As a child of the ‘90s, I’m gonna kick of this post with some sage words of wisdom that should resonate with you if you are the same vintage as me:
Stop, collaborate, and listen.
Honest to goodness, in my whole life I never thought I’d find myself reaching back to quote Robert Van Winkle, AKA Vanilla Ice, in a business blog post...yet here we are.
Whether you have been following through the entire Bloom Business Basics Bootcamp (you can find all of the posts here) or if this is your first introduction to Bloom, you are likely here because you have (or want to have) a handmade business.
I think that, as an artist and an entrepreneur, it’s easy to get stuck on a lonely island of making and doing everything by yourself. After all, that’s kind of the name of the game when you are a HANDmade business owner, right? Your hands, doing the making!
Here’s the thing, though. It’s darn near impossible to get anywhere in this world without a team. Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to have a team of people in your business per se, but you do need to have a team of people in your corner.
Collaboration can mean forming small mastermind groups, where each member gets the chance to bounce ideas off of the group, get and give feedback about products and services, get and give support for anything business (or life) related. Bloom’s free community group is a loose example of this: it’s larger but we have a great back-and-forth for ideas, suggestions, and support.
Collaboration can mean partnering with another artist to create a new product or service. Some really great examples of this include a collaboration between Karyn from Inclined Designs and Becky from Charis Notes: Karyn designed her signature Burgh Bits fabric, and Becky created jewelry pieces using it. Karyn also collaborated with Abbe from Just an E to use that same fabric and create these multipurpose pouches.
Collaboration can mean coming together to trade services: this one can REALLY be useful if you are just getting started!
When cash flow is low but services are needed, collaborating to trade can be highly beneficial to both parties. For example, if you are the Graphics Queen and I am the Shopify Diva, we could partner up and swap some skills to the benefit of the both of us.
As we get ready to head into the holiday 2020 sales season (yeah, that’s still happening…), I think we can all agree that art/craft fairs are pretty much out of the question. More power to you if you found one...but at the time I’m writing this in July 2020, every event I have from now till December has officially been CANCELLED.
I suggest reaching out to 8-10 other artists to see if they are interested in participating, and let them know exactly what to expect/what is being asked of them. If you’ve never created a gift guide...no worries! It’s actually pretty easy, and I’ve outlined all of the steps right here in this handy quick guide.
Thinking outside of the box isn’t really a thing anymore...there is no box and we are all free-ranging here. Finding others to work and grow with is going to be one of the most valuable things you do as you grow your business.
On that note, I would love for you to be a part of our free online community! We are over 1,000 members strong, and inside you will find wonderful, like-minded artists who are all working towards the same goal!