Crafty, Indie Inspiration, aka Craftcation

making_ideas_happen_craftcation_2013I was delighted to be a part of the second Craftcation Indie Business and DIY Conference a two weeks ago! Over four days, I presented three sessions, participated in two panels, held open office hours, and helped live-stream one of the panel sessions. I also participated in two sessions where I learned all about kombucha and how to make infused liqueurs and bitters!

It was a busy four days!

Along with all the teaching and the learning, I was able to meet and talk to an incredible amount of Craftcation attendees. As a freelancer, I often work alone and as a techie, a good portion of my colleagues are male, so being able to connect with these intelligent, creative women is beyond inspiring to me. I’m still distilling all of the goodness.

As I promised my session attendees, I will be posting my session notes here in the coming days, but first, I want to highlight a few of the awesome people I met or reconnected with at this year’s conference!

  • Tiffany Han, Tiffany Han Coaching
    I am thrilled to have met Tiffany this year. Her presentation, about developing a post-Craftcation plan to put all the crafty inspiration to good use, was the talk before my WordPress II class. I had been at my open tech office hours so I missed the presentation itself, but as I walked into the room, I could tell everyone was effectively *on fire* from her talk. The room was buzzing with excitement and energy! Apparently, that’s not a fluke, either …. her work as a business and life coach has earned her the nicknames “Professional Yoda” and “Ballistic Missile of Encouragement”.
  • Hannah Crum, Kombucha Kamp
    I am a bit obsessed with kombucha, but I’ve never made it, so I was beyond excited there was an entire session dedicated to kombucha. The class was taught by the passionate and knowledgable Hannah Crum, aka The Kombucha Mamma, who not only talked about kombucha, but explained a lot of things about body chemistry, bacteria, food history and a wee hint of social awareness (my personal fave) along the way. I was enthralled (and not just because we tasted a whole array of deeeelicious kombucha samples!). I hope to attend one of her day-long kombucha kamps in LA soon and plan to start making my own kombucha as soon as I get my first SCOBY!
  • Tara Gardiner, Gardiner Connections
    Tara does marketing and branding strategies with her company Gardiner Connections. She and I were part of the How to Hire a Professional panel, and her quiet intelligence impressed me from the start. She gave sound advice that I felt was quite valuable, while still managing to promote her services and value, without being sales-y. That takes skill. She was also Social Media Ambassador for Craftcation (along with Linsi Brownson), and with 300 attendees tweeting, instagramming, facebooking and pinteresting all weekend, keeping up on that was no easy task … but she made it look that way.
  • Linsi Brownson, Spark Collaborative
    Linsi, the creative director, brand strategist and founder of Spark Collaborative, has an infectiously positive, fun, and upbeat energy. As Social Media Ambassador, she was all over the event, posting pictures form every panel, retweeting comments, favoriting instagrams … the fact that she was able to do that and still look up from her phone from time to time, well, that deserves some props. Craftcation’s social media presence this year was awesome!
  • Ana Monzano, Ana Apple
    Ana is a seriously talented designer and business woman who has taken her love of craft to another level. With her brand Ana Apple she has created an eco-friendly line of “family-friendly” clothing for kids, from bow-tied onesies to toddler tees. Her cute and friendly and slightly feisty clothing reflects her personality, and she just moved into a new studio, as her business has no outgrown home production!  I can’t wait to see where she’s at next year!
  • Steph Calvert, Hearts & Laserbeams
    I met Steph at last year’s Craftcation and we instantly hit it off. It might have something to do with the fact that we are both pretty geeky, or that we have no shame when it comes to dancing, but it also has to do with the fact that she is an incredibly talented illustrator, which is one of my favorite art forms. She designs logos and graphics for a whole slew of Big Wig companies, but still makes time and room to work with small businesses, including Craftcation. And she goes the extra mile … for our panel, When to Hire a Professional, she took the time to make a multi-page handout, complete with all the panelists’ logos, really useful info and a hefty dose of her uber-sarcastic humor. Triple score!
  • Nicole Stevenson, Random Nicole
    Nicole designs art-inspired clothing for her Random Nicole line, but I know her as the other half of Patchwork and Craftcation. This year we sat on the Partnership panel together and it was great to hear her perspective on what it takes to develop and sustain a successful working partnership. In addition to co-producing seven major festivals each year and her design work, Nicole also teaches DIY classes and is getting her MFA in creative writing. And she has a wicked sense of style.
  • Delilah Snell (aka the Un-Pende-est Woman I Know), The Road Less Traveled/Patchwork/Craftcation
    Oh, Delilah. There is so much that could be said about this incredible woman. Her crafty intelligence, her fun-loving spirit, her passion, dedication and follow-through, her Big Ideas, her pickled onions … it’s hard to know where to start.

    Along with running own retail store and co-directing Craftcation and the multi-city, bi-annual Patchwork festivals, she is a Master Food Preserver and teaches classes in and advocates for food preservation. And she makes amazing food. And she loves to make amazing cocktails. And drink them. And she multi-tasks like a motherf**ker.

    Case in point: Not only did she co-organize Craftcation, and manage the daily operations and staff all four days, but she participated in multiple panels (including the Partnership panel with me and Nicole Stevenson) and taught the Bar Basics class about infused liqueurs and bitters that I enjoyed ever so much. I could go on, but I’ll just say she has inspired me to be a Better Everything since the day I met her, and leave it at that.

If you missed Craftcation this year, don’t worry! Craftcation 2014 is already in the works!



Sé Reed
Sé Reed is a small business advocate and independent web developer, specializing in the development and implementation of comprehensive web strategies for small businesses. Sé teaches and speaks on topics including WordPress, SEO, and small business and the Internet, and is a regular contributor to the weekly webcast WPWatercooler. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google+