The Business of Creating a Creative Business
That tongue twister is almost as tricky as that well-known dilemma that exists in the artistic world, that creative types are pretty poor when it comes to self-promotion.
In fact many creatives would probably agree that they would rather hide themselves in their workshops than go out and promote their own work, because let’s face it that’s where they are generally happiest.
I am not suggesting that anyone who is creative is rubbish at business but if you ask any artist or maker I am sure most of them would say that promoting themselves is the bit they dread. I guess this explains why traditionally artists enlisted the service of agents to sell their work for them. For emerging creatives this has been more recently solved partially by the resurgence of craft fairs and handmade gift shops, which give them the chance to test the market for themselves.
There’s no colour in the business world
At Creative Beeston we like to provoke imagination and wonder in our little town and apart from writing a column for the Beestonian, running a facebook page and organising community craft events, we are also keen to work productively with local businesses to promote them. So it was with great interest that I met with an interesting lady, over a quality cup of tea in Rudyard’s, who is determined to make it her mission to break down these barriers. In her job as a telephone sales trainer, Trish Clay has been meeting a lot of creative bods who are desperate to get an artistic business off the ground but have no idea where to start. Inspired by their talent and their passion, she is fiercely keen to use her altruistic side to help these people fulfil some of their aspirations.
With her business brain and wealth of contacts Trish is in a great position to be able to signpost these people in the right direction but this desire runs deeper than a simple interest in helping a bunch of artists get their work sold. “There’s no colour in the business world”, she explained. This phrase rang in my attentive ears. There does appear to be a lack of appreciation for the value of genuine creativity in the business world, and yet there can be so many benefits to the overlap. I think about the art work I have seen in offices, sometimes clinically chosen to reflect the business and less often selected for its sheer magnificence. We have some fine examples of individually inspired interiors amongst some of our local independents. From Froth to Greenhood’s to Flying Goose Café and the Vintage Tearooms, no hot beverage experience will feel the same. This is down to a clever mix of intuitive décor and a certain ambience that the business owners have fashioned from their own creative minds.
Middle Street Resource Centre is more of a community centre than a creative business but Lynda Lally facilitated the inclusion of artwork in their café space because she believes it promotes the well-being of their visitors. Trish mentions her father’s own struggles with post-traumatic stress disorder and how a form of art therapy had almost certainly helped him to recover. I recall an article in the Independent recently about cancer Doctors who are using art therapy to cope with the emotional stress as a consequence of their work. It goes significantly further than mere art appreciation for Trish. As a representative of The Beeston Network Group, she is desperate to try and encourage local businesses to open their minds up to creative crossovers and to encourage support for some of the more original ideas that are popping up all over Beeston. She expressed her frustration at the lack of publicity for some of these unique and often exciting events that have the potential to make our town stand out as a place that people would enjoy visiting. She is a fantastic advocate for our town.
The Beeston Network Group hold a meeting at Rudyard’s Tea rooms every third Tuesday in the month where Trish has a slot to pitch to the attendees what Beeston can offer them in support of their businesses, her aim to encourage those in the community who can work together for mutual benefit to network. She has six-years’ experience working within Broxtowe Borough Council, steering initiatives that link businesses with community, and has been collaborating closely with Liam from Rudyard’s on ideas to mesh creativity with business together. Local artists’ work is displayed on the walls and Liam has joined forces with other creatives to produce gift packs for the tea shop. It’s a dynamic partnership and Liam was pulled into the conversation a handful of times to refer to future ideas and his brand-new venture set to emerge this Autumn.
The Hive is a set of three units, in the centre of Beeston, which are currently being converted into flexible workspaces for creatives with favourable rents. It feels like everything’s connecting together, building on the artisan impression that was perhaps initiated by Arts United and then Chilwell’s Creative Corner. We have an abundance of workshop opportunities there and at Two Little Magpies to name a few, plus life drawing by the canal as featured in the last issue. And if that isn’t enough to bring you into Beeston town we have the Oxjam Takeover kicking off on October 14th!