Craftcation 2017


I’m sitting in a hotel bar, eating some tacos, and drinking a very lovely beer.  I just finished my last event at Craftcation 2017, and this is my time to process, defuse, and “come down” from the creative and learning high I’ve been on for the past four days.

I’m watching attendees huddle in the lobby, hugging, laughing, and saying tearful, reluctant goodbyes.  Even the hotel staff seem to be a little sad that the craziness is dwindling down.  (Though the bar staff here in the restaurant will likely utter a sigh of relief that they’re finally going to get a breather.)

In a little while, a friend is going to join me, and we’re going to put together a plan to collaborate and support each other over the next year.  I’ve started a business, and she’s doing the same, and we each have some specific skills and experiences that we’re going to barter to each other’s mutual benefit.  Cause that’s what Craftcationers do.

This was my third year at Craftcation.  Every year is remarkably the same and remarkably different.  The organizers have honed in on this amazing sweet spot where crafters, entrepreneurs, teachers, presenters, motivators, extroverts, introverts, experts, and students all come together and swirl around in a perfect storm of collaboration, support, discovery, and excitement.

That level of energetic community building has not diminished at all over the years that I’ve been coming.  I think anyone who has attended or organized a convention of any size or topic will appreciate just what kind of accomplishment that is.  All of that credit goes to the show runners, Nicole Stevenson and Delilah Snell (and their amazing staff of Managers and Volunteers) and their skill in maintaining the delicate balance required to keep this wheel-within-a-wheel-within-a-wheel spinning.

At the same time, my personal experience has changed and grown from year to year.  My first year, I was thinking about starting a business and was looking for the inspiration, knowledge, and confidence to bolster my little dream.  I received all of those things in spades.  My second year, I had a very specific list of topics that I need to learn more about, and was looking affirmation that the steps I had already taken were the right ones.  Again, needs totally met and then some.

This year, frankly, I was looking for some soul repair.  I needed a refueling, personally and professionally.  A massive group therapy session was required.  And once again, I got exactly what I was looking for.

It’s a magical thing.  Seriously…I’m pretty sure it’s actual magic.



I’m home now and there’s laundry to do, dishes to wash, and the refrigerator is looking pretty wasteland-y.  I’m probably not going to get too much done outside of watching an episode of Girls, cleaning out my backpack, and finishing this paragraph.  That’s o.k.  Tomorrow I move forward with the baby steps.  What needs to get done next, then next, then next…so on and so on, until it’s time for Craftcation 2018 and the next round of inspirational magic.  See you then.

#Craftcation17 – Presenter Spotlight, Lela Barker

The presenters at Craftcation ARE THE BOMB!  This week let’s take a closer look at Lela Barker…a amazing business woman and one of the most entertainingly down-to-earth presenters I’ve had the privilege of learning from.

lela-barker When it comes to teaching creatives how to build an empire, Lela Barker has a simple philosophy: beneath every successful maker lies a solid business foundation.

As the founder of Bella Lucce, an award-winning international beauty brand distributed through 1,300 spas and the mind behind Lucky Break Consulting, Lela is wildly passionate about helping creative entrepreneurs bring their products into the marketplace. Drawing on more than a decade of experience as a successful maker, Lela’s magic lies in distilling complicated business concepts down to their essence, especially in the areas of product pricing, brand development and wholesale strategy. She’s seen firsthand the power of nailing down these important facets of business as creatives strive to build sustainable brands that ignite their passion, put food on the table and make the world a more beautiful place. One client recently christened her the “Mother Theresa of Makers” while another described her “as the best business decision I’ve ever made.”

Lela’s products and personal story have been featured in more than ninety print publications worldwide and her “LBU: Secrets to Wholesale Success” program sells out within days each time registration opens, welcoming emerging entrepreneurs from Australia to California. She teaches frequently, from conference rooms in Austria to cruise ships in the Caribbean and mud huts in Africa and *almost* everywhere in between.

