Forging Entrepreneurs

Forging Entrepreneurs: Tools and Skills for Business Success

Forging Entrepreneurs is for independent jewelers and metalsmiths running small businesses. Presenting business acumen and technical skills that will increase productivity and improve your bottom line.

“Awesome presenters!!! The talks were well rounded and they were all able to thoroughly discuss their themes in such a short time. They all encouraged me to take the action steps necessary to succeed in my craft.”

SNAG’s 2014 symposium, “The Inside Track,” was held November 9th, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia.

2014 presenters were:

  • Danielle Miller-Gilliam, ETSY/danielle miller jewelry design: How to Stay on Top at ETSY
  • Jessyca Holland/Deborah Sosower, C4 Atlanta: The Importance of Strategic Business Planning and Lean Marketing for Artists
  • Pearson Beardsley, P.C., Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts: Business Entity Fundamentals for Artists
  • Judi Knight, New Tricks Web Design: Forging Your Online Presence with Social Media and Content Marketing
  • Panel: Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Ask a Gallery OwnerCarr McQuiston, Signature Gallery; Judie Raiford, Raiford Gallery; Marthe Le Van, Mora; Moderator: Gwynne Rukenbrod, SNAG
  • Chris Hentz, Professor of Art, Louisiana State University: The Possibilities of Digital Fabrication in a Small Metals Studio: Flat Pattern Development vs. 3D Printing
  • Kirk Farber, Working Warrior: From Challenge to Change

2014 hosts:
Georgia Goldsmiths Group     Atlanta Contemporary Jewelry Show


2014 sponsors:

HalsteadHalstead has provided wholesale jewelry supplies since 1973. Findings, chain, wire, sheet and beads in sterling silver, gold filled & more.

Signature GallerySignature Gallery offers American crafts with an emphasis on clay, metal, wood, fiber, and glass.

Otto Frei logoOtto Frei has quality jewelry making supplies & tools. Specializing in platinum and 18 karat findings & jewelry tools from around the world.

Rio44BlueButtonVECTORRio Grande manufactures, sources and distributes tools, equipment, gemstones, findings, casting alloys, and fabrication metals.



SNAG’s 2013 symposium, “Putting Your Best Foot Forward,” was held in collaboration with the Academy of Art University and their new Department of Jewelry and Metal Arts, and the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco.

2013 presenters:

  • Ben Allen, Labrador Agency: The Art of Branding
  • Cindy Edelstein, Jewelers’ Resource Bureau: Top Online Tools for Promoting your Business
  • Sarah Graham, Sarah Graham Metalsmithing: Growing a Jewelry Business from the Ground Up
  • Alissia Melka-Teichroew, ByAMT, New Technologies and Outsourcing in Production
  • George Post, George Post Photography: Crafts Photography and Digital File Management
  • Jonathan Russel, JR Casting: Tips for Masters and Casting

2013 coordinators: studio metalsmiths Christine Dhein, Kelly Nedderman, and emiko oye.


Here is what attendees said after the 2012 symposium:

Sara Loch-Test:
“…They’re planning on doing this Symposium annually, on the opposite end of the continent from the Conference, so if this fits your budget and schedule, GO. There is no one cookie cutter way to be successful in this field, and the routes that were presented through out the day were as diverse as the metal work that’s produced in our field…”  Read the entire review

Sharon Massey:
“The SNAG Symposium definitely exceeded my expectations–I heard many different perspectives on success, and insights about how to achieve more in my own career…”  Read the entire review

Jenny Butterfield:
“This past Sunday, I had the great pleasure of attending a SNAG sponsored symposium in Pittsburgh at the Society for Contemporary Craft: “Forging Entrepreneurs.” And even though I learned a great deal (topics of the lectures were diverse, ranging from how to define success to a crash course in 3D printing) and I had a great time with some of my SNAG family, I really feel like the experience has thrown me into an identity crisis as far as my work goes…”  Read the entire review

Valerie A. Heck:
“..SNAG plans on making this a yearly event in different areas of the country.  [In leaving this syposium] I want to jump into the game as well prepared as I can be. My goal is to focus on the business side, write up a well thought out business plan (with charts on pricing, costs and other factors for shows, costs on advertising and so on)… ” Read the entire review