“It can be a really fulfilling and creative life. It’s super encouraging. There’s a lot of room for creative entrepreneurship and artistic entrepreneurship, especially here on PEI.” – Rilla Marshall, Artisan
From weaving to pottery, woodworking to jewellery making, the craft world is a diverse and dynamic place. If you love working with your hands and creating something tangible for others to enjoy, it could be the career for you. Demand for authentic, hand-made goods continues to climb as more and more people in Canada seek out original pieces they can buy for their homes or themselves. PEI has a thriving crafts industry: artisans can sell their goods to both locals and the many tourists that come during tourism season; but times have never been better to market your goods. After you take your time crafting something you (and others) will love, you can use the internet and social media to market and sell your product to people across the world. Many craftspeople hone their skills by teaching themselves or working with more-experienced artisans to learn the ‘tricks of the trade,’ but there are academic programs across Canada where you can develop your talent further. Half the battle is finding your market and reaching them effectively. Fortunately, there are many artisans on PEI who can help guide you as you establish yourself as a successful craftsperson.
Potter, Weaver, Jewellery Maker, Woodworker, Metalworker, Sewing Craftsperson, Glassblower, Paper Craftsperson, Textile Craftsperson.
OTHER JOB OPTIONS
Art Curator, Crafts Teacher, Fashion Designer, Furniture Designer, Small Business Manager
The PEI Crafts Council helps artisans connect with events and each other. Many craftspeople there are interested in growing the industry on PEI and helping young artisans thrive.
NSCAD University Halifax, Bachelor of Fine Arts (Majors in Ceramics, Jewellery Design & Metalsmithing, or Textiles/Fashion) | New Brunswick College of Craft & Design Fredericton, Diploma Program
GET TO BUSINESS
Being a professional craftsperson involves a lot of entrepreneurship. Developing business management, accounting, marketing, social media and digital skills will all help you get your works to as many potential customers as possible.
LET'S TALK MONEY
$23,083/year (Canada-wide average) [Hill Strategies 2010]
EXAMPLE PATH TO SUCCESS
Start by simply practicing the craft that intrigues you as much as you can. Seek out people in your community or online who have the same passion, and begin learning from them. This will help you improve your craftsmanship, and when you’re ready you can begin selling your goods at craft fairs, in local shops, or in online marketplaces like Etsy. When you’re ready to develop your skills even further, you can head to an arts school where your training will help you refine your craft and gain the business skills necessary to succeed as professional artisan. With new credentials and a high level of skill, you can increase your sales to clients across the world while displaying your most-creative pieces at showcases and art exhibitions.