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There’s a lot to learn before you turn your art or craft into a business. So Linda Robertson and several other people have created Black Mountain Creatives.

The group, working on a website (blackmountaincreatives.com) and already on Facebook, will meet at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 6 for the first time in the hopes of sharing knowledge and tips on how to improve and sell their work. (The meeting is for members only. Sign up - it's free - on the Black Mountain Creatives' page on Facebook.) Linda Robertson of Black Mountain is one of the group's main drivers.

She convened the group by floating a trial balloon in November on the Black Mountain Exchange on Facebook. She was pleased with the response. As of Jan. 30, 69 Black Mountain Exchange members told her they were interested in Black Mountain Creatives. The group is open to artists and craftspeople, as well as arts and crafts tradespeople, from Black Mountain, Swannanoa, Montreat and Ridgecrest.

On Feb. 6, the group is to meet at Carver Community Center to formulate the group’s vision – “to see what the group wants to be,” Robertson said Jan. 30.

“We have such a conglomeration of people’s interests,” she said, “It’s amazing. We have metalsmiths, sewers, writers, painters, potters” and several others working other creative fields. “I’m shocked that there is not something like this already.”

Robertson, who has a store on Etsy (riffraffgiraffebags.etsy.com), hopes to learn more about crafts fairs that are less expensive and restrictive to enter. For the meeting Feb. 6, one prospective member of Black Mountain Creatives offered to train other members on how to get new products online.

Robertson makes bags, purses, beach totes, cellphone covers and more. She’s been sewing all her life, taking whatever classes were offered in school while she lived in Massachusetts, New York and Florida. She made most of the clothes her four daughters wore (including their prom dresses). She made her sister’s wedding dress.

Robertson has fabric all over the house that’s waiting for her to turn into creations – and she suspects other artists, craftspeople, writers and other “creatives” in the Valley are similarly anxious to be connected.

“I’m in awe of what people can do,” she said.

If you’re interested, find Black Mountain Creatives on Facebook.

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