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Art Fairs, Craft Shows, Music Festivals, and More
Festival Network Online Newsletter Artist/Crafter Edition -  September 2007

Home Grown Music

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A note from the FNO newsletter editor

Greetings FNO Artists and Craftspeople,

Welcome new newsletter contributor Ann Barber of the National Crafts Association who lists some helpful techniques to ensure profit in your art or craft business.

This month's featured artist is Elizabeth Ann Hubbard.

Happy Fall,
Julie Cochrane
FNO Marketing
Festival Network Online
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Profit Tips for Art and Craft Business By Ann Barber

photographed: Elizabeth Ann Hubbard, featured below

Elizabeth Ann HubbardThe secret to success in your art and craft business is to "Think Profit", not just at the point of a sale, but apply this thinking to everything you do for your business. Profits don't just happen with a sale. They are created by careful planning in every aspect of your business. Plan for profits!

1. Make sure you have the total cost for the item before establishing the selling price. Be sure to include a reasonable labor charge, overhead and fixed expenses to your actual materials and supply cost for each item. If you don't price to cover total cost, you will not make the amount of profit you need to grow your business.

2. Be cost effective. Don't spend 10 hours creating an item that you can only retail for $30. Set a dollar amount for your labor. Design products that keep the time investment low and profit margin high. Evaluate how to be more time efficient with the products you make. Learn to group tasks together to save time. For example you are going to make 2 dozen of one item; cut all the ribbon needed at once, paint all the same color at once, do all the gluing of pieces together at once, etc.

3. Be professional, don't be emotionally tied to your product. If a product is a slow seller, or not cost effective, take it out of your line; or modify and redesign it to meet the consumer demand for your market.

4. Follow market trends, as related to your area. Stay up-dated on color trends, styles and themes. Use the ideas to adapt your products to the "hot" selling trends of the season.

5. Plan a line of compatible products. For example, if you make magnets, napkin holders, tea sets, with a strawberry be sure to tie the design motif into as many products as possible to create a whole family of products; Or in florals make companion pieces like a swag, wreath, or floral bouquet that mix and match. This builds in more multiple sales and repeat business.

6. Provide a variety of price ranges. Use inexpensive items as attention grabbers to stop traffic at your sales area.

7. Think about collectibles. Create one unique design or pattern once or twice a year that is a signed dated edition. This builds repeat business and helps you sell companion products.

8. Got a hot seller, be prepared to ride the wave. Promote & feature your best selling products. Look at what you can make in the family of products to sell that will ride on the coat-tails of your sales leader.

9. Be prepared. Always be on the alert for new items to add to your line. Nothing remains hot forever. Have new items worked into your line on a regular basis or modify an existing product to the current selling trends.

10. Know your numbers. Keep good records that can provide you with information to determine exactly where your actual profits come from. Then you are able to fix the unprofitable areas and put more emphasis in the profit making side of your business. Sell in as many different markets as possible. This way if one market is soft you have alternative sales working to keep your income rolling in. Concentrating your efforts on profits will help you build your business.

Nothing happens until you take action. You can build a profitable business one step-at-a-time. Building profits into your business requires planning, control and action. Take time to evaluate and grow your business. Develop a business plan to guarantee a profitable steady growth pattern.

National Craft Association - The information & resources center for the arts and crafts industry.

FNO Featured Artist - Elizabeth Ann Hubbard

I quickly came to love Elizabeth Ann Hubbard's driftwood & natural element assemblages.  I have a difficult time writing about her style because it is so natural and raw, objects in this state really do speak for themselves.

Nature in and of itself has esoteric meanings for people, and Hubbard's use of natural objects as mediums for art is a  dual-powered impetus.

Her work is soothing, meditative, and simple.  The one on the left, "Building" is a freestanding piece and the artist speaks of her work with a feeling of intuitive empathy for the wood's life.

"Life's Layers" is the second piece I have selected.  "The multi-faceted complexities of the natural world are reflected in this work," says Hubbard.

Complex indeed.  Rungs of a ladder, or ribs from a spine, this wall hanging exemplifies movement towards or away from minimalism, innocence, the simultaneous and essentially independent processes of birth and death.

Visit her website:
All photographs copyright

Email Julie Cochrane if you are interested in appearing here.  Put "FNO Artist Feature" in subject line
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