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With a commitment to quality and thoughtful design, David from SawAndMitre has always believed that there is a story and texture behind photographs that becomes lost when only viewed on a screen. Making “the finest frames for the finest photographs”, let David share with you a little two cents about his inspirations, challenges and success with his customers!

Advice by SawAndMitre

Why did you turn to your handmade craft and business?
I’ve always had a love for photography and for years I felt like I was paying a lot of money to frame my images in poor quality frames – so I started making my own one day.  I ended up making something that was better than most every frame I’d ever used before and I felt proud to display my work in it.  At the time I was also tired of the corporate job so after months of planning and saving up, I decided to make the jump and make a business out of it.
 What are a few benefits and challenges of being a handmade artisan?
Being a handmade artisan is hard work.  Not only are you making your own products, you are also your own marketing and accounting departments, to name a few of the different hats you wear.  Being your own boss gives you a tremendous amount of freedom – however you’re also the one on the hook for moving your business forward.  I’ve found it’s really important to not let your high’s get too high, and your low’s too low – because they will come when you are running your own business.  Early on I was able to get positive endorsements by some great photographers who I admired and thought the sales would immediately come after that.  I couldn’t have been more wrong – and disappointed after my initial elation.  I’ve learned it is much more about being persistent and consistent in your day-to-day work and that generally the best endorsements are from happy customers.
Do you have any advice for other artisans?
Spend time early on defining who your ideal audience/customer is.  Then hyper focus on them and don’t waste your resources on anything else.  For about a year, I spent a lot of time trying to market my business to anyone who was interested in photography, however unless you have a huge budget, it’s impossible to make a dent in that overall market.  Once you begin to build a customer base, then start to get to know them and have conversations about your product and why they buy it.  Their insight can be invaluable in helping define your marketing.

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