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From my Studio

Hello creative soul!!
Welcome to my new weekly newsletter. 

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. Just in case you missed it, here was our blog post on Wednesday. I focused on why you should be blogging and 7 tips to start and grow your blog

2. The scourge that is sugar!



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7 tips to start and grow your blog

Do you have a blog?

I have been blogging consistently since early 2007. First my blog posts were monthly with an occasional extra post. Within 18 months I went to twice a month. Another 18 months later, I went to weekly posts. Occasionally I posted twice a week.

This summer I announced a two-month break when I decided to post every other week.  With this short break the exception, I have not missed a week in a decade. That is a lot of writing!

Why blog?

Not everyone enjoys writing. Not everyone is good at writing. You can get past that, trust me.

Here are six reasons that you might want to give blogging a try.

Read more…

From My Studio

Welcome to my new weekly newsletter. 

I hope you are having an amazing creative week!

My goal with this newsletter is to share some highlights of my week, any finds I’ve discovered, and random thoughts about business and life. 

1. Just in case you missed it, here was our blog post on Wednesday. I focused on 3 things you can do to make this last quarter great. 

2. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on September 18. It’s hard to think of someone who championed women’s equality more.

As a textile fan, I loved how she made a fashion statement in her judicial robe. RBG and Sandra Day O’Connor, the first female justice, wanted to include something feminine with their attire. The jabot was the answer. Here’s a fun article in the New York Times about the different collars that Justice Ginsburg wore



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3 steps to finish the year strong

Welcome to October!

You have 3 months left until we turn the calendar to 2021. That’s 13 weeks. It’s 92 days. Plenty of time to accomplish what you set out to do this year. 

Yes, I know it’s been the craziest year on record. What started out to be perhaps a short-lived inconvenience has turned into so much more.

Undoubtedly, your business was affected in ways you didn’t expect. Maybe you had to lay off employees or cut back on their hours. Maybe you applied for a loan or a grant to keep your business going. You likely had to learn a new way to deliver your product. So many people made the shift to offering more services online, whether that was teaching via zoom or delivering more marketing and selling online.

As you start this last quarter of 2020, here are three steps to taking you where you are now to ending your year in a better place than you expect.

Reflect

The first step is to reflect on where you are and how you got there.



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Play your own game!

It’s football season!

That was reason to celebrate in my house. My husband is a football fan. He’s a fan of most sports. And our local team, The Washington Football Team, won.

It’s been interesting to watch is happening to sports in our time of COVID-19. We’ve seen stadiums and racing parks filled with cardboard cutouts of people. Fake crowd noise.

I live in a home where “Sports Center,” “Inside the NFL,” and similar shows are often on the television. I am sure some of you can relate. Most often they become “white noise” to me.

Sometime back I heard a conversation about a specific football player, whose name I don’t remember. One of the commentators said that this player needed to be more careful not to get caught up in the game around him.

Watch the comparisons

As I heard that, I thought about how easy it is to do that as creative arts entrepreneurs.

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Morning Rituals Are a Powerful Start to Your Day

Do you have a daily habits?

I am sure you have some. A habit starts as a decision that you make. Over time you stop making the decision to do this thing but continue to do it anyway. Like brushing your teeth or starting your car or putting the dishes away.

How about rituals?

I think of rituals as mindful practices that you make that can become habits. I am sure you have rituals.

For me, a morning ritual is about self-care and setting myself up for a successful day. When I find that if my routine is altered somewhat and my ritual upset, my day can seem off. I do not feel like I have the same level of success.

How do you create a ritual?

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Is it time for a new box of crayons?

For many years I hosted an annual End of Summer/Back to School party for my nieces complete with a selection of back-to-school supplies.

Do you remember how much you loved the smell of the new box of crayons?

When I would search for supplies for my nieces, I’d look for a new treasure for myself.

Of course, I’m convinced that I will find the perfect tool that will solve my organizational problems and instantly improve my time management issues.

It never happens for me. How about you?



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Reclaim Your Creative Energy

reclaim-creative-energy

I am really a very organized person. I know where to find what I need. I could say, “A place for everything, and everything in its place,” only that is not quite exactly true.

While I am organized and I know where everything is, I can become someone who is consumed by stacks of this and that. Yes, I know what is in the stacks, but all those stacks are robbing energy from me.

When the space is clearer, so is my mind. When my mind is clear, I will work better.

I know this to be true. I also know that once I start working in a clear, clean, clutter-free environment, new opportunities show up for creativity and for business.

Why would I — or you — not want this to happen?



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Getting to the Sale

Early in my career as quiltmaker, I sold my work.

I took commissions, I did juried craft shows, and I was the only quilter in a fine arts co-op with a storefront.

I saw my share of objections to sales. I still see them today. And, today, with the coronavirus changing our sales process, you might even see more objections.

The price is too high. I need to talk to my spouse first. I can’t make a decision today. I need to look at other items. I need to touch the fabric or see it in person. I’m not sure I have space in my house.

I’m sure you’ve heard some of those and others.

Here are some ideas on how to get past buyer objections so you can get to the sale.

Anticipate objections

Whatever the objection, you can think of it as an opportunity to educate your buyer.

Look at the most common objections you get and address them early in the sales process.

For example, if you are often asked how to hang your art, talk about that before it comes up. If your sales are wholesale, explain your terms. If someone wants to see if your art fits in their space, let them know if this is/is not possible. If someone wants a different color, are you amenable to reproducing your work? You may even have written material that answers some of these questions with the display of your work at a show or gallery.

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Set Your Business GPS!

biz-gps

Recently on my way to Maryland’s Eastern Shore, I got caught in a mass of slow traffic. Anyone from these parts knows we only have one way to reach the beach, and that’s using the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Annapolis. Its two spans date to 1952 and 1973 and can’t handle today’s traffic. Slow-downs and waits are a normal occurrence, particularly during the summer, so I try to time my trip to avoid them. Despite my best efforts, I was stopped.

Because of the nature of the journey, my GPS isn’t of much use. It can’t re-route me across the water! As I edged along, I thought about the GPS you set for your business.

The beginning and end points

Your car’s GPS won’t work without a starting and ending point. It’s the same in your business. You need to know where you are now and where you want to go.

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