Each week we hand select five artists to feature on our site. This is done at random so we can keep the most even playing field possible. Yet another way we're trying to 'beat the algortithms'. We ask them a question and share their insights with you!
This week's question is a two parter:
What is one of the biggest hurdles you've overcome during the pandemic?
How has this made you a better creator?
While the economy can be uncertain, our personal need for relationships is a constant. Therefore, we view this time as an opportunity to develop relationships with others instead of giving the majority of our attention to making sales. We realize in time, if someone would like to use our services or buy our goods, we will be there, ready for them.
Having started our small business at the beginning of COVID-19, there may be an occasional doubt to lower standards, not staying true to what we initially intended to create. In addition to bespoke woodworking, we desire to create high-end bags, with intricate attention to detail, quality materials, and functional designs. At times, one of us may feel the need to rush the process. However, the other always reminds the one that doing so would go against the basic principles we outlined for ourselves. This mindset has also proved helpful when it relates to our branding. We are learning to be more cohesive across all platforms as we remember our purpose for starting Coleoptera Craftworks.
When lock-down began, immediately I started going into fear mode. I was worried about mine and many others livelihoods. I would say one of the biggest hurdles for me was to just completely surrender. Not just as a business owner; but as a human being. It has really inspired me to become more adaptable and to adapt better to this new way of life. Finding new and creative ways to better cater to my loyal customer base and new ones too.
It has definitely made me more resilient. In years past, I was wearing myself out. Its been a really nice change of pace to be able to balance work with personal leisure. More time to test out new mediums and expand my knowledge in topics that I’m very passionate about, and new ways I can grow and expand my business in a more intentional sense. Time that I haven’t had in years.
Well this whole pandemic thing certainly hasn't been easy, especially running a small business and losing out on so many of the opportunities to sell at shows and far fewer sales in my many handmade consignment shops.
Before this year, I hadn't always been very careful or thoughtful about the amount of inventory I purchased, kept on hand, invested in, etc. The pandemic has forced me to completely change that and really focus on spending every penny wisely, and I'm extra grateful to have had the push! This has undoubtedly made me a better creator and business person, which I can (hopefully) apply to next year when things are *crossing fingers* a little more normal!
My biggest hurdle was getting supplies. Since most of my items I use to create with are found flea marketing or at thrift stores, it was difficult for me to create without finding bits and pieces I needed to create with. I had plenty of taxidermy to work with but nothing to bring them to life. This forced me to become more creative with the supplies I did have on hand and expanded my creativity and expanded my ability to create something from very little.
Shifting from Art Show based sales to more direct studio sales and online sales and seeing a change in the type of work people are interested in. Since there has been a change in the type of my work people are interested in required me to become more proficient in creating certain artwork. Also, since many of the direct studio sales involve creating custom requested artwork this has let me be more creative than normal.