conference · craft shows · Craftin' Outlaws · keynotes · News · speakers

Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2023!

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.

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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. 

Ticket Breakdown:

  • $299.00 – Member tickets open 9/15/2022
  • $349.00 – Early Bird tickets open 10/1/2022
  • $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. 

Read more about joining us and lodging

Stay tuned for speaker & workshop sign ups, scholarship forms, roommate options, and interviews with our keynote(s) and so much more!

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BAM · craft shows · Craftin' Outlaws

Bar Art Music

Join us the first Thursday of the month this Summer, starting in May through September, as we bring Craftin’ Outlaws to the Columbus Museum of Art for BAM (Bar, Art, Music).

Our crafting artists will be joining these live experiencing from 6pm – 8pm.

BAM Outlaws on Thursday, September 1

CBlake Art, marie+co studio, Studio Warped, Emergent Art + Craft

BAM Outlaws on Thursday, August 4

Art of GG, Glass Sky Jewelry, Pretty Papel, The Gift Box

BAM Outlaws on Thursday, July 7

Carol Isabel Art Twinzzshop, Restalgic

BAM Outlaws on Thursday, June 2

The Fabulous Fennyl, World Peaces, Adore Jewels, Dog Sweater Money

BAM Outlaws on May 5th

Squid Cat Ink, Mary Barczak, Alissa Renzitti, Global Gallery

Check back for June, July, August and September Outlaws joining us.

Contact us to learn how to participate and join the BAM lineup.

conference · craft shows · News

Our Past

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.

Past keynotes include:
2016: Lisa Congdon and Abbey Glassenburg
2017: Yao Cheng, Chris Glass and Jen Hewitt
2018: Crafty Chica, Vickie Howell and Gemma Correll
2020: Social Justice Sewing Academy and Twinkie Chan

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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! 
Make a donation to help support MCC!
conference · craft shows · keynotes · News · speakers · Sponsors · workshops

Craft Con in the Time of COVID-19

“It’s better to have loved conned and lost quarantined…”

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All photos courtesy of Chris Rutan Photography

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.

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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.

Save the dates and we’ll get more details out soon! The best way to stay in touch is to sign up for our Newsletter.

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Until next time, stay healthy and stay crafty. There are good things to come!

City Guides · craft shows · Resources

Spring and Summer 2020 Craft Shows of the Midwest

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!

Featuring Midwest Craft Con attendees JuNxtaposition, Lofty Lou Art, Paper Acorn, Sweet Stella Designs

Know any other indie craft shows from the Midwest that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!

conference · craft shows · News · speakers

Full 2020 schedule + a special opening ceremonies!

Welcome to 2020, the year of Midwest Craft Con! We’ve just put up the full schedule of 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.  wohl_whiteamerica - Jessica Wohl

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.

Artists featured in the exhibition include Bonnie Peterson, Alyson Toone, Jessica Wohl, Al Hoff, Rachel Baker, Zak Foster, Jen Edwards, and Letitia Kenemer.

City Guides · craft shows · News · Resources

Fall + Holiday Shows around the Midwest!

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!

Know any other indie craft shows that should be on our list? Add them in the comments!

craft shows · News · Resources

Craft Show Bingo!

Crafted by our Social Media Manager, Margot Madison.

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.

Download this template for your enjoyment at your next fair!

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.