Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share!
Who’s speaking at the CON? Our keynote for 2023 will be: Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts.
Toni Lipsey, the designer and instructor behind TL Yarn Crafts, strives to inspire others’ creativity through online tutorials and modern, approachable crochet patterns. Toni learned to crochet from her mother as a teenager and has been exploring the possibilities of yarn ever since. Her current design obsessions are oversized shawls and modern home decor. When she’s not crocheting, you can find Toni cuddled with her 2 kittens and husband in her Ohio home, binge-watching the latest true-crime thriller on Netflix. Follow her daily crochet journey on Instagram and pick up her book, The Tunisian Crochet Handbook, and patterns on tlyarncrafts.com. Stay tuned for our full length keynote interview.
When is Midwest Craft Con returning? Never Craft Alone at Midwest Craft Con which will be held March 31 – April 2, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio!
In addition to the 3 day conference, we are adding Craftin’ Outlaws, our annual marketplace on Sunday, April 2 to close the event.
All experiences will be hosted at the Columbus Museum of Art. Attendees will gain access to the Museum and discounted room rate but it’s not required to stay at our contracted hotel.
$450.00 – General admission tickets opens 11/01/2022
$175.00 – $200.00 Day passes open 1/15/2023
If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynote(s) to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at craft fairs. Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended.
It’s been 3 years since we’ve hosted Craft Con and so much has changed in the city. If you are visiting Columbus for the first time or visiting our host city again, use this guide as a way to navigate your way around the Discovery District and the city for crafty spots.
Replenish 124 S. Washington Ave
Make an appointment for yourself during your Craft Con weekend. Whether you need some pampering or a restorative session, Replenish is my go to spot for self care. You may recall they offered yoga with with us in 2020. This gem of a space is conveniently tucked between CMA and our hotel.
Hills Market 95 N. Grant
The best little grocery store in the heart of downtown. Stock up on hotel snacks, drinks or Jeni’s Ice Cream. Hills also has a great lunch bar and deli for meals to go. They also have a small handmade section in partnership with Wild Cat Gifts and Party.
Freedom A la Cart 123 E. Spring St.
We’ve been supporting Freedom A La Cart when we place large catering orders for both Craftin’ Outlaws and Craft Con. A kitchen with a purpose that provides work experience, training and empowerment for survivors of sex trafficking.
The Walrus 16 W. Pacemont Road, Columbus, OH 43202
Located down the street from the hotel, grab a bite or a pint after the conference. With live music offered on Friday’s and Saturdays it’s a great way of grabbing some nightlife or just a quick meal before retiring back to your room.
Indian Oven 427 E. Main St
Directly across the street from our hotel is delicious North Indian options. Grab some new friends and sit down for a delicious meal.
Golden Hobby Gift Shop 549 Franklin Ave
A consignment store celebrating, promoting and working with senior artists and crafts people.
Makers Social 461 W. Rich St.
A DIY Bar with drinks and crafts. Schedule ahead of time to guarantee a seat or wait around with a drink until one opens up.
The Sewing Hive 3455 Indianola Ave
The perfect setting to learn sewing skills or work on advanced pieces with skilled sewists helping you along the way. Check out their class schedule to make an appointment. They will also be onsite with a mending workshop.
On Paper 743 N. High St.
A haven for paper artists with supplies and inspiration for days. Grab a planner or ask them about their custom capabilities.
Mystic Market: A community of mystic individuals. Hosting events once a month with their Friday night market of mysticism and enchantment. Explore readers, seers, artists, musicians, herbalist, healers, vintage oddities, fashion, crystal, magic and love
Thanks to the support of sponsors, attendees and donors who have chipped in to our scholarship fund, we’ve got one full scholarships available to a crafter of color who resides within the Midwest.
The scholarship includes a full-weekend pass and access to all the activities of the conference, a total value of $1,000, including access to the Membership platform for one full year. Scholarship winner will receive a suite at the MCC partner hotel. Lodging covers room for two evenings Friday and Saturday of the conference. Transportation is the responsibility of the scholarship winner. Recipient of scholarship will receive a $300 VISA gift card to use for travel and meals.
To apply for the scholarship, fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. January 30, 2023. The organizing team of Midwest Craft Con will review all the applications and select recipients based on that application by February 15, 2023.
Do you want to be a part of the handmade community but don’t know where to start?
Are you active on social media and love sharing unique finds with friends?
Are you ready to start your handmade business or who wishes to grow their existing business?
Do you live near Columbus, Ohio?
What Is a Midwest Craft Con Ambassador?
Ambassadors help spread the word about the organization, marketplaces and the annual conference to new customers. You support the mission of MCC by lending a hand and serving on committees that make up the organization, all by sharing social media content.
What Is Expected of a MCC Ambassador?
