Cloud 9 black and white print

Art as a Business

Tuesday, 22 November 2016 13:10

I haven't updated this blog since August - I've either been too busy or too lazy. Let's say I was too busy! It's not a lie. I have been racing from one goal to another since then, helping to publicise events in the town and develop links through Dumfries Art Trail. I also tried to organise a Christmas market, but it turned but to be too expensive for me to do it as an individual. I'm hoping that it''s something the town could take on and develop.     

One thing I can do, because it's free and only costing my time, is promote Small Business Saturday in Dumfries. Although the event is nationwide, it''s all about promoting small businesses, both physical and digital, to local people. It takes the Shop Local idea and boosts it for a day. The hope is, of course, that the effect will last longer than just a day and that people will remember those lovely independent shops they've seen as a result of the campaign. Businesses can get involved by joining the online map, download posters and promote the event in their town. It''s really important to make people aware of who they have on their doorstep.

  Another campaign I'm currently involved with is Just a Card.

It's extremely rewarding running an independent business, but it's not easy. Rent, power, staffing, business rates, stock and cake all add up and, without support, these shops become boarded up eyesores! Often people don''t realise that even a small sale really helps keep independent businesses  in business. Since starting this campaign I've been absolutely inundated  with messages from shop/gallery owners and artists/designer makers  who say how vital our message is. The buying public said they were often embarrassed to make a small purchase as they felt it appeared mean. WHAT A SHAME!!  You'd never say that about a big chain - so the little guys lose those vital pounds and our beautiful towns become more and more boringly uniform.

So many people come into Cloud 9 and fall in love with it. They tell me how wonderful it is and how lovely the things I have in the gallery are. And then they leave. If they could have bought a card at £2, that would have helped towards heating and lighting my beautiful gallery for the day. A pair of earrings at £10 would be a great help. Purchases don't have to be huge; I hate to say it, but every little helps!

How can you help support the little shops that you love?