2nd January 2019

Cockpit Arts helps craft businesses grow in a balanced, strategic and sustainable way.

In our second of six articles exploring how our professional development programme benefits makers in London, we look at how strategic decision-making supports long-term business growth.

Cockpit Arts supports makers at different stages – from start-ups just setting out, to more established businesses that want to accelerate growth. One of our main goals is to help both Cockpit Arts based makers as well as craftspeople with studios elsewhere to create a sustainable business that enjoys long-term success. To achieve this, craftspeople need the solid foundations and effective business planning that will build resilience in a competitive market. The London Creative Network (LCN) professional development programme at Cockpit Arts promotes strategic planning and encourages makers to take a step back and adopt a more methodical approach to growing their business.

Emily Kidson who makes bold, colourful jewellery at her Cockpit Arts studio acknowledges how informed business planning has benefited her practice, “I had a lot of questions about my business and knew I needed some help moving forward. Through the programme I have realigned my direction and come away with short and long-term plans for so many areas from finance through to branding and marketing.” In a similar vein, jeweller Sally Vanderpump states, “Every single workshop has offered powerful insights into what it takes to grow a successful craft business. It has been invaluable in helping me assess where I’m at and where I want to go.”

By being more strategic about how they spend their time, makers feel more in control of their business and confident about what direction to take it in. As abstract sculptor Anne-Laure Cano explains, “Having a clear timeline of what needs to be done when, makes me feel more focussed and time efficient. It allows me to have a precise idea of the opportunities I can pursue now and the ones that need to be put in the calendar for the following year. Managing my time better means I can make informed decisions for my practice and how I want it to grow.” Jeweller Ella Fearon Low found individual sessions with the Cockpit Arts team extremely beneficial here, “I have found the one-to-one sessions particularly valuable as they have helped me pin down and refine my next steps as a maker and a new business.”

During the programme, makers learn the benefits of taking a balanced approach to their work. This involves setting aside time for actively growing their businesses instead of focusing solely on making. According to textile and wallpaper designer Susannah Weiland, “Being on this programme has helped me to focus. As a creative I’ve always got lots of different business and product ideas and I enjoy the process of designing and making so much that I can get carried away with that. This has helped me to hone in on my business, develop a plan and has taught me processes to use.”


Useful links and how to contact us

We are currently inviting applications to Cockpit’s LCN Programme. You can find more details and how to apply here. The deadline is 4 January 2019.

More information on applying for a place at Cockpit Arts.

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Photos: Top & bottom – Emily Kidson by Jamie Trounce. Middle – Anne-Laure Cano.