Yesterday l spent a wonderful day at West Moss Side farm in Stirlingshire attending the 'Women making a success in art, craft and design enterprises' workshop.
The venue was the beautiful West Moss-Side where they regularly host courses in a variety of crafts from willow basketry to felting and also business meetings etc. Fabulous use of an old byre, a really beautiful conversion job, it really made me envious.
The day involved three workshops regarding crafting businesses and their problems (and solutions) within marketing, communications, internet etc. I went along with Jane from Snapdragon who gave a really good talk on being an individual trader and the power of the internet in business and how useful blogging is within the crafting business world. There were also talks on The Community Based Business by Camille Dressler from the Isle of Eigg and Barry Horning from the Creative Cairngorm Group.
It really was an interesting day, not just from the point of view of listening to good speakers and being involved in feedback/discussions etc, there was so much enjoyable networking (chatting!) going on as well. I finally met the lovely Gill who runs Purple Coo blog, so nice to put faces to names. It was also really refreshing to meet other crafters/sellers in another atmosphere instead of the usual 'at a fair/shop and selling', people were more open and showed their more vulnerable side, their hopes and fears within their chosen craft path. It put things into perspective a bit and l think that helps us all. We can tend to get bogged down within our ouw little world when we are crafting a business. Our problems (tho very real) can become larger than life through the fact that we are working in a more solitary environment. I think being able to get together and share all manner of issues really does help people in such a variety of ways. I know l have come away with a pad full of notes and a tad lighter on the shoulder load.
All in all a good and productive day out. Only slightly marred by having to drive all the way accross Glasgow to collect my new (well not quite) car and finding out it wouldn't be ready for another day. Ho hum, always something sent to try us l guess…………..