In the Arts and Handmade World, How Often Should You Re-invent Yourself?

artistYou’re an artist or craftsman, and you are also a business. You’ve been doing this a while, and each year, you show some financial growth. You’ve found a niche that is supporting activities you love to do. Re-inventing yourself is not something that’s on your list, let alone near the top…. it isn’t broken; why fix it?

Change Is Not a Four-Letter Word

searsTake a moment to stroll down memory lane with a long-lived, successful business in or out of the art/handmade world.  Think about Sears, for example.  Sears-Roebuck has been around for more than 100 years.  They probably invented catalog shopping like ace catalogue – the forerunner of what we now do on the internet.  They sold everything you could think of from every-day necessities to kits to build a house!  They still sell a wide variety of items, but it’s narrowed considerably over time.  They’re now known for still having a good selection, but they excel in tools (Craftsman) and appliances.  They changed and evolved over time, which is a natural thing to do to stay relevant.

And You?

evolutionIf you think about yourself over the course of your journey, you’ve naturally evolved as well.  Without even thinking about it, you’ve probably re-invented yourself any number of times.  Your skills have improved, you’ve had new and different ideas, you developed new or expanded interests.  Without even realizing it, to stay successful, you’ve changed or grown.

reinventionAnd the Answer Is…

You should be constantly re-inventing yourself – growing, changing, expanding, contracting.  Any business – whether it’s mass-market retail or the arts – needs to be in a constant state of evolution.  A static enterprise loses market share simply because there’s nothing new or different to keep those customers interested – i.e., coming back for more.



Headband Navy Tweed RightMaybe your customer bought a knit headband last year.  It would be nice to have another this year.  But they are not going to buy the exact same one they bought before.  When they return for another, they need to see new designs, fresh colors, different fibers, expanded selection – something different than they saw before.  Otherwise, they will be buying from a competitor.

Re-invention doesn’t have to be deliberate.  But you should always be aware that whatever you do is constantly a work in progress, something that is never completed and always evolving.

Written by IKnitQuiltSew

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Posted in Creative Breakroom, Discover Handmade, Handmade, Handmade Artisans, Information, Promote Handmade, Selling Tips

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