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Craft Con reCON

Craft Con 2023 is a WIP no more!

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.

conference · News · Sponsors

BIPOC Scholarship Opportunity

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.

Thank you!

One should never craft alone, which is why we are grateful for the support of: Ohio Arts CouncilMaydel and BLOOM by Bel Monili for directly supporting our scholarship fund. 

members · News · Resources · State of Craft

State of Craft: Retail

Midwest Craft Con hosts an online panel discussing the state of retail in the craft community.

Tuesday, August 16, 6:30pm EST, we are speaking Retail within the Midwest.

State of Craft is joined by panelists 

This hour long conversation will cover topics of

  • Maintaining their brick and mortar stores
  • Building a community within the community of your retail space 
  • Retails inclusivity in an increasingly divisive world.

State of Craft panels are a space to discuss current events in the craft world and hosted 4 times a year. Free for members who also receive access to the recorded program. $15 for non-members.

conference · News · Resources

Become a Midwest Craft Con ambassador!

Do you value the importance of handmade goods?
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. 

conference · News · speakers · workshops

Want to present at Midwest Craft Con 2023?

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.

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.


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  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!


State of Craft Panel

Join us for first online State of Craft panel on Saturday, May 28th at 10am – 11am EST. Sharing their insights are Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts and Tricia Brancolini-Foley of Handmade Arcade.

This hour long conversation will cover topics of

  • Gathering again: craft shows, events
  • The Etsy Strike and other e-commerce channels for crafters
  • Sustainability of products and supply management
  • Plus we announce our next conference dates and keynote

State of Craft panels are a space to discuss current events in the Craft world and hosted 4 times a year. Free for members who also receive access to the recorded program. $15 for non-members.

Program support from:

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

  • self care for crafters
  • keynote speakers midwest craft con 2018

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!


We are excited to announce the next phase of Midwest Craft Con!

Midwest Craft Con and Craftin’ Outlaws will become one, with both falling under the non-profit status of MCC’s 501(c)3 status.

This partnership will further the mission of both organizations to provide educational experiences to creative entrepreneurs while also creating marketplaces for them to sell their goods.

We are excited for the next installment of Midwest Craft Con, which is still exploring how we gather again, in one space over the course of a long weekend.

Additional updates will come in the form of newsletters, use the LINK to stay up to date. The social media accounts will remain the same for now, as will this website.

Image from the 2021 Winter Marketplace of Craftin’ Outlaws.

Help support the new efforts by donating to Midwest Craft Con!

Donations of $35 or greater are considered tax-deductible.

We look forward to these new experiences and seeing you all soon!

  • Megan Green and Brit Charek
conference · keynotes · News · Resources · State of Craft

State of Craft Panel

So much has changed since we meet in March at Midwest Craft Con. Craft shows and festivals have announced cancellations or postponements. Brick and mortar shops have closed their doors. E-commerce sites are seeing a decrease in online sales with custom orders from events or businesses being cancelled.

While sewists and production shops from around the nation have frantically making masks for personal use and to aid in fight of Covid-19.

As we all grasp with loss of income, distance learning with our young children and the cancellation of our creative world as we once knew it, we wanted to connect with our keynote speakers Sara Trail of Social Justice Sewing Academy and Twinkie Chan, to hear how this has impacted their missions and lives. Mostly, we want to remind our creative community that we are all feeling this loss together. This will be an ongoing monthly feature that we bring to our alumni and the creative community.

Join us on Thursday, April 9 at 8pm EST for a touchbase with our 2020 keynotes. Tickets are limited with a portion of proceeds going back to our keynotes, with a discount for alumni of Midwest Craft Con. Secure your ticket today.