Create and/or repost engaging content around Midwest Craft Con’s annual conference and marketplaces to your audience on social media channels like Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and Twitter.
You meet once a month virtually for updates and provide feedback to the organizing committee.
We ask Ambassadors to create 5 content posts a month, leading up to the events. Ambassadors are also asked to assist with 2 volunteer hours for each event: Winter Marketplace December 4, 2022 and the conference + Spring Marketplace March 31 – April 2, 2023.
What Is the Compensation & Commitment?
In exchange for your services, you are provided with a comped ticket to attend the conference, which provides 3 days of creative content which includes: hearing the keynote, art making, access to sessions and panels. Plus name credit during opening announcements. MCC does not cover the cost of travel or lodging. Ambassadors will be extended the group discount rate for hotel costs.
Ambassadors are to work 2 hour shifts each day of the conference and during the Winter Marketplace. Ambassadors receive one year membership to the MCC Member Platform.
You Might Be Wondering…
Do I have to have a large following to be an ambassador? No way! We are looking for Ambassadors who are true fans of Midwest Craft Con, enjoy spreading handmade cheer, and want to make a difference in the lives of crafting artists.
How do I know what to post? We’re giving our Ambassadors the freedom to post in a way that feels authentic and natural to their audience. Repost photos of your favorite Midwest Craft Con feeds, create your own video, share a review, whatever you like! We’ll also supply a list of ideas to get you started.
Will I need to show up anywhere? You can help promote the excitement of Midwest Craft Con from the comfort of home. Kick your feet up, grab your drink of choice, and help us spread the word about our virtual events.
How Do I Apply?!
Click the link below to complete our short Ambassador Application. All Ambassadors will be chosen by September 1, 2022 and contacted via email.
Our first, virtual State of Craft of the year hosted an engaging discussion with our guest speakers leading the conversation.
Panelists, Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts and Tricia Brancolini-Foley of Handmade Arcade shared their thoughts during the hour long program.
We covered the Etsy Strike and shared the opinion that while the online platform can still be a great place to launch your business, business owners placing their products in the care of an organization which provides competition and resellers. Tricia mentioned feedback from craft show customers who still view the e-commerce space as a secure space to buy online, compared to an individuals own website that might be unsecured.
We talked a great deal about makers who were forced to pivot events and experiences due to the early part of the pandemic, from craft fairs to releasing a new book.
As conversations continued we briefly covered the topic of sustainability, something the fiber community is having a wrecking with at the moment.
Midwest Craft Con is looking for experienced and knowledgeable creative business owners to share their expertise with our attendees.
Our audience ranges from hobbyists, small business owners just starting out to those who have been in business for 10+ years. A successful pitch will keep one of those people in mind, and we love it when pitches have their own spin on the topic.
Breakout and Workshop sessions are 1.5 hours in length, with built in Q&A time. We are looking for sessions specifically targeted to makers regarding marketing, business, finances, legalities, work-life balance, ideation, creativity and other craft business issues. To get an idea of sessions and workshops we’ve had in the past, check out 2020s schedule here.
Workshops are designed for participants to engage with creativity, regardless of skillset. All projects should be designed as a beginner level. Allowing new students to engage and advanced students to relax.
Invited presenters will receive an honorarium, hotel stay and admission to our three-day conference with some additional surprises. We regret we aren’t able to invite to everyone who submits an idea, but we hope you will plan to join us no matter what!
We’ll get back to everyone who submits a speaking proposal in the middle of August, and announce the 2023 speaker lineup shortly thereafter.
It’s been two years since we’ve gathered in-person. For crafty folks just getting to know us or for past friends we haven’t seen in a while: HELLO!
Midwest Craft Con is a 501(c)3 located in Columbus, Ohio. Our mission has always been serving crafting artists through our 3 day creative conference. The events host keynote speakers, breakout sessions, hands on workshops. All while creating connections amongst individuals from across the US, not just the Midwest. But the Midwest is where we have called home and where our connections are firmly grounded.
Through Crafting’ Outlaws we’ve hosted thousands of exhibitors from around the Midwest with Spring and Winter Craft Shows, Pop-up events, Online Marketplaces and Festivals around Columbus, Ohio. Providing spaces for crafting artists to sell their goods. These exhibitors have gone on to run studio operations, e-commerce sites, open brick and mortar stores, sell at trade shows, work with public companies.
Our past is deeply rooted in connecting artists with experiences that further their craft, building engagement with the public and their peers. It’s the stitches that bind our organization together.
If you’ve ever attended our conference we ask that you please help us in the present, by filling out this survey to help launch our future and help decide the new direction of the organization. In the coming weeks will be retiring this newsletter and asking those who wish to stay up to date to subscribe to the new list. I expect things will change the next time we gather but anticipate that when we do the crafts will be epic and google eye adhesive will be strong!