2018 Speakers

The third edition of Midwest Craft Con, happening Feb. 16 to 18, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio, is going to be chock-full of craft business experts, and tickets are on sale now!

Keynote Speakers

Our keynote speakers for 2018 are the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano Murillo, knitter and Breeders rockstar Kelley Deal, and cartoonist and pug parent Gemma Correll!

Kathy Cano-Murillokathy cano murillo, the crafty chica

Phoenix, AZ
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Kathy Cano-Murillo is an author, artist and founder of the award-winning brand, CraftyChica. She spreads the gospel of glitter — literally through her DIY projects and figuratively through her speeches, workshops, books and essays. A former syndicated columnist for The Arizona Republic, she is now a full-time creativepreneur, which has led multiple CraftyChica mass retail product lines, and partnerships with Coca-Cola, HSN, HP, WordPress, Disney and many others. She has authored seven craft books and two novels, and has been featured in The New York Times and others. Kathy is Mexican-American, a native Phoenician, a mom, wife and owner of five Chihuahuas.

kelley deal breeders, crafter, keynote speaker, interviewKelley Deal

Dayton, OH
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The first thing you need to know about Kelley Deal is that she’s from Dayton, Ohio. The rest is inconsequential but you can sum it up that she’s a musician. You might know her from The Breeders, but she’s also somehow landed a gig in The Kelley Deal 6000 and is most recently bumming around in a band called R.Ring. Alongside her successful music career, she’s totally crafty, creating one-of-a-kind upcycled wool and flannel scarves.

gemma correll, cartoonist,Gemma Correll

Oakland, CA
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Originally from England, Gemma is a writer, artist and cartoonist currently residing in Oakland, Calif., with her trusty pug sidekicks, Mr. Pickles and Bella. Gemma’s published works include The Worrier’s Guide to Life, The Feminist Activity Book and A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette, as well as her award-winning eponymous series of quirky, humorous greeting cards and gift products which are sold all over the world. Gemma is particularly well known for her comics about mental health in collaboration with charities including Mental Health America. Her comics appear regularly on TheNib.com, GoComics.com and The Observer Magazine.

Speakers

Breakout sessions will include expert advice on everything you need to know about running your small business, from marketing and social media to legal and accounting advice to ideas for stoking your creativity. Featuring…

tasha branham of naturally smittenTasha Branham

Columbus, OH
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Tasha Branham is a serial entrepreneur. She’s the creator and CEO of Naturally Smitten hair products, which launched in select Walmart stores in 2015 and entered Sally Beauty in 2016. Her natural hair journey began in 2007 when she stopped chemically straightening her hair. She had difficulty finding products that worked, so she began creating her own products in her kitchen. She’s very passionate about art and mentors other creatives to help them develop and strengthen their creative abilities. She left her corporate career in 2010 and now teaches classes on entrepreneurship and social media in Central Ohio. She’s also a wife and mother of two teenage boys.

She’ll be teaching: Getting Ready for Mass Retail

daniella cortez prDaniella Cortez

Cleveland, OH
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Daniella Cortez is an urban dweller who, while born and raised in Alaska, finds herself very much at home in Cleveland by way of Las Vegas (twice). She knows her way around the craft aisle — she spins, knits, dyes and designs — but her main focus is bringing brands to life, both online and in person. She has a passion for helping people infuse their business identity with their own voice and personality. She also desperately wants to make the internet a nicer place to live. She’s worked everywhere from the non-profit sector in victim advocacy to corporate PR and social media for an agency in Las Vegas and is now nicely settled in as the director of public relations and marketing at a craft whiskey distillery in downtown Cleveland. She shares her home with her 2-year-old daughter (who has her own hashtag, naturally), a rowdy pack of rescue dogs (who also have hashtags) and a well-stocked bar (the bottles don’t stick around long enough for their own hashtags). You can find her side hustle, a digital branding consultancy, online at RebelMarie.com.

She’ll be teaching: PR Basics and How Not to Suck Online

stephanie-dykeStephanie Dyke

Baltimore, MD
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Stephanie is just a small-town girl, living in a lonely world. She’s really a quilter, mixed media artist and writer living in Baltimore, Maryland. Stephanie’s story goes something like this: Five years in art school led to an unfulfilling corporate career and a very sad 10-year creative hiatus. When her inner child said, “Hey, knock that off!” she found meditation and a renewed interest in making stuff. Mindfulness and creativity have become an important part of Stephanie’s day-to-day, and she is always looking for ways to connect the two in fun and meaningful (but mostly fun) ways. She blogs at Creative + Mindful, and you can find more of her quirky brand of inspiration in her Secret Design Portfolio.

