Maryland Small Business Development Center

Bone Sigh Arts

Serving Calvert, Charles, St. Mary's Counties in Maryland

Bone Sigh Arts

Bone Sigh Arts

Terri St. Cloud found that she had a passion for short writings which would help women with "emotional healing" concerning challenges in their lives. She called them "Bone Sighs", so she started Bone Sigh Arts in April 2002. She also found that she had a streak of "artistic creativity" which adapted well to complement her writings as part of the "product". Bone Sighs were totally directed to her passion of"emotional healing". Bone Sighs were primarily sold at independent coffee shops, unique or eclectic retailers and though various catalogs. She went full time with the business in 2005. "Honor Yourself' also became a Bone Sigh Arts mantra ... as well as a basis for future writings.

Ms. St. Cloud began utilizing SBDC assistance in January 2003. Her initial interaction with Consultant Bill Hitte in the SBDC office challenged her "emotional healing passion" versus a need for understanding "business and cash flow". That new "dual focus" forced Ms. St. Cloud to adapt. Over the next 4 years she created lots of Bone Sighs, expanded the product line, improved relationships with her retailers and catalogs, created a usable website with the help of her sons, attended some SBDC business workshops and began to meet with Bill Hitte every six months - at an eatery which placed her in a better "comfort zone" to talk business and passion. Revenues grew every year, primarily driven by the retailers and catalogs. She adapted to "business" while maintaining her "passion".

After record sales in 2007, the "Great Recession" hit Bone Sigh Arts hard. By mid-2008, independent coffee shops were being replaced and a trend of fewer orders was quickly followed by the closing of many small retail stores who sold Bone Sighs and catalogs that shut down. Once again, Ms. St. Cloud needed to adapt. There were lots of SBDC meetings, business idea discussions with her sons, increased product offerings, significant improvements made to the website with the help of her sons, social media postings, blogs - all based upon a strategic decision to focus on ecommerce for an anticipated "new normal" customer and buying pattern. Still in business after 15 years!

Terri St. Cloud is truly successful both as an artist and as a business owner by adapting to situations and utilizing available resources while still being able to focus on her "passion".

Posted: 10/31/2018