Entrepreneur’s Work—shop is a series for makers by the Center for Craft featuring business workshops taught by makers. Come and learn how to craft your commerce.

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Mar 1

Market Positioning: The Foundation of Your Business Strategy

Taught by: Regina Connell

Positioning is one of the most important “business” decisions you will make. In this workshop, Regina Connell, former Director of Communications at Heath Ceramics, will share why positioning is foundational for your business, how to do it, and how it will inform everything from your strategy, your brand, your pricing, your partnerships and your communications. Regina will draw on her experiences in the maker industry as well as from industry at large.

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About Regina Connell

Regina Connell specializes in finding the unexpected connections between people, ideas, brands, and market opportunities. A connector with deep expertise in the intersection where strategy, brand, media, and experiences meet, Regina specializes in helping design, lifestyle and new luxury brands position themselves to define and intensify their relationships with customers old and new. Her particular expertise lies in illuminating unexpected connections between people, ideas, brands, and market opportunities. 

Over the course of a 20 year consulting career, she’s helped a wide range of clients create and launch first-of-their-kind initiatives.  Clients have ranged from large consumer products brands (Proctor and Gamble, LEGO, Ford, Toyota) to emerging designers, architects, and makers (UmeStudio, Fyrn, the NWBLK and others). She’s also worked with social innovators to create hybrid investment/philanthropic opportunities (Calvert, Social Capital Markets, Social Venture Partners). Regina was also the Director of Communications at Heath Ceramics, where she led marketing, PR, events, and collaborations through a period of significant growth and product expansion.

She is also a writer and editor: she founded the magazine Handful of Salt, which covers the intersection of art, craft, and design, and contributes to design and luxury industry publications, focusing on emerging artists and the future of consumption, connection, making and meaning. Regina holds degrees in Law from Hastings and International Relations from Stanford University.

Work—shop details:

When: Mar 1, 4–6pm

Price: $20*

Max Seats: 100

Get Series Pass Now
Includes all 3 Work—shops.

*UNCA student? Scholarships available! Contact Brent Skidmore.

Mar 15

Capture and Convey: Telling Your Story Through Images

Taught by: Nicole McConville

Images are an essential tool in conveying your perspective and standing out in our visually driven world. Use strategic exercises to determine your unique entrepreneurial story and learn how to communicate it through photography that best showcases you, your work, and your values. Join noted Asheville photographer and craft publishing veteran Nicole McConville to explore accessible DIY tips that will improve your approach to image creation and your finished results. Determine when and how to work with a professional. Whether you are a maker, baker, or creative troublemaker, this workshop dives deeply into the WHY as much as the HOW to prepare entrepreneurs to think about visuals in a way that is empowering and practical.

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About Nicole McConville

Nicole McConville is an Asheville-based photographer offering a wide range of services, including portraits, food and beverage, product photography and business identity, weddings, and more. Her previous career in lifestyle book publishing helped inform her interdisciplinary approach and commitment to shine a bright spotlight on and support creative individuals and communities.

Photo by Nicole McConville

Work—shop details:

When: Mar 15, 9–11:30am

Price: $40*

Max Seating: 50

Get Series Pass Now
Includes all 3 Work—shops.

*UNCA student? Scholarships available! Contact Brent Skidmore.

Apr 10

Sustainable Growth Strategies: Exploring Creative + Profitable Maker Pathways

Taught by: Founders of Bloodroot Blades & East Fork Pottery

Moderated by: Annie Milroy Price

Artists and makers with a growing audience often wrestle with whether, when, and how to scale their operations. This panel discussion and workshop will explore this topic with the founders of Bloodroot Blades (Athens, GA) and East Fork Pottery (Asheville, NC), moderated by Annie Milroy Price of Mountain BizWorks. The focus will be on exploring ways to align your business model and practices with your long-term vision, while remaining profitable. Attendees will have the chance to reflect on their own goals for the future while learning from both of these highly-acclaimed makers about the opportunities that they have embraced and the challenges that they have overcome.

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About Luke Snyder, David & Katy Van Wyk (Bloodroot Blades)

Luke began making knives and wooden objects with his father at a very young age. His father worked at a historical farm, where he was the blacksmith and woodworker in residence. Luke has always had kindred spirits in his parents and for most of his life had access to a coal forge and blacksmith shop that he made good use of - particularly in high school. At first, he made swords, daggers and the like just because they were cool. As he discovered hunting, camping, and manual work, he began crafting more utilitarian pieces like hunting knives.  Yet it was only when then-acquaintance, David Van Wyk, requested a chef's knife that Luke discovered his passion for custom kitchen tools.

David comes from a family of woodworkers and farmers.  Always interested in working with his hands, he pursued his hobbies on the side while teaching high school English to occasionally interested adolescents for fifteen or so years.  After he became engaged, and around the same time, met Luke Snyder, David requested a set of hunting knives for his groomsmen's gifts. Because he comes from a family of craftspeople, David wanted to learn how these knives were made, and Luke agreed to teach him - the beginning of a very interesting journey for everyone.

Katy is in charge of all things social and communicative - press, design, web, schedule, social media, etc. Having done a ten-month internship (hard labor) at a ten acre vegetable farm in Virginia, Katy is well versed in all things that grow and get eaten.  She works with Helen, Luke, and David to see about feeding the Bloodroot families as much from the land as they can.

About Alex & Connie Matisse (East Fork Pottery)

Alexander (Alex) Matisse was raised in a small New England town, by a family of artists, anthropologists, and inventors. He moved to North Carolina in 2004 where he attended Guilford College briefly before beginning three years of apprenticeship with potters Matt Jones and, later, Mark Hewitt.

In 2010 he founded East Fork Pottery in the mountains outside of Asheville, North Carolina. Today East Fork produces a range of contemporary dinnerware and decorative ceramics and sources a range of other considered objects for the home.

Alex now leads East Fork, along with business partners Connie Matisse and John Vigeland, as they begin to scale their production and sales. In 2018 they will relocate their production to a large facility in Asheville and open new retail locations in Atlanta and New York City.

He lives in Asheville, NC with his wife Connie and their daughters Vita and Lucia. If he weren’t busy growing East Fork, he’d be doing a lot more fly fishing.

Work—shop details:

When: Apr 10, 4–6pm

Price: $20*

Max Seats: 100

Buy Series Pass Now
Includes all 3 Work—shops.

*UNCA student? Scholarships available! Contact Brent Skidmore.

Entrepreneur's Work—shop Extension/
5 Sessions over 5 Weeks

Alpine Cohort for Makers

Facilitated by Annie Price of Mountain BizWorks and Birds Eye Business Planning. This 5-week cohort experience will aid existing makers and creative entrepreneurs in integrating learnings from the workshops into their business practices.

The course will guide participants through a comprehensive assessment of their experience producing and selling to date, while also addressing the opportunities and challenges currently at hand.

Course details:

When: Starting Apr 26th 9:30am-12:30pm/ 5 Weekly sessions at the Center for Craft

Price: $375

Max Seats: 18

Get Alpine Pass Now*
The full experience for makers wanting to take the next step.

*Registration includes FREE access to all the workshops in the Entrepreneur's Work—shop Series.