Tuesday, March 17, 2009

being businesslike

so as of yesterday everbrite mercantile co. is a real business entity. in the morning b and I went to the king's county clerk's office and submitted our notarized certificate of business. we then set up a bank account for everbrite. St. Patty's day- clad county clerk's office employees wished us good luck and instructed us to make money!

to be honest, most of the work I've been engaged with in the recent past is not sooo interesting. necessary, but not so much fun. makes me more than happy that I turned my back on the *business world* and got my second degree in fine art. so does it make any sense at all that I'm now running not one but two businesses? of course it does. because I'm running a different type of business, and the people I interact with in my daily life are artists first and business people second. I really can't wait to get back to getting my hands dirty and making some jewelry, damnit!

the inventory is starting to pile up on my studio floor, so some shelves will be necessary to keep things organized. we started looking in the afternoon, but need to look some more. we had fun walking from downtown brooklyn on this gorgeous day, down court street through cobble hill and carroll gardens, and eventually to red hook. (ikea was on my mind) it's great to have the luxury to visit stores like that on a quiet tuesday.

as I mentioned before, I did recently finish reading craft inc. and while I might also put the research into the category of boring stuff I gotta do to run a business, I can't say enough good things about the book. For someone who's been in business as long as I have (started keeping sales records in 2002, launched my website in 2004) a lot of the material should be familiar. But reading the book brought confirmation that I have done things correctly, and made me realize that there is still a lot to learn. I would highly recommend it to those who are just starting out in the craft business, but also advise anyone else to read it, regardless of their level of experience.

Author Meg Mateo Ilasco is very thorough, covering areas such as production, marketing, filing necessary paperwork, and getting your work out there. (the most important part, imho!) I like that she thinks big, offering ideas for turning a craft hobby into a profitable business. Throughout the book there are interviews with various independent designers, giving their perspective on a range of topics. After being introduced to so much serious and sometimes daunting information, the interviews offer a human touch to the book. Since Meg chose people from different areas of the craft world, it gives the reader a balanced perspective. For example, Rare Device owner Rena Tom, who was still designing jewelry when the book was written, said that she didn't participate in trade shows because "they're really expensive and I would have to produce a large quantity." Whereas in the interview with artist Beth Weintraub, who sells at the New York International Gift Fair, (the largest trade show of its type in the country) it states "In the beginning, the business was off to a slow start, grossing only $11,000 in the first year." Reading both of these reaffirmed my belief that when you run your own business, you have the choice to work at whatever volume you want. $11,000 might be really small to one designer and huge to another. (ahem- it took me a lot longer than my first year to reach that volume!)

so on to the fun part:

•so far we've received some beautiful japanese imports such as tea cups that look like rocks, shot glasses that look like wild beasts, gorgeously subtle playing cards, and planters and incense burners that look like little stucco buildings.

•we've got some crazy cute jewelry from brooklyn folks design glut.

•super fun adjustable magnetic rings and modular desk accessories

•more japanese goodies like cast iron bird's feet bookends and a clever birdie bottle opener, and these beautiful animal- inspired copper graters.

other orders are on the way, and more ordering needs to be done!


sulu-design said...

Congratulations on the official-ness, and best of luck with this endeavor.

dash said...

thanks Susan! yer the best.