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Art Fairs, Craft Shows, Music Festivals, and More
Festival Network Online Newsletter Artist/Craftspeople Edition -  May 2008

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A note from the FNO newsletter editor

Greetings FNO Artists and Craftspeople,

This article is for folks just starting out in the art and craft show business.  Enjoy, or share it with someone who might!

The featured artist is Massachusetts ceramist Sharon Levy.

If you have written any articles about the craft and art show industry, please let me consider publishing them.  I love to hear from you and get new ideas for the newsletter.

Best wishes!
Julie Cochrane
FNO Marketing
Festival Network Online

Getting Started Selling Crafts by William T Lasley

Starting a craft business, like starting any other type business, requires planning. That said, I will go over some preliminary ideas that should be thought through before beginning your new venture.

Do what you love
Don't get started in the craft industry simply to make money. I know that may sound strange since the goal of any business is to make money, but starting and running a business takes time and dedication to succeed. Almost definitely, there will be lean times and if you do not absolutely love what you do you will not have the stamina needed to follow through.

Start small
Give yourself enough time to learn your niche before spending thousands on national retail and wholesale shows or mail-order advertising. Local craft shows and selling to friends and family at home shows are great ways to get started in the crafts industry. In a short time, you will learn a lot from your customers and fellow craftspeople that will enable you to succeed.

Give it time and don't borrow
All businesses take time to make money. I recommend planning on at least two years before showing major profits in the crafts industry. While you may have great results from the start, don't count on it! You must allow enough time to establish your craft business and to learn the ins and outs of the industry before success.

With that in mind, I do not recommend borrowing money to start your business. I know that sounds radical; however, when you have a couple of shows that do not meet expenses, you will quickly become frustrated if you have a payment that must be made! In the U.S.A. we have been blessed with a great economy for the past several years, but there are always ups and downs. When lean times hit people quit buying are nonessentials, including craft items.

Save money to start your business and as you make money, use it to grow your business. Debt is the number one reason for failure among start-ups and established businesses alike. If I still haven't convinced you that debt is bad business, I'll mention two businesses that you may have heard of who are, and always have been, virtually debt-free: Microsoft and Harley Davidson.

by William T Lasley
Other things you should know when you're starting out.
Your Guide to Arts / Crafts Business

FNO Featured Artist - Sharon Levy
  Sharon Levy Ancent Echos Art

When Sharon wrote to me about being a Featured Artist, this is what she had to say, "I am a ceramist, not just a potter and therefore I am not limited by decorative or functional or sculptural definitions but am defined by what the clay has to say."

After over 25 years of exploration and experimentation, ceramist Sharon Levy has produced a variety of works using ancient methods, materials and techniques. She uses these methods and materials in contemporary ways to interpret the world around her: physically, spiritually, religiously and politically.

Her works reflect the physical environment by way of the landscapes found in her boxes that utilize natural edges in addition to bas relief carving. She sees her thrown bowls as offertory in nature with a spiritual connection to the inspiration of pioneering eastern ceramists. In addition, she enjoys exploring Judaica through the current and ancient symbols, language, and colors that have become obscured due to the Judaic world's emphasis on the written word.

If you're in New England, you can catch Sharon at these events:
Sharon Levy Ancient Echos Arts
DeCordova Museum Art in the Park; Lincoln, MA, 6/8
Royal Collections Gallery, Providence, RI 4/17-5/31
Earthly Connections II, Lowell, MA, 5/9 - 5/31

Email Julie Cochrane if you are interested in appearing here. 
(Please put "FNO Artist Feature" in subject line)

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