Morna McEver Golletz

Morna McEver Golletz is the Founder/CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals & Creative Arts Business Summit (CABS).Morna McEver Golletz is the Founder/CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals & Creative Arts Business Summit (CABS). The mission? To help artisan entrepreneurs craft business success.

Morna is, quite simply, the wind beneath the wings of many successful sewing/quilting professionals. She calls herself a “creative arts business coach,” and she refers to her clients as “creatives.”

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Christine Sholtz of BacksiderFabrics.com says, “I was definitely at a crossroads. Business was down and I was trying to figure out what to do and questioning whether I should even continue. I had way too many ideas and lacked direction and focus.

Morna helped me figure out who my core customer was, where I should be focusing my time and resources, and how to handle the increase in business. For every question I asked her she had at least two or three great action ideas or resources to consult. Her skills, knowledge and objective point of view allowed her to point out considerations to me that many times I hadn’t even thought of. Her wealth of knowledge of the industry, and business in general, proved to be invaluable to me.”

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Morna was the eldest of five girls and grew up in a home that prized creativity and education. Her mother was a watercolor artist, and arts and craft, including sewing, were a constant in her home.

Morna remembers hearing stories of how she threaded needles for her two great-great grandmothers when she was three years old. “Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers prized education and graduated college. This was in a time when many women didn’t go to college, the early 1900s. My maternal grandmother graduated around 1928 from Parsons School of Design where she specialized in draping. My paternal grandmother graduated around 1910 from Brenau College in Georgia, where she majored in piano. A story that has been impressed upon me from childhood is that my paternal great-grandmother had her husband move to a town with a college. She believed that if her three sons didn’t get a college degree they would be fine. She was insistent on the need for her five daughters to get a college education. They all did, and they all went on to have their own careers.”

Even as a child, sewing was Morna’s passion. She made doll clothes, even selling them, and progressed to finely tailored clothing. She won the Singer Sewing Contest at her local store and made it to the state finals. Of course, once she found quilting, her passion was fueled even further.

The entrepreneurial bug bit early, too. In the fourth grade, she ran a two-week summer camp for neighborhood children. It was filled with arts and crafts and drama. She thinks of this as her “lemonade stand” moment.

After college, she got a “regular” job working in the insurance industry as a commercial property underwriter. Her husband was working his way up the corporate ladder. When he took a transfer to Philadelphia, it was decision time for Morna. Could she actually build a business from her quilting passion?

Her business had an accidental start; it was really at the suggestion of her accountant. In the beginning, she looked at it as a way to support her fabric habit. She did a business plan and thought about how she could make money. Not really to support herself, but to cover the cost of her beloved quilting hobby and add extras to her family. One of the first things she did was to teach quiltmaking. She developed quilt classes for an adult ed program. Whenever they moved, she would offer those classes in their new town.

Looking back, it was also a lifestyle choice. It was the early 1980s, and an appropriate choice was for Morna to support her husband in his climb up the ladder, and build her at-home quilting business. She began to teach more classes, joined two fine arts crafts cooperatives, did juried craft shows and took commission work. She was building a reputation as a successful working quilt artist.

She still teaches, only not quiltmaking. She teaches how to grow a business. Morna has been teaching at Quilt Market and Quilt Festival most every year since 2008. She will be one of the teachers at the inaugural Threads of Success, which premieres at 2019 International Quilt Market.

2018 Attendees
International Association of Creative Arts Professionals &
Creative Arts Business Summit (CABS)
Bonnie McCaffery Photography

Morna credits much of her success to regular networking, persistence and her mentors. “I’ve always had local businesswomen that I’ve connected with on an informal basis to run ideas past. Early on, I began working with a business coach and I still do so today. That’s allowed me to grow my business and my mindset. I wouldn’t be without that kind of support.”

Another turning point came when she went to graduate school in the early 90s and earned a Master of Journalism from Temple University in Philadelphia. She’d always loved writing. Now the challenge was to combine her quilt art passion with her writing. She wrote lots of articles for the daily paper and an article for The Professional Quilter. Shortly thereafter, the magazine was for sale, and she purchased it.

The quilt industry is a $3.8 billion industry. As The Professional Quilter continued to grow, it became a platform for networking and mentoring for quilt artists, quilt shop owners, teachers and designers. Morna saw the possibilities of the Internet and she looked for ways to provide subscribers with relevant business information in a quicker fashion. She began offering teleclasses that were downloadable, PDFs of books, etc.

In 2010, Morna launched the International Association of Professional Quilters (IAPQ), which went on to become the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals (ICAP).

Creating a conference for members of ICAP was the next logical step. Morna jumped in with both feet, not really knowing how it would turn out. The first three-day Creative Arts Business Summit (CABS) was held in 2012. At the first break, one of the attendees came up to Morna and asked when it would be the following year. Her mind went right away to, “You are asking about next year. I have to get through the next three days first.”

Part of Morna’s challenge is to attract new attendees as well as keeping the content different and relevant to continue to attract return attendees.

What would your life be like if you had the right help & support to grow your creative business?“I look for ways to offer content through people our attendees wouldn’t otherwise know. For example, this year I have a 4-time Emmy award-winning newscaster talking about finding your personal brand story. I bring in video experts, image consultants, and financial experts. And, I look for ways for the attendees to share their knowledge with others.

When people go home, I want them to know what’s next and be able to do what it takes to build their business. Along the way, I want them to learn something about their own unlimited capabilities and create a powerful support network with the other attendees. It’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t joined us before, but CABS is a magical place. People’s lives and businesses are changed. People leave with confidence they didn’t know they had. They are on fire to make changes. And, they do.

I absolutely LOVE CABS, but 2019 will be its last year. It was hard to decide to stop doing it. Like other creatives, I started to feel restless, and I want to spread my wings. For me, keeping it fresh always means change.

Although I’m still mulling over what’s next, I want to keep working with creatives to build their businesses and enhance their lives. That may take the form of smaller group intensive workshops or perhaps a CABS 2.0. I also have ideas for three books, one on business and the other two art-related. I know I want to make time to work on my own art and get it out in the world.

It’s important that whatever I do, it has the same Magic that we created at CABS.

I think my superpower with working with people is that I can listen to what they say and see what needs to be done, the missing link, or what someone needs to address to move forward in their business. One of my clients called me a distiller for this reason.”

CABS website: www.creativeartsbusinesssummit.com

ICAP website:
Members’ Studio: http://www.icapprograms.com/membersstudio/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/mornamcever/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/morna.golletz

https://www.facebook.com/ICAPFanClub/

 

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