Berwyn Makers

Local support and resources for turning your craft or art into a business


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It’s Back to School Time for Berwyn Makers: New Series of Meetings Begins in September

We’re taking August off — even Makers need a break now and then, and nearly everyone is out of town anyway!

But then it’s back to work in September and we have something exciting and new for you!

We’ll be using the Art Biz Connection program — it’s free!  It’s from Alyson Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach.  Here’s a list of the topics we’ll cover:

The 9 Sessions Of An Art Marketing Salon

1. Introduction
2. Set and Attain Goals
3. Define Your Art
4. Differentiate Yourself from Your Competition
5. Describe Your Collectors
6. Assess and Improve Your Exhibition and Sales Opportunities
7. Promote Yourself and Your Work
8. Create Good Habits
9. Follow Up

Where Alyson says “art” just think whatever your product is.  Where she says “collectors” just think customers.  The marketing is the same!

Coincidentally, we’ve recently covered Describe Your Collectors, so we’ll likely skip that one.

Does this mean no more guest speakers?  Not at all!  If there’s a speaker we can have come in and address us on one of these topics, we will.  And we’ll occasionally break from the  program above to have a guest speaker on another topic.

We’ll cover the 8 meeting topics above, within a year, beginning in September.  Do you still have that feeling that every fall is like a fresh start?  It’s a feeling leftover from all those years of school, many of us feel that way, one person even said it’s like there are two New Years.

Join us Thursday, September 11 at our usual meeting place, Unity Lutheran on 31st in Berwyn, as we kick off the series!

 

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Identify Your Ideal Customer! July 10th

Who is she?  Is she a she?

We’ll work together to help each other figure out who our ideal customer is!

It might be helpful to bring some of your products so we can best understand what you make.

We’ll also talk about a super exciting meeting plan we have for the 9 months beginning in the fall.

As always, I have resources for you!

For an in-depth look at this topic, check out the book Why She Buys, which is amazing, and/or the author’s blog.

And the HubSpot offers this template: The Marketer’s Template for Creating Buyer Personas which is hopefully easy to find in their Library or with a quick search.

These resources are a bonus, you’re welcome to come to the meeting without reading the book or filling out the template, but I offer them in case it’s helpful.

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And congrats to Berwyn Makers Contributor Kim Koin for her awesome booth at the Berwyn Art Council art fair this weekend, congrats on taking that step!

 

 


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June Meeting! Refine Your Elevator Pitch!

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Join us Thursday, June 12th for an interactive meeting where we’ll work on our elevator pitches — you know, that short explanation of what you do.

Here’s some background reading:

http://faso.com/fineartviews/27578/the-elevator-speech

http://www.artbizblog.com/2013/07/artist-why.html

When: June 12, 7:30-9:30pm

Where: Unity Lutheran Church, 6720 W 31st Street, Berwyn (upstairs in the Carolina Room)

Bring: Your lovely selves and a snack to share

We hope to see you there!

Here’s a link to a sharable flyer:  https://www.smore.com/q86cf


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What Berwyn Makers is All About, Why We’re Different

At Berwyn Makers, we have guest speakers, but other times, we, the members, are the experts.

Our members have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to share and we all benefit when we have meetings that are discussions, such as our recent Pricing Game meeting.

At that meeting, we each brought in products we sell (or plan to) and everyone else wrote down the price we thought it should sell for. A very useful conversation followed.

For our May meeting, we planned out the coming year, but we also had a terrific conversation about the best direction for the group to go.

We love our guest speakers, but don’t want to do that every month, because the magic of this group is in the interaction.

We decided that half of our meetings will be the interactive kind.

If you’re up for that, please join us! We’re about supporting each other and moving our businesses forward. You’re welcome no matter what stage your business is in.

I hope to meet you in June, when we’ll be refining our elevator speeches!

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Here’s a snippet from our May newsletter, written by Lisa Polderman:

We had a productive discussion in our May meet up where we brainstormed topics for future meetings and caught up on where we are with our respective businesses.

We will focus on elevator pitches in our June 12 meeting. Everyone will bring their pitch (rough drafts are welcome!) and we’ll practice in small and large groups until you feel confident. The other participants will provide friendly feedback and encouragement.

