craftcation conference

I spent the last weekend at Craftcation in Ventura CA–it was amazing! 

I have been to a few events. Quite a few. Alot of which cost several hundred bucks to attend. And I even planned one, once upon a time (remember Art-Full Horizons last year?). They are difficult to plan, difficult to put on, difficult to please everyone, and a ton of work. And at the end of the day, it seems people walk away with alot of negatives to say and not alot of positives. It is just the reality.
Craftcation was different.

If they opened registration for Craftcation 2013 I would not eat the rest of the month so I could sign up. Okay, maybe not to that extreme but you get the picture.

Nicole and Delilah – photo by
Craftcation was organized by Delilah Snell and Random Nicole, two master crafters I got acquainted with through their craft fair, Patchwork, in Orange County. As soon as I got the email from Nicole talking about Craftcation I wanted to be involved. They generously handed me a little class slot and “social marketing for crafters” was born. It was so much fun to be a part of Craftcation and a total honor. I did not realize until I got there, until I met the attendees and other speakers, until I started taking the classes, how much of an honor it really was. I was way out of my element. Besides Delilah and Nicole I knew two other people  out the nearly 300 attendees and they were presenters (Amy Tangerine and The Crafty Chica). Luckily two local High Desert Crafters attended 2 of the 4 days but it was a shock to me nonetheless. I mean, I know some crafty people, right? How could it be there was this whole group of talented fun, unique, diverse, and inspiring people I had never even met?!

Our hotel, the Crowne Plaza, right on the beach!
Delilah and Nicole found them. They found all of the amazing presenters who were not only expert crafters but experts in their fields and had a PASSION for indie business. They found all the cool locations in Ventura for us to meet, learn, party, tour, and eat at. They found all of the fabulous yummy earthy, healthy, flavorful food we ate each of the 4 days. I mean, let's admit it: Food is one of the areas MOST events get totally WRONG. Not only was there alot of fabulously delicious food to choose from there were alternatives for almost every kind of allergy and diet. Gluten free? No prob! Lactose intolerant? No problem! On a diet? No problem! Vegan? No prob!

So I digress.

The point is this event impressed me. And I am the world's biggest skeptic so that is saying ALOT. 

Se Reed's Awesome WordPress 1.0 Class
 I was so upset at the pieces I missed here and there. Each session I had to bite my nails to choose between Se Reed's awesome SEO class or the etsy team's Etsy 2.0 class or an amazing class about using social marketing from RadMegan or a FABULOUS branding class by Ali Zeno or the founder of Classic Hardware sharing her journey from the kitchen table to a BRAND!!!!! I bounced from room to room trying to absorb as much as I could. I talked to everyone I could. I have become very confident over the last few years but I was intimidated by this crowd. These people KNEW THEIR STUFF! And they weren't afraid to share it!!! It was a wonderful learning experience for me. And dammit, I missed lunch one day!! LOL 

This is City Hall where we had seminars, classes, and all of our meals.Perry Mason was filmed in one of the very rooms we assembled in…

I did get to cook lunch with 7 other ladies and Aida Mollenkamp which was pretty cool. And super yummy! I can't wait to make these recipes for my family!!!

We made soka in the oven and then made all these fabulous toppings to go on it as well as some delish sides!

It was insanely yummy and yes, I got seconds! We all did!

For my class I shared some techniques I use to try to balance (ha, balance!) social marketing with business. I have taken the road to become more of an expert in social marketing each day and with that, my focus shifted from crafting to SM. I enjoy it. But we all don't need to be spending 16, okay 18, okay, really 20 hours a day on Facebook like me in order to market our businesses. I shared some strategies I have shared with other etsy and small biz owners for working social marketing into your week/day until it becomes routine and second nature. Want some help with this? Hit me up through hippo media :) Yeah, I am coming full circle with this dream and hope to help others make their businesses successful without having to become a slave to the computer.

I was a bad photographer and most of my pics are with my phone. I find that sometimes I am always behind the camera and not experiencing things so I wanted to try to be able to fully focus my attention on the event and the people there. I had a great time but I have little to show you. Just know that the event is awesome.

We toured galleries and local businesses in Ventura with a representative from the city on the last day to get a feel for what it was like to do business in Ventura.

This art gallery and studio space is in an old mattress factory–they have photos from the factory in the great room in the center of the studio spaces.

If you have a small or indie business…

If you want to turn your craft into a business…

If you want to grow creatively and get out of your comfort-zone….

If you want to take your business from success to THRIVING….

…sign up on the Craftcation Facebook Page now. Sign up for their newsletter. And then sign up for Craftcation 2013. I will see you there!

For more amazing photos of the event, please check out photographers Coco Gallery.

Author: Jennifer Priest

It started with jewelry, beading, sewing, home decor, painting, basket weaving, pottery, and cross-stitch. Marry that to an entrepreneurial spirit & at 9 years old a girl is selling her wares at craft fairs as far as her parents and grandparents would drive her. These days, Jennifer enjoys crafts of all genres from sewing to scrapbooking to jewelry with a little dabbling in the mixed media world. Her style is approachable and she wants everyone who sees her work to feel that they too can embrace creativity and make their home and life beautiful.

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2 thoughts on “Craftcation on the Biz Side

  1. Once again I must say you Girls in Ca. have it happening! Looks like it was a great event!
    Can’t wait to see what you do next!

    Posted on March 30, 2012 at 4:19 am
  2. This was such an amazing event and I am so glad we were able to spend some time talking, you are always so inspiring to me! I am definitely ready for the next Craftcation! :)

    Posted on March 30, 2012 at 4:33 am