The Creative Arts Consulting Blog is moving!

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In the interest of keeping my sanity, I’ve decided to consolidate all of my passions – helping artists grow their business, improve their photography and find new crafty inspirations on my new and improved personal blog:

I’ll be reposting archived posts from Creative Arts Consulting and Small Object Photography over time and including new content as well. It would be awesome if you would visit me there and “like” my IMakeCuteStuff Facebook page to keep up with all the updates! will become an information website to find out more details about my consulting services  and session pricing for independent creative business owners. So, lest I confuse things further, feel free to contact me via Creative Arts Consulting or IMakeCuteStuff – I’ll answer to either!  My main goal is to help you improve your business! 🙂

Thanks so much everyone! See you there!

Craftcation Conference is almost here!

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Well, almost here! I’m getting ready to attend the sold-out Craftcation Conference in Ventura, CA this weekend for 4 days of crafty inspiration!

There is a huge roster of classes scheduled! There are classes on improving creative business, seo and blogging alongside purely creative classes like scrapbooking, decoupage and sewing. So awesome!

One of the first sessions I’ll be attending is the When to Seek Professional Help: Building Your Indie Business with the uber-talented Steph Calvert of– if you’re in the market for graphic design, illustration, website design, logos or any other kind of visual marketing for your business, you really should check out her site. Her rates are *super* reasonable — I mean *REALLY* reasonable for indie business owners and I love her work a lot! She’s definitely going on my roster of graphic designers to recommend :

UPDATE 3/21/12
NOTE to Craftcation Attendees:
I just re-checked the Craftcation schedule and it actually looks like we’ve got a full schedule so there might not be much down time be time for full consultations during the conference.
Please do find me at the conference and introduce yourself and feel free to email or text me anytime.
I would love to meet you even if it’s for just a couple of minutes between classes to chat a bit!
Contact me via my contact page, email me at marlo{at} or you can text me: 206-683-9744
It’s going to be a great conference!

Yours truly,

Marlo M. 🙂

UPDATE to the Update!
I took a third look at the schedule and realized that I will be around after the conference is over on Sunday evening: March 25, 2012

I’ll be available for FREE 1/2 hour consultations – or – if you’d like to book a whole hour (or more) with me I have a super special price for attendees! Regularly $75/hr – you get me for a whole hour for only $60/hr! Yay! Just find me after classes or text me with your name/ phone number! Hope to see you there! 🙂



The Real Secret to Success…

Filed under: Business — Tags: , , Comments (1)

I had the pleasure of teaching a bunch of sessions at the Conference of Creative Entrepreneurs this past weekend (speaking on 1 panel discussion and teaching 4 other workshops). I had a really great time and saw a huge range of creative folks from those who are just starting out, some who had been in the business for a few years and some who had been in business for so long that this new “indie” craft market is more of a resurgence to them than an new concept.

At one point, while I was on my way to my next session, one person asked me a very pointed question:

What are the chances of someone actually making it (a living) selling handmade work?

I really wanted to dig in deep and figure this person out but I was on my way to another class so I just didn’t have the time to go into it. Instead I managed to say, “Well, my business has been completely handmade for over 18 years and I feel I’ve found a good bit of success along the way. What makes you ask such a question?”

The answer was, not surprisingly, full of fear and hesitation:

“Well, it just seems like it’s just so hard to run a handmade business. There doesn’t seem to be much hope for anyone to really make a living at it.”

I answered as politely as I could saying, “Well, running a small business is definitely challenging, but that’s why you’re at this conference, right? To learn how to do it the right way?” Ending on my usual cheery “rah-rah” note.

The conversation ended with a half-hearted, “Yes, I suppose you’re right” and the two of us went about our business. However even now, days later, that exchange is haunting me. I’m realizing that she was probably just saying out loud what most of us in the handmade industry wonder from time to time.

The truth is, success is always right in front of us. What we might not know is that it takes the form of small courageous movements forward every day. When you are able to celebrate those moments, that is where you find success.

To Do List for Success

Honestly, if I had the chance to talk to that person all over again, I’d ask my own pointed question:

What would you say if I told you that running a successful creative business is absolutely possible and that all you would need to do to make it happen is to put your fears aside and do the work*

I wonder what the answer would be?

What’s YOUR answer?



*Taking a cue from Robert H. Schuller’s famous inspirational quote, “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”


HELP! (and how to get it) Guest Post on the Handmade Success blog

Have you ever wondered what it would take to find and hire an intern or assistant to help you with your business?

In my latest guest post on the Handmade Success blog: HELP! (and how to get it) I offer some insight and tips on this very subject –

Now that the summer show season is in full swing, how are you are holding up to the demands of running and growing your creative business?

Between creating inventory, traveling, setting up your display and then turning around to do it all over again every weekend while trying to keep the business and personal ends of your life above water is tough for even the most seasoned crafter.

So, what can you do to ease the pressure?

Handmade Success reader, Lauren left a comment on my last post asking, “Has anyone had any experience hiring or gaining an intern to help with show season? Any words of wisdom?

Please click through to read the entire post and if you have questions, feel free to leave a comment here or there!

Have a Question for Me?

Have a question about running an indie creative business that’s been bugging you?

Well, here’s your chance to ask a business consultant – me!

questions answered by travelinlibrarian via flickr

Just post your question to the comments below following these rules:

1. Have a question (for the record, no question is “silly” — I love any and all questions!!)

2. Be sure your question is relevant to the indie creative business community

3. Include your business name and website in your comment (fill out the form below)

4. If your question is chosen you agree to have your business name and website referenced in the blog post answer

5. You understand that I reserve the right to edit the question for clarity (I promise to be super nice)

This offer is good through the end of January – answers will be written in the form of ongoing blog posts to be written and posted throughout February.

PLEASE Note: Posting your question here does not guarantee an answer, but just like life:

Asking a question directly gives you a better chance at getting an answer 😉

Agreed? Okay!

What’s on your mind?

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