The Creative's Business Accelerator @ Fort Houston

The Knowledge And Skills To Unlock Your Creative Business

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The Creative’s Business Accelerator @ Fort Houston is a unique educational program for artists, designers, and creative makers who want to unlock the business potential of their creativity. This program consists of a collection of monthly workshops on topics critical to building a successful creative business. 

Facilitated by educator and coach James Szuch, each workshop is an educational, impactful, and fun experience that brings knowledge and skills to a small and committed group of creative entrepreneurs. You will be fully involved in the learning process through group discussions, activities & exercises, and opportunities to practice applying the concepts. Most importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to apply the concepts to your business and address what you need to be successful.

If you’re trying to start, build, or grow a creative business, you’ll find the knowledge and skills that you need to be successful in the Creative’s Business Accelerator. Attend all of the workshops in the series or choose only the ones that address your specific needs. Regardless of which option you choose, you’ll be on the way to unlock the business potential of your creative endeavors. 

Creative's Business Accelerator Workshops

Smart Goals for Creative Makers

Saturday, January 19, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Everyone who owns a business needs goals to help them move forward, to get motivated, and to maintain the success of their business. Envisioning those goals is easy. Setting the right goals for you and your business is harder. Achieving those goals is even more difficult. In Smart Goals for Creative Makers, you’ll identify the goals that make sense for you and your creative business and set yourself on the path to success.

The Creative's Business Plan

Saturday, February 16, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Does your creative business have a business plan? Business books and websites will tell you that the first thing that you need when you start your business is a business plan. But those books and websites don’t explain how a creative business likes yours fits into their business plan template.  The Creative’s Business Plan is a hands-on workshop in which you’ll start to develop the right business plan for your creative business.

Open For Business: Starting Your Creative Business in Tennessee

Saturday, March 16, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Starting a business is more than just hanging a sign on your door. In Open For Business, you'll learn about different kinds of businesses that you can start and determine the right one for you. You'll also learn the steps that you need to take start that business the right way in Tennessee. You'll also pick up some tips for getting your business off to a solid start.

Designing Products that Sell

Saturday, April 20, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

The products that you make are beautiful and well made, but do they sell? In Designing Products that Sell, you'll apply design-thinking techniques to your creative products.  You'll identify your customers, understand their needs, and develop compelling value propositions to help you connect them to your products. You may not change what you make, but you will change how you sell it.

The Accidental Accountant

Saturday, May 18, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

You started your business to make a living using your creative talents. You didn’t start it to get better at accounting. But understanding the language of business is an important part of running a successful business – even a creative one. The Accidental Accountant was specifically designed for owners of creative enterprises who want their businesses to grow and to become stronger financially.

Tell Me About Your Art

Saturday, June 15, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Whether in line at your favorite coffee shop, at a gallery or craft fair booth, or in a formal presentation with a potential collector, you have many opportunities to talk about yourself and what you make. Making the most of those opportunities takes skill, practice, and planning. In Tell Me About Your Art, you'll learn how to develop a compelling story that not only explains what you do, but differentiates you from other artists. And you'll have the opportunity to practice telling that story among a group of artists just like  yourself.

The Maker's Marketplace

Saturday, July 13, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

As a creative maker, you have seemingly endless choices of places to sell what you make. Should you be on Etsy? Build a store with Shopify? Does it make sense to have your own shop? Or find a local retail partner? Do popups make sense? 

In The Maker's Market, we'll review the retail options available to you as a creative maker — online and in the real world. You'll learn how to evaluate potential partners and make the best choice for your business and for your brand. We'll also compare some of most popular online solutions to get you started sooner.

Pricing Your Creative Product

Saturday, August 17, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

Price is probably one of the most important decisions that you will make about your creative products. Price too high and people won't buy. Price too low and you leave money on the table and can't cover your costs. What's the right price? That's even harder to determine with creative products where clues that consumers use to understand value are lacking. In Pricing Your Creative Product, you'll learn the three fundamental approaches to pricing and how to combine them to find the right price for your creative products.

Ready to Grow

Saturday, September 21, 2019
9: 00 AM - 12:00 PM

How big can your business grow? Creative makers face unique challenges when trying to grow their businesses. Yes, you need money and space and resources. But you also need to understand how your own creative processes limit your growth. In Ready to Grow, you'll learn approaches to understand the limitations in your business and master techniques to help you plan, grow, and let go. You'll be ready to grow. 

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Your Instructor

James Szuch is passionate about helping creatives unlock the business potential of their creative endeavors. Through classes, workshops, and coaching, he is dedicated to ensuring that creatives have the knowledge and skills to shape their businesses to meet their financial, personal, and creative goals.

James has been teaching business and entrepreneurship in graduate and undergraduate programs for over a decade. He currently teaches entrepreneurship at the O’More School of Design at Belmont University. James has also worked with organizations like the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville, the Nashville Fashion Alliance, and Fort Houston to deliver business education programs to artists and creative makers.

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Your Venue

Fort Houston is an interdisciplinary workspace for makers of all media, offering its participants and attendees the opportunity to discover their creative potential and thereby facilitating the enrichment of Nashville’s artistic community. Educational art courses, individual and shared studio spaces, creative branding and management; all of these components and more come together under the collective vision of Fort Houston, with the aim of continuing the exponential growth of Nashville’s creative enterprises.

In 2018, Fort Houston established the Fort Houston Artisan Support Project, in order to further extend these objectives. Encompassing both our maker space and contemporary art gallery, the non-profit will focus on expanding the educational outreach and exhibitive potential of Fort Houston.

What People Are Saying

Don't See What You're Looking For?

Is there a problem that you need to solve in your creative business that isn’t covered in these workshops? Is there a topic that you think we’ve missed? Drop me a quick note and tell me what you would like to see. We’re always looking to expand our offerings to cover the topics that are most important to creative makers.