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Artist Spotlight: Denise Bohart Brown

Artist Spotlight: Denise Bohart Brown

Denise has been a life-long artist, but it took her more than two decades and a lot of experimentation to find the medium that enabled her to get the artistic visions in her head to come to life. Her first artistic passion was photography, and she moved through clay and fiber before landing on glass 20 years ago. Despite living in a Colorado town that receives over 300 inches of snow most years, she hikes year-round to seek inspiration and enjoy the ever-changing beauty outdoors.

Describe Your Work

My kiln-formed glass work is largely inspired by nature - whether directly, through the creation of small flowers and snowflakes, or more indirectly, through the creation of a larger abstract piece with a water-inspired feel of flow and movement. My work is frequently highly detailed and textural; my left and right brains sometimes battle when I am designing a piece, as I am often striving for some sense of balance between "detailed and controlled" and "loose and flowy."

How did you get started in the crafts business?

When I worked at the art center where I learned about glass, I had an older friend who had been selling at craft fairs around the area for years. I started with a small invitation-only event at my house and then eventually started showing at local fairs. Occasionally I will exhibit outside of the area; that's a small-but-growing component of my business.

How long have you been wholesaling?

Technically, for 4 years, I guess, but through IndieMe with more of a focus on creating work for the wholesale industry, about a year.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?

My business is predominantly retail, either direct or through galleries (both online and brick & mortar) and shops. Commissions are very occasional; wholesale is slowly growing.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?

I have researched potential specialty outlets and done direct email campaigns, I do a lot of social media with researched hashtags, and advertise on IndieMe.

How has IndieMe helped your business?

IndieMe has given me the structure of a platform designed for wholesale, mentoring to get me headed in the right direction, and access to a large number of buyers that I would have never been able to find or reach myself.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?

From what I've seen (and I may be shooting myself in the foot here!) know what you are trying to be and be choosy in the work you select. No one gallery can be everything to every buyer; better that you have a strong look and feel that you are known for, and not appeal to everyone, than to try to have a little bit of everything and just end up looking disorganized or chaotic.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?

Do your research. Know what similar items sell for, and don't undervalue yourself. Your time is worth something, and while art is not the fastest way to a steady income, you deserve to be compensated for what you put your heart and soul into creating.

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