Annal Vyas teaches full time at the University of Akron School of Law, where helps run the SEED Legal Clinic, which helps Akron-area small businesses and nonprofits with legal matters. It’s there that he learned about his city’s handmade market, Crafty Mart, and was converted to a handmade enthusiast. Before teaching at Akron Law, he worked at Thompson Hine LLP, where he was part of the 19-attorney team that represented Obama Biden 2008 in Ohio litigation matters in the U.S. presidential election. He also has experience running a domestic violence legal clinic where he advocated on behalf of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In addition to all that, he is currently loaned out by the law school one day a week to the Akron Global Business Accelerator to assist with various initiatives, such as being the Program Director for The Bit Factory, the city’s internet startup accelerator.
Annal (which rhymes with “tunnel”) strongly believes that in order for a city to attract and retain talent and thrive, it must have a strong creative community, which lead him to start a grass-roots effort to found PechaKucha Akron, a quirky quarterly speaker series that showcases the city’s creatives that is already attracting hundreds of participants within just three months of its inaugural event.
At Midwest Craft Con, he’ll be presenting three sessions: Going from Sole Proprietor to LLC or Incorporation, Contracts for Crafters, and Intellectual Property and Copyright.
Why do you do what you do?
I love working with small businesses, and I get a kick out of helping people pursue their entrepreneurial dreams! Small business owners often have a lot of anxiety when it comes to the legal aspects of their business, and I’m happy to help alleviate some of that stress.
What’s your favorite craft/business book?
Founders at Work by Jessica Livingston.
How did you get where you are today, in 10 words or less?
A lot of good people have looked out for me.
What are your goals for 2016?
Start hitting the gym with regularity — it’s been too long!