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Craft Your Commerce Online Summer Workshop Series

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Jul 31 - Aug 28


All day




Online — Zoom, NC

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.

The 2020 Summer Workshop Series: Creative Shifts will focus on adapting your craft business to thrive in a drastically changed market. 

We will start with a speaker panel of leading WNC based craft business entrepreneurs to hear how they’ve adjusted their business model and operations to meet the challenges of COVID-19. We will then learn from a Portland-based craft manufacturing entrepreneur about the innovative techniques and leadership strategies that have helped him to successfully scale his business and continue to weather these challenging market conditions. Finally, we will open a window into the realm of commercial projects and buyers, which is a customer and revenue segment that remains untapped for many craft entrepreneurs.

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 Summer Workshop Series will feature the following:

  • A virtual networking event to kick off the series
  • 3 separate virtual workshops on thriving in the time of COVID-19 by creatively adjusting your business model, innovating operations and cultivating new customer segments 
  • Crafting Commerce Cohort (C3) Labs to glean insights from the workshops and develop actionable plans in a collaborative, peer-to-peer learning setting

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.

Learn more about the Craft Your Commerce 2020 Spring Workshop Series events and get your tickets below! Please note that all of the workshops are open to anyone living in the United States. The C3 Labs are only open to creatives living and working in Western North Carolina.


Kickoff Event

July 31, 4:30 – 6 pm – Craft Your Commerce: Makers Mixer

Join us for an informal virtual gathering of artists and creatives from the Western North Carolina region. This is a relaxed networking event that will begin with a brief introduction and presentation in order to provide a glimpse of the upcoming 2020 Summer Craft Your Commerce Workshop Series. Then we will get a wonderful presentation on taking care of our bodies especially as we spend more time at the computer.

Full Details Here

Workshops on Creative Shifts

August 12, 10 am – 12 pm – Adjusting Your Business in the Time of COVID-19
Featuring Brian Boggs Chairmakers, East Fork Pottery, and French Broad Chocolates

A panel of successful craft entrepreneurs will present on how they have adapted their businesses in order to meet the challenges of COVID-19, from the actual operational and production changes, to how they have diversified their revenue to reach new customers.

Full Details Here

August 21, 2 – 4 pm– Shifting and Scaling Your Craft Business with Brett Binford of Mudshark Studios
Featuring Brett Binford, co-founder and CEO of Portland based Mudshark Studios

Hear the story of how Mudshark Studios, a craft manufacturing company in Portland, Oregon, started in the basement and grew to a 17,000 sq. footage studio with 33 full time employees. Brett will share how he positioned Mudshark Studios to be able to adjust to both the operational and production changes necessary to keep his employees safe and his customers happy during this pandemic, and how he had to shift both his business and way of thinking to survive.

Full Details Here

August 28, 2 – 4 pm – Crafting the Built Environment: How to Work with Designers, Architects, and Developers
Featuring Bright Angle, Samsel Architects, and Shelter Collective. 

As we move into our new “normal” how can makers grow their customers and their business? Have you ever thought you could work directly with a designer or a large development company? How would you go about creating relationships with these businesses? This panel discussion will shed light on the process of working with buyers by bringing together a group of designers, architects and craft artists to discuss how they connect with and go about working with each other.

Full Details here.

CoHort Based Learning Program

Crafting Commerce Cohort (C3) Labs

5 Sessions over 5 Weeks
Dates: August 11 – September 8 (meets every Tuesday evening)
Time: 6-8 pm

Facilitated by Gwynne Rukenbrod Smith, Craft Your Commerce Project Manager. This 5-week cohort experience will aid existing makers and creative entrepreneurs in integrating learnings from the workshops into their business practices. Join a group of your cohorts and analyze all aspects of your business, identify where you could improve your business, and implement the ideas shared in each cohort workshop.

These Live Labs are held 4 (business) days after the original cohort workshop. They are intended to answer any questions that you have after the workshop, and help you implement the skills and ideas you learned. You can submit questions or items for review beforehand or during the Lab.

Full Details Here

Pricing & Ticket Packages

The Craft Your Commerce 2020 Workshop Series involves a networking event, three separate workshops, and one intensive course suited for existing makers. The program offerings are available a-la-carte, but they’re also designed to thematically complement each other and we encourage you to consider participating in the full series.

Individual Tickets 

  • July 31 Maker’s Mixer  – Free!
  • August 12 Adjusting Your Business in a Time of COVID-19 – $25 Early Bird | $35 Regular Price
  • August 21 Shifting and Scaling Your Craft Business – $35 Early Bird | $45 Regular Price
  • August 28 Crafting the Built Environment – $25 Early Bird | $35 Regular Price
  • August 11 – September 8 Crafting Commerce Cohort (C3) Labs- $175 Early Bird | $275 Regular Price

Series Pass Breakdown 

  • The Series Pass gives you access to all Workshops (Adjusting Your Business, Shifting and Scaling Your Craft Business, Crafting the Build Environment)
    • $65 Early Bird | $95 Regular Price
  • The Series Pass + C3 Labs gives you access to all Workshops AND the 5-week Live Labs for Makers course 
    • $175 Early Bird | $275 Regular Price

Get your tickets early and take advantage of discounted Early Bird Pricing available only until August 10, 2020!



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.

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July 31, 2020
August 28, 2020
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Mountain BizWorks
828-253-2834 ext 10


Online — Zoom, NC