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Alpine for Creatives

with Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

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Oct 18 - Nov 15


6:00 pm - 8:30 pm




Online — Zoom, NC

If you live in a rural WNC location, have a low-to-moderate income, or are an agricultural business, you may qualify for a partial scholarship (discounted rate is up to 80% off for qualifying individuals). Request a scholarship within the online registration form. Each class offering has a limited number of scholarships and they are available on a first come, first served basis.

For questions, please contact Millie Smith,  millie@mountainbizworks.org (828) 253-2834 ext. 10 if you have any questions

This is a virtual class that will take place via Zoom. Videoconferencing details will be sent upon registration. Please email millie@mountainbizworks.org with any questions or concerns. Class will meet every Monday, October 18th – November 15th from 6pm – 8:30pm.

The Alpine for Creatives Course is designed to support founders of creative businesses that have been operating for at least one year.

​​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.

This special Alpine Course is part of the Craft Your Commerce: 2021 Fall Workshop Series being offered by Mountain BizWorks with support from Center for Craft and UNC Asheville. The series involves a networking event, six separate workshops, and one intensive course suited for existing makers. This course is designed for existing makers to take the tools, strategies, and resources gained from the series workshops and then integrate them into your business plan and practices to further your success.



Meet our Alpine Facilitator

Mountain BizWorks event presenter, Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith

Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith currently serves as the Project Manager for Craft Your Commerce at Mountain BizWorks. She is the former Executive Director for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG)...

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Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith currently serves as the Project Manager for Craft Your Commerce at Mountain BizWorks. She is the former Executive Director for the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG), an organization dedicated to the support and advancement of contemporary jewelry and metal artists.  Before that, Gwynne was the Executive Director for HandMade in America, an economic development organization that focuses on growing craft economies in Western North Carolina.  While there she created Craft Labs a professional development series of classes for artists.  She is an accomplished glass artist as well as an arts executive.  She ran a successful glass business for several years.  She has worked with both rural and urban communities teaching her professional development and entrepreneurship workshops across the country for over 18 years.  Gwynne believes in helping artists and small business owners expand their markets and create sustainable businesses.   She currently serves as the Board Chair for the North Carolina Glass Center and lives in Asheville, NC with her husband and two dogs.


Week 1


The focus this week is on regaining perspective of your venture today, your mission and vision, and what your goals are for this course and for the future. It is also a chance to get to know your fellow cohort members and begin learning from their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Week 2 and 3


During these sessions we focus on the numbers and the stories that they tell. In Week 2, we will interpret key financial statements and look closely at each line of business within the venture in relation to units of sale, break-even points, and profit and sales goals. During Week 3, we will utilize Birds Eye Financial Tools to create cash flow projections for the future based on new ideas or opportunities surfacing within the business.

Week 4


We focus on the marketing efforts to date: how is the venture generating awareness about its products and services and gaining feedback from its audiences? During Week 4 we will review all current marketing materials and revisit core concepts of creating a strong brand identity while gaining feedback from peers. During this week we will brainstorm and create new ideas and pathways for connecting with our clients and customers.

Week 5


We focus on action plans for moving forward with an opportunity for 1:1 coaching to review key measurements for implementation.


October 18, 2021
6:00 pm - 8:30 pm
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Mountain BizWorks
828-253-2834 ext 10


Online — Zoom, NC