Tskies Artist Co-Op is a dream come true. The concept of a place where artists could come and find the equipment, workspace and mentoring they needed has been part of the Tskies dream since the beginning. One of the most important aspects of the Co-Op is the goal of enabling each artist to build their own business. Through shared marketing and a place to sell their work, each Tskies creator is encouraged to become their own boss. It’s a worthy goal but one that comes with a certain amount of risk. In a time when small businesses are being deeply impacted by the statewide shutdown orders, that risk becomes a bit greater.
Customers are the lifeblood of each business that Tskies supports. Artists aren’t corporations. They don’t often have deep resources to see them through a crisis. The cost of supplies and equipment along with the time invested is a price that must be paid for jewelry to be created. When business shuts down, paying that price can be difficult.
The government has attempted to address some of the impact of the shutdown through an expansion of Unemployment Insurance. The problem is artists are technically self-employed. They don’t qualify for unemployment. The PPP loans for small businesses are for those who employ others so that they can keep paying them. A single artist doesn’t qualify for this help either.
Coming out of the shutdown with their art still viable is dependent on having those who can do so purchase their work. It’s through their customers that they can continue to buy the supplies they need to create more pieces.
To those who have supported our artists in the past, we say a heartfelt thanks. And to those who have continued to purchase jewelry through our online store during this crisis we also extend our thanks. Our lives wouldn’t move forward without you!