I’ve spent lots of time this past week with clean hands. In other words, I haven’t been creating clay pieces in the studio. I have been diligently working on the business aspect of my endeavor though. It’s a necessary and important component of any successful outcome.
Since business is not a natural skill for me, I’ve been learning how to improve as I go. Overall, I want the business of my clay art to be professional. It takes forethought and planning to achieve the numerous details of any business – and producing my clay art should abide by similar standards. I’ve been listening to podcasts (Tales of A Red Clay Rambler and The Potters Cast) of other potters to gain new insights and joined a clay Mastermind group to confer with like-minded artists and learn new ideas. This has been very helpful.
For me, running a professional clay art business means producing a consistent and well-made product. But that’s just the beginning. It also entails preparation of marketing and promotional materials to describe and accompany each piece including logo hangtags and recipe cards. It’s important to accurately photograph and document the art for use in marketing so I've been working to improve these skills. Pricing and inventory documentation are another important aspect of business management. I’m learning to use social media to help promote ClayByLaura through the internet. I continue to seek and develop new sales opportunities through galleries and private sales. I'll continue to tweak all of these components to improve the business side of my clay art.
It can be overwhelming, but as I've broken down the tasks into smaller achievable goals, I've been able to tackle the professional side of ClayByLaura bit by bit and achieved a sense of satisfaction as each piece falls into place. It's a building process -- much like the assembly of a hand built piece of clay. Each element helps make the final product stronger. Today, I'm heading back to the clay!