CRAFTCATION a business + makers conference

Craftcation | Ventura, California

Craftcation first came across my path in 2014, and I’ve been dying to go ever since. This was finally my year! It took me 4 flights and a night in the Phoenix airport, but it was all worth it.

The conference is a perfect mix of strategic business seminars and crafting workshops and is THE place to meet your community in person. I’ve sometimes wondered in the past how much I’d actually have in common with the people with whom I correspond on, for example, Instagram. As it turns out, a lot! I can say for certain that a number of the people I met, such as Melissa Quaal from A Happy Stitch and Anne Weil from Flax & Twine, are definitely friends now (amongst other amazing new friends!)

Here’s what I did during the four days in Ventura:

Biked along the beach and dunes. The conference hotel was right near San Buenaventura State Beach, which has the perfect bike path bordering the beach and dunes between the hotel and the town center. It was so nice to bike on flat surface and feel the wind in my hair!

biking in Ventura

Jessica Marquez from Miniature RhinoJessica sells embroidery patterns and kits, but is a photographer by education (and also by trade). I took iPhone Product Photography and Sashiko mending from her and thoroughly enjoyed both classes. I was able to implement my new photography and photo editing skills immediately. And Sashiko mending is an easy, meditative and decorative way of mending clothes that I look forward to using more.

sashiko mending

The Power of Pinterest with Mallory WhitfieldI love Pinterest! I have long loved Pinterest for all the inspiration it gives me, mainly in the kitchen. Now, I am hoping to love Pinterest for all the traffic it will bring to my site. I’ve heard about this being a huge driver of traffic to other small business owners, so it was great to get to learn more about how that works and how I can apply it to halfmoon ATELIER.

sailboat screenprint

Screen Printing with Jenny KratenAs a child, I once took a screen printing class in the park. It’s something I’ve been wanting to try again for a long time, and this was the perfect time! This is definitely something I’m hoping to do more of in my free time in the future.

Creative Business Planning with Mei PakI receive Mei’s newsletter, so it was nice to get to meet and hear more about marketing strategy from her in person. She’s not even 30 and has already got two successful businesses under her belt, so she knows what she’s talking about!

lifeguard house Ventura, CA

Decorated a Floppy Hat with Rachel Mae Smith from the Crafted Life & Sarah Khandjian of Sarah HeartsThis was just a fun, low-key craft-y crafterson moment - a bunch of ladies decorating floppy sun hats with paint. Good, clean fun!

Indigo Dyeing with Anna JoyceThis is another one of those things I’ve been dying to try! I LOVE blue, as I believe is quite apparent, and I love how the result will be different each and every time. But also beautiful each and every time. It’s a no-fail! Anna is also somebody I’ve met in the past and has a very inspiring story. Coincidentally, we also have a mutual friend.

indigo dyeing

Himmeli Mobile making with Erin WilderErin taught us how to make these beautiful, minimalist Himmeli Mobiles. I love the simplicity and architectural look to these…but that they are also really easy to make. We made these with black straws, which you can also paint a bit to give a colorfully edgy feel. But, you could also get copper tubes cut and make them with rope or silk threads and turn these into design magic!

Wood Burned Hand Lettering with Emily Carr: Again, this is something that I’d done as a child. We even had our own wood burning kit at home. It was so fun to re-learn this craft!

wood burning

I’d gone to Craftcation with the idea that this was a once-in-a-lifetime event. Well, not so! I’m thinking it should be an annual business expense now. Hopefully one that is partially covered as I am hoping to return in 2018 as an instructor!

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