craft your commerce fall workshops

Beyond the Studio

This fall our Craft Your Commerce workshops are focusing on Beyond the Studio, with an emphasis on financials and operations. This series of workshops will take you out of your studio and set you up for business health through workshops that focus on legal, insurance, and financial issues. There will also be a discussion of WNC creative businesses that have scaled their businesses along with Brett Binford from Mudshark Studios who is returning with an in person in depth class on scaling and shifting your business.

Apply to be in the CYC Holiday Gift Guide Today! Click Here for Details

The CYC Fall Workshop Series Beyond the Studio will feature the following:

  • A virtual networking event to kick off the series – Makers Mixer
  • 6 separate workshops that focus on various aspects of financials and operations designed to help you learn effective, innovative tools and strategies to streamline your operations, grow your business, understand financial best practices and earn the most profit.

Pay What You Wish

Mountain BizWorks is excited to offer this fall series of workshops as a Pay What You Wish (PWYW) option. What does this mean?  It means we recognize that the economic realities of the pandemic has put a huge financial strain on many households and we do not want price to be a limiting factor in order for creative entrepreneurs to benefit from our programs. In effect, we are trusting you to pay what you consider to be a fair price given your economic situation, beyond a $5 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 10th from 4:30 – 6:30 pm ET
Via Zoom

Join us on Friday September 10th, for an informal virtual gathering of artists and creatives from the Western North Carolina region and beyond.  Join us for a free and fun afternoon. 

Details Here

Panel Presentation  – Growing Your Business

September 15th from 2 – 4 pm ET
Via Zoom

Moderator: Sarah Benoit
Guest Panelists: Libby O’Bryan – Sew & Co, Mariko Walker – MTN Merch, Sekou Coleman – Word on the Street

Come listen to a panel of local Western North Carolina businesses talk about the growth they’re experiencing, what they did to ensure success, and how they approached their growth with intentionality.

Details Here

Financial Literacy and Lending Opportunities

September 17 from 2 – 4 pm ET
Via Zoom

Guest Presenters: TD Bank and Michael Lane, Director of Lending, Mountain BizWorks

Financials are always one of the biggest hurdles for a business owner. TD Bank and Mountain BizWorks are teaming up to talk about financial literacy, various reports, opportunities to grow and navigating the lending landscape. 

Details Here

Contracts for Creatives

September 22 from 2 – 4 pm ET
Via Zoom

Guest Presenter: Dr. Katherine de Vos DeVine

Join lawyer Dr. Katherine de Vos Devine to explore the how, when, where, and why of contracts for creative businesses.

Details Here

Pricing for Profit

September 29th from 2 – 4 pm ET
via Zoom

Guest Presenters: Veronica Edwards, Reggie Tidwell, and Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Come to this workshop to learn about some best financial practices for creative product and service based businesses. 

Details Here 

Insuring Creativity

October 1 from 2 – 4 pm ET
via Zoom

Guest Presenters: Carrie Cleveland – CERF+

So often the creative community doesn’t carry the proper insurance to cover your business in a time of need.

CERF+ is readiness, relief + resilience for studio artists, ensuring that they are as protected as the work they create.

Join CERF+ for a discussion about insurance and the actual needs creatives have around protection.

Details Here 

Scaling and Shifting Your Craft Business 

October 8th from 10 am – 3 pm with lunch from 12 – 1

Via Zoom and in person safety precautions required for attendance.*

*Please note we will be limiting the number of in person attendees and requiring proof of vaccination, masks to be worn at all times, and social distancing.

Guest Presenter: Brett Binford

How do you determine your value in the marketplace and in your own company? 

Brett Binford, co-founder and CEO of Portland based Mudshark Studios, will share the story of how he started his first business and overcame obstacles along the way to go on and eventually found other successful, thriving companies.

Participants are encouraged to come to the workshop with as many pertinent questions to their own businesses as well. We can all learn through each other’s experiences and breakouts and various exercises will be a part of this workshop.

Details Here

Alpine for Creatives

October 18 – Nov 15, 2021
Mondays, 6-8:30 pm ET
Via Zoom

​​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.

The Alpine Course will give you the opportunity to assess how things have been going in your business up to this point, while also visioning for the future. It will reconnect you with the “why” of your venture and help create in-roads to meeting both your short and long term goals.

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. UNC Asheville students are also eligible for scholarships; contact Brent Skidmore for details.

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. The program is offered in partnership with Center for Craft, UNC Asheville, and area creative entrepreneurs.


Contact Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, Craft Your Commerce Project Manager at


Our Supporting Partners

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