Want to earn a living as an artist or craftmaker?

These programs focus on helping creative business owners (artists, craftspeople, makers), start and grow their businesses.

Art as a Business 2022

Every couple of years the North Coast Small Business Development Center offers a special program for artists and craftmakers on the North Coast to enhance their business skills. If you are a maker in Humboldt, Del Norte & Adjacent Tribal Lands we want to help you get started or grow your sales!

Sign up for an Information Session!

July 14th 5:30 pm

August 1st 5:30 pm

Program Details

Applications will open July 1st and close August 3rd. We will invite applicants for interviews in August, and all participants will be formally welcomed into the program by Tuesday, August 23rd. The program runs Wednesday evenings starting at 5:30 pm from September 21st – November 2nd, and closes with an Arts Alive showcase and marketing panel in Old Town Eureka on Saturday, November 5th. The Art and Craftmaker cohort will help arrange home stays that night for program participants coming from distant points.

Topics range from getting a business license and photographing your work, to creating contracts and marketing yourself in the region and beyond. Sessions are taught by an array of local experts, SBDC staff, and SBDC business consultants. Workshops mix lecture, resources, discussion, and work time to help participants leave with a clear idea of next steps. These workshops will also provide time for networking with other creative business owners to share resources and knowledge.

At the end of the program you have:

  • Gained knowledge of how to run a creative business
  • Built community within the local arts scene and made business connections
  • Learned how to diversify income, and which selling methods are right for you
  • Created a strong marketing package
  • Debunked the myth that you cannot be both an artist and a business owner: you can!

Want to Learn More?

Ready to Apply?

Step (1) APPLY BY OR BEFORE August 3rd. 

Complete all of the following and email them to admin@northcoastsbdc.org or mail them to North Coast SBDC Flights Program, 520 E Street, Eureka, CA 95501.

  • Sign up online as a client (if you are not already a client) * Be sure to specify you’re an Art Program candidate. This gets you into the system so you can access help no matter what.
  • [COMING SOON] Flight Program Application* Download, fill out thoughtfully, and return by email, mail or in person. This form is E-fillable and E-signable with Adobe Acrobat, but can also be completed by hand. 
  • Income Eligibility Scholarship Form* This scholarship form must be filled out completely or we cannot process it. All information is kept confidential. Call us any time if you need help with the questions. This form is Efillable and Esignable with Adobe Acrobat, but can also be completed by hand.

Step (2) WE CONFIRM YOUR SCHOLARSHIP ELIGIBILITY. You will get an email promptly confirming that we received your application and saying whether you qualify for this scholarship. You do not need to qualify for the scholarship to participate in the program. 

Step (3) WE CONFIRM YOUR FLIGHT ELIGIBILITY You will get a phone call and an email after your application has been reviewed letting you know whether it’s time to set up your intake interview with a business advisor. That conversation will allow us to figure out whether this Art as a Business Flight is the right program for your needs, or if our other services will suit you better. If you are a fit for this cohort, we will assign you your own business coach who will talk in depth with you about your hopes, needs, and goals. If you are a fit for the cohort but you don’t qualify for the full scholarship you can decide then if you want to pay out of pocket, or you can choose to have business advising only, which is always no-cost.

OTHER PROGRAMS & RESOURCES FOR ARTISTS & CRAFTMAKERS…

Creative Business Series 2021

Fundamentals of Running a Creative Business – Wednesday, October 6th, 2021 (6-9 pm): Learn the basics of starting and running your creative business: from setting clear goals with a simple business plan and getting your business license, to starting your online shop and making your first sale. Workshop participants will leave with a better idea of the steps needed to make their creative business successful, and knowledge about diversifying their income streams within, and beyond, Humboldt County.

Watch Recording


Marketing Your Creative Business – Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 (6-9 pm): Learn new marketing techniques to make your creative business shine! This workshop will cover what marketing tools are necessary in today’s market, especially focusing on Instagram and Facebook. We will also cover mailing lists, simple website development, photography tips and tricks, and online tools that can make your life easier.

Watch Recording


Selling Your Products Wholesale – Wednesday, October 20th, 2021 (6-9 pm): Take your sales to the next level by learning how to sell your products wholesale. This workshop will take you through the steps of going wholesale from creating a focused product line and making a line sheet (catalog), to finding the right shops for your business, and developing policies. 

Watch Recording

Keeping up with Etsy Wednesday, October 27th, 2021 (6-8 pm tbc)

The online selling environment is constantly changing. Over the last few years, Etsy has been restructuring their policies and practices to closer resemble those of Amazon. Find out what all these changes on Etsy’s platform are and how they affect your store.

SBDC’s e-commerce expert Amy Fowler will go over the changes to shipping, marketing, account reputation, and financial issues. Tools and references for managing your store will also be shared. Make sure you are following all the new regulations and optimizing search possibilities for your Etsy store with this informative new course.

Watch Recording

Archive: Art as a Business 2020

In 2020 the “Art as a Business” cohort learning program met weekly from July 22nd – September 23rd, and culminated in an Arts Alive Exhibit on October 3rd.

2020 Workshop Sessions:

  • July 22nd: Kick-Off
  • July 29th: Think Like A Marketer (marketing basics)
  • August 5th: Online Sales
  • August 12th: Online Marketing + Photography
  • August 19th: Sales: Galleries, Wholesale + Consignment
  • August 26th: Sales: Vendor Fairs
  • September 2nd: Managing Your Money + Inventory
  • September 9th: Creating Financing + Offering Your Services
  • September 16th: Legal Aspects for Artists
  • September 23: Panel Review by Local Artists
  • October 3rd: Eureka Arts Alive! Exhibit

Art as a Business Flight Timeline:

  • May 6th, 2020: Info Session #1
  • June 2nd, 2020: Info Session #2
  • June 26th: Application Deadline
  • July 22nd – September 23rd: Weekly Sessions for Program
  • October 3rd: Arts Alive Exhibit