Have a passion for crafts and hope to make a business-go of it? The Midwest Craft Con has brought together a weekend’s worth of information, advice, and workshops to help you take your crafty business to the next level.
The second year for the event (the first was in 2011), the Midwest Craft Con has been brought back by a trio of entrepreneurial crafty women across the state of Ohio: Brit Charek of Akron, Ohio, who organizes Crafty Mart, Grace Dobush of Cincinnati, Ohio, who co-organizes Crafty Supermarket, and Megan Green of Columbus, Ohio, who organizes Craftin’ Outlaws.
“Olivera Bratich, owner of Wholly Craft, held the first event (Midwest Craft Caucus) during the summer of 2011, a two-day event held at ECDI,” says Green. “It had 100 attendees, about 20 speakers and the keynote was a representative from Etsy. We are so very thankful to Olivera for graciously allowing us to revive her event and allowing us to rebrand it under our leadership.”
Many of the attendees and speakers from the first event had been asking when there would be another one.
“I’ve known Grace for many years as we have each attended each others events,” says Green. “While I had heard of Brit’s show in Akron, our paths never crossed until Grace introduced us by email. Brit had just turned Crafty Mart into a non-profit and wanted to work on offerig courses and classes for makers. She then reached out to Grace who had known my intentions for wanting to bring back Midwest Craft Con.”
The three got together in California – Charek was headed there for a conference, Dobush for a wedding, so Green said ‘why not?’ and the first planning meeting was held in Palm Springs. The telecommunications would continue as Dobush spent the summer in Germany.
“Thanks to Google docs, online video conferences, and the longest text thread imaginable, we planned the conference over the course of 10 months across the world,” says Green. “It’s been a wonderful experience. As we each plan large events in our own cities, we’ve been able to apply those skills very easily to planning Midwest Craft Con.”
A return to small manufacturing and handmade has been on the upswing over the past decade, fueled by the interest in supporting local businesses, and by the ease of finding niche crafters all over with the popularity of Etsy and other websites.
During the Midwest Craft Con, you’ll hear from experts in the craft movement, talking about relaunching a career, the best tips for email newsletters, the future of handmade, managing time, staying in love with your business, how to wholesale, tips on packaging, how to get your craft show boutique noticed, building a craft community, best ways to approach social media, how to publish that craft book, what you should know about bookkeeping, how to build retail relationships, what to know about marketing, and tips to know from the legal standpoint.
“We as crafters carry many concerns outside of regular business owners,” says Green. “Not only do we house all the same roles as other small business’s (sales, accounting, overhead, marketing) but we also house the production and manufacturing of the products we create.”
Attendees will have a chance to explore a few crafty shops throughout Columbus on the first day during a five-hour bus tour. Fun things sprinkled throughout the event include craft activities and time to network and socialize.
Ticket sales for the Midwest Craft Con close on Tuesday, February 16, 2016 at 11:59pm. The three-day conference ticket is $249. The conference is being held Friday to Sunday, February 19-21, 2016, at the Hyatt Regency inside the Greater Columbus Convention Center at 350 N High St, Columbus, OH 43215.
There are a few tickets available for exchange, email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
For tickets and more information, visit Midwestcraftcon.wordpress.com.