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August 21, 2019
When to Say No from Professional Quilter

Are you a “yes” person?

I know I used to say yes to lots of opportunities. 

Some of them moved the needle in my business; some did not.

Some I said yes to because the opportunities were cool. I didn’t want to miss out on cool. 

If I look back I probably should have said no more often or at least sooner than I did.

If you really think about it, every time you do say yes to something you are saying no to something else.

Good things come to you when you learn to say no. Here are ...

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August 14, 2019
Reinventing Everyday from Professional Quilter

reinventingeveryday-3Rs

Are you practicing the 3 R’s?  

What are the 3 R’s, you ask?

Recycle, reuse, repurpose – all part of reinventing your business everyday.

How much of what you create just needs to be spiffed up or re-slanted to make it new?

We see it all the time in other markets.

Disney is a prime example. They put movies in a seven-year “vault” and then re-released some of them each year. They recreate the excitement, find additional audiences, and make more sales.

How can you do this as a creative arts professional? Here are some ideas:

Update your designs ...

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August 7, 2019
Know your customer to ignite your business from Professional Quilter

Over the weekend I met my friend Jamie at a local coffee shop. We hadn’t seen each other for a while and had a great time catching up. After about half an hour, we were joined by Caitlin, one of Jamie’s friends. Some years back Jamie had been sitting next to me on a train ride while I had a coaching call with a client. She knew Caitlin was struggling with her business and asked if I would spend time talking with her about those struggles.

Caitlin had started her business a year ago. She felt a calling ...

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July 24, 2019
You Can’t Do It Alone from Professional Quilter

can't-do-it-alone

You have a big vision for your business, right? And, as much as you might like to, you can not get to the big vision without support.

In the beginning you did everything, or most everything yourself.

Depending on your business, in addition to creating your art, you packed and schlepped every thing to the post office. You wrote all the copy or directions and tested your own patterns. You packed your patterns. You did your own bookkeeping. You cleaned your studio. You tried to set aside some time for marketing. You learned how to maintain your website, if not ...

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July 10, 2019
Can You Find Your Art Supplies? from Professional Quilter

declutter

I have been in a “cleaning out” mode lately.

We have talked about downsizing in the next year or so. I always joke that I am on a five-year plan for decluttering, and the time just keeps getting shorter.

Looking around at my studio, I realized that it could use a healthy cleaning. So I started sorting through books, fabrics, and art supplies.

Gosh, we quilters, sewists and artists certainly do accumulate a lot. I know I will appreciate the open space in which to create.

Here are some tips if you are facing that increasing pile, or piles, of ...

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July 3, 2019
Do You Have Gotta-Do-It-First-itis? from Professional Quilter

do-it-first-itis

Does this sound familiar?

You are headed to the office or studio, only you pass through the kitchen and see the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Well, it won’t take that long. You do it first and just get it done.

Now you are back on track headed to the office or studio only you are now  distracted by the stack of laundry as you pass by the washer. Well, let’s just throw that one load in. You decide it will only take a minute or two.

You pause to looking at the messages that came in the ...

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June 5, 2019
Buying Out of the “Starving Artist” Mindset from Professional Quilter

Over the weekend, I stopped in a local gallery and was talking with some of the artists. Several were quite successful.

One described herself as struggling. Then she said with a laugh, no she was really the typical “starving artist.”

What ensued was a rather lively discussion about our value, what we believe we are capable of, what words to do us, and the notion that we do not have to buy into that “starving” mentality.

The starving artist mentality is totally in your head.

You see successful artists all around you.
What is it that they have that you ...

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May 22, 2019
Are You Whelmed? from Professional Quilter

Are you overwhelmed?

This time of year tends to be overwhelming for many. Graduations. Graduation parties. Weddings. Work deadlines. Trade shows. Yard work. Weeding.

Just like you, I do feel overwhelmed at times. It can happen when I’m trying to meet deadlines or getting ready for the next Quilt Market or our Creative Arts Business Summit. Or even when life throws too much my way.

When that happens, I stop and remember the “whelmed” model that one of my husband’s clients created.

Whelmed. It’s that space between overwhelmed and underwhelmed. It’s that “just right” space, if ...

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April 17, 2019
What’s Your Self-Worth Quotient? from Professional Quilter

self-worth

Periodically I offer a complementary webinar titled “5 Smart Ways to Make Money Now in Your Creative Arts Business.”

Before I delve into the five strategies, I spend some time talking about your mindset and knowing your value. From my experience working with creative entrepreneurs, I often find they struggle with determining a value for their work and then charging for it.

Here are some tips for dealing with your worth:

Know exactly what you are charging and why.

Are you challenged by what to charge for your services?

Many creatives are in this same place. You tend to undercharge ...

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April 10, 2019
8 creative biz lessons I learned from basketball from Professional Quilter

As I watched the Final Four Tournament on Saturday, I was thinking about what basketball and the professional creative arts have something in common. Is it any surprise my mind would go to art when I’m watching sports?

Passion

This is the obvious. These kids love basketball, and for them it is their art. What you pay attention to grows.

