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If You Build It, They Will Come – The Small Business Owner’s Motto

If You Build It, They Will Come – The Small Business Owner’s Motto

All business is about taking risks. Every time I place an order for shirts, my mouth goes dry and I wonder if I should have ordered less. Every time I finish printing shirts, I second guess myself and wonder if anyone will buy them. No matter how many times I do this, I’m always pleasantly surprised when people actually buy my products at shows and shops.

The first Spring Summer show is done, and I’m happy to say that it went very well. Now I’m faced with a multitude of ‘fine tuning’ tasks. Updating my online inventory, Figuring out which sizes and styles I need to print more of, and making a solid plan for the two weeks until my next show, The Kensington Indie Craft Market.  A plan that doesn’t involve me transforming into a sloth shaped, chair hugging, tea drinking procrastinator.

So far, I know that my best selling shirts are the popsicle and mermaid shirts, and that I need to start making them in larger sizes for teens and adults. In fact I need to make a bigger everything for the first generation of Noctiluna babies that are rapidly growing into tween sizes. Whaat?????
I also need to start giving some attention to that other pretty big project I have….

Screen printing Team work

Summer Camp!!!!!!!

Is that enough exclamation marks?
Yup, it is looming on the horizon and I need to hunker down for a loooong lesson planning session. This year the big themes are:

Optical Art (think Bridget Riley, Victor Vasarely, Josef Albers color experiments and OK GO videos); Prints and Patterns (focusing on traditional and contemporary African Textile design, block printing, relief printing and Lucienne Day); Patternmaking, Tiles and Mosaics (looking at Vera Molnar, early digital art, diagrammatic drawings, and mosaics); and Puppetry and Storytelling (Wayang Kulit puppets, world mythology, Es Devlin, stage design and toy making). 

All very exciting, but also I am so very freaking terrified of my workload, and the fact that up until now all my marketing has pretty much been word of mouth from students. Every year, I go ahead and book a venue, hire helpers, do my lesson planning and just pray that people enroll. Again with the risk taking. It’s a huge leap of faith, and I think I need to alleviate my fears just a bit by actually, maybe advertising in some way.

So this is me this week, making flyers, writing lessons, printing shirts, instagramming, and well … just hoping they will come!

About Author

Artist, Educator, Parent, Small Business Owner, Big kid from a big city, in a small town.

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