Doing Business 8/06/09

Producer/Host: Jane E Haskell, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Studio Engineer: Amy Browne

Topic: The Fiber of Your Businesses
What makes a “fiber art”? When you started in business, did you think of yourself as a fiber artist? Do you market your own work as a fiber art? How? Do you ever do cooperative marketing with other fiber artists or non-fiber artists or other businesses? What are the linkages? Are there other products or services that you implement to add value to what you already do? Who is your customer? What do you hear from artisans about isolation and being perceived as true businesses? How is your location of advantage to you? Do you align with buy local endeavors? Why do you feel there is this focus on fiber arts? Can you give an example of how your fiber arts business has positively impacted another business? What is the most important part of your business plan? How do you see the fiber arts in the scheme of importance to the state’s economy? If someone is thinking of their fiber artistry as a hobby, what are some tips or ways to turn it into a business? What are some of your challenges in this uncertain economy? We all take on risks, we are self reliant and creative in developing solutions. What are some risks you have taken on or creative solutions you have discovered? What networks exist for businesses that work with fiber? What is out there for resources for fiber artists? Do you feel connected with the full spectrum of the artisan community – particularly the generational spread? Do you have strategies to make the artisan and business side connect well? How do fiber arts fall in the sustainable dialogue? Is the resource sustainable?
How do you go about thinking of your work, your art, in supporting you? Does it? If not, what or who supports you? What do you, or other artisans, need to know more about to better support them as business owners?


Michaele Bailey, owner, Basketful of Bunnies
49 Pember Road, Levant, ME 04456; 207-884-7065

Deborah Bergman, owner
Purple Fleece
103 School St
Stockton Springs, ME 04981; 207-323-1871

Jani Estelle, owner
Starcroft Fiber Mill
83 Pattee Rd, Monroe, ME 04951; 207-525-3562

Andrea Rouillard, owner,
Full Moon Weaving
355 Waldo Station RD
Waldo ME 04915; 207-342-3286