Craftcation Saves the Day for Indie Businesses!

craftcation indie business & DIY conference
Editor’s note: Here at OMHG we are all about the power of community and what is more powerful then a chance for creatives to come together, share knowledge, and make new friends? Not much! Which is why I jumped on the chance to invite Nicole Stevenson (aka: Random Nicole), co-founder of Craftcation Indie Business & DIY Conference to tell us the story of how the event was created + how we can join in all the fun! 
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I started Random Nicole (my crafty handmade clothing and accessories company) twelve years ago in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Hollywood that I shared with four other creative ladies. My desire to pay my rent doing something I loved (making little wooden paintings, purses and tees) motivated me.
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I had no idea what I was doing…no clue how to silkscreen, where to sell my designs, if I needed a business license, how to price my wares or build a website. I learned everything the hard way—lots of mistakes and inefficient business strategies. I sought out help from a tiny network of other creatives who had the same mindset—sharing resources would not only help our individual businesses grow but also build the handmade community.
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Twelve years later, I’m still creating one-of-a-kind goods for Random Nicole but also play an active role in furthering the handmade movement. In 2007, I partnered with my aunt, Delilah Snell, and started Patchwork Indie Art & Crafts Festival. Our goal was to give emerging indie businesses a launch pad for start-up with low booth fees.
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Patchwork has grown from 20 vendors in a parking lot to six shows a year in four Southern California cities with 130+ vendors at each show. Delilah & I noticed Patchwork vendors actively networking and sharing resources at shows and began thinking of a way to gather them together with industry professionals for a weekend retreat. A year later, Craftcation was born.
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Craftcation is a four-day indie business and DIY craft conference in Ventura, CA on March 22-25, 2012. Craftcation provides resources for indie business owners to start, maintain and grow their art, craft or food-centered businesses.
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The conference features lectures and panel discussions on starting a crafty business, maximizing social media, blogging, in’s & out’s of indie craft shows, Etsy, wholesaling, merchandising, accounting, legal issues, branding, website design, marketing on a budget and more.  Attendees that possess a love of the handmade (but don’t have a handmade business) can build DIY skills in a variety of workshops including sewing, canning & preserving, cheese making, needle arts, jewelry, embroidery and bookbinding. Delilah and I are honored to have some of our crafty heroes like Jenny Hart (Sublime Stitching), Kathy Cano-Murillo (Crafty Chica), Cathy Callahan (Cathy of California) and Aida Mollenkamp (host on The Food Network) along with 30 more presenters!  We will also have a ton of community events including a BBQ social, happy hour meet & greet, morning yoga and an 80’s dance party.
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Our hope is that Craftcation will ignite the entrepreneurial business spirit and strengthen the skills of both seasoned business owners and newcomers to indie craft business. I know if I had the chance to attend Craftcation when I started Random Nicole, I would have been there in a split second and even now as a veteran craftepreneur there’s still so much to learn.

For more information about Craftcation or to register please visit us at www.craftcationconference.com

You can also connect with Craftcation by visiting them on Twitter and Facebook 

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