TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Setting New Year's Resolutions for Your Art Business

The end of a year always brings a time of reflection for me.  What happened during these past twelve months?  Did I accomplish anything?  What worked?  What didn't?  Where do I need to improve?  I think about these things, as many of us do, both in terms of my personal life and in thinking about my business.  And, that leads to those resolutions that may or may not become concrete in the upcoming year.

My business has been evolving.  This past year was the worst one, in terms of sales, that I have ever had.  The recession hit the whole world and I was not surprised to see activity dwindle.  Fortunately, I had a good commission with Sidney's Ties and was able to work with other peers on technical work they needed done on their online profiles.  Doors open and close, new opportunities appear and over time, these become defined into new directions.  Rayela Art now has three arms: my own sewing creations, the product I sell on Etsy, and increasingly, as a technical assistance provider.  I've worked hard at learning how to promote my business online and that has translated into developing skills that many artists and small importers balk at.  So, I can help them look at how they can improve their business and then set up the structures they need and train them on how to keep them up.  The challenge then becomes how to juggle these three interests as they all demand time and continued attention in order to grow.

Resolutions?  Yes, I have some.  For the purpose of this post, I will list ten:

  1. Time management.  I have to make better use of my time, especially for my own art work.
  2. Learn photoshop.  Right now I use photoshop elements.  I have the software for Photoshop, but just haven't taken the time to learn it.
  3. Make little documentaries.  I started learning how to edit videos this past fall, but haven't followed through on it.  The goal: one short a month.
  4. Increase my web building abilities.  I can build simple ones, but need to fill in some gaps to have more design control.
  5. Get back on eBay.  I closed my eBay shop and have to get back on there.  I moved a bunch of things around between stores and never got back to redoing my eBay store.
  6. Write more posts here.  I have been slacking off and just need to get into the groove again.  The goal: three meaningful posts a week.
  7. Re-do my logo.  I love my snake, but not how I drew it.  I need to re-work it so that it looks like I want it to.
  8. Network locally with small businesses.  There are meetings I can attend.  I have been too much of a recluse and need to get out there and interact with the business community where I live.
  9. Increase my products on 1000 Markets.  There I can only sell things that I make, so I have to just do it!  It means sitting down and doing several runs of bags, hats, pillows and other things that I make.  I have lots of new ideas and just have to focus on getting them made.
  10. Stay healthy.  Too much sitting has been taking its toll on me.  This may seem like a personal resolution, but not feeling well affects how well I can focus on the business.
If I can look back at the end of 2010 and see that these ten goals were tackled with consistency, I will pat myself on the back.  You may notice that I did not have a financial goal.  I have found that it is terribly hard to predict how my business will grow or suffer from year to year, but believe that I am doing all I can to bring in customers and if I can keep focusing on the bones of the business, the money will follow.

Interested in learning more about what I do?  I just re-did my website to reflect more of my role as a technical assistance provider.  Hop over there to learn more and to see my sewing projects as well.

How about you?  Any resolutions for 2010?  Self-employed artists have a tough time managing their talent and their purse.  Would love to hear about how you balance all of this out!

Happy 2010!
May the Muse be with us all!!!

We'll finish this off with an irreverant Jib-Jab look at 2009:



  1. Resolutions are fine, but I believe in a better date for them to get started, that's February 14th in this year, because it is the second new moon after the winter solstice: Asian New Year. The year of the metal tiger. Until then, I don't expect to move much.

  2. Your resolutions are wonderful and they mirror many that I've made for my own small busines that's going to take it's first flight in the coming months.

    Thanks a lot for following! I really appreciate it :)

    Happy Monday,

  3. Happy New Year all!

    Good resolutions that resemble my own...my biggest being to pay more attention to making my art than trying to hype it!

    My business partner husband and I follow a similar plan to Eva's, though more drawn out: New Years' is the time for reflection, mid-Feb (not only Asian New Year, but my birthday) is time for brain-storming, and by March (his birthday, AND Kurdish/Persian New Year)...it's time to pounce!


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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