We convened. We connected. We constructed a world around us draped in craft and sprinkled with community.
In total we hosted just over 60 attendees over the 3-day weekend, plus 30+ crafting artists during Craftin’ Outlaws.
Our speakers shared their talents and knowledge. Toni Lipsey dazzled us with her community guided keynote take. Our sponsors offered us space and materials to convene under the name of craft.
Enjoy a few pictures from the weekend, revisit out the program catalog and keep tagging us with your pictures and takeaways. Thanks to everyone who pitched in and we look forward to gathering again in 2024.
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 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!
“It’s better to have loved conned and lost quarantined…”
As I think back to our glorious time at Midwest Craft Con 2020, I feel really lucky to be part of such an incredibly community. It was such a timely reminder before such an isolating time full of uncertainty.
We learned. We shared. We brainstormed. We crawled, crafted, karaoked. We grew as professionals, creatives, human beings. We bonded as sisters.
Thanks to our craft supply sponsor, Darice, for inspiring our instructors and offering casual crafts between sessions. We’re so happy to work so closely with an Ohio-based supply company who prides itself on supporting independant artists!
We were inspired by our speakers and instructors. Sara Trail, whose message of justice for all (and quilting for all!) resonated profoundly, despite being the youngest speaker we’ve ever had. Jennifer Perkins got us comfortable being out of our confort zone with her mixed media painting class. Elaine Grogan Luttrull got us over our fear of taxes with tips and tools. Plus many, many more.
As we move forward, before we even think about future programming (although we did announce that we will be hosting some kind of one-day event in the summer of 2021!), we want to make sure that our community is ok and want to help everyone stay connected.
We’ve hosted some virtual karaoke parties and happy hours in our private Facebook group, but we’d like to set up a more structured schedule of programming as we move forward.
Starting in April, we’re planning the following:
First Thursday: Craft Crawl: go Live in our Facebook during the day and share your craft projects, a book you’re reading. Share what you are working on or how you are passing the day.
Second Thursday: State of Craft Panel Discussion via ZOOM. We will record it and share if you can’t attend. Different topics each month with some panelists. We will record this if you can’t view during the specific time.
Third Thursday: Karaoke DAY – Dance, sing, lip sync for your life.
Fourth Thursday: Office/Happy Hour – Share a skill or offer advice.
New year, new calendar of indie craft shows across the Midwest! We create this semiannual list of indie craft shows in the Midwest (and within driving distance of the Midwest) for makers who want to branch out to new markets, but also for shoppers who are up for a road trip! We’ll post our list of fall and holiday craft shows in August. If we missed any craft shows, add them in the comments below!
Welcome to 2020, the year of Midwest Craft Con! We’ve just put up the full scheduleof our creative business conference for your perusal. It is three days of business workshops with incredible speakers, hands-on crafting sessions and inspiring keynotes. If you haven’t gotten your ticket yet, those are available right here — and day passes are now available if you can only join us for part of the weekend.
To help kick things off we are hosting a creative art show with our friends at Blockfort Galleries.
Statements crocheted in yarn. Manifestos in embroidery. Quilted declarations.
In a season of heated political discussion, Midwest Craft Con has partnered with the Blocfort to host an exhibition of craft as activism. Selected from a call-for-entries, these works cross traditional craft with topics political and social justice, showing just how loudly modern craft can speak as an art form.
The handmade season is upon us! Makers are working their magic building up holiday inventory while still hustling their way through the summer fairs and festivals. Fans of DIY can start planning their shopping lists while makers can explore new markets to sell their handmade items.
Want to make sure you get access to early bird tickets? Sign up for our emails to get details on the next con in 2020 — Early Bird tickets will go on sale September 1st!
Craft Fair season is an exciting and challenging time, isn’t it? You work late into the night, creating new products that blister your fingers and make your eyes go googly. You design and re-design your booth for optimum sales appeal and portability, then pray it will fit into the trunk of your car. If you’re really on the ball, you actually remember to print business cards and takeaways brochures. Ha!
Once you get to the event venue, a new set of challenges arise. Where is the designated vendor parking? How far will you have to carry your boxes of product and your booth display? Did you actually remember to bring your card reader AND your power cord for your smartphone? Will you even have electrical power? Did you remember to bring enough cash to break a $100 that some clueless person brought to purchase your $4 item?
Did you prepare for the weather? Is it going to be torrential rains today? A freak hailstorm, perhaps? Or maybe just 99 degrees and sunny so that you can bake in your crafty little tent oven.
Then, fellow crafting queen, you must be ready for… The Comments. The endless, thoughtless, careless, clueless comments from casual craft show attendees. They mean well, bless them, but it can bring even the most optimistic crafty businesswoman to her knees.
You’re not alone, Craft Warriors. To help you find some modicum of enjoyment from these careless commenters and weather disasters, we created a Craft Show Bingo card (thank you for your inspiration Carey Gustafson!) to help maintain your sanity. Feel free to download and print. Better yet, share a few with your crafting brethren.
We wish top sales and temperate weather weekends for you to find joy and success in your crafting hobby-turned-business this season.
When you REALLY need a break…The 2020 Midwest Craft Con is happening February 28-March 1. Join us for workshops on marketing, business tips and also for relaxing crafty fun. Bring a friend and enjoy a well deserved weekend of happiness. Click for more information on tickets.