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203 Birth of Lutume – A New Business

Lutume booth at arts show with a sample of handmade ceramic planters

Mark talks about the energy, planning, and hard work that has gone into starting a┬ánew family business, Lutume, a retail mobile and web boutique selling handmade, one-of-a-kind ceramic art. He discusses the importance of marketing, using writing, visuals, name selection, a website, networking, and well-made promotional items to build and promote the brand. Adele asks him about the value of online or print advertising. They talk about Mark and his wife’s experience selling as artisans at a large farmer’s market, and why they do not offer “sale” prices. Adele asks what some of the adjustments were they had to make in response to feedback gained from their experience of selling at various events. Mark explains how he has helped one of his clients, Diaz Gates, grow that business substantially by applying some of the same principles used to build Lutume. Mark plans to invite Diaz Gates on the show for an interview in an upcoming episode.

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202 From Los Angeles to Rural Montana

Melstone Montana on Highway 12

Mark and Adele have a conversation about life in the tiny rural Montana town where Adele lives and works. Adele explains why she loves small-town life on the edge of the prairie, and how much she did not love the daily Los Angeles commute she left behind. Even though you have to drive a couple or several hours to get “somewhere,” like for shopping in Billings, or sightseeing in Yellowstone Park, it’s worth it to live in this remote area of Eastern Montana, often referred to as the “last best place” and “God’s country.” The sky is endless and everyone is friendly. Unlike in the City, people you pass on the street actually take the time to stop and talk. Neighbors always help neighbors, because otherwise survival in the harsh weather extremes would be difficult. And the natural landscape is a photographer’s dream. [Recorded March 2015]