Southwest Virginia Artisan Conference

Workshop Series

Capacity Building Trainings

Full Series: $70/$130

4 workshops: $40/$100

Profit Is Not A Dirty Word

Trainer: Tiffany Coley
March 18
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Rural Retreat Train Depot

Artist Cost: $10/$25

Price your work to make a profit – whether you are a full-time or part-time artist 3 hour course on making a profit as an artist or craftsperson. Participants will discuss the details of a profit-driven pricing strategy for artists. Full discussions of pricing artwork or art services, wholesale vs. retail pricing, how to identify productive hours and how to approach pricing to achieve the desired income level. The class will work through pricing using a business case study and the details of pricing. Takeaways include a downloadable spreadsheet that can be used when pricing.

Digital Content Creation for Artists

Trainer: Jackie Sanders
April 9
6:00pm – 8:00pm
BSG Visitor Center

Artist Cost: $10/$25

You need to promote your work with images and words, but making digital content can steal time from your actual WORK! Many artists struggle with practical approaches for consistent and meaningful content on social and marketing platforms. Are you an artist who stresses a bit about what content you will publish? Do you often find that you don’t have the resources to plan content for each digital platform?

In this class you will learn the content creation strategy that has worked for hundreds of small business owners. Join artist and digital marketer Jackie Sanders as she guides you through a strategy to create content for multiple digital platforms while allowing you the freedom to make your art. She will walk you through a focused marketing plan that will help turn strangers into followers, followers into fans, and fans into your newest art collectors or clients, while using a content strategy that feels right for you and your creative business. You will gain confidence, clarity and resources to plan out a month’s worth of digital content in one sitting, that you can start sharing right away. In this class, you will follow an outline to create your own plan for creating content on your digital platforms. You’ll learn effective ways to plan my Instagram content, Threads content, etc. At the conclusion of this workshop, you will walk away with a strategy for your creative business as well as a handout to track a month’s progress. Presenter is an artist and digital marketing specialist with years of experience in marketing.

From Craft Hobby to Business

Trainers: Cynthia Deis & Tiffany Coley
April 25
1:00pm – 5:00pm
SWVA Cultural Center

Artist Cost: $30

Participants will be guided through discussions and activities that will help them to fully understand the steps for moving a craft or art practice from the hobby level to a profitable business. Two presenters will allow for break out conversations and individual attention for participants. Topics will include Pricing For Profit, How to Raise Your Prices, How To Set Show Sales Goals, and Marketing On A Budget. Participants will complete a program application that will allow instructors to tailor content to the cohort needs. Optional consulting sessions will happen in the weeks after the meeting and will be conducted via phone call or zoom and will allow participants to ask follow-up questions once they have begun to digest the workshop content. Participants will leave the workshop day with handouts including pricing rubrics, goal calculators and marketing checklists among others. Up to 30 participants, no prior technical/computer skills needed.

  • Presenters will offer two, 2-hour sessions with a break.
  • Both presenters will lead breakout sessions with participants to allow for individual conversations and deeper learning. Individual Consulting Sessions
  • Presenters will offer 20 min consulting sessions (per participant) on covered course topics to participants after the event.
  • Consulting sessions will be conducted via phone call and can be scheduled for 2-4 weeks after the workshop.
  • Consulting sessions are only available to participants.

Selling in a Big Way; Wholesale and Bulk Sales for Artists

Trainer: Cynthia Deis & Tiffany Coley
May 14
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Streaming Virtually

Artist Cost: $10/$25

Selling wholesale can be transformational for all businesses but there are specific concerns for artists and craftspeople. Many craftspeople wonder if selling their work to wholesale customers is the way to success. If you are curious about the ways that wholesale sales can transform your art business, and if it is for you, this class will help you to explore the idea. You’ll discuss wholesale business strategies for artists and craftspeople and learn how they fit your business.. Led by Cynthia Deis, an artist with experience in working with catalog and large retail customers throughout North America, this workshop guides participants through the process from pricing to order processing and on to studio setup, production scheduling and financial concerns. This class is ideal for artists who want to sell their work in ways that do not involve direct customer interactions, individual shipments and in person shows, or who are curious about scaling up and adding wholesale to their business. Discussions will assume artists are pricing their work correctly for both retail and wholesale sales. Profit Is Not A Dirty Word pricing course recommended for all participants, but not required. Presenter is an artist and art business consultant with years of experience in both retail and wholesale sales.

