The Sunflower Sessions

Are you an artist, creative, or maker?

Do you have a product or skill you’re passionate about?

Do you dream of having your own business but don’t know where to start?

 

Welcome to the Sunflower Sessions!

2024 Spots are sold out! Sessions will reopen in January 2025.

The Sunflower Sessions are a 10-month small group mentoring program for budding creative professionals.

Each month focuses on a single foundational aspect of setting up and running a creative business.

By the end of the year, your dream can become a reality.

Who the Sessions are for:

You have a product, service, or idea for a business but need some guidance.

You’re already selling your work but want to take it more seriously.

You have big dreams but need help channeling your creative energy.

Together we'll tackle:

Your Big Vision

Your Big Vision is your dream for your business. Its purpose is to clarify which kinds of work you say yes to and which kinds you don’t. And conversely, it helps your customers do the same thing: do they want to work with you or someone else?

In our first session together, I’ll help you craft a statement that articulates your Big Vision so you can create the right products or services, attract the right customers, be paid the right price, and do work that energizes and invigorates you.

From Taxes to Trademarks

In order to be a legal business entity, there’s certain paperwork you’ll need to file. I’ll walk you through five key areas of your business and what you may want or need to do within each to keep yourself compliant and protected based on your type of business, where you’re located, and what you sell.

Product Development

In Session III, we’ll dive deep into your offerings. What will you bring to market? I’ll teach you two golden rules to live by when it comes to your creative offerings, whether they’re products or services. Then I’ll cover three strategic concepts of product development: the concept of a product family, pricing tiers, and seasonality.

Venues, Pricing, and Payment Systems

Venues, Pricing, & Payment Systems is all about how and where money changes hands. You’ll learn a simple framework for researching your market and pricing your work. I’ll cover the various sales arrangements you can have, and teach you five rules to take the ick out of talking about money.

Marketing

July is devoted to marketing your work! I’ll teach you the three things people need in order to buy from you; why trust is a critical part of the equation; and how to cultivate repeat customers. We’ll go way outside the social media box on this one to create a marketing plan that fits your offerings, your market, and your personality.

Websites, Social Media, and Newsletters

Websites, social media, and newsletters are great tools for building a customer base – if used in the right way. I’ll teach you a new way to think about them that makes them work for you, rather than giving you more work to do. You’ll learn what to do in what order, and which platforms to use based on your needs and experience level.

By The Books: What and How to Track

In By The Books, I’ll teach you about income and expenses, how to track your info for tax purposes, and which metrics really matter. We’ll also talk bookkeeping systems – and why bigger is not always better.

The Confidence Question

The hardest part of running a creative business is waiting for your efforts to pay off! In Session 8, I’ll teach you the biggest mistakes creative professionals make and how to overcome them. You’ll learn what to expect in terms of effort and results, when to be patient and when to push forward, and how to set yourself up for success.

The Customer Service Pyramid

No matter how airtight your process, no matter how skilled, talented, or perfectionistic you are, there will inevitably be challenges along the way. I’ll teach you a framework you can use to build customer trust, set expectations, and resolve any issues you may face along the way.

Celebrating Success

In our final session, we’re going to celebrate your success. I’ll teach you the brain science behind why it’s critical to acknowledge your own accomplishments, how to counter your own doubts, and how to stay motivated over the long haul. You’ll create a Success File and a community to keep you emotionally fueled – forever.

What the Sessions are like:

The Sessions are a combination of learning, guided mentoring, & community.

We’ll start with a lesson, then discuss how to apply it to your specific situation.

The intimate group size will foster a highly personalized experience with a focus on support, accountability, and motivation.

Who am I:

Hi, my name is Chris Zielski.

I’ve been an artist for over 25 years and a full-time creative professional since 2007. I founded my business Copper Leaf Studios with the dream of making a living selling custom copper artwork and large-scale corporate commissions. 17 years in and I’m proud to say I’ve sold work in over 20 countries and have large artwork in collections at numerous law firms, hospitals, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations throughout the country.

More importantly, I’ve financially supported myself through my own creative work.

I created The Sunflower Sessions as a way to help others make their dream a reality.

Read what participants have said about other experiences:

Where and when we meet:

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Starting in March, we’ll meet the first Wednesday of each month from 3:30-5pm EST

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Sessions are virtual, so you can join from anywhere!

Pricing and payment options:

One-time payment of $350

10 Monthly payments of $40

Want to make sure the sessions are right for you?

Contact me. I’d love to hear from you.