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I weave rugs and purses, do pastel art, and make jewelry. As a new retiree I am wondering what to do with all this stuff. Its failure to go out the door is killing my motivation.
The idea of donating these pieces to charity for auctioning or for their own coffers is a win-win solution. Consider how much it costs to advertise your offerings in a local paper, or a national magazine, or by creating a web site, and balance this amount against your own labor and materials to produce each item. Add to that the estimate of "good will" it adds to your business's bottom line, add to that the exposure you obtain (again without the cost of publicity)... and if you're deducting the L&M from your taxes, make absolutely sure you obtain a receipt from that charity.
Bottom line... not only will you clear your shelves of things you might have to "dust", but you will certainly be inspired to fill those same shelves with new and exciting pieces. And the giving of your art to charity has certain unexpected and unintended consequences:
I had a pretty busy last 3 weeks. I was asked if I'd mind teaching art (voluntarily) at the local "camp" for severely physically and emotionally challenged adults for 2 hrs on a Wednesday each week. During the initial tour of the facilities I decided that instead of obtaining a bunch of easels and assorted artsy supplies, at huge cost, which would make messes and god knows fine artists have enough trouble getting rid of paintings... that I'd develop them into children's book illustrators. Very sustainable, once they produce a few small books and maybe I can convince some of the authors I know to give them a chance at the "brass ring". Much easier space wise, much harder art wise. I divided the "Night before Christmas" (the original poem) into 4 lines for each participant and asked them to draw the first image that came to them after reading the words. 2 hrs later, they had relatively interesting images. The following week was canceled due to snow and last week, we finished them. Then came the real work for me. Thurs - Tuesday - besides putting it all together (scanning their art, inserting "clean type" below the images), creating electronic printable files, finding a local printer willing to do this before the next class (so I could give them their copies for Christmas) getting a budget approved and then spending 4 days getting local merchants to "sponsor" the printing... my little Christmas miracle came to pass without many hitches. 50 copies of 16 pages ( 8.5 x 11" - full color, beautiful paper) of The Night Before Christmas.
The adults were astonished and very proud of their accomplishment. The illustrations and borders were immaculately printed. I mentioned that everyone gets their own book and that all the sponsors already had their copies. Then I asked them what I should do with the extra books. They passed two decisions- first that I take half and give them to the staff members for being so nice all year, and the other half - would I mind dropping them off at the local hospital to give away to all the children who'd be in the hospital during Christmas? I nearly choked. And after class, I did just that. The hospital staff was overjoyed...
Not exactly what I had anticipated, and yet better than I had dreamed possible....