What if you could turn your passion or hobby into a viable business?
Imagine how satisfying it would be if you could tap into your gift for crafting and develop a unique product line to share with others.
Mesilla Valley Artisans/Crafters Guild is designed to help you make that dream a reality. Donna Schwendinger, founder of Blue Gecko Southwest, will offer practical tips on how you can build a business, based on her years as an artisan/crafter in Kansas, Virginia, New Mexico, and Texas.
At this meeting, Donna Schwendinger will share ways to effectively use social media marketing to get the word out on your latest product or service. Visitors are welcome to attend!
For more information, contact Nancy Hastings at email@example.com
Ages: 18 and older, or 14-17 with a parent or guardian present
About the facilitator:
Donna Schwendinger founded Blue Gecko Southwestin 2003 while she was exploring ways to turn her passion for crafting gift items into an actual business. Her aha moment came when she made miniature spa bags for 25 staff members who worked for her at a medical billing company. Shortly afterwards, several of the women asked to buy more of her specialty soaps. That moment of customer validation proved she had a product that was marketable.
Following the positive response of her employees, Donna ramped up her inventory and started selling at local farmers’ markets and at the PX on the post where her husband was stationed. She soon learned that she needed a greater variety of product lines to offer her repeat customers. She began experimenting with different products, including gourmet doggie biscuits and pupcakes.
Relocating as a military wife gave her an opportunity to sell at farmers’ markets in Virginia, Kansas, New Mexico, and Texas. As a direct result of actively selling at church and school craft shows, Donna was able to hone her marketing skills through hands-on experience and develop a loyal following for Blue Gecko Southwest.
Currently she has her merchandise on display in shops in France and Germany. She also has returning customers requesting her specialty soaps, versatile jackets, or durable tote bags on a regular basis.
After fifteen years of trial and error, Donna has successfully achieved her goal of finding a meaningful way to build her hobby into a flourishing small business for extra income when she retires. That plan is working well, much to her amazement. Her dream is to share her insights and experiences with other crafters so they can find empowerment in owning and operating their own businesses.