Craft Your Commerce Spring Workshops

The Craft of Selling

This spring our Craft Your Commerce workshops are focusing on The Craft of Selling. We have all learned that 2020 threw us a curveball that no one saw coming and those creative and craft based businesses that had diverse revenue streams are the ones who were able to pivot, grow their sales, and meet their customers’ needs most easily. 

This fresh series of Craft Your Commerce workshops will explore a variety of skill development to help you understand how to create sales strategies, develop diverse revenue streams, and sell without having to feel “salesy.” Join us for this series of workshops as we bring in guest presenters who are subject matter experts in their field, exposing you to new ideas, and helping you find innovation and comfort in selling your products.

Throughout the series, an integrative cohort-based learning program will help weave together lessons from the workshops and guide entrepreneurs in developing their own goals and actionable plans.

The CYC Spring Workshop Series will feature the following:

  • A virtual networking event to kick off the series – Makers Mixer
  • 5 separate virtual workshops that focus on various aspects of Selling designed to help you gain paying customers through effective, innovative tools and strategies.
  • Crafting Commerce Cohort (C3) Labs will glean insights from the workshops and develop actionable plans in a collaborative, peer-to-peer learning setting.

Pay What You Wish

Mountain BizWorks is excited to offer this spring 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!

Kickoff Event

Makers Mixer

March 12 from 4:30 – 6 pm
via Zoom Meeting

Join us on Friday March 12, for an informal virtual gathering of artists and creatives from the Western North Carolina region and beyond. This is a relaxed networking event that will begin with a brief introduction and presentation to provide a glimpse of the upcoming 2021 Spring Craft Your Commerce Workshop Series, then we will hear from guest presenter, Emma Churchman on Selling from Soul without Selling Your Soul. After the presentation, Emma will “hotseat” 4 volunteers about how to increase sales in your business. Come join us! This event is free. Full Details Here


Workshops on the Craft of Selling

Selling with Intention: Creating Long Term Customer Relationships with Digital Strategies

Presenter: Casey Nifong
March 17th from 2 – 4 pm eastern
Via Zoom Meeting

This workshop is an introduction to creating long term relationships with your customers through building an intentional digital strategy. This session will dive into how to approach building beautiful relationships (ideally turning customers into friends) through your digital channels like market research, brand messaging, and online engagement that then leads to brand loyalty. Full Details Here


Beyond Sales Funnels: How to Automate Customer Relationships to Drive Sales

Presenter: Julio Chavez
March 24 from 2 – 4 pm eastern
via Zoom Meeting

Come learn the basics of all sales funnels, and then learn how to automate them so you spend LESS time cultivating your customers, but have more sales! This is sure to be a fun and interactive workshop helping you grow your sales without being “salesy.” Full Details Here

The Power of Being Niche: Creating Growth While Narrowing Your Customer Base

Moderator: Sarah Benoit, Panelists: TBD

March 31 from 2 – 4 pm eastern
Via Zoom Webinar

Ever hear the saying “if you are marketing to everyone, you’re marketing to no one?” This is because most seasoned sales and marketing people know money is made when real relationships are strong. One of the ways you can build loyalty, repeat business, referrals, trust, and cash flow is to focus on a niche market. Niches don’t limit your business, they help you establish credibility in the marketplace. Full Details Here

Partner Marketing Made Easy: Low Tech Ways to Sell Online

Presenter: Derrick Duplessy

April 2 from 2 – 4 pm eastern
Via Zoom Meeting

This workshop will demonstrate how to sell products online person to person – without complicated technology. Professionals from Acceleration Partners (AP) will work directly with each attendee on how to implement these low tech sales strategies. AP works with companies like Warby Parker, Reebok, and adidas to implement these strategies. Presenter Derrick Duplessy is the founder of the Duplessy Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to teaching the sales process to women, immigrants, and minority business owners. Full Details Here

Creating Your Brand Story: How Your Brand Story Can Sell for You 

Presenter: Alyssa Phillips
April 7th from 2 – 4 pm eastern
Via Zoom Meeting

This workshop is an introduction to branding and how it can help your business grow. Together we’ll review different aspects that make up a brand, why these aspects are important, how to build your own brand story, and how to use it to market and sell your products or services. A worksheet and discussion will accompany the presentation. Full Details Here



Cohort-Based Learning Program

Photo by Nicole McConville

Crafting Commerce Cohort (C3) Labs

5 Sessions over 5 Weeks

March 15 – April 12, 6 – 8 pm Eastern (meets every Monday for 5 weeks)
Via Zoom Meeting


These Live Labs are held throughout the workshop series. They are intended to help you process learnings from the workshops, implement any skills and ideas you learned, and get feedback from both the facilitator and your cohorts. You will come out of this program with 3 strategic business goals and a plan to achieve them. Full Details Here

Please note that while the workshops are open to anyone living in the United States, the C3 Cohort Labs are open only to creatives living and working in Western North Carolina.


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.

Sign Up Now


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

Mountain BizWorks sponsors and partners