Expert Details

Expert in Handicraft Marketing, Handmade Product Development, Artisan and Microenterprise Development

Expert ID: 729295 Maryland, USA

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Expert, an arts and microenterprise development advocate, started her business in the classic entrepreneurial way: she saw a need others had overlooked, and she moved quickly and decisively to fill it. In 1982, a ceramic artist at a local craft show informed her about the lack of services and support for artisans desperately in need business education and assistance. Expert set out to learn more about artists’ and to discover a critical gap in business growth strategies such as access to market, marketing tools, cost of sale, wholesale markets and retail relationships. Expert uncovered a marketplace in need of handcraft quality, and thousands of artisans in need of business services, education and growth in the field microenterprise development.

Expert's company accomplishes it's mission through its trade show, two arts publications and its nonprofit trade association. The Buyers Market of American Craft (1982) is the nation’s largest wholesale craft trade show. Held biannually, the Buyers Market offers artists the opportunity to create long-term business relationships with more than 3,000 galleries, museum stores and luxury retailers. In 2010, the Buyers Market launched NICHE: The Show, a luxury goods and fine jewelry trade show, during jewelry week in Las Vegas.

NICHE magazine (1988) is a trade publication for craft retailers. AMERICANStyle magazine (1994) is the exclusive arts lifestyle publication for art enthusiasts, collectors and cultural travelers. The American Made Alliance (2005), advocates on behalf of the handmade movement to federal legislators and officials in an effort to create and enforce laws that promote, protect and preserve the American craft industry. In 2008, NICHE Marketplace, an online catalog of craft artists, debuted. Expert is a director at large of the Florida Craftsmen, Inc. She also serves at the North American Representative to the World Craft Council.

Expert may consult nationally and internationally, and is also local to the following cities: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - Reading, Pennsylvania - Lancaster, Pennsylvania - Baltimore, Maryland - Frederick, Maryland - Gaithersburg, Maryland - Camden, New Jersey - Vineland, New Jersey - Wilmington, Delaware - Alexandria, Virginia

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Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1976 Degree: BS Subject: Liberal Arts, General Studies Institution: American Technological University (Central Texas University, University of Florida)

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1981 to Present Employer: Undisclosed Title: President, Founder Department: Responsibilities: She leads a team of 25 arts administrators, editors, designers and creative problem solvers actively involved in the daily mentoring of artists throughout the United States and Canada.

International Experience

Years Country / Region Summary
Years: 2008 to 2008 Country / Region: Ireland Summary: Workshops, consulting and mentoring of more than 80 artisan business owners and gallery directors.
Years: 2010 to 2010 Country / Region: South, Central, North America Summary: Workshops, consulting and mentoring of more than 70 artisan business owners attending the FerinArt festival.
Years: 2006 to 2006 Country / Region: Murano, Italy Summary: Workshop presentation to glass studio artists business owners on the island of Murano.
Years: 2005 to 2005 Country / Region: Toronto, Canada Summary: Workshops, consulting and mentoring of more than 100 artisan business owners.
Years: 1989 to 1989 Country / Region: Moscow, USSR Summary: Workshops, consulting and creation of a cultural exchange program for approx 50 artisan business owners.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Women Impacting Public Policy, Women's leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee, American Made Alliance
Professional Appointments
Florida Craftsmen Guild, Board member, Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Baltimore Commission on the Arts and Sciences. University of Florida Arts Development Board.
Awards / Recognition
Craft Emergency Relief Fund, Craft Retailers Association for Tomorrow, US Chamber of Commerce Blue Ribbon Award, Top 100 Maryland Women, Top 100 Women Owned Businesses, Top Gifted Women in America.
Publications and Patents Summary
Best selling book, Crafting as a Business 1994, 1998. Publisher of AmericanStyle and Niche Magazines. Producer of PBS Documentary "Crafting An American Style."

Additional Experience

Expert Witness Experience
Testimony to congress, regarding Intellectual Property legislation.
Expert for US Chamber of Commerce to the Department of Commerce on Trade Show Management and International Markets
Training / Seminars
Ms. Expert is founder of the Arts Business Institute, a nonprofit program teaching business skills to arts entrepreneurs and currently serves as Director of the Board of Trustees. She has lectured on the topic of artisan business strategies in the former USSR, Ireland, Canada, Italy and most recently for the World Craft Council in San Juan Puerto Rico. The Arts Business Institute has partnered with top art schools and universities in the United States and Canada to bring Ms. Expert to provide critical career advice to both students and alumni.
Vendor Selection
Ms. Expert offers advice to artisans on many "niche market sectors" often overlooked by many business generalists who claim to be experts in small business development. She also offers individual one-to-one marketing advice and product development critiques to a select number of artisans attending a workshop.
Marketing Experience
In 1994, Expert authored Crafting as a Business, a "bestselling" book that addresses topics such as pricing, product development and public relations. The title went into a second printing in only 60 days, and sold out in just over seven minutes on the QVC television network. A new edition is planned with an online component and supplemental learning tools. In 1997, Expert produced Crafting an AmericanStyle, a 60-minute PBS documentary that explores the rich history of the American Arts & Crafts movement from 1900 to the present. In 2004, the documentary aired in more than 75 media markets across the United States. Today the documentary continues to educate audiences on the history and modern transformation of American craft. Her magazine, AmericanStyle, a magazine for art collectors and cultural travelers is distributed internationally.
Other Relevant Experience
Expert's distinguished career in arts marketing, publishing and advocacy has led to numerous accolades. The Baltimore Business Journal named The Expert Group one of Baltimore's largest woman-owned businesses in both 2003 and 2004. In 2005, Expert was named one of Maryland's Top 100 Women by The Daily Record, a business and legal daily newspaper. In 2006, The Expert Group was one of three businesses in Maryland to receive the Blue Ribbon Small Business Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. In 2009, Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine honored Expert among “15 Gifted Women” who have influenced the nation’s gift industry. In 2010, Expert was appointed to the World Crafts Council as a North American representative.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency

Fields of Expertise

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