Putting All Your Ducks in a Row; Strategic Planning for Artists

Trainer: Jennifer Reis
June 3
6:00pm – 8:00pm
Wayne Henderson School of the Arts

Artist Cost: $10/$25

Don’t just give your story away – make it part of your marketing and branding strategy 3 hour in-person class for craft and visual artists to work through strategic branding exercises focused on their work and their goal as artists. Initial work will help them to determine artistic and business goals and begin thinking about a brand focus. Time planning, goal setting and prioritization are discussed. Artists leave class with access to several customized goal setting tools and worksheets filled with branding work relevant to their business. Pre-course questionnaire allows artists to focus on the branding and planning techniques using their own art business.

Meet the Trainers

Photo of Tiffany Coley

Tiffany Coley

Tiffany Coley is a jeweler and silversmith with a background in tech business. With over 15 years of teaching and craft sales experience, she sells her work to galleries and stores around the US and works out of her studio in Durham, NC. Tiffany has a deep knowledge of selling crafts at both retail and wholesale as well as how to create a focused product line. Tiffany is certified in the REAL Entrepreneurship and REAL Craft courses and consults with artists about pricing, production and sales. She brings her deep knowledge of the economics of art and craft to the course. Tiffany is on the board of Liberty Arts in Durham.

Photo of Jackie Sanders

Jackie Sanders

Jackie Sanders is an abstract geometric artist based in downtown Raleigh, NC on a mission to transform life’s mundane moments into memorable experiences. After earning her MFA from Virginia Tech, Jackie grew her expertise in digital marketing and content creation for small business owners as a way to help them bring their visions to life.  Jackie is the co-host of the Level Up Artist Podcast and a creative business mentor to career minded artists through her Level Up Artist Membership Community. She currently has a community facing art studio in downtown Raleigh, NC at Artspace where she shows the creative process in action to visitors and future collectors.

Photo of Cynthia Deis

Cynthia Deis

Cythnia Deis is a Raleigh-based artist, writer and arts educator with experience in a variety of mediums. Her background as a production jewelry designer and retail store owner provides her with an artist’s understanding of business and entrepreneurial issues. Certified in REAL Entrepreneurship and REAL Craft courses, she also teaches and consults on pricing, studio layout, and email marketing with artists, craftspeople and small arts organizations. With her business and mentoring background, Cynthia is the Education Director of Triangle ArtWorks, where she works to develop and implement programming and events focused on artists and arts organizations as sustainable economic factors in their communities.

Photo of Jennifer Reis

Jennifer Reis

Jennifer A. Reis, assistant professor of arts administration and entrepreneurship at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, has 25 years experience in arts business and administration. She earned a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design, and graduate work in arts management, instructional design, studio art, and arts education from Syracuse University, UNC-Greensboro, and Morehead State University. She is a master facilitator for adult learning initiatives such as the Kauffman Foundation’s FastTrac entrepreneurship education program, AIR Collaborative’s courses, and an arts entrepreneurship curricular consultant for the Tamarack Foundation. Through her consulting company Make Do Creative, she works with organizations for creative entrepreneurship curriculum. She is a textile and mixed media artist. She has been honored with numerous awards and prizes, including Kentucky’s Al Smith Fellowship, national adjudicated and invitational exhibitions, and teaching opportunities at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School, Craft Alliance Center of Art + Design, Cleveland Institute of Art, Society of Contemporary Craft, and the Southwest School of Art.  She also has a production textile line of Indigo Shibori art to wear and homegoods and is currently represented by Troika Gallery in Floyd, VA.  She is on the Teaching Artist Roster of the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and resides in Martinsville, Virginia.

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