In this episode I talk with Rebecca Crowell and Jerry McLaughlin about how their Cold Wax Academy got off the ground. They were my guests way back in episode 9 from 2017 when we discussed the publication of their book, Cold Wax Medium. Their collaboration has only deepened since that time, and in this interview you’ll find out what makes their combined efforts work so well.
Rebecca, Jerry, and I discuss the format of Cold Wax Academy, how they make decisions together, how they find new members, and what they would do differently with the benefit of hindsight. We also talk about one of my very favorite topics—systems—and the technology they use to keep their joint venture going.
Rebecca and Jerry reflect on the timeline of their collaboration. (2:37)
Rebranding your business with the help of professionals. (6:18)
Making the transition from live teaching to the online Cold Wax Academy. (11:04)
Replacing income lost from cancelled live workshops. (12:37)
The pandemic-induced “oh crap” moment that changed everything. (17:03)
How to know when it’s time to hire help. (20:19)
Collaborating with another person in every important aspect of your business. (24:08)
Tools that maximize your communication efforts. (26:53)
A high level overview of the offerings of Cold Wax Academy. (29:00)
The key to making a paid membership work. (33:57)
How to determine what content to offer for free and what to charge for. (37:58)
Adjusting your offerings starts with knowing what your audience wants. (38:47)
A look at the numbers of the Cold Wax Academy community. (43:37)
Lessons learned from the timing and building of a business. (45:34)
What’s coming up next for Cold Wax Academy. (49:42)
Intro and outro music by Wildermiss
First posted: artbizsuccess.com/collaborating-coldwax-podcast
“We have this great collaboration and I couldn’t have known ahead of time how exciting it would be to develop this program.” — Rebecca Crowell
“Hiring a third person has given us more energy to devote to the business itself.” — Jerry McLaughlin
“What we produce is infinitely better because we’re both doing it together.” — Jerry McLaughlin
“As we go we’re learning more and more about how to interact with people and how to involve members.” — Rebecca Crowell
About My Guests
Rebecca Crowell has been a professional artist for thirty years and is widely known for her innovative painting techniques involving cold wax medium and oils. She teaches these methods both in the US and internationally. Her work is handled by fine art galleries in Chicago, Atlanta, Milwaukee, Telluride, and Dublin, Ireland and is found in hundreds of private, public, and corporate collections. Rebecca holds an MFA in Painting and lives in rural west-central Wisconsin.
Jerry McLaughlin has been a working visual artist for twenty years and has exhibited at galleries throughout the U.S. His work is in collections around the world. An expert in all things cold wax, he focuses his major energies on painting, teaching, and writing. Trained as a pediatric intensive care physician, he also holds a certificate in adult education from the University of Washington. Jerry lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.