April Member of the Month :: Katie Toombs, Fine Artist / by Dorothy Collier

We're so thrilled to introduce you to our nineth Member-of-the-Month, Artist Katie Toombs!  Katie has been a member from the beginning of our chapter and has been enthusiastic, always having a smile on her face and an open heart, willing to give of her time and talents.  We are SO grateful to be able to feature them on the blog! 

Each member-of-the-month answers five questions for our blog- the first three are standard questions we ask everyone, and the last two are specific to each creative entrepreneur. We hope you love these answers!

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What is your favorite part of being a creative (or creative entrepreneur) in Memphis?

Memphis is such a cool place to live and work. There is so much history and so much in the landscape that we take for granted. If I drive around for any period of time I can always find inspiration!!

What is your favorite part of your creative business?

My favorite part of having a creative business is my clients!! Without them I wouldn’t have a business and they are so encouraging to me! They really keep me going!

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What would you tell yourself if you could go back in time to your first day of starting a business?  I would tell myself not to worry about being the tortoise! (From the tortoise and the hare). Good things take time to build. Take your time and build a good foundation and the rest falls into place! 

 

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A main revenue stream for you are commissions. What does that process from start to finish look like when wanting a Katie Toombs custom piece?

My commission process is a series of steps. There is an initial contact made by the client via email or social media. Once I receive an inquiry I try to respond within 24 hours. I usually direct them to my website which has a price list and some Q and A’s but I always end with a question or something that keeps the communication going. The lead time on most commissions is 6-8 weeks. I take 1/2 deposit when an order is placed and the other 1/2 at delivery!

 

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What are a few tips for nurturing your clients through the commission process? Any tips for less-than-ideal clients?

It is SO important to remember that you are running a business when you speak with potential clients. The initial interaction (aka first impression) is so very important. They’ve already decided they like your work now they need to like YOU! Never blow this chance to be personable and professional. It matters! 

*I’ve had a few clients in the past that have been ‘difficult’. Some people just need to have their hand held a little more than others and that’s ok. However, if you encounter someone who isn’t nice or has unattainable expectations then you may want to pass on the project. You don’t have to say yes to everything that comes your way!