The Creative Arts Business Summit by Morna McEver Golletz is an event, a place where members and other creative entrepreneurs could gather, learn how to boost their businesses’ profits and connect with like-minded creative people.
Morna and I have been friends for years.We have also been guild members together. She had been after me for years to join her organization and to attend her summit. I was reluctant as it was expensive in both money and time commitment. Those of you who know me pretty well know I try to stay tuned in with the “universe.” That said, my first clue was Morna telling me repeatedly for years to join. My second clue was about two weeks prior to the event I got a coupon for 100.00 off from Checker Distributors. Then out of the blue my husband somehow saw something about the summit and told me I should attend! OK – I guess I am in! I signed up with an open heart and an open mind, but was thinking… this better be darn good for the money I was laying out and a 4 day time commitment.
This was the third year of the summit and there were about 30-35 people in attendance. Who attended? The majority were quilt pattern designers and book authors. There were a handful of long-arm quilters, an artist, Checker Distributors, Schmetz Needles, and a local shop owner. All participants wanted to either start their business or grow their business.
It was held in the Washington DC – Dulles area at a Hilton Hotel. The accommodations were nice, food was very good and the participants were welcoming and helpful.
This time of year Zebra Patterns is in the thick of many things. Business really gets busy, we are prepping for Spring market, and I am going to be teaching at a Babylock event in New Hampshire with Nancy Zieman for the better part of next week. I just kept thinking, with all the work I have these better be good!
The short answer is “it was!” We started at 7:30-8:00 each morning and were deluged with information, clarification: useful information. We started with a focus and exercises to identify “WHY?” we were in business, or wanting to go into business. We identified our target market and learned ways to address that market. I was very pleased to see that I had done that over the past 10 years very accurately from the get go. When the social media/marketing expert spoke is when the summit really began paying off for me and Zebra Patterns.
The summit continued for three long days of fun but hard work. To wrap it up neatly I have a focused todo list targeting social media. I was on Pinterest but I was not using it to my best ability. I was on Facebook but not using it to reach out enough. I am not on Instagram, but hope to be soon. I learned how other designers were pricing lectures/workshops. I learn efficient ways to build a team that were cost effective and would free up time for me to do what I love most – design. I have names of embroidery digitizers and quilt pattern editors. I made a couple of new friends like Lisa Archer from Pickle Pie Designs and Susan Emory of Swirly Girls. It was worth it and I plan to attend next year.
Who would GREATLY benefit from attending? Any and all designers in the creative arts, shopowners, manufacturers would go home inspired and motivated. It is a jump start for new designers or anyone playing with the idea of becoming a designer for profit. The long standing established designers also benefit greatly. I love to learn and network. It was money and time well spent. I will attend next year! Thanks Morna.