Metro Detroit-born Andrea Rosenfeld isn’t just an artist. She’s also a business specialist, a humanitarian, a mother, and a Michigander at heart. Rosenfeld exhibits and sells her mixed media art and jewelry pieces at Janice Charach Gallery in West Bloomfield and the Detroit Artists Market, all while teaching other creative types how to take on business and relationship tactics.
Rosenfeld has been surrounding herself with innovators and creative people from a young age, and spent plenty of time huddled in her bedroom with toys and crafts as a child. After two years at the University of Michigan School of Art & Design, she transferred to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York to study fashion design. Post graduation, Rosenfeld worked with huge fashion houses like Perry Ellis Portfolio menswear and Isaac Mizrahi Ltd.
“Although I left New York fashion to commit myself to my growing family, I always played some role in art and business, whether it was creating my work to sell, teaching art, running art departments or coaching other creative startups,” Rosenfeld said.
Last summer, she moved back to the mitten and has been hard at work ever since. While Rosenfeld has been coaching artists for several years, she made the decision to begin teaching business education to the creative community in Michigan just five months ago. With her first workshop series at the Detroit Artist Market in April, Mind Your Art Business was born. Mind Your Art Business focuses hugely on community, education, innovation, support and collaboration.
“My ultimate goal is to have a location in Detroit where small businesses will mesh with the creative industry—learning and combining strengths,” Rosenfeld said.
There are several different aspects of Mind Your Art Business available for creative business owners and general entrepreneurs to explore. Rosenfeld began Creative Entrepreneur Connect, a free brainstorming and networking group that allows members to discuss projects, business challenges and more.
Additional programs include Networking and Business Building (there are two separate programs, one for more “adventurous” entrepreneurs, another for more “structured” and traditional ones), Off-Site Education (MP4 streaming of workshops) and Committed Business Building (a one-on-one coaching program where Rosenfeld moves the client’s business to the next level).
“One important variable that ties these programs together is that in each and every style of support, I make sure that I offer healthy coaching,” Rosenfeld said. “By ‘healthy,’ I mean focusing on building value-based business relationships… My business coaching is much more introspective and personal than other courses that teach strictly value propositions, demographics, financials, key partners, design development, merchandising and cost structure. I guide people from the inside out.”
Rosenfeld’s hands-on experience with all different kinds of art has led her to be a reputable force in the world of art and business education. Her necklaces, rings, reclaimed wood, gem and silver jewelry pieces can be found at the aforementioned local galleries, and Rosenfeld credits her grandfather with passing down a love of fashion and fabric.
“I’m engaged by nature. I prefer manipulating materials, from wood to ceramics, to paint, photography, and even glass,” Rosenfeld said. “I relish surprises and new challenges, so I play.”
If you find yourself needing some creative guidance, you might consider attending Rosenfeld’s “happening” at the Detroit Design Festival tomorrow night, Grow Your Creative Venture. She is partnering with AIGA Detroit and AIREA Studio for a branding and promotions workshop that runs from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26.
“I’ll be teaching branding and promotions with Marilyn Trent of Trent Design Group… I’ll be working with the DDF guests on the importance of intangibles, targeted mission statements and showcasing the best promotional materials for client introductions,” Rosenfeld said.
The lecture costs just $10 to attend, and participants are invited to a happy hour party taking place after the workshop, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
“The Detroit Design Festival supports art, design, brainstorming, innovation and education, and accepted my Mind Your Art Business workshop because it’s a great fit with their mission. They are supporting their guests by offering business owners an opportunity to advance their skills and learn new strategies in a really exciting and creative location surrounded by innovative designers, so every business owner should take this unique opportunity and join us,” Rosenfeld said, adding that the workshop will showcase both industrial and graphic artwork with exhibits from Detroit Design Center, Jake Chidester of Corktown Studios and Team Detroit.
Rosenfeld has a resume packed with involvement in her local community as well as experience with nonprofit groups. On the east coast, she served as a chairperson for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, was vice president and media chair of the Freehold Borough Arts Council, and is currently a fashion and accessory mentor for Detroit Creative Corridor Center and the entertainment lead for the AIA Detroit Celebration of Architecture during the Detroit Design Festival. It’s the passion for her surroundings that led Rosenfeld to make the move back to Michigan, a place she has a connection with like no other.
“There’s always movement, always something to do (in Manhattan), to be involved in, to view, to create, to explore. But Detroit is better,” Rosenfeld said. “It’s better because it’s smaller and it still has grit [in most areas]. You can feel intensity, creative energy, innovation, exploration, bravery and drive, and you see builders, doers, characters and dreamers, but unlike New York, because we’re closer in proximity, we’re better connected. Plus, we have less oversight and (fewer) people to tell us ‘no.’”
She believes that Detroit is a great place for artists, entrepreneurs and creative types to succeed because the Motor City is more densely packed with people expressing themselves through their craft than anywhere else. This expression then leads to more collaboration and growth.
“I tell my students to do that: get out of the creative community. Bump into business people and nonprofits, talk to and learn from other sectors while sharing your creative expertise,” Rosenfeld said. “That’s easier to accomplish here in Detroit than New York or even Boston or Chicago.”
When growing her own business network for Mind Your Art Business, Rosenfeld put that very idea of sharing creative expertise into practice. She collaborates with a select group of local business leaders, including writers for her website, guest speakers at her workshops, and promotions and sales experts.
Rosenfeld is passionate about changing the stigma that the creative class is sometimes undervalued, and hopes to help change that idea by fighting to increase the value of the arts and artists in the community.
“Value yourself. Value the mastery you’ve developed with your tools and materials. Value your expertise and experience level. Value your intelligence and creativity. Value your relationships,” Rosenfeld said. “Then, show your value confidently through uplifting words about yourself, your business, your product and your price points… It’s time to increase the value of artists and entrepreneurs and it begins with each of us, from the inside out.”