In future meetings we plan to address the following topics:

  • Teaching – how to set up your own classes and look for places to teach (guest speaker)
  • Build a profile of your ideal customer/client (audience)
  • Problem-solving – bring a problem you are working on and get more minds working on it
  • Online profile – have folks review your online profile pages and give feedback
  • Craft shows (guest speaker)
  • Photography (workshop / critique)
  • Presentation materials – have folks review your presentation materials and give feedback
  • Pricing
  • Headshots

If you have a topic or issue you’d like us to address, please send it along to poldapop@gmail.com.


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March Meeting: Celebrate Pi with Pie!

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This month’s meeting will be on the eve of Pi Day, which of course you know is 3.14! (that’s March 14th, so our Pi Day meeting will be Thursday, March 13th.)

How else to celebrate but with pie! We’ll supply a pie or two, plus all the plates, cups and napkins and such. Please email us or sign up in the comments if you can bring drinks or pie.

Why pie? Well, we’re fun like that, plus we wanted to give you an extra incentive to attend this meeting on a financial planning theme, since we know it’s so important, but maybe not super sexy.

Our wonderful guest expert is Tracy Bostrom.

Her goal is to help small business owners successfully carry out the duties of Business Administrator of their own business. The topics she’ll talk with us about at the Pi/Pie meeting are:

Setting goals
Creating a business plan
Keeping records
Time management
Resource maintenance (YOU!)

You can learn more about Tracy on her website: CigalConcepts.com


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February Meeting: Play the How Much Should This Cost? Game

price tags

It’s a guessing game! Or, we could call it market research.

Here’s how it will work: Everyone bring a product that you currently sell, or would like to. We’ll all write down (secret ballot style!) what we think the price is.

This could be super valuable to you!

We’ll follow up the game with a conversation about pricing challenges and strategies.

If you have special packaging or story cards/tags for your product, bring those too, give the full picture.

Do join us! The more, the merrier!

When: Thursday, Feb. 13th, 7:30-9:30.

Where: The usual place, wine, water and snacky things always appreciated. Hope to see you there!

Unity Lutheran Church at 6720 31st Street in Berwyn,upstairs in the Carolina Room. Enter through the doorway on 31st street (middle of building).

Upcoming Meetings:

March 13th Pi Day Eve! We’ll Eat Pie and begin our series on budgeting and big picture money management, with a guest expert.

April 10th Budgeting and money management part two.

May 8th Craft fairs. Which ones? How to choose? Interactive meeting.

And, as we did last year, we’ll continue to meet through the summer.

Photo credit link.


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January Meeting: Blogging with Candice Caldwell

Candice Caldwell

Our next meeting is January 9 and will feature guest speaker and blogger Candice Caldwell! She’s the writer and crafter behind Refab Diaries and has much to teach us. Even though I’m an experienced blogger, I’m sure I’ll learn new things from her.

Let’s get to know Candice, here’s part of her bio:

I’m a South African currently living in Chicago. I’m a maker and a doer and a mother. I’ve been an academic, a waitress, a reading teacher, a “lunch lady”, a linguist, a brand-name consultant and a copywriter. I’ve called places on four different continents “home”. I love words, craft beer (with names like Ruination, Mischief etc) and good coffee. And books. Big fan of books. I even admit to hoarding children’s picture books.

For all the disparate elements, one thing has been a more-or-less constant in my life: the need to “make do”, “be frugal”, “save for a rainy day” … because then I can simply enjoy the rain for what it is. I think almost a decade in academia (with no credit card!) will do this to you – you learn to be poor. You learn to make, and do, and make do.


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2014 Meeting Dates and Themes

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January 9th Blogging! with a guest expert.

February 10th Pricing: an interactive meeting.

March 13th Pi Day Eve! We’ll Eat Pie and begin our series on budgeting and big picture money management, with a guest expert.

April 10th Budgeting and money management part two.

May 8th Craft fairs. Which ones? How to choose? Interactive meeting.

And, as we did last year, we’ll continue to meet through the summer.

Have suggestions for awesome speakers, or topics you need help with, please post a comment, or email your organizers.


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December Meeting – Berwyn Makers

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Show and Tell!

Join us December 12th at Unity Lutheran Church in Berwyn for a show and tell meeting. What are you making this holiday season? What masterpieces or bread and butter pieces are you making? Bring something to show off, share or ask for help with.

I know, we said November would be our last meeting before the holidays, but some of us are so hard core, we wanted to meet in December too!

Supporting fellow makers is awesome, we hope you’ll be a part of the new Berwyn Makers in our new location.

Networking, support, information and guest experts have helped our members improve their creative businesses in the past. What could that kind of support do for you?