I'm still basking in the creative glow that was Craftcation 2016. I went with one purpose; to meet other makers and small business owners. And wow... did I find my people!! I left the weekend with a bucket full of memories and a group of fantastic makers that I can't wait to keep in touch with. We were already planning our experiences for Craftcation 2017!
For those of you wondering, what the heck is Craftcation, and is it right for me, here's a quick synopsis of what I got from Craftcation. But you should know, I only attended a fraction of the available courses (there are 8-10 class options during each time slot). The experience is similar to those books we all used to read, Choose Your Own Adventure, where you can decide what kind of experience you have. There are classes for crocheters, quilters, bloggers, e-commerce business owners, wholesalers, and "I just wanna learn some new crafts and have a good time"-ers. And that's still only scratching the surface! I wish I could describe how amazing Craftcation was, but that's kinda what makes it amazing. Craftcation is so many wonderful things for people that like to create, especially for those who have turned it into a business.
The best way I can think to summarize the weekend is to share the highlights. The moments that are sticking with me everyday as I move forward alone on my business journey.
- Attending the welcome seminar and seeing how open the organizers of the event are, how willing they are to share their journey, hope and fears for their own business, and help others in their own journeys. They truly set the tone for an incredibly welcoming and warm environment.
- Meeting a few fellow Craftcationers on Day 1 who were also attending the event alone, and becoming instant friends. From mai tais and leather tacos to wandering the halls of the Marriott to the Twilight Zone, I never expected to meet people so open to spending their Craftcation weekend with me.
- Listening to one of my idols, Emily McDowell, speak on opening night about her crazy business adventure. Then talking to her about how she ended up started her own company after leaving the advertising world (just like me) while trying not to fan-girl too hard. The icing on the cake was nerding out with her head of sales, Charlie Wright, about musicals and guerilla marketing (I still think the ambulance is a good idea, for the record) and how there's no such thing as an overnight success. I will see you at the National Stationery Show one year!
- Meeting Lela Barker and Shannon Miller from Lucky Break Consulting and laughing late into the night, every night, at the hotel bar. You ladies are my kind of people. Then I attended one of Lela's seminars on branding and holy moly was it an awakening! She took me to church with her passion and jam-packed knowledge sharing. She opened my eyes to a whole world of possibilities that I've never even considered. For anyone with questions about wholesale, pricing or branding, check out Lucky Break Consulting. They are the real deal!
I'm still only scratching the surface of my experience at Craftcation, but I can tell you it was truly life-changing. I rediscovered my fire, my reason for making. I discovered a whole new world of possibilities for my business, and that it's OK to make your own path that's right for you. If you're unsure if Craftcation is right for you, or if it's the right time for your business, I can assure you. Don't wait. Now is the right time. You won't regret it.