She’ll be teaching: Teaching Crafts Online and Recharging Your Creativity

betsy greer, craftivismBetsy Greer

Durham, NC
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Betsy Greer has been called a lot of things, among them a crafteran unsung hero, and the godmother of craftivism. She got her M.A. in Sociology from Goldsmiths College in London in 2004. Her master’s dissertation was on knitting, DIY culture and community development. In November 2008, her first book, Knitting For Good!, was published by Roost Books. In 2014, Craftivism: The Art of Craft and Activism, an anthology of 33 distinct craftivist voices from around the world, was published by Arsenal Pulp. By showing how different people interpret the construct of craftivism, this book also works towards helping others use their own unique talents as a force for good. Currently, she writes, edits, and dreams up creative projects with others. You can learn more about those endeavors over on her freelance site, hellobetsygreer.com.

She’ll be teaching: Craftivism

vickie howell, the knit showVickie Howell

Austin, TX
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Vickie Howell is a cultivator of craft and community. She’s a broadcast personality, producer, author, designer, and instructor in the DIY world with a penchant for motivational speaking, and social media marketing. Vickie is well-known as the Host of TV shows such as DIY Network’s Knitty Gritty and Stylelicious, her best selling knitting, crochet, and craft books. Vickie strives to motivate and inspire people to both live creatively and make a living being creative — most recently reaching out to people via her Facebook Live series, Ask Me Monday, her online courses for CreativeLive and Brit+Co., her podcast, Craft*ishand her latest project, the first studio-quality, community funded, internationally accessible knitting and crochet episodic series: The Knit Show with Vickie Howell.

She’ll be teaching: How to Do Kickstarter Right, plus a screening of an episode of the Knit Show!

cathy jordanCathy Jordan

Atlanta, GA 
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Have you ever met someone who could translate your thoughts better than what you thought even though they were scribbled and scrambled on a napkin? Meet Cathy Jordan, “Your Behind The Scenes Queen™” who puts the WOW! in factor by setting up your back end for front-end success so you can have peace of mind about your baby. Cathy delights in creating unforgettable experiences that elevate your level of consciousness to believe in the impossible. Cathy Jordan is the CEO of CAJO & COMPANY LLC, a boutique creative agency specializing in event design and business management. She is also HubSpot Email Marketing Certified and Project Management Professional Qualified. She is on a personal mission is to transform 1,000 good crafty girls into 1,000 BAD MAMA JAMAS in business! Cathy is passionate about capturing life through her lens and with her hands. Offline, she can be found feeding the homeless and assisting with Girls Who Code.

She’ll be teaching: Turning Fans into Customers

loi lang, creative lawyerLoi Lang

Miramar, FL
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Loi Laing is an artist and the founding attorney of Handmade Legal, a law firm dedicated exclusively to artists, crafters and makers. She is committed to creativity, and her personal mission is to bring more PB&J — peace, beauty and joy — to the world. For the past 15 years, Loi has represented and advised clients in matters of business, intellectual property and contract law. She is a graduate of the Florida State University College of Law and also studied law at Oxford University in England and the University of the West Indies in Barbados. Loi maintains a dedicated studio practice and her creative work spans a variety of mediums including printmaking, collage, embroidery, encaustics, metalsmithing and ceramics. She lives in South Florida with her son, Kai.

She’ll be teaching: Contracts, Copyrights and Crafters

margot madison, creative juiceMargot Madison

Cincinnati, OH
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Margot Madison spent 20+ years attending the Creative Business School of Hard Knocks while running a stationery businesses as a freelancer, then a retail and wholesale stationery store and finally as an online stationery shop. Thinking she was the only one who didn’t get it, she learned how to do what she never learned in art school: business and marketing. She now runs a support system for creative entrepreneurs called Creative Juice, so nobody has to do it alone anymore.

She’ll be teaching: Customer Profiling

Mei Pak

mei-pakLos Angeles, CA
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Mei Pak is a marketing strategist guiding and supporting small and creative business owners. She helps makers, artists and designers create more buzz for their business at Creative Hive Co. Business topics she is passionate about are PR and publicity, social media, wholesale, paid advertising, blogger outreach, pricing, branding, customer experience, web design and scaling up your biz without any capital. Mei also runs Tiny Hands, a line of handmade, scented food jewelry with her small team of assistants. She sells in over a hundred stores across the United States, has been featured on Parks and Recreation, InTouch Magazine, Every Day With Rachael Ray, Design*Sponge and Hello Giggles and has appeared on TV a number of times. Mei is an absolute foodie, loves chocolate, video games and adores wearing dresses.

She’ll be teaching: Smart Social Media Advertising and Automating Your Business

AllisonRosenAllison Rosen

Wilmington, NC
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Allison Rosen is a crafty girl at heart: Her first business, at 9 years old, was selling pom-pom animals with googly eyes. Many years later, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Concordia University in Montreal. In 2002, with a master’s degree in accountancy, she and her new husband moved to Berkeley, CA, where she worked as an auditor and controller for a number of firms. During this time, Allison rediscovered her love of craft and jumped headlong into paper crafting and mixed media before settling on quilting. After the birth of her twins, her accounting career continued to grow and she began blogging and podcasting at Within A Quarter Inch. In 2008, she and her new family moved to Athens, OH, where it became clear her son had some serious disabilities. Allison left her finance position at Ohio University to raise her twins full-time and figure out what would help her son the most. She started a social website for quilters called SeamedUP, which she ran with a partner for three years before selling the site and taking a position in internet marketing with C&T Publishing. Now living in Wilmington, NC, with 9-year-old twins, Allison is finally working for herself as The Crafty Controller, an accountancy firm that serves indie crafters.

