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The Collective

April 16, 2011

I’ve mentioned the Collective briefly a few posts back, but I’ve not really gone into what it is and why we created it. So, I will now.

I purchased this book, The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin, a few months back at our local B&N. I’d had a few different crafty business books on my Amazon wishlist for a bit, but I’d never gotten around to buying one myself (nor had anyone else) so I picked this one up in store, flipped through it, and decided I really liked it bed for what I was doing with my business. The book is full of great information, so, you should look into it! But what I gleaned most, and first, from it, was the idea of the Creative Collective.

Kari uses her Creative Collective throughout the book to draw from various mediums of art and business. They band together to collaborate and share stories and just be artists together in a community. I really enjoyed this idea, and after having created an Etsy Street Team on a sort of whim, I decided it was time to do the real thing and create a Collective of my/our own.

I set out to do so at Meetup.com. I’m part of a mom’s group that uses Meetup to organize play dates, mom’s night out, dinner parties, etc etc and I felt this was the best place to be organized and have all our ducks in a row so to speak. I sent out invites to all of the local artists I know and waited with bated breath.

Now, I didn’t do this alone. No, I’ve had a few partners in crime. Lisa from Paper Daisy Creations and the leader from my mom’s group (check our their foodie blog!) helped me move around the site since I was new to it. Elizabeth from Curly Pigtails is helping me to organize meetups and keep my head on straight (and stop me from bad-mouthing myself when I schedule a meetup incorrectly). And Sally from Sadly Harmless will be helping us with our local monthly meetings at Paper Crane. It’s so promising and I’m so excited.

Thus far we’ve had two successful meetups and only one minorly disappointing one. Our first meet and greet went superbly. We all met mostly for the first time, introduced ourselves and our art and discussed what we wanted from the group. That fledgling group of 8 was/is mostly interesting in growing their small crafty/art business and so we talked mostly about taxes, branding, advertising, wholesale and consignment, etc etc.

Our second meetup was along the same lines- we met at a local Bakehouse/Cofeehouse type place and had a workshop around craft show displays/set-up. I walked away amazed. I am so inspired by these people I can only hope that I can offer them something in return.

Our third meetup was to be a screening of images for the 4th St Festival which is an AMAZING Art & Fine Craft Fair here in Bloomington. This show is nationally recognized and is home to some amazing artisans. Each year the committee holds a public screening of the images that are submitted to the show and as a group we were going to join them. Well, we did, but unfortunately the internet connection was less than stellar in their program room so we were only able to get through about 30 applicants before we had to call it a night. They are rescheduling so I do hope we get the chance again. It’s an amazing opportunity really and I’m so thankful the 4th St Festival Planning Committee allows the public to join in.

So, that’s that. That’s our Collective thus far. In the future we plan on having creative collaborative meetups, craft nights, field trips to galleries and exhibits as well as speakers to talk to us about small business taxes, wholesale and consignment sales, craft show applications and so much more. The possibilities are just endless. This ‘business of art’ (slight inside joke there) is quite the place to be right now, I must say. 🙂

Our Collective

Conduit Press
Curly Pigtails
JO Designs
Calendra
Donna A. Tomich
Opposite of Far
Deesum Designs
Purple Hippo Stitches
Sadly Harmless
Pip & Bean
Paper Daisy Creations
Katie Vernon- Illustration
Vincent Desjardins- Illustration
Luxie Daisy
Interfaith Resources

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 18, 2011 2:12 pm

    I LOVE our collective!!

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  1. The Collective | conduit press | Midia Social

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