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Small Business Development Center Sponsors Program on Turning a Passion Into Profit

RELEASED: March 24, 2008

EAU CLAIRE — The Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Continuing Education/UW-Extension will present "Business Basics for Creative Minds" from 5:30-9:30 p.m. May 1 at Racy D'Lene's Coffee Lounge in Eau Claire.

The program is designed for painters, sculptors, photographers, musicians, writers, graphic artists, Web designers, actors, culinary artists, crafters, interior designers and others interested in making a living using their creative and artistic talents. Topics covered include:

  • How to get started
  • Pricing your product or service
  • Marketing vs. Promotion
  • Evaluating strengths and weaknesses

The program will be presented by artist and business owner Jean Accola and Jim Mishefske, director of the SBDC at UW-Eau Claire Continuing Education.

Accola, a watercolorist throughout her professional painting career, has built a reputation for her artistic skill and her technical abilities. She started her business in the Railroad Depot in Durand in 1985 with $600 and a bit of training. She kept the overheard low, and gave marketing and building a customer base top priority. She started doing reproductions of her work five years later. She purchased a building and a high-end printer, and hired part-time employees. She started wholesaling prints and framing in 1998 with distribution throughout the upper Midwest and a few national sites. She networks with organizations with common interests. Commissions from those organizations were relevant to her business growth and she has seen an accumulative affect from her various forms of promotion.

Mishefske equips entrepreneurs and managers to meet the challenges they face when starting or growing a business. The SBDC provides critical information and alternative approaches that work through one-on-one counseling and/or small group workshops.

The program fee is $35 per person. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact Jim Mischefske for accommodations or with program questions at 715-836-5811 or 866-893-2423, or e-mail ce@uwec.edu or use the Wisconsin Relay System (711).

The Small Business Development Centers are members of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs' Network, a coalition of more than 100 partner organizations which provide access to services for small business throughout Wisconsin.

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LW/JB

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