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Creative Choices° – Essential Advice for your Craft Business!

by Folksy Support

This weeks guest post is from Huw Morgan of Creative Choices°

Creative Choices°

Whether you’re an experienced craft maker, just starting your craft career, or eager to move on in the industry, Creative Choices° has something to help you. I’m the editor of the Creative Choices° website and, if you’ll indulge the promotional tone of what follows, I hope you’ll find something useful to help your career.

What is Creative Choices°?

creative choicesCreative Choices° is an online service that offers resources and inspiration for careers in the creative and cultural industries. If you’re looking to get started, get some professional development, or turn a hobby into a career, pay us a visit and take a look around.

The website is part of Creative and Cultural Skills, a sector skills council, but our content is are not guided by political or commercial pressures. We have been guided by the people who use the site, and are simply committed to delivering the best quality of useful content and services to aid users in growing their talent or business.

Why do I need a careers website?

Momtaz Begum-Hossain blogged for The Craft CaféThere are some creative careers, like theatre and heritage, that often involve working in a large group or professional body. But other creative activities, such as writing and craft-making, can be quite solitary. When most of the day-to-day creative work is done by yourself, and it can be hard to get the latest industry news, access useful information, or network with other practitioners.

We offer a variety of career tools and resources, stories from those working in the industry, training courses and funding. And everything is free of charge. You may need to register with the website to access some of the material, but you won’t pay for any of it.

Learn about other craft makers

The Craft section of Choices° is one of seven areas on the site, each dedicated to a particular creative sector. We have interviewed and filmed dozens of people involved in crafts, each giving their own perspective on the industry:

  • Rachel McKnight, a Belfast-based jewellery maker who went from graduation straight into her own craft business.
  • Sarah James worked as a ceramicist before becoming the director of the Contemporary Craft Fair in Devon
  • Rosie Wolfenden and Harriet Vine, who established Tatty Devine as a successful business selling hand-made accessories
  • The students of Goldsmiths’ degree in Computational Studio Arts – an exciting new field of study known as ‘smart crafting’
  • Godfrey Smith has been hand-crafting made-to-measure shoes and clogs for the last 30 years

We also ran a blog for two years – The Craft Café – featuring the trials and triumphs of Momtaz Begum-Hossain, a modern day crafter.

Get the tools for your career

Rachel McKnight makes contemporary jewellery using polypropylene and Perspex.Funding is something everyone could use, whether to develop your business or for some training. We have a searchable database of funding sources, including benefits, bursaries, grants, loans and awards.

Professional development is often something that gets neglected, especially in small businesses like crafts. We can provide over 100 online career courses on subjects like ‘understanding customers’ and ‘managing projects’. Designed by The Open University to fit into busy lives, these 20-minute courses can keep your business skills topped-up.

We also feature a series of quick guides for a creative business. Covering tax, law, marketing, networking and volunteering – not as interesting as craft making, perhaps, but written by industry experts and essential for anyone serious about a creative business.

Keep in touch with the latest creative news

The latest news about craft industry – funding awards, prizes, policy decisions – is regularly updated on Creative Choices° via a dedicated news feed.

We also have a social network, designed to help develop a creative career, including groups, discussions and the opportunity to receive mentoring.

You can also keep informed in the latest website updates through our fortnightly email newsletters. You can find us on YouTube and iTunes (where we post our films and podcasts), or you can talk to us on our Facebook and Twitter accounts.

So I hope there’s something in there that will help you with a craft career. Best of luck with your creative work.

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