NEW: Get a printable schedule and list of panels here .





The Creative Metal Arts Guild of Portland is proudly hosting our first annual Maker’s Business Symposium, focusing on the business of art. While most of the presenters will be metal artists, almost all of the sessions are relevant regardless of your medium. We’re encouraging artists of all sorts and at any stage in their careers to join us, and we’re giving members of other area guilds a chance to attend at guild rates. If you have friends who are artists, please encourage them to join us!

Location: The Multnomah Arts Center (rooms 30 & 33)

Dates: March 23-24, 2019, 9:30 am – 5 pm

The schedule will be as follows:

  • 9:30 – 10 am – Check in and orientation for the day
  • 10 am – 12 pm – Track 1 and Track 2 – Session 1
  • 12 pm – 1 pm – Lunch with discussion round tables
  • 1 pm – 3 pm  – Track 1 and Track 2 – Session 2
  • 3 pm – 5 pm – Track 1 and Track 2 – Session 3 (Saturday), Shared Track/Closing Activities (Sunday)

See a printable version of the event schedule and list of panels here.


Saturday, March 23, 2019

10 am – 12pm: Success Strategies for Wholesale and Retail Sales (Debra Carus)

Take a deep dive into the world of marketing your art in wholesale and retail markets.

Topics in this presentation will cover:

  • Identifying your target niche markets
  • Preparing a successful portfolio of your work
  • Professional sales approaches that tell your story
  • Common pitfalls and rookie mistakes

This interactive session will be jam packed with real-life success tips and ways to overcome failures, by an artist who has experienced her share of both.

10 am – 12 pm: Going into Business: Start Smart! (Kedma Ough)

Kedma Ough, Director of the Small Business Development Center at Mount Hood Community College, walks you through the process of starting your own business from scratch. You’ll leave the class with contacts & principles vital to getting your business off the ground and then managing it through the early stages of development.

12 pm: Saturday Lunch Breakout/Roundtable: Pricing Your Work (Chantay Curnow, Lee Haga, Thomas Tietze)

Bring your lunch and join long-time professional jewelers and artist/educators, Chantay Curnow, Lee Haga, and Thomas Tietze who will have a roundtable discussion on approaches to pricing your work. Bring your questions for the panel!

1 – 3 pm: Social Media and Etsy Basics (Tai Vautier)

Are you curious about what social media or Etsy can do for you but aren’t sure how to begin? This workshop can help you understand how to open an Instagram account, Facebook, or Twitter. We will cover platforms such as Pinterest and Etsy, including how to open an Etsy shop, plus the basic guidelines for successful selling there. If you only have a limited amount of time or don’t like being on the computer, learn which platforms will give you the most exposure and value for your time.

1 – 3 pm: Developing Collections (Mandy Allen)

Mandy Allen offers insight into the process of designing a cohesive collection of work that aligns with your artistic voice and increases sales.  She will discuss considerations such as price points, variety of sizes, and types of pieces.  Mandy will discuss how she documents her making process and streamlines production with the use of jigs and templates. She will include tips on maximizing your use of materials and tracking costs to help determine prices.

1 – 3 pm: Hands on Portfolio Reviews with Debra Caras

3 – 5 pm: Social Media: The Next Level (Tai Vautier)

Social media is a powerful tool to boost sales and gain exposure both locally and globally. The benefits of social media can range from free advertising to a full-fledged marketplace to conduct your sales and business. Sites like Instagram can be incredibly successful if tapped into correctly, and the potential to make a living as an artist has never been easier. This session will help you understand the power of social media when used with appropriate styles, images and content. We will cover the difference between “marketing” styles and “influencer” styles.

What makes a successful social media presence? Come find out in this two-hour session led by Tai Vautier of Tai Vautier Jewelry, who conducts a majority of her sales through successful on line promotion and exposure.

3 – 5 pm:  Selling at Craft Shows: Selection, Presentation & Promotion (Rachel Morris)

Geared towards artists interested in selling at shows for the first time or those wishing to up the level of show they get into, this session helps you identify your existing and target markets, decide which shows are appropriate, and enhance your displays and overall presentation and promotion for those events. We’ll talk about the need to create a cycle of continuous refinement in order to promote business growth.

Sunday, March 24, 2019

10 am – 12 pm: Gearing Up for a Website (Jane Pellicciotto)

Maybe your website is old. Maybe you’ve never created one. Making a website can seem like a daunting task. But given how many low-cost options exist that don’t require a technical person, there’s no excuse not to put yourself out into the digital world. We’ll break down, into easily digestible parts, what you need to think about as you embark on crafting your web presence. How do I begin? How long will it take? Which web building services is the best to use? What parts am I willing to tackle myself and where do I need help?

Come with your burning questions and be ready to take notes.

10 am – 12 pm: Selling at Craft Shows: Behind the Scenes Business Issues (Rachel Morris)

So you’ve gotten into some shows – what should you have prepared to make sure they run smoothly? This panel addresses some of the often-tedious business tasks you’ll want to have under control before your next show, such as inventory management, insurance, credit card processing, return and other policies, what to pack, and more. It will also dive deeper into how to evaluate the success of a show.

12 pm – Sunday Lunch Breakout/Roundtable: Successful Gallery Applications & Approaches (Mary Wong, Thomas Tietze, Greg Wilbur, Jeannine Grafton)

Gallery owner/jeweler Mary Wong and artists Thomas Tietze and Greg Wilbur share their thoughts on approaching galleries to sell or show your work. We’ll talk about do’s and don’ts and what materials you should have prepared, plus lightly touch on risks and rewards of selling this way. Bring your questions for the panel!

1 – 3 pm: How to Take Great Photos (Without a lot of Equipment) (Mary Wong)

Come learn tips and tricks to make your photos look great, without expensive equipment. Mary will teach how to get nice photos on phone and DSLR style cameras for use in websites and advertising. We’ll cover lighting, white balance, composition, using a processing program (the difference between an ok pic and a pretty darn good one), and backgrounds – including her secret printed gradients!

1 – 3 pm: The Whole-Story Brand (Jane Pellicciotto)

When most people hear “brand,” they think of a logo. But a brand is much broader—it encompasses your story and how you tell it, who your ideal customer is, the look of your visual presence, and surprisingly, what the outside world thinks of you. All of these, and more, create the structure for you to put yourself into the world with confidence that you’re reaching the right people, expressing your values, and showing people what makes you different. This structure makes it much easier to tackle marketing with a solid foundation in place.

In this workshop, we’ll explore the facets that make up a brand. It will include tools and frameworks to discover your key brand attributes, begin crafting a tagline, business description and about page, review dos and don’ts for a logo, and how all the pieces fit together. Expect to dive deep, make discoveries and gain clarity on the impact you want your work to make in the world.

3 – 4:15 pm: Closing a Sale and Converting Challenging Customers (Rachel Morris & Serin Hale)

This is an interactive panel on how to handle some of the more unusual customer scenarios you’ll run across. This session will provide suggestions on how to gently re-direct customer concerns from negatives to positives. We’ll talk about when to flex on a sale and when to stand firm, and we’ll show ways in which artists can unintentionally lose a sale with their words and actions. Bring your customer horror stories!

4:15 – 5 pm: Wind-down, Networking, and Symposium Feedback (and cupcakes!)

Event Costs are as follows:

  • Full Symposium:
    • $145 for members of any area guild
    • $175 for non-guild artists
    • $125 for full time students
  • One Day Rate: $85

Bagged lunches will be available for an extra fee (you can also bring your own) if you want to stay for our lunch round-tables, or you can go out to one of several area restaurants.