The Stone Soup Challenge is a grassroots movement founded by artist Laura Bray. The goal of the challenge is for artists and crafters to help one another by promising to use a portion of their monthly profits to invest in a fellow artist's shop. To join us in helping artists everywhere and to read more about the challenge, please go to our Facebook page.

Remember! If we all contribute a little to the pot of Stone Soup, we will all feast.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monthly Business Tip from Laura Bray

As many of you know, I send out a monthly, electronic newsletter filled with business & marketing tips for artists & crafters. You can view archived issues and subscribe here. I'll also post the articles on this blog. The Stone Soup Challenge is only effective if we are all making money and I hope this information will help you achieve success. Here's this month's article:

5 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Commit to a Craft Show

Most of us have experienced it...eight hours of standing behind our table at a craft show and no sales. All the time and money spent with no return! It's one of the most frightening and sad elements of doing shows. Many times, I have watched artists and crafters end their career over one failed show. Our work is so personal that we sometimes (often incorrectly) blame ourselves for the failure. But your work is rarely why a show fails. There are many factors that contribute to a poor show-some are out of your control and some are within your control. In this economy, it's more important to do what you can to make sure that the odds of a good show are stacked in your favor. Here are some things to think about BEFORE you decide to participate in your next craft show:

1. Remember your target market! If you sell indie style crafts, don't sign-up for a show that's going to draw a crowd that doesn't "get" the indie movement.

2. Ask the organizers how they are going to advertise. If you are paying a booth fee, they should be doing some pretty serious advertising, including newspaper ads. Ask them how big the sign for the show will be (outside the venue) and if it will be seen from the street. (This will tell you if there will be any walk-by traffic.) Again, keep your target market in mind. If you are sell primarily kids stuff, you may want to ask the organizers if they are planning on inviting any moms groups...

You can read the rest of the tips here.

Good luck with your spring shows!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Welcome Artfire!

Etsy, Lollishops, and now Artfire! Sellers from all online shop platforms and websites are welcome here. I've noticed a huge amount of activity from the Artfire sellers lately! Thanks for joining in the fun. If you don't sell on one of these sites, why not take a minute today to see if you can expand your online presence and add a new shopping venue to your business plan? Or, even better, go shopping somewhere new. You never know what you might find! Leave a comment and tell me where you have set-up shop or tell me which sites you like to shop on the best.

P.S. I'm happy to write articles about The Stone Soup Challenge. Contact your site adminstrators and spread the word about what we are doing over here!