Eleanor and the sock monkeys!

You may be wondering what inspired me to finally do this social media/blog/website thingy. I blame it entirely on Eleanor Matte, fiddler, proud grandmother, musician and over all brilliant human being. I met Eleanor at the Tuesday Night fiddle sessions with Sandy MacIntyre. I realized Eleanor was one of the best fiddlers there, but more importantly, she laughed a lot. I shrewdly determined I’d play better if I sat near, and I’d get to laugh a lot. I was right on both counts.

No sock monkeys present, but she's laughing while playing!

No sock monkeys present, but she’s laughing while playing!

Eleanor called me in September to see if I want to attend an “Artrepreneurs” workshop hosted by the Orangeville and Ontario Arts Council. We would be exploring ways to enhance our artistic businesses. Eleanor and I are always looking for more gigs and this might give us some ideas to get more, so off we went.

There were some good speakers, but there was one who really got me thinking.

Kim McBrien runs Indigo Dragonfly, a unique company that focuses on dyeing, knitting and spinning wool, promoted over the internet.  From her presentation, Kim could also be a stand up comedien because she kept us all laughing (and spellbound). Kim talked about using social media to advance your business, and how she was able to best use her particular skill sets to grow Indigo Dragonfly. I started thinking about a musician friend of mine, wondering if he had ever used any of these ideas to grow his music business, and began furiously taking notes for him. But as I paused to see what I had written, I realized that Kim’s advice not only worked in the arts world, but in the business and consulting world as well!

Set up a website, write a blog, update the blog regularly, use your best skills, do what you love…her advice was useful for getting more gigs, and growing GAEL.

Thanks to Eleanor, I attended this workshop, listened and learned from Kim, and in no time at all, I committed to spending time on my business to attract business, instead of doing what I usually do – crossing my fingers, clicking my heels and hoping someone will call with a contract. So far, so good!

And the sock monkeys? Eleanor, in what little spare time she has, makes sock monkeys. Hundreds of them. I’m trying to get her to create her own website devoted to the art and science of the sock and monkey-isms! Maybe we’ll add a sock monkey page to this site! Wait for it!

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