Business Craft Arts

Pilot Program for Craft-Inspired Businesses

Pilot Program for Craft-Inspired Businesses

Photo by Nicole McConville

The Center for Craft, Mountain BizWorks and UNC Asheville are partnering to host a new pilot program geared towards makers and designers with craft-inspired businesses. The Entrepreneur’s Workshop program will foster peer-to-peer learning between established, professional makers and emerging makers. “We know craft is a powerful economic driver already,” says Matt Raker, director of community investments and impact at Mountain BizWorks. “It can be an area of authentic creativity and product development, not just for your traditional studio craft disciplines but also the broader maker community and traditional businesses that want to be more design- or craft-focused. We’re very excited about how craft can be a broad part of the unique entrepreneurial activity that we have in the mountains.”

The Entrepreneur’s Workshop inaugural series, Craft Your Commerce, includes three interactive workshops and a fi ve-week course in the spring. The first workshop, Market Positioning: The Foundation of Your Business Strategy, will be presented by Regina Connell, former director of communications at Heath Ceramics, on Thursday, March 1. Nicole McConville, acclaimed photographer and craft publisher, will present Capture & Convey: Telling Your Story Through Images on Thursday, March 15. On April 10, Alex Matisse of East Fork Pottery will be joined by the founders of Bloodroot Blades to present Sustainable Growth Strategies: Exploring Creative and Profitable Maker Pathways. All sessions will be held at the Center for Craft in downtown Asheville.

The 5-week Alpine Cohort for Makers, facilitated by Annie Milroy Price of Mountain BizWorks and Birds Eye Business Planning, begins on April 26. Makers and creative entrepreneurs will meet once a week for three hours to apply knowledge from the workshops to their individual businesses. Craft Your Commerce is funded through a partnership with UNC Asheville and students are eligible for workshop scholarships.

For more information, or to purchase individual workshop tickets or series passes, visit

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