craft your commerce Fall Workshops

Next Level Financials and Operations

Are you a creative small business that wants to create systems around your operations and financials? Our Next Level Financials and Operations workshop series can help you make this a reality. The Fall 2022 CYC Workshop Series will take your operations and financial entrepreneurship learning to the next level. These classes are specifically designed for those creatives who want to learn how to better create systems around general operations and financials, are curious about the wholesale market, and create genuine authentic relationships with your customers.

The CYC Fall Workshop Series Next Level Financials and Operations will feature the following:

  • An in person networking event to kick off the series – Makers Mixer
  • 6 separate hybrid workshops that focus on financials and operations with an emphasis on higher level learning. Each workshop is designed to give you actionable items to implement into your creative business and see results.
  • A 5 week in person Alpine for Creatives intensive designed to help you take your existing business to the next level


Pay What You Wish

This workshop series is sponsored by TD Bank and the American Craft Council. Because of their amazing support, Mountain BizWorks is excited to again offer this fall series of workshops at a Pay What You Wish (PWYW).


This means we are trusting you to pay what you consider to be a fair price given your economic situation, beyond the $10 minimum placeholder. We hope this allows as many craft and creative individuals to be able to participate and grow their business skills leading to sustainable businesses!

Makers Mixer

CYC Makers Mixer

September 9th, 5:30 – 8 pm
Center for Craft Assembly Hall

Join us on Friday September 9th from 5:30 – 8 pm, for an informal in person gathering of artists and creatives from the Western North Carolina region and beyond. This is a relaxed networking event that will include small bites and beverages along with information on our 2022 Fall Craft Your Commerce workshop series Next Level Financials and Operations. Join us for a free and fun afternoon. This is an in person event held at the Center for Craft.

Details Here

Money Mindset Lecture

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September 13th from 3 – 4 pm ET
Center for Craft Ideation Lab and Zoom 

Guest Presenter: Hannah Cole

Economists would have us believe that money is neutral. But if you’ve ever negotiated a price increase in your business, had a fight with your partner or remembered what caused stress in your parents, you know that money is anything but. Money can be your relationship with your father, your self-image in society and your dynamic with your partner. This workshop, by artist and tax expert Hannah Cole, will reveal some of the hidden places where your mindset about money may be holding you back. And it will give you some helpful re-framing devices to bring money into focus as a helpful tool rather than something painful and loaded. We will discuss perfectionism, what the IRS is really looking for (hint: it’s not as bad as you think), pricing, and much more.

Details Here

Taxes for Artists, Freelancers and Creative Businesses

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September 15th from 10 am – 12 pm ET
Center for Craft Ideation Lab and Zoom

Guest Presenter: Hannah Cole

What can I deduct? Do I bring receipts to my accountant? Is my art a business or a hobby? What is a Schedule C? How do I deduct my home studio?  Why do freelancers have to pay taxes quarterly, and how do I do that? Hannah Cole, artist, tax expert, will discuss the basic tax equation, self employment tax and the estimated quarterly tax system, audit concerns for the creative person, and other tax issues specifically relevant to artists and makers, followed by a question and answer period. Hannah Cole is the founder of Sunlight Tax, which specializes in friendly, informative tax preparation for artists, and engaging, art-world savvy tax education workshops for artist groups, and in empowering creative people to set up for long-term success and take control of the financial side of their careers through her program, Money Bootcamp

Details Here

Authentic Connections


September 22nd from 5 pm – 7 pm ET
Center for Craft Michael Sherrill Loft and Zoom

Guest Presenter: Alex Cardona

The sales process is the most stigmatized process within owning a business. Most people have a negative association with sales, thus avoiding their potential abundance in their business journey. The reality is without sales, there is no movement within the economy. Authentic Connections is about debunking the mental association with the sales process, learning to understand how a sale is not just a transaction but also the beginning of a relationship and gaining loyal friends and customers for life.

Details Here

Breaking into the Wholesale Market

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September 28th and 29th from 10 am – 12 pm ET
Center for Craft Michael Sherrill Loft and Zoom

Guest Presenter: Robin Kramer

Have you ever wondered if your product is a good fit for the wholesale marketplace? Curious about how to wholesale your product and develop a new revenue stream? Wholesale is not dead and can be a wonderful way to bring in additional income to your creative product business. Industry expert, Robin Kramer, will provide you with insight and knowledge gained from over 25 years of experience in the wholesale industry. She will teach you how to conquer wholesale through proven methods so you can get into your dream stores and take your business to the next level. 

Details Here 

Fun with Financials – Virtual

Photo by Nicole McConville (

October 3rd from 5 – 8 pm ET and October 4th from 12 – 6 pm ET

Presenter: John Verreault from TD Bank and Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith 

In this workshop you will learn general accounting terms, personal and business budgeting, variable costs, overhead costs and cash flow projections, and we will wrap the second day up with a panel discussion on why it all matters. 

Details Here

Hiring Best Practices - Virtual

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October 11th from 13th from 4- 6 pm ET


Guest Presenter: Christine DiBenedetto 

All employers want a dream team. The employees that represent our business well, read our mind and perform the job better than we imagine.

Having employees is the joy and pain of your entrepreneurial journey, challenging and stressful if you don’t have systems in place for them to thrive in the job.  Let’s break down how to get organized and ready to hire and grow an employee (and yourself).   We will cover the basics of  recruitment, interviewing, operational needs, finances,  systems, hiring, firing, communication, reviews, onboarding and growth areas.  With two decades of experience in hiring, onboarding and training employees I’m bringing all my best tips of the trade to you!

Details Here

Bringing It All Together: Planning and Assessing Your Business - Virtual


October 18th from 5 – 7 pm ET


Guest Presenter: Alex Cardona

Starting and running a business is HARD. The appeal of being one’s own boss is something that entrepreneurs initially think is easy to accomplish. The process of starting all of the necessary systems often overwhelms business owners because there is a lot to do. Starting a business is not just about making sales; rather it is: developing a name, coming up with a logo and website, creating a business plan and projections, applying for funding, assessing the value in the marketplace, and much more. 

Details Here

Alpine for Creatives – Virtual

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November 1st – December 6th from Tuesdays 5 pm – 8 pm ET (with a bye week November 22)

Facilitator: Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Are you ready to grow your creative based business and determine what your next steps are?

If so, Alpine for Creatives is for you! This 5-week course provides a peer-to-peer learning environment for you to assess your creative-based venture to date and address the opportunities and challenges emerging on the horizon. The course will guide participants through a comprehensive assessment of their experience producing and selling to date.

Details Here 


Sign Up For The Series

The networking event and workshops are offered à la carte but we hope you will take advantage of the Series Pass and journey through the entirety of this integrative learning experience.


Limited financial need based scholarships are available. To apply for a scholarship please continue to this form

About Craft Your Commerce

Craft Your Commerce is a Mountain BizWorks entrepreneurial program designed to connect, elevate and advance creative and craft-centered companies through a series of business training workshops and classes designed by makers for makers.


Contact Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, Craft Your Commerce Program Director at


Our Supporting Partners

This year’s Craft Your Commerce series would not be possible without the generous support from our partners and sponsors.