Marketing is a separate line item

Marketing is a separate line item

When using pricing spreadsheets, some of them don’t include marketing costs in the formula. That means it’s lumped into overhead. This approximates something that can be pretty easily calculated.

In 2009, I worked with a consumer beverage and we established regional marketing budgets at $.25 per case sold.  For jewelry, consider this example:

10 hours spent on marketing activities per month X hourly rate of $100 = $1000

Plus hard marketing costs per month (web hosting, software, memberships, etc.) $40 = $1040

Divide that by how many pieces you produce in a month, let’s say 20

$52 = Marketing line item per piece

While it would be great to tack on $52 per piece to the price, it’s probably more realistic to distribute the $1040 across items based on their value instead of straight line allocation. And even if you don’t add in anything to cover marketing it’s a good way to look at things every once in a while so you know what costs you’re covering in overhead.

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THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers

Tippecanoe Arts Federation

Tippecanoe Arts Federation


Tell me about the Tippecanoe Arts Federation.

TAF covers 14 counties in Indiana, focusing on providing arts access to underserved populations. It serves the largest geographic area in Indiana covering about 550,000 people. 

How is the “underserved” defined?

People isolated by geography or struggling on a socio-economic level.

What is the greatest challenge the rural areas present that isn’t as significant in more urban places?

Leadership in some rural areas have not acknowledged the value of the arts in the development aspects of communities. Often times, they don’t consider public art a need.  It just takes one brave building owner to say yes to a mural.  The impact can be immediate – even while a mural is being painted, the foot traffic and community engagement increases. 

TAF CEO Tetia Lee

Are rural youth organizations like 4H an inroad for exposing people to the arts?

Yes, young people are exposed at an early age via 4H.  That opportunity and the growth of technology centers are helping create connection points. 

What’s the one thing you’d like people to take away from this profile?

TAF’s pillars are diversity, equity and inclusion.  Working with all people and utilizing our platform to promote equal access for all. 

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THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers

The life of a custom order

The life of a custom order

  • Travis Kerschner

My wife and business partner Trina, calls me the “King of Custom Orders”. Many of my creations are rings and I absolutely refuse to buy into the idea that a jeweler only needs to have rings in 3 or 4 sizes. Often my rings are displayed in sizes 4-13. In most cases customers love a specific design but just need it in a different size. Great, I’ll make them one just for them. 

In the case of selecting stones, I’ll work with them to find a new unique one for their piece. Almost every event has one or more custom orders for an existing design in a different size and/or with a different stone.

Sometimes I get the opportunity to build something completely from scratch. Then the real fun starts…

These orders always start the same way, a conversation with a customer. Sometimes more than one conversation. The very first question.. “What are we building?” A ring, pendant, earrings? Something different? By the end of the conversation, I have a sketch of the piece, with some notes about size, materials, stones, pricing and deposit along with the customers info and time frame.

The sketches are quick and rough. This piece was worked in Sterling Silver designed to use the customer’s loose opals. We looked at an existing pendant to discuss texturing.

The sketch stays in our order book permanently and becomes a place to keep notes. Before the customer walked away from the store, we had a written agreement and sketch showing what was going to be built that everyone agreed to.

Working from the sketch, I’ll sometimes make a digital outline. In this case, there was some question about the final size and shape. I made 8 different versions with various sizes and shapes. I placed the stones, roughly in position on the layout that looked the best and sent the image to my customer.

My client liked the initial take on size and placement. From there I began cutting, shaping and texturing metal. With the setting built, pre-polished, and ready to set the stones, another photo was sent to make sure that we were all still on the same page.

The top of the kite shape wraps around the bail. The last steps are to cut down the bezels and set the stones. These were customer supplied and opal is fragile… fingers crossed

Success!! The stones set perfectly. Another quick photo to show the stones and get final approval.

If there is any balance due, we send invoices and get the finished piece shipped.

I often ask the customer to let us know when they get the package, safe and sound. This client said, “The pendant is even more beautiful than the picture. Thank you for your lovely work and for a very nice purchasing experience.”

Custom orders are the most interesting and fun orders to work on. They push my skills and creativity in directions that I would never go on my own. I love getting to offer a creative solution to a customer.

Some of the projects that I have worked on – A lady was traveling to another country in 3 days and was going to teach English. She had a tattoo on one of her fingers and that could be a cultural issue. I was able to make an oversized ring for that finger to act as a cover up in short order. The ring was on her finger when she left.

I’ve been asked to create replacement or substitute wedding rings. Sometimes when people are traveling, they want to wear wedding jewelry but leave the expensive diamonds at home. No problem a Sterling Silver band with a nice CZ works great. If it gets lost or (hopefully not) stolen it’s not that big a deal.

Please keep bringing me your custom ideas and orders. If nothing else we can have a nice conversation about what might be.

THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers

Ruttle Design Group Rockstars

Ruttle Design Group Rockstars

How lucky are we that the rockstars at Ruttle Design Group created a new logo for The Grayist? Amy Kletz, Melissa Dillon and Trina Olsen made the process of defining the brand’s essence so easy!

They gave us four options to chose from and provided accent color options and font recommendations for the one we selected.

The large “G” in the background represents the circular nature of THEGRAYIST.com commitment to non-profits and the opening with the straight line is symbolically welcoming you in.

Even though we knew, they did great work for their clients, the interactions and end result exceeded our expectations. Couldn’t be happier!

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THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers

Photographing Shiny Things: Motion

Photographing Shiny Things: Motion

The spinner ring photo above was taken before I had a photobox. It’s inside a small ramekin. A video is the best way to showcase movement in an item. To keep things lightweight, we’re keeping them on our YouTube channel and linking to it.

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THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers

Photographing shiny things: Dimension

Photographing shiny things: Dimension

The image above shows the pendant as flat, losing the dimensional aspect of the claws and body swirl.

The video below shows the pendant from multiple angles. Visit our YouTube channel for more videos.

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THEGRAYIST.com is a collective of makers, elevating their craft and doing good. Each maker designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their sales through this channel. As the umbrella organization, THEGRAYIST.com also designates a non-profit to receive 5% of their profits. The grayist the grayist community the grayist marketplace the grayist featured artist the grayist featured item the grayist auctions the grayist give back the grayist gallery because art isn’t black or white Makers for charity Artists for charity Art for charity Artisans for charity Shopping for good Shopping for charity Cause shopping Shopping donation Best Business Practices for Creatives Visual artist entrepreneurs Successful art businesses Successful art business practices Best art business practices Easy art business practices Art entrepreneurs Art entrepreneurs best practices Best business practices for art entrepreneurs Art business startup checklist Successful art business startup checklist Best art business startup checklist Easy art business startup checklist Starting an art business from home Starting a successful art business from home Successful visual artist Successful visual art entrepreneurs Best practices for visual art entrepreneurs Successful music artist Successful music entrepreneurs Successful music entrepreneurs best practices Best practices for music entrepreneurs Best practices for music business Starting a music business from home Starting a successful music business from home Joining a marketplace Marketplace for artist and creatives Marketplace for musicians Marketplace for crafters Marketplace for handmade products Marketplace for metalsmiths Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for photographers Marketplace for painters Marketplace for seamstresses Marketplace for quilters Marketplace for knitters Marketplace for fiber artist Marketplace for ceramicists Marketplace for sculptures Marketplace for mixologists Marketplace for bartenders Marketplace for woodworkers