crafting an MBA asks, what would business school look like if it was geared towards crafters, designers, and makers?
As a designer/maker, your business has its own set of special needs. But at the same time, you can’t neglect the fact that it is a business. Whats standing in the way of you and success may not be your talent as a crafter, but rather your skills as a business person.
At crafting an MBA, the goal is to help you polish those basic skills (like business planning and bookkeeping), develop a marketing plan (online and off), and help keep you up to date with trends in the business world – while also helping develop skills specific to a craft based business (selling online, craft shows, trade shows, and promoting your portfolio).
If there’s anything you’d like to see on this site, please drop me a line at megan (at) craftMBA.com.
who can benefit from this marriage of craft and business thinking?
artists, crafters, designers, makers, gallery and shop owners, small scale manufacturers, craft and design bloggers, students, Etsy sellers, small business owners, suppliers, craft organizations, and anyone else who runs or is dreaming of starting a crafts related business
about Megan Auman:
I’m trained as a jeweler and metalsmith (I have a BFA from Syracuse and an MFA from Kent State, both in metals and jewelry) but I spent a lot of my time in school not working in metal. (Though my MFA thesis was large, welded wire, non-functional furniture.)
After leaving school, I continued making large sculptural pieces while growing my production jewelry business. As the jewelry business became more successful, I transitioned away from the sculptural work, but not before participating in several two-person exhibitions and the American Craft Council Baltimore show as a Searchlight Artist.
I grew my production jewelry business by selling at outdoor retail shows and on Etsy. (I was the Etsy featured seller in March 2009 – you can read my interview here.) In the last few years, I have transitioned the bulk of my business into wholesaling directly to stores and retailers. I built my wholesale business primarily through exhibiting at the New York International Gift Fair. I have sold my jewelry to a range of stores from small boutiques to large museum stores like SFMOMA, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Arts and Design. In 2009, I launched a line of metal home décor pieces based on my love of botanical patterns and the cozy/cuff – a bracelet that doubles as a reusable coffee cup cozy.
In addition to running my own design business, I am also an educator. I teach part time in the Metals + Jewelry and Interdisciplinary Object Design programs at Towson University. In 2008, I gave a talk on “Navigating the Web 2.0” at the SNAG Professional Development Seminar in Savannah. I also worked as a consultant to Patina Gallery to help them develop their web and social media skills, and have taught workshops and lectured on various aspects of running a craft/design business. My love of teaching and helping others develop their own business skills led me to start Crafting an MBA in late 2009.