Monday, March 21, 2011

To Market, To Market: A Day at Kentucky Crafted


Kentucky Crafted:  The Market was this past weekend.  Even though it was a Saturday and I dislike getting up early, I made myself rise that morning to attend a seminar about Successful Business Practices and check out the Kentucky Crafted Market.  Fueled with iced mocha coffee from McDonald's, my friend and I headed to Louisville.

For my readers not apart of the art community, which is probably almost all of you, Kentucky Crafted is an organization sponsored by the Kentucky Arts Council.  It's designed to support emerging and established artists as well as promote the arts in Kentucky.  They have a number of grants artists can apply for and of course, it's a juried program.

The main reason I had to get up early was for the very a.m. seminar about running a successful business in today's economy.  I won't go into full detail about everything I learned, but here are some conclusions I've come to:
1) I'm on the right track when it comes to social media.  I have a Facebook fan page, blog, website with e-commerce, Etsy account (which will have some new items posted) and Twitter.  

2) A small business can never advertise too much!!

3) Like it or not, if I want to succeed in this business, I have to play the game and that game is joining art organizations and jurying into shows.

Number three is probably the hardest conclusion for me.  For one, the business started out as a hobby and turned into a business only after Sean put a moratorium on buying more beads without making a profit.  (I'm halfway kidding on that one.)  Secondly, I feel like I walk the line between jewelry designer and artist.  At what point does a love of beautiful jewelry become art?  I can't exactly remember at what point people started calling my jewelry art, but apparently it has morphed into art over the years or it has to be in order for me to join said organizations.  No one likes to be judged or rejected so I'm going to have to work on building a tougher skin if I'm going to go the route of artist rather than jewelry designer.

After the seminar, the fun really began!!  I actually got to attend a festival without working!  Granted I didn't buy anything, it was still fun to look at what everyone creates.  The Kentucky Crafted Market is a privilege for any juried artist in the organization.  At Kentucky Crafted you'll see up and comers in the art world as well as sample some Kentucky Proud food products (yum!!).  I have to say, it's an intimidating situation for an outsider, but what I'm learning is if you don't try, you won't succeed.  Hopefully, I will be a chosen one some day.  Until then, I can keep bouncing between the title "jewelry designer" and "artist." 






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