She’ll be teaching: accounting and financial topics for crafters!

jenifer sult fashionJenifer Sult

Cincinnati, OH
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Jenifer Sult is a fashion designer, teacher and professional pattern maker. She has been sewing since early childhood and has taken her love of making functional items from scratch along with her entrepreneurial spirit into launching several successful businesses. She has run Cut and Sewn since 2010, providing sewing and product development services to entrepreneurs. She also produces contemporary fashion patterns in her newest business, Daughters of Style. Jenifer is also an accomplished artist working on a number of collaborative projects in the Cincinnati area that have exhibited at arts institutions such as the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Contemporary Arts Center. As an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati, she continues to hone her skills by sharing her passion for creativity and design with her students.

She’ll be teaching: Design 101: Expanding Your Product Line

tara-swigerTara Swiger

Johnson City, TN
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Tara Swiger is the author of Market Yourself, a system for creating a marketing plan for your craft business. She began her entrepreneurial journey as a yarn-maker, and quit her day job in 2009 to be a full-time maker. She has been writing and teaching about handmade business for over five years, via (free) weekly lessons, her weekly podcast, and in-person and on-line courses. Her superpower is translating complex business principles into the language of artists and makers and turning theory into doable action plans. Tara’s taught marketing and business growth to traditional artists in rural North Carolina with the nonprofit Handmade in America, to yarn shop owners at their trade show, to alpaca farmers at the Camelid Conference, to makers at Craftcation and School House Craft Con, along with four classes with CreativeLIVE.

She’ll be teaching: Creating a Customer Path 2.0, and Developing Business Confidence

lesley_wareLesley Ware

Brooklyn, NY
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Lesley Ware is an author and (aspiring) fashion expert. She is the author of Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas, selected by Amazon.com editors as one of the best children’s nonfiction books of 2015, and My Fab Fashion Style File (2016). Her third book How to Be A Fashion Designer will be released in February 2018, published by DK Books. Lesley’s passion for inspiring youth began when she earned her degree in elementary education, and continued when she orchestrated a national program for Girl Scouts of the USA. Lesley is a contributor to Martha Stewart Living and teaches fashion design at Parson’s, The MET and other cultural institutions in New York City.

She’ll be teaching: Awesome sessions tbd!

kim werker, mighty uglyKim Werker

Vancouver, BC
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Kim Werker is a camp counselor for grownups. She believes that making things should be fun, and the first attempt at anything is utterly perfect even if it’s an utter disaster. She is the author of Mighty Ugly and leads workshops on experimentation and dealing with creative demons. The former editor of Interweave Crochet magazine, she also works as a freelance writer and editor and teaches classes on Craftsy and CreativeLive. She lives in Vancouver, BC, with her partner, their kid and their aging mutt. In addition to her work, she enjoys knitting, nachos, making soap from scratch, dabbling in jewelry making, repeatedly trying to make her self into someone who goes for long runs in the woods, and reading books of many sorts. She would like to learn how to skateboard. Ask her about Clarinet News.

She’ll be teaching: Mighty Ugly and Mighty Ugly for Business

adrienne wiley of covet sfAdrienne Wiley

San Francisco, CA
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Adrienne L. Wiley is the founder and lead designer for Frolick Jewelry. She launched Frolick in 2004, from a desire to create a collection of jewelry that was vintage inspired but contemporary and effortlessly chic for women of all ages. In the beginning she made her designs at the kitchen table and sold them to friends and family. Six months after launching the line, Wiley decided to leave her job at a Fortune 500 company to pursue Frolick Jewelry full time. She spent the first year traveling around the country participating in shopping events and searching for premiere retail locations to carry the line. Today Frolick can be found in over 900 boutiques worldwide, as well as in Covet Boutique, which Adrienne owns in San Francisco. Adrienne is also the author of Adventures in Wholesale, a book dedicated to helping emerging designers navigate what they’ll encounter while building a wholesale business.

She’ll be teaching: Sessions tbd

adam-allie

The Wonder Jam

Columbus, OH
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Adam and Allie Lehman operate The Wonder Jam. Focused on helping small — even tiny — businesses with their brandings, photography and web design, The Wonder Jam has helped 200+ brands. They love hosting workshops, traveling and drinking both too much La Croix and too much coffee. The Lehmans met in 2005 on Allie’s very first day at college and they were married in 2009. They moved to Columbus, didn’t know anybody and jumped in headfirst to building a strong network of creative, ambitious people who are still the backbone of their business today. In helping brands and businesses much larger and more sophisticated than The Wonder Jam, the Lehmans have constantly wrestled the impostor syndrome and have some helpful tips they’ve learned to help them win and continue to step into new opportunities.

They’ll be teaching: Eye-Catching Product Photography

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