Oh My! Maker’s Retreat: October 17-22, 2014

2014 Maker's Retreat, Oh My! Handmade, Hollyhock As makers and entrepreneurs we create something from nothing every day. Our hands make logos and lunches, business plans and works of art. We craft our dreams into reality and have started an entire maker movement but we don’t make time to gather often enough!

This October you are invited to be part of creating the first community led Maker’s Retreat on Cortes Island, BC. We will spend a week at the handmade Hollyhock campus, eating fresh food from their organic gardens and exploring the wilderness of old forests and gorgeous beaches. This is a chance to create the retreat you’ve always wanted, surrounded with beauty and the company of creative makers.

Instead of days packed with panels, experts, or sponsors there will be us- the makers, because we are more than enough. We will fill our days with adventures, brainstorming + planning sessions, collaborative art projects, peer led classes and discussions. There will be plenty of time for rest, solo-explorations, and making new friendships.  On the last full day of the retreat we will plan and set up a Maker’s Market where we can sell, swap and share our work/services and all we’ve learned with each other and the Cortes community.

2014 Maker's Retreat, Oh My! Handmade, Hollyhock

Click the cover or here to download the retreat overview & full schedule.

Make Your Own Retreat

We’re doing things the OMHG way at this retreat: community + collaboration = creativity

Peer Led Classes: You are the leaders too! On our first full day we’ll gather to brainstorm the retreat we want to be part of and make a big visual list with all the things we want to learn, do and share. One of those things will be listing our skills and signing up to create the schedule for Monday’s classes.  You’ll get a workbook when you sign up to help you map out your class before you share it with the group. Classes are small groups of up to 15 people and 1 hour long, they shouldn’t require special tools or training beyond pens & paper or what can be found outside.

Community Catalyst: Similar to a Pecha Kucha or Lightning talk on Sunday everyone who signed up will each get 10 minutes to share their work, project and story then invite people to collaborate and support their vision. There will be a hands on storytelling workshop on Saturday to help everyone get ready to share their story regardless of their level of confidence.

Maker’s Market: On our last full day of retreat we’ll put everything we’ve learned into practice to create and throw a mini market that is open to the Cortes community! Makers are encouraged to bring a selection of their work to sell and service based businesses can bring promotional materials or books for their tables. We’ll learn important cooperation and leadership skills as we plan, set up, and run this pop up market that will help us get creative in our own communities when we leave!

Open Business/Maker Chats: Open round table talks based on the #OMHG chat format. These are loosely facilitated chats on the topics we generated as a group on Saturday.


2014 Maker’s Retreat Leaders

hr_headshot Retreat host & leader, Jessika Hepburn:
As  cheerleader of creative goodness for Oh My! Handmade I’ve been using my community building super powers since 2010 to connect and collaborate with thousands of makers and entrepreneurs from all over the world. Creating welcoming places where knowledge, support and meaningful relationships grow is what I do every day for OMHG & am delighted at this chance to spend a week hosting and guiding this retreat.  Read my full bio.   2014 Maker's Retreat, Dyana Valentine

Oracle-in-Residence, Dyana Valentine:
I’ve been a coach and creative process facilitator for 13 years, and have worked with thousands of creative, intellectuals, and movement leaders. The Woke Up KnowingTM Experience is an intuitive leadership process that serves as a compass for your best work. From the individual and group experiences to public talks, participants have attributed their Woke Up KnowingTM Experience to six-figure product launches and radical career, life, and relationship shifts. Meet Dyana. 

2014 Maker's Retreat, Karen LePage

Maker & Mender, Karen LePage: 
I’m a gentle-living, hard-rocking, granola-geek-like, yoga-practicing, veggie-eating, wife-mom-friend-sister-daughter-artist. I can make anything. I ride a motorcycle and I have climbed mountains, both literal and figurative. I co-host crafty meetups every month, design sewing patterns, teach sewing classes, volunteer in the Ann Arbor & Detroit crafty communities, and make bespoke garments for people who are sensitive, hard-to-fit, or too individual for off the rack clothes. I love teaching almost as much as I love learning. Meet Karen.


New leaders will be added as registration grows, please check back often or contact Jessika if you are interested in attending & leading a longer class or hands on workshop!


An internationally renowned centre for learning and well-being, Hollyhock impacts personal, professional and social development through over 100 programs, and when space allows, offers visitors a fantastic British Columbia island holiday, where you’ll enjoy wonderful Cortes Island accommodation. Our spectacular natural setting on Cortes Island is an ideal backdrop for transformative experiences. We are linked intrinsically to our ecology, assisting us in providing a comfortable and safe environment where people can deeply connect with others, gain creative insights, and renew hope that a better world is possible. Founded in 1983, Hollyhock is Canada’s leading centre for lifelong learning, but you can also think of it as a “refuge for your soul”, a place that allows you access to what matters, or simply time to rest, play and achieve wellness in BC.

Click here for the full 2014 Hollyhock Catalog  & here to learn more about the centre.


Creating OMHG has been a joy because of the connections and meaningful friendships we’ve found and nurtured here. Friendships, businesses, babies, and more have started and grown with support and tenderness thanks to this site-no one is more thankful for this then I am! Our community helped me build a business and life founded on cooperation and compassion. This community taught me to trust my instincts and develop confidence so that I could become truly successful not just as a business person but as a human being. Through OMHG I’ve been able to support my whole family through difficult times and give us the simple stability and home we’ve always longed for all while staying true to the ethics of freely giving support and knowledge. Beyond that, this community has brought brightness and love to my daily work, because of it I am a more whole person and a much happier maker. These friendships are without question my biggest business and life investment which has been repaid with interest a thousand times. I want to give back in a bigger way to this community by bringing us together for a week of soaking up that goodness, this retreat is it!

Are you coming?! I’d love to hear your thoughts, questions, comments & suggestions in the comments-what kind of retreat do YOU dream of making?


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