Gather up October 9-13 and retreat to Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC for the second Maker’s Retreat – learn from fellow makers, develop new skills, cultivate creativity, and be part of a global movement. Families, teams, and makers of all ages or abilities are invited to join this hands-on community retreat!

We live in a chaotic world that often values hustle over simple homemade, handmade goodness. When we gather with others who are crafting meaningful lives to share our skills and support we discover what is possible. Join us this October and leave with a reinforced conviction that making matters.

 Our program includes:

  • Hands on creative workshops & projects for all skill levels
  • Peer support from fellow makers
  • A balance of group projects & independent time
  • Community activities (beach bonfires and island adventures)
  • Group discussions on the challenges and successes of making a living and a life
  • Open space for co-working or to spend exploring the grounds and island
  • Homemade community meals from the Hollyhock kitchens
  • Storytelling and skill sharing

Hosted on the handmade Hollyhock campus this gathering is for you if you make things, make change, or just want to make more goodness in your life. Bring your families, engage your young people, learn from your elders, inspire each other and yourself to live full lives, rich with meaning and making.

Register for the 2015 Maker’s Retreat

OR CALL HOLLYHOCK at 800-933-6339

Maker’s Retreat is hosted by Jessika Hepburn – community organizer and creative entrepreneur. I started my first handmade business in 2003 and as founder of OMHG have received global recognition for my work organizing makers online and bringing communities together offline. Since hosting our 2014 retreat I’ve been consulting with Etsy and coordinating #EtsyMakerCities in Halifax and Charlottetown. Over the last year, from coast to coast, I have invested in communities and supported thousands of diverse makers while exploring what it means to live a present life through #365DaysOfPresence. This summer I coordinated over 40 community events in two provinces to connect creative entrepreneurs and discuss how cities can change the way we buy, sell, and manufacture goods locally and globally. I came home to full time organizing for the Etsy: Made in Canada market with Maritime Makers and the Etsy team I co-captain.  September 26th we are hosting one of Halifax’s largest outdoor selling events at a historic downtown location. After a year of making movements I’m ready to wind down into a harvest retreat together. I started my first business on Cortes Island and still know some of the best local places – from the perfect spot to watch the sun set to why a visit to the Free Store at the Dump is a must! Learn more about me here. 

HH15-cat-small-20 ABOUT HOLLYHOCK

An internationally renowned centre for learning and well-being, Hollyhock impacts personal, professional and social development through over 100 programs. Hollyhock offers 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 on Cortes Island in British Columbia, 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. Learn more about Hollyhock.

If you are unable to attend due to financial reasons consider applying for the Hollyhock scholarship fund, email me at, or use the contact form below to contact me and see how I can support you in coming to this event.

Register for the 2015 Maker’s Retreat OR call Hollyhock at 800-933-6339

Download a one page PDF on the 2015 Maker’s Retreat 



Our events are built on the belief that if we put our heads, hearts and hands to work we can make anything but if we put them to work together we can make a movement. We all have unique talents and experiences to share and the power to do just about anything when we cooperate.

In 2014 we wrote the agenda, led the workshops, and covered vast stretches of conversation about making from the theoretical to the intimate details of what we’ve learned as makers. We made trips to the beach, walks in the woods to forage for inspiration, time to learn calligraphy, papier mache, needle felting, fibre + dye experiments, late nights crafting and talking around the campfire, watching double rainbows and weaving lifelong friendships.

Many of us can feel disconnected from who we are and our place in the world, the role of makers and creators is to show how we can weave those common threads by handcrafting connection in our lives and communities. Making a life of meaning is hard work, we need community to patch where we’ve worn thin, our 2014 retreat did just that and left us remembering why making matters.

Arianne of Aeolidia shares her participant recap of our retreat on Academy of Handmade  / More photos and summary of 2014. 

Questions, Ideas? Contact Us!

I’d love to hear from you! If you have questions or ideas for our 2015 gathering or would like to host an event in your community please use the form below. If you are interested in sponsoring or partnering with the Maker’s Retreat please email

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