Just as the college athletes pay attention to basketball and their skills and love of the game increase, your skill level in your art increases with increased attention. Your knowledge and love of the art grows as you look ...

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April 3, 2019
Are you asking better questions? from Professional Quilter

How often do you wear your CFO hat?

You know, the one where you look at the numbers. I realize that lots of creative types do not want to look at numbers.

After all, what could be creative about numbers? They are straightforward, no shades of gray here.

True, the numbers in and of themselves are not creative.

What is creative is what you get to do as a result of looking at them.

You can create new designs or new classes. You can bring on an apprentice to help you. You can look for new markets for your art ...

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March 27, 2019
Does your price match your value? from Professional Quilter

Often I have conversations with clients around a recurring theme — pricing and value.

One recent conversation was with Catherine who was creating a new online teaching course, and she was struggling with what to charge people. I thought her price was really low, and I asked why.

She told me that she just knew not all her customers could afford to take the class and she really wanted everyone to have that opportunity.

I asked how she knew that they could not afford the class. She wasn’t able to answer that question. It was just her gut instinct.

When ...

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March 25, 2019
New material coming! from Maria the Quilter

I know you probably come here for the photos, because, well let’s be honest: in the quilting world, words mean far less than photos. I can explain a stitch but when you see a picture of it, that’s WAY more meaningful. In person? EVEN better!

What I’m here to say is that I am here. I haven’t been posting pix – I had a bit of an issue with my tools but am almost back to full capability there. I have been busy writing on my personal blog (here).

So in the meantime, PLEASE please visit my ...

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March 20, 2019
Time blocking leads to better productivity from Professional Quilter

Have you looked at the calendar and wondered how you can possibly do all you have scheduled? I used to feel that way until I made a simple discovery.

Time blocking!

Time blocking is a method of allocating or pre-assigning time for specific activities throughout your day. It helps me keep my day and life more balanced. I accomplish more because I have structure to my day, I can focus on a specific task with a high value, and I am able to manage interruptions. I am the one in charge of my day. Here’s how to do this ...

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February 27, 2019
Once it’s created, it’s copyrighted from Professional Quilter

Last week a post popped up in my Facebook feed that dealt with copyright.

A textile artist discovered that her original work had “inspired” someone to create a nearly identical piece of art. The copier thought that if she gave credit to the art’s originator at some point, it was okay. She did credit the original artist in a blog post. She also thought it was okay to enter her work into a contest. Well it’s not okay in either instance.

Late last year one of my pattern design clients shared that someone had created a nearly identical ...

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February 6, 2019
Biz lessons from the dentist from Professional Quilter

I had a dental visit last week. I have one every six months, like many people. I don’t actually mind these because  — knock on wood — I’ve been blessed with healthy teeth.

I was thinking about what I could learn and share about business as Julie, the hygienist, was cleaning my teeth. After all, you can’t exactly carry on your end of a conversation while this is going on.

Create relationships

Julie has been a dental hygienist in this small practice for nearly 40 years, and I’ve been going for at least half that time.

While she ...

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January 27, 2019
Hallowe'en In January/To-Do List/Technology Whining from caledonia quilter

Because I'm someone who has three Christmas quilts, two sets of Christmas pillowcases, two sets of Christmas placemats, and a set of Christmas napkins, I TOTALLY understand someone's desire to celebrate the seasons with themed quilts.
So cute.

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January 23, 2019
Home Update Week 6 – Save 10% on Your Entire Order! from Christa Quilts

Whew! I can’t believe it’s been 6 weeks since we decided to move. We’ve now been in the home  for 3 weeks and there is still. So. Much. To. Do!!! But we are making great progress each week.
The interior painting is finally done, and Jason installed shelves for me in the laundry room.

Laundry RoomI’m enjoying adding touches of color to our home!

In our previous home we had really nice wood cabinets in the laundry room, but discovered that we never used them. Things got shoved in there, never to see the light of day ...

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January 16, 2019
2018: A Year of Lessons from Professional Quilter

At the end of a year I like to take a look back at the year and see what I accomplished, what changed in my life, what lessons I learned. I usually do this in a journal. This year I decided to share some of it with you. I’d love to hear what your lessons were.

Don’t be afraid to stop a successful event

In 2010 I stepped out on a limb and decided to create the Creative Arts Business Summit.

I had been to events, knew what supported me, knew what didn’t, and I wanted to ...

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January 13, 2019
Zentangle Workshop and To-Do List Update from caledonia quilter

I joined the Ancaster Modern Quilt Guild, partly because I know some of the members, and partly because they seem to have a pretty vibrant program.  Last Saturday I attended a Zentangle Workshop hosted by them, presented by Kim Mastromartino.  You can find her on Facebook as The Inspired Quilter.

Here's some of the little cards we were working on...

Here's my same card after I (maybe?) finished it.  The class was lots of fun AND INSPIRING.  Which we all need, especially in January.  Right?

TO-DO LIST
Yep.  Knocked another item off my list.  The mending & hemming item ...

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  • business
  • Page 1 of 5 ( 89 posts )