesaling, what type of work is best to wholesale, pricing wholesale goods, finding wholesale customers, terms and conditions (such as minimums, terms of agreement, return policies), shipping, packaging and more.

Cultivating Collectors
Determine which clients are serious about collecting your work and how to develop a relationship to encourage future opportunities and repeat sales.

Business Planning
Business planning can be difficult and seem like a chore to the creative mind, but it is a very important part of having a successful small business. This workshop takes the participants through the process of taking the businesses Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats and using them to create very doable strategies. The SWOT analysis will be a useful tool in developing and confirming artists/crafters goals and plans for the future.

Finding Your Target Market (Audience)
The majority of businesses spend 6-8 months targeting the wrong market. By the time they realize it, they have wasted a good deal of time and money. We will do several activities in this class which will help you find your target market and how to reach them. Together we will work out who buys your work, as well as where and why they buy it.

How to Sell from Your Booth
Do you wonder if your booth has the optimum set up for engaging your visitor? Do you know what questions to ask your booth visitor? Come learn the answer to these and other questions. The basics of setups and sales techniques will be discussed.

Sales Techniques for Artists
Essential tips for anyone who sells their work directly! These pointers will help you sell more work – and be comfortable doing it – in your studio, or anywhere else (street fair/art festival, exhibition, special event, co-op, etc.)

Pricing Guidelines for Artists
Pricing your artwork is not a formula, even though many people want one. It can be a complicated set of calculations, but anyone can easily learn the various aspects that need to be taken into account when pricing your work. Come hear about all of those aspects of pricing your work.

From Ideas into Actions: How to Your Great Idea into Real-life Action
Why is it that you come up with your greatest ideas when you're too busy? What happens to those ideas? In this workshop we'll walk through the entire lifecycle of an idea (from generating great business ideas all the way to completing the project!) and create a personalized plan for capturing your best ideas and then acting on them. No more artist's block or pile of undone dreams!

Pay Yourself: A Craft Artist's Guide to Profitability
A profitable business is the dream of every artist, but in the swirl of creating what you love and sharing it with the world, the dreams (and numbers) can get buried under a pile of to-dos. In this workshop we'll define what you need in order to be profitable in your specific business and in a specific product. We'll set parameters to guide you when considering future opportunities and identify your specific goals in order to create a plan that you're enthusiastic about.