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Artist Spotlight: LeDanse

Artist Spotlight: LeDanse

Scott Lesh, Richmond, VA

In 1999 Scott happened upon the roof restoration project of a Frank Lloyd Wright architectural masterpiece near where he lived in Madison, Wisconsin. The copper sheets were being trucked off for scrap, however he was able to purchase large quantities of the copper to create sculptural works as well as a limited edition line of jewelry. From those designs he created LeDanse,

In addition to the creative and commercial components of his venture he donates a portion of all proceeds to help house the homeless and foster hope for the future. He has said, "In this act of giving we partake in a kind of social poetry whereby the removal and transformation of one roof serves to place a roof over the heads of people in need." He believes that in this spirit of embracing both beauty and responsibility an artist’s work has the power to not only adorn and delight, but to be a catalyst for positive change in the world.

Describe Your Work:
I create earrings and pendants from re-purposed roof copper as well as a wide array of designs using sterling silver, mixed materials, pearls and gemstones.

How did you get started in the crafts business?
I worked at a handmade jewelry business as principal designer and head of production.

How long have you been wholesaling?
I've been wholesaling since 2001, however began LeDanse in 2005.

What are your top 3 marketing methods for reaching new buyers?
Having exhibited at trade shows nationwide my customer and leads database is extensive. I call my customers and leads and/or email to stay in touch and get updates on sales. I also advertise with IndieMe and am easily searchable on Google.

What percentage of your business is Wholesale? Retail? Commission, etc.?
Most all of my business is wholesale. In addition to selling to museums, galleries, jewelry stores and gift boutiques I also have several consignment accounts.

How has IndieMe helped your business?
IndieMe is a good resource for retailers looking for American handmade products. Occasionally I am contacted by visitors to IndieMe.

What advice do you have for new craft artists?
Love what you do and listen to the feedback you receive. Use quality materials, hone your skills and be both creative and organized in running your business. Share your gifts.

What advice do you have for new craft galleries?
Remember that your gallery is your artistic expression as well as your business. You will need to have relentless people energy, divine social skills, respect for your artists, and overall business acumen. Leave your ego at the door and love the process of pairing artistic objects with appreciative patrons.

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