Timmerman Daugherty – Weird Gardens

Timmerman Daugherty wanted to enjoy the garden of her small Baltimore, Maryland, townhouse all year long, but not being blessed with a green thumb, she did not want the responsibility of maintaining living, growing plants. Taking a walk one evening in 1982, she discovered a pile of rusted and beautifully shaped boiler parts in her alley and decided to convert them into fencing for “my new rust garden.”

The unusual solution surprised the self-described recovering lawyer raised with aesthetically conservative tastes. Now a self-taught artist, Daugherty learned to create mosaics and sculpture in order to incorporate her found objects into her garden design. She sometimes uses the found objects “as is” and sometimes she deconstructs them to use the parts in ways unrelated to their original design. “I am interested in combining little pieces to make something large,” she said.

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Customer relationships and the value of your business

Amazon’s valuations are another great example. Why has Amazon’s stock risen to stratospheric heights? Because CEO Jeff Bezos, back in the early days, focused on acquiring and retaining customers and building broad relationships. In the Net Economy, the depth of your customer relationships is directly proportional to the value of your business.

Knowing who your customers are and being able to interact with them to build strong, life-long, valuable relationships is the winning strategy in the e-business world. And it’s the first rule of good marketing. That’s why some dot-coms will continue to take over conventional companies. They have the formula right. Do you?

Building the basic customer profile

What should you be tracking and measuring in your e-business? First and foremost, you need to know who your end-customers actually are – not just to what market segment they belong. Start by being able to identify and greet each customer by name and by knowing his or her email address. And this definitely applies to the world of art and business.
Next, you need each person’s billing and shipping addresses, phone number(s), and any other profile information they’re willing to offer in exchange for trust and value. In the consumer world, you need to know whether they’re part of a household, and in business-to-business, whether they’re employers or employees of a business.

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Do You Know You’re in Sales?

A lot of people cringe when they think about selling something.  They say they don’t want to be pushy or don’t want to experience rejection.
I’ve got a surprise for you – we are all in sales and we all negotiate. And this also applies to those of us who are in the business of selling their works of art.

Whether or not you do it for a living doesn’t matter.  We all sell.  We all negotiate, says one of my favorite bloggers Kerry Jang. Remember the baseball cards you used to trade as a kid?  You were selling.  Example – I’ll give you my Mark McGwire 85 Topps rookie card for your Ken Griffey Junior Upper Deck rookie….Okay, I’ll do it, if you also throw in that Barry Bonds rookie card.
I’ve been in corporate sales for 12  years.  I can assure you that basic fundamentals of negotiation and selling at a high level aren’t too different from what we did as kids.

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Tribute to an artist: Barbara De Ruiz

Barbara De Ruiz lives in Homosassa, Florida, and her house is full of beautiful paintings, abstract, portraits, landscapes, and more. Barbara started her business after Florida’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) helped her with art classes and support to set up her own business. Vocational Rehabilitation is helping people who are in any way disabled, find employment or keep their job.
Looking at the signatures at the paintings, you can’t help but notice that they’re all designed by Barbara herself, and they are stunning, though, or maybe because, she has a disability. Barbara first got in touch with VR in early 2008 when she was in need of knee surgery and also wanted help to find a job. But it appeared that looking for a suitable job and the stress of returning to the workforce was just too much for Barbara.
After some guidance and counseling from a VR employee though, Barbara appeared to have a hidden but wonderful talent that in the end proved to be a great way for her to make enough income to become self-sufficient. See this video about Vocational Rehabilitation:


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