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  • Writer's pictureLynn Powell

Why we won't be having an offer this Black Friday

Black Friday is on its way, a promotion that has gained popularity in the UK in recent years. It seems like everyone is jumping on the bandwagon and offering some kind of discount. However, we won't be discounting our workshops for Black Friday, and we'd like to explain why.

A fair price

We believe that our workshops are already a fair price. We pride ourselves in what we can offer you - our home environment, a creative space, local artists, small group sizes and locally-sourced refreshments. And, we price our workshops so that our artists and makers can earn a living that reflects their skills and experience.

Art is a proper job

One of the main reasons I set up The Arienas Collective was to support artists like my daughter Jodie, who was the first to teach with us. It is costly for artists to hire workshop space in central Edinburgh. It is also a financial risk that many artists can't afford to take since they could end up having to pay for room hire even if the class doesn't sell.

At the Arienas, we work as a Collective; if a workshop doesn't sell we don't charge the artist. If it goes ahead, after costs have been deducted, we share the net profit: two-thirds goes to the artist, and one third goes back into the Collective towards admin, marketing and running costs.

All of our artists have experienced being asked to work for free, because it's 'good for your CV' or for 'exposure'. We know that most other professions are not asked to do this, and we think it's unfair. We set up @artisaproperjob to highlight this issue, and it's something we raise awareness of whenever we're given the opportunity! (More of this in another blog to come.)

Some of the Arienas Collective artists. Photo by Jannica Honey

We are not subsidised

Unlike some adult education courses, we are not subsidised and rely solely on income from our workshops. We do not receive any funding from arts organisations for our work, though this is something we may look to do in future to support our development. And we do not expect artists to run workshops for a fee that will only cover the cost of their out of pocket expenses: we value their time, and know that they have bills to pay too.

We'd like you to shop independent and local this Christmas

It is @justacard Indie Week this week. For those who haven't heard of it, the 'Just a Card' campaign was started by artist Sarah Hamilton. Sarah was struck by the quote she saw from a gallery owner who was having to close down which read; 'if everyone who'd complimented our beautiful gallery had bought 'just a card' we would still be open".

With independent shops having to close every day, we share Sarah's passion, and support her mission to encourage people to support local artists, makers and independent businesses this Christmas.

The Indie Week 2019 message challenges the growth of the 'Black Friday' culture of discounting, bulk buying and having to get the 'cheapest' price (at whatever cost) mainly promoted by larger retailers and online shopping platforms. When you shop at a local independent store - be it on the street or online - even the smallest purchase can make the world of difference to them and the artists and makers they stock. They are also much more likely to be able to tell you about the person who has hand made your gift, and the source of the materials and ingredients used to create it.

For The Arienas Collective, the Just A Card message is more about Just A voucher. And if you're a social media person, we'd love it if you would help us spread the word by tagging @justacard and @justavoucher in your posts whenever you shop local this year.

I know for sure that our artists really do 'do a happy dance' when their workshops sell out!

As always, thank you for your support - we are truly grateful for each and every purchase.



Why not give the gift of creativity this year by choosing an Arienas workshop for Christmas. Whether you treat yourself or someone else, a workshop experience offers the opportunity to combine learning new skills with creating something truly made by hand, meeting new people and forming lasting memories.

The Arienas Collective gift vouchers start from just £2.50. They can be used in full or part payment for any of our workshops, and are valid for purchases made within 6 months from the date of issue. You can buy gift vouchers directly from our online shop here.

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