Last month I had the pleasure to attend Craftcation Conference in Ventura, California. This 5 day event is quite simply like no other creative conference. It is creative classes, business classes, networking and an amazing crowd of attendees. Here are a few things that I got to share and participate in while at Craftcation (note – there is so much activity going on, it is very hard to share the variety of classes and fun times taking place all at once!)
Before I headed to Craftcation I did my fair share of pre-conference prep, I LOVE to give away Swag bags during conferences. The bags that I made for Craftcation included a custom label jar of Udderly Smooth lotion ~ perfect for crafty hands, a felt flower tag made using Kunin Felt and cut with my Sizzix Big Shot and my business card! I am so grateful to my intern, Mariela, who helped me with all of the pre-conference prep. Special thanks to Udderly Smooth, Sizzix and Kunin Felt for sponsoring my trip to Craftcation!
First day ~ Wednesday
• Travel to Ventura & Find the Conference Hotel!
• I attended a Watercolor Mantras & Meditation Class – so much fun learning to play with watercolors!
• Tiki Party at local bar “Ventiki” and I hosted a Make & Take Craft Station beside the information table by AFCI – the Association for Creative Industries. The Make & Take was a hit – people made gift tags with felt flowers cut using a Sizzix Big Shot. Special thanks to Kunin Felt Group and Sizzix for sponsoring this Make & Take.
• NOTE: The first day is “OPTIONAL” as you can get in on early check-in and take a couple of classes before the pre-party. Several people who need to travel a distance do check-in on the next day and I am positive they don’t feel they miss out on anything.
Second day ~ Thursday
• I helped at the AFCI table during the break times and hosted a Make & Take Craft Station to show off the Sizzix Big Shot, Sizzix’s new paper line, Kunin Felt and also share some Flash Giveaways. The Make & Take was a greeting card using a Sizzix die ~ an Anchor! The Flash Giveaway was a Kunin Felt prize pack.
• On the second day, I attended these awesome classes:
– Introduction to Heat Transfer Vinyl
– 89 Tax Deductions for the Creative Enterprenuer
– DIY SEO: An Intro to E-Commerce
• Opening Dinner was at the Olivas Adobe and the keynote speaker was Jenny Hart, owner of Sublime Stitching. The dinner included several DIY craft stations, book signings and craft beer tasting!
Third day ~ Friday
• On Friday, I again got to help out at the AFCI table and hosted a Make & Take Craft Station featuring a Sizzix die cut ~ a Seashell ~ for a greeting card. The Flash Giveaway for that day was an Udderly Smooth prize pack.
• I attended these wonderful classes:
– Creative Business Planning
– Pitching Like a Pro
– Walking Photo Tour of Downtown Ventura with Photographer Sarah Deragon of “Portraits to the People” located in San Francisco (MY FAV!)
– Make your own repeating pattern by hand
• Lunch was at Ventura City Hall and a DIY station was hosted by conference sponsor Siser.
• By this day, I was in a full “creative groove” – I had decided I did need a combination of business and crafting classes. The photo tour was a highlight and I got to be the “jumping” model during our photo tour. F-U-N! (Photo below from Sarah Deragon Photography ~ https://portraitstothepeople.com/)
Fourth day ~ Saturday
• On the fourth day my Make & Take Station was a bit more chill and I answered questions about the Sizzix Big Shot and Kunin Felt. I passed out felt flowers and everyone who stopped by enjoyed learning that the Sizzix Big Shot XL dies can cut through Kunin Felt (about 3-4 pieces of the ClassicFelt!).
• Of course, I made my way to more classes:
– Leather Business Card Holder (REALLY FUN!)
– iPhoneography 101 with Sarah Deragon (EXCELLENT!)
– Nice + High: Pricing your products to capture their full value
– DIY Contracts for your business (yes, a legal class was part of my schedule!)
• Lunch was at Ventura City Hall and a DIY Station was hosted by conference sponsor Darice.
• For the evening, we made our way to Downtown Ventura for a Las Vegas themed dance party at “The Tavern”. We had the patio area for our group ~ there were casino games, a photo booth and drink and food specials too!
Fifth day ~ Sunday
• On the last day of Craftcation it was great to catch up with new friends and take one last craft class. That morning I was beyond inspired at the Closing Remarks with the Craftcation Creators ~ Delilah and Nicole and further by Tiffany Han who basically provided a speech on “You’re going home – now it’s time to get to work!”.
• My last craft class was the Modern Macrame Plant Hangers and I had a blast taking the class with Jennifer (she is a crafter and lawyer! on my LEFT in the photo below) who sells handmade soaps, bath bombs and other goodness in Clovis and Fresno, CA. (Photo below from Dear Handmade Life Blog)
I would highly recommend that you attend Craftcation if you are interested in learning more about how to move your craft business ahead OR if you just want to go craft and meet cool people! This creative conference is one that was on my bucket list for years, special thanks to AFCI for inviting me to help be a part of their sponsor table and to the Craftcation team for hosting an amazing experience for others.
Read the OFFICIAL CONFERENCE RECAP on the Dear Handmade Life Blog: https://dearhandmadelife.com/craftcation-business-and-makers-conference-2017-recap/