photo by Chris Rutan
I lecture and teach classes on sewing, blogging, and small business. I’m formally trained as a teacher and have a master’s degree in education from Harvard. I have many years of classroom experience with learners of diverse age groups and levels and I strive to create a class environment where everyone feels comfortable and challenged. I’m located in the Boston area and teach mostly in New England, but I also travel several times each year for teaching and speaking engagements.
Most recently I’ve taught workshops at Craftcation, SewEasy, Ignite Craft Boston, JP Knit & Stitch, Gather Here, and local quilt shops. I recently taught a series of small business classes for artists at the Wellesley Free Library as well.
I speak to groups about social media, entrepreneurship, time management, and building a creative business. In January 2016 I spoke to the Wellesley Mother’s Forum and I was the keynote speaker at Midwest Craftcon in Columbus, Ohio in February 2016.
I’d love to teach at your shop or event. References are available upon request. Fill out the form below and I’ll get back to you promptly.
2016-2017 Workshops and Lectures:
Social Media for Your Art Business (90 minute interactive lecture)
Social media is a key component to building an arts business in today’s landscape. Yet with so many channels including Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook plus blogging, it can easily become overwhelming. Instead of seeing social media as “just one more thing” that takes time away from art making, in this class students will learn concrete steps to growing a social media presence that’s fun and interesting, and leads to new and rewarding business opportunities. We’ll examine ways in which artists can use social media to connect with other makers for mutual support, learn about opportunities, build a global customer base, get noticed by galleries and publishing houses, and find opportunities to collaborate with others.
Etsy Shop Management: Grow Your Business Online (90 minute interactive lecture)
Etsy is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way for artists and makers to set up an online shop. Within just a few minutes you can be in business vending your unique, handmade goods to customers all over the world.
Today there are 1.6 million active sellers on Etsy. Getting seen in such a crowded marketplace takes effort and skill. In this workshop you will learn how to optimize your Etsy shop for maximum impact including how to:
- Use titles, categories and tags in order to be found in search
- Write your About page and shop announcement to build customer trust and tell your story
- Create an Etsy banner using free online tools that are easy and intuitive
- Craft convincing sales copy
- Take well-lit photos that show your products’ best features
We’ll also discuss marketing strategies you can use outside of Etsy to drive traffic and sales to your shop.
Creating a Powerful Email Newsletter: A Comprehensive Workshop for Creatives (90 minute interactive lecture)
Email continues to be a powerful way for makers to connect with their fans and customers. Almost everyone checks their email several times a day. Through an email newsletter you can drive sales of your products or services, bring readers to your blog, start conversations, and grow a strong and loyal community around your work. Although we know that email marketing can be effective, figuring out what your email newsletter should contain, how often you should send it, and to whom can be tricky. In this workshop we’ll look at examples of excellent (and not so excellent) email newsletters, discuss newsletter software and design, learn about building and managing a list, determine how frequently to send an email newsletter, and pinpoint exactly what the newsletter should contain so that people will not only open it but will look forward to receiving it! Students come away with a concrete plan for creating (or reviving) their email newsletters.
Introduction to Instagram: Social Media Marketing For Artists and Crafters (90 minute interactive lecture)
Instagram is a powerful visual tool to market your work to your target audience, gain recognition in your field, and grow your art business.
Your Instagram feed is like an ever changing portfolio of your work and it has the power to connect you with your ideal customers so that you can sell more art. In today’s environment, social media isn’t just for fun – it’s a marketing tool that you can’t skip over. In this workshop we will:
- Determine how to make your Instagram profile work for you
- Examine successful feeds and extract the key components that have led to their success
- Learn to write good copy and use hashtags to gain more followers
- Develop strategies to convert those followers into customers
You’ll come away with a concrete strategy to use Instagram to build your art business.
Sew a Wren from The Artful Bird Wren (4 hour hands-on workshop)
Create a soft sculpture wren. Using a pattern from my award-winning first book, The Artful Bird, we’ll sew a unique and beautiful bird using quilting cottons, stuffing, and wire. An ideal project for showcasing special fabrics! This is an intermediate sewing workshop that requires use of a sewing machine.
Design Your Own Plush Toy Pattern (4 hour-hands on workshop)
Become a toy designer! In this intensive design workshop we’ll be creating original sewing patterns for stuffed animals and dolls using the techniques show in my second book, Stuffed Animals: From Concept to Construction. Come prepared with an idea and some reference photos. We’ll go through the entire pattern drafting process and students will complete a prototype and a set of templates for their own, unique pattern. This workshop is intended for sewists of all levels. A sewing machine is handy, but not required.
Sew an Amish Puzzle Ball Animal (4 hours hands-on workshop)
Amish puzzle balls are clever, interactive plush toys that you can take apart and put together again. To make them even more fun, these puzzle balls are animals! Using the patterns in my third book, Sew and Play Puzzle Ball Animals (to be released in the summer of 2015), students can choose to create a dinosaur, bunny, lion, bumblebee, elephant, or giraffe. Amish puzzle balls make wonderful gifts for children, from toddlers to tweens. This class is suitable for confident beginners. A sewing machine is required.
Get to Know Your Sewing Machine (2.5 hours hands-on workshop)
In this introductory class students will learn to use a sewing machine. We’ll begin with the fundamentals of how a sewing machine makes stitches and then learn to wind a bobbin, thread the machine, and do some basic sewing. We’ll learn to rip a seam, press, mark and pin fabric, change a needle, and do some basic troubleshooting. At the end of class students will sew a simple drawstring bag project to put their new skills into action. Students should bring their own sewing machine along with power cord, foot pedal, accessories, and manual. A perfect class for brand new and aspiring sewists!
To schedule a workshop or lecture just fill out the form below. I’ll respond promptly and we’ll set something up!