Life & Other Stuff

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CRAFTCATION: Indie Business & DIY Conference

CRAFTCATION was an amazing conference! 

Supporting the DIY & Indie business movement, an enthusiastic group gathered this past weekend to talk about the DIY craft industry. Four days of innovative creative minds and experts in the indie business field got together to share their wisdom, network, and learn from one another. Beautifully hosted at the Crown Plaza in Ventura (a scene from Little Miss Sunshine was filmed here) right along the coast, the locale itself made it feel like a mini vacation.

Kudos to Delilah and Nicole of Patchwork . Their awesome idea to create and organize this event has ignited fire in many women who are eager to start or improve their crafty businesses. This event was impressively well organized and executed. Hard to believe it was the first one. It was incredible to be around like minded women.

It all started with the goodie bag (by Sweet Perversion). The saying on it alone was worth a chuckle. Notice the stylish, quirky fun zipper style lanyard (by Coats and Clark) to hold our conference badges. So much fun!

WOW! Chock full of goodies; a stuffed Monkey (thanks Mail Chimp), snacks and magazines, a fabulous water bottle and more. It was an amazing assortment of gifts to help us through the day(s) and beyond. From the very first moment of being welcomed creativity flowed.

Great business classes, sweet craft workshops, and simply meeting other like minded people was refreshing and inspirational. There was much to be digested, absorbed, and celebrated.

Amy Tan (of Amy Tangerine) led a workshop on creating mini books. A hands on class, we used materials from from her American Crafts line. Amy shared her business journey with us as we worked not the books. Inspiring to hear of ones success in the creative field.

A nice complement to the crafty start, Nicole Yasbinder (of Queen Puff Puff) shared her perspectives of owning a small business. Having a depth of advice, she taught us about protecting our business and what is necessary to become a seller. It was inevitable to be inspired by how she balances all her projects and still handle the business needs with grace. My mind was stretched as I started considering how I might move beyond "hobbyist" to "seller".

Lunch was at the Ventura city hall. A beautiful venue to lunch on organic sandwiches. Nom nom!

It was clear that many participants were hungry for the business classes, wanting expert advice on how best to run their businesses. Avoiding food coma, a large crowd of ladies squeezed into a conference room for discussion about pricing. Very impressed by Lauren Venell and her expertise on the subject matter. Her confidence in her business and services inspired the need for confidence in me. A great reminder that it's important ton know what one offers to their customers and even more so, knowing what one is worth.

My friend whom I attended this conference with suggested the next speaker. I was stuck, not sure which session to go to next so I followed her suggestion to attend Gustavo Arellano who is a writer at OC Weekly.

It was inspiring to hear about his success becoming a writer despite not having the journalistic background his field usually requires. He's gained fame through his column "Ask a Mexican". Though my business is not at the level of needing formal PR right now it was refreshing to hear that perhaps someday I will need to tap into what I've learned and put it into practice. The biggest lesson is to promote ourselves. Not to shy away from all our achievements and creative work but rather to know why what we are doing is important. And, BLOG. Blogging and social networking is absolutely necessary for success today.

The day ended on a high note for me. With dreams of becoming a photographer and through the practice of snapping my products I am always searching for ways to improve my blog photos. RadMegan fabulously went through tips and tricks for best blog photography. It was encouraging to hear that some of my techniques are on the right track. Her added suggestions have given me new ideas to try to make my craft better. Can't wait to try it.

Upon reflection I wish I could have stayed for two days and not just one. It would have been amazing to participate in other workshops, like the ones put on by Etsy. I'll have to wait until next year.

Thanks Delilah and Nicole for bringing all of us together. Fantastic job!


  1. SO glad that you had a great time at Craftcation! loved your summaries of everything and that you liked city hall-beautiful building isn't it??
    hope to see you next year and THANK YOU for attending :)

  2. Great recap Juliana! I had a blast sitting down and scrapbooking with you!