Maker’s Summit 2014: review

makers summit 2014

Maker’s Summit 2014…wow, where to begin? It was such a full, full day of learning, growing, and playing that I felt a bit overstimulated and needed a few days to absorb all I heard that day . So glad I took good notes that I can review as needed.

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As anticipated, this year was even better than last year. The amazing people who run Maker’s Summit did a great job putting everything together and making it all run smoothly. And the venue…set in a beautifully-refinished old mill. Everyone kept talking about how beautiful the light was streaming through the huge windows in this place. Definitely a perfect site for inspiration to germinate. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and learned a lot. I made some good connections and have a lot of ideas floating around in my head now.

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But can I be transparent with you? I also learned some things I don’t want to do. Susan Petersen from Freshly Picked shared her story, and I totally applaud her success and drive. But, I don’t want to be her. Honestly, she, and several others, repeatedly emphasized that to get where they are now, one will have to face long hours of work and time away from your kids. It’s not that I’m afraid of hard work, but I have been feeling a bit of a pull the last few weeks about the need to be fully present in my kids’ lives, and this re-affirmed my desire for that. My 2 boys are so little, and (as people keep telling me) this phase of their lives will go so quickly that I don’t want to look back and regret not spending time with them. So I have no grand and glorious plans to be the next big thing. And I’m ok with that.

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Celebrity sighting. 🙂 Rachel Faucett and Susan Petersen before their panel forum.

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Jordan Ferney with the opening presentation

On the other hand, I do want to be involved in the blogging/sewing world. So don’t fear that I’m going anywhere. I love this blogging community and am so happy to be a part of it. I’m hoping to use some practical things I learned this past weekend to grow this little blog and make it a better place for all of us involved! Here’s a few highlights I took away from the conference.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask for things you want
  • Be authentic
  • Internet is becoming image based, not text based
  • Orange and Pink are the most popular colors on Pinterest (who knew? 🙂 )
  • Note the difference between inspiration and imitation of others
  • Make your own stories!

makers summit 2014

makers summit 2014

awesome swag bag

I’ll leave you with some fun pictures of The Best Craft Party Ever- the after party of the conference…really it was tons of fun and a great time to kick back and relax and also actually spend some quality time talking with attendees. I met some very cool people and had fun picking their brains and learning tons! Also shout out to Rachel Faucett from Handmade Charlotte. She could be seen all night long talking with people, really investing in learning their stories, and giving out great wisdom and practical ideas for success. There were a variety of craft stations set up all around the room for the party and of course I HAD to get to each of them! Mission accomplished. Successful night.

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Sneak peek at the shirt I made myself for the conference… and also the only pic we managed to get together all night.

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Husband creating the perfect salt rub.

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Our little succulents that will hopefully take root and live good long lives!

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Screen-printing booth…always a popular place

makers summit 2014

Makers Summit

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Makers Summit. In their own words, the Makers Summit is “a one-day business conference for the art, craft, and design world” where you can “connect with fellow creatives while learning how to start or grow your creative business, hear practical advice from industry experts and participate in collective discussions.”

This conference was run by the same people who have run the Indie Craft Parade for the past 3 years. I knew that it would be a good conference but wasn’t sure that it would be worth it for me to attend. Thankfully my husband convinced me otherwise and I decided to try it out. It. Was. Amazing. The three main speakers were Stephen Fraser from Spoonflower, Kimm Alfonso from Etsy, and Grace Kang from Pink Olive. In addition, there were several discussion panels with various crafters/designers and chances for individual consultations with the speakers. I was inspired, challenged, motivated, and overall had tons of fun! How great to have the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with other indie crafters who were also seeking business direction and inspiration.

I plan on taking this week to think over the notes that I took and work on some plans for the future. Right now my brain is spinning with all the info that I absorbed and I am looking forward to mulling over it and developing some new ideas. I just happened to sit near Stephen Fraser for both lunch and dinner and really enjoyed hearing his Spoonflower story and getting to know him as a person. Everyone who came was so down to earth and willing to impart helpful tips and advice to those of us beginning our creative careers.

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Kimm’s speech: I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this Dr. Seuss quote!

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Very nice lunch table decor

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Amy Flurry explaining how to pitch yourself to a blogger or magazine editor during one of the discussion panels

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In addition to the Makers Summit, I also attended the after party also known as The Best Craft Party Ever. It was tons of fun and Ian was able to attend this with me so we got a fun date night in on the deal. We had a great dinner, letter pressed cards, screen printed tees, and made a terrarium and beeswax candles. It was quite the full day and I am totally exhausted now but it was worth it! Events like this make me feel so blessed to live in this great town where so many fellow crafters are working to create a larger arts community! I tried to take semi-decent phone pics throughout the day so that  I could give you a taste of what it was like…

Me looking quite preggers in that apron screenprinting my own tee.

the afterparty crowd- stolen from the hub’s Instagram feed 🙂