When not arming makers with tactical business approaches, you’ll find Lela collecting passport stamps, perfecting the ultimate lemon meringue pie and clinging tightly to her sanity while raising four children. She believes in girl power, second chances, fab shoes and dark chocolate. Lela lives in South Carolina with her family and a small army of pets.

Via: Craftcation Presenters

Get your tickets to #Craftcation17 today and find your favorite new sources of inspiration!

Imagine Craftcation

Imagine a place where you:
-Explore your creativity and learn new skills
-Are surrounded by a community of passionate, welcoming, talented creatives
-Have all the tools you need to start the business of your dreams
-Get the resources to up-level your existing business and work smarter not harder

That place is Craftcation!

Registration opens this week on October 13.  Don’t miss out.


Find Your Group – Craftcation 2017

I have never been to a Craftcation where I didn’t walk away with a Contact List full of new friends and advisors and cohorts.  Every corner of this conference is populated with people who understand what it means to be extroverted, introverted, timid, bold, gregarious, shy, ambitious, content, confident, and uncertain.

Regardless of your own personal goals or personality type, you will find YOUR group of awesome people who are on the same path as you.

Craftcation takes place April 27-30, 2017, in the beach town of Ventura, California, (about an hour north of Los Angeles). Craftcation utilizes Ventura’s historic downtown buildings and businesses as well as the beach for special events like networking meet & greets, cocktail socials, a pop-up shop, opening celebration, yoga, as well as food and art tours.
Registration opens 10.13.16 and the first 50 people to register get $50 off!

Do What You Love

You might already know what you love to do.  You might still be searching for that particular epiphany.  Either way, Craftcation is the place for you.

  • April 27-30, 2017 at the Ventura Beach Marriott in Ventura, California.
  • Registration opens 10.13.16.  (The 1st 50 people to register get $50 off.)
  • All the details @ Dear Handmade Life.  More via Facebook (@patchworkshow), Twitter (@dearhandmadelif), and Instagram (@dearhandmadelife).


Being Creative

Why attend Craftcation?  The obvious answers might seem to all be related to business education.
Oh, but there’s so much more to it than that.  Learn how to do something new and creative.  Hang out with awesome, creative people.
Are you sensing a theme here?  BE CREATIVE.  No prerequisites…experience…skills…education…goals…resume…required.
Just bring yourself and get inspired.  You’ll be glad you did.
  • April 27-30, 2017 at the Ventura Beach Marriott in Ventura, California.
  • Registration opens 10.13.16.  (The 1st 50 people to register get $50 off.)
  • All the details are here…Dear Handmade Life.  More via Facebook (@patchworkshow), Twitter (@dearhandmadelif), and Instagram (@dearhandmadelife).
CRAFTCATION 2015-0266.jpg

Craftcation is Coming!

(Believe me, this is much better news than “Winter is Coming”.)

My first experience with Craftcation was in Spring of 2015.  I went looking for something that might educate, inspire, and propel me into starting my own crafting business.  I had the most timid of goals, a very sketchy level of self-confidence, and an absolutely no idea where to start.

By the end of 2015 I had flipped the switch on my Etsy store and put together a nice handful of product to sell.  I was taking my wares to comic conventions.  I was going to a local comic store once a month to cross-stitch with an amazing group of geeky crafters.

I went back to Craftcation in 2016.  Who would expect to get a second dose of inspiration and support equal to the first?  But that’s exactly what I got…and then some.  This year sees new projects, new ideas, new sales, and new inspiration.

Am I headed back to Craftcation in 2017?  There’s no question…

I’m going to have a lot more to say about Craftcation between now and April 2017.  All you need to know for now is that your chance to register is fast approaching.

  • April 27-30, 2017 at the Ventura Beach Marriott in Ventura, California.
  • Registration opens 10.13.16.  (The 1st 50 people to register get $50 off.)
  • All the details are here…Dear Handmade Life.  More via Facebook (@patchworkshow), Twitter (@dearhandmadelif), and Instagram (@dearhandmadelife).