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. 

keynotes · members · Resources · State of Craft

Event Recap – State of Craft

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.

Lastly, we announced our return in 2023 with keynote Toni Lipsey!

Members can watch the entire recorded conversation and receive additional perks and promotions.

Program support made possible by:

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.

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!

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.


Spring and Summer 2019 Craft Shows of the Midwest

Midwest art by Marcy Davy, All Things Grow

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!

Vendor applications for our three affiliated craft shows are open now or soon: Craftin’ Outlaws, Crafty Mart and Crafty Supermarket!

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


Spring + Summer 2018 Midwest Craft Shows

type shy handmade
Paper art by Type Shy

We started Midwest Craft Con after being a part of the DIY craft show scene for many years. As part of our outreach for crafters, we create this semiannual list of indie craft shows in the Midwest and within driving distance of the Midwest! This list is for makers who want to branch out to new markets, but also for shoppers who are up for a road trip! Our list of fall and holiday craft shows will go up in August. If we missed any events, add them in the comments section.

Vendor applications for our three affiliated craft shows are now open: Craftin’ Outlaws, Crafty Mart and Crafty Supermarket!

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

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Dublin, Ohio

When we decided to move Midwest Craft Con up north of Columbus, Ohio, to the Embassy Suites Dublin for 2018, we reached out to the Dublin Arts Council to introduce ourselves and let them know we would be bringing the glitter to their quaint and historical community. Dublin is home to a number of large-scale permanent public artworks, from a statue celebrating the life of Native American Chief Leatherlips to a field of more than 100 human-sized concrete ears of corn.

Alexa Demyan tells us: “Dublin, Ohio, is the perfect location for the next Midwest Craft Con. With a variety of stores, shops, and places to visit, any crafter is sure to love this city.” Thanks to her and the Dublin Arts Council for this crafty city guide!

Will we see you in Dublin in February? Tickets for the full weekend and for single days are on sale now! You can explore Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday night and Friday morning before the Con starts on one of our crafty caravans

Crafty Stores

1 Stop Bead Shop
6347 Sawmill Road, Dublin, OH 43017
Catering to both novice and experienced jewelry makers, this store sells beads, stones and tools of all shapes and sizes. There are more than 90 classes offered per quarter in addition to one-on-one instructional sessions, so whether you’re a beginner or experienced jewelry maker, you’ll find materials to inspire you.

Chelsea Borough Home
54 S. High St., Dublin, OH
This home décor store features a distinct mix of trendy items, unique vintage pieces and works by local artists. Mother and daughter owners Christena and Tena Wentz are home décor enthusiasts who are dedicated to finding fun, unique and beautiful items perfect to inspire your home.

JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts
2747 Festival Lane, Dublin, OH 43017
You know this one for sure: JoAnn Fabrics and Crafts has supplies for all your arts and crafts needs, plus in-store and online classes. In addition to their vast selection of products, the company has a corporate giving policy in which they partner with certain organizations to help raise money.

Knitting Temptations
35 S. High Street, Dublin, OH 43017
This all-things-knitting store has all your knitting needs covered, with yarns made from alpaca, buffalo, silk, acrylic, linen and even paper fibers. Knitting Temptations also hosts various classes for every skill level throughout the week. If you’ve run out of your favorite yarn after leaving Dublin, you can reorder direct from their website.

Quilt Beginnings
6591 Sawmill Road, Dublin, OH 43017
This specialty quilting supply store sells fabric, sewing machines and other crafty tools in an assortment of patterns, materials and textures. Quilt Beginnings also hosts group classes and walk-in instructional sessions with experienced quilters.

Red Rooster Quilts
48 Corbins Mill Dr., Dublin, OH
Featuring Gammill Statler Stitcher quilting machines, pre-cut material and charm packs, the shop also features artisan jewelry, lampwork beads, onsite classes and more. Finished quilts and interesting completed projects adorn the store’s quirky antique displays, so stop in for some creative inspiration.

Tuesday Morning
6545 Perimeter Drive, Dublin, OH 43016
The craft department in Tuesday Morning is full of some of crafting’s best brands, including Louisa Harding, Aslan Trends, and Fiesta. You can find high-quality craft supplies including craft tools, paper crafts and scrapbooking kits from brands such as Graphic 45, Loew Cornell, and Melody Ross.

Crafty Food and Drink

101 Beer Kitchen
7509 Sawmill Road, Dublin, OH 43016
This locally owned restaurant and beer kitchen was opened in 2012 and strives to educate the community about beer and cuisine. Their extensive craft beer list features seasonal beers from all over the world. Be sure to pair a beer with some handcrafted, rustic cuisine for a delicious flavor combination.

56 N. High St., Dublin, OH 43017
This Irish pub in the heart of Historic Dublin is the perfect place to enjoy authentic Irish food and beer. The restaurant got its name and is inspired by The Brazenhead, the oldest pub in Dublin, Ireland. Stop in to share stories with friends and enjoy live music on the weekends.

The Goat
5730 Silver Falls St., Dublin, OH 43016
This restaurant’s handcrafted cuisine offers delectable dishes for every palate. In addition to their daily food and happy hour specials, The Goat also hosts live entertainment and other events. The restaurant even hosts volleyball competitions during the spring and summer months.

Matt the Miller’s
6725 Avery-Muirfield Drive, Dublin, OH 43016
This restaurant with an upscale tavern atmosphere was started in Dublin, Ohio. With several beers on tap and an extensive menu featuring flatbreads, burgers and more, this is the perfect spot for a delicious dinner or Sunday brunch for the whole family.

The Pint Room
4415 W Dublin Granville Road, Dublin, OH 43017
In addition to their gourmet burgers, The Pint Room has more than 100 different craft beers available to pair with your meal, some of which are locally brewed, while others are from around the world. If you’re not looking for a full meal, their Bar Bites menu also offers smaller appetizers.

RAM Restaurant and Brewery
6632 Longshore St., Dublin, OH 43017
What makes RAM Restaurant and Brewery unique is its variety of cuisine: Every location’s menu is different. Its seasonal, local food options include sandwiches, salads, burgers and more. The Dublin location is in close proximity to the beautiful Scioto River, so be sure to explore the area after your meal.

Our CupCakery
16 N. High St., Dublin, Ohio 43017
Home of the “Create your own Cupcake Bar,” our CupCakery is always busy baking cakes, cupcakes, cookies and other desserts for all occasions. Locally owned and operated by award-winning small business owner Linda Kick, the shop also offers gluten-free treats.

Places for Makers

Dublin Arts Council
7125 Riverside Drive, Dublin, OH 43016
This local arts organization “engages the community, cultivates creativity, and fosters life-long learning through the arts.” The site features a historic French-eclectic styled building, sloping riverfront grounds with picnic tables, several piece of public art and a well-established gallery that is free to the public. Don’t miss out on the self-guided public art tour.

Marcy’s Clayground
6685 Dublin Center Drive, Dublin, OH 43017
This contemporary paint-your-own pottery studio is located in Dublin Village Center. With more than 150 ceramic pieces and 80 glazes to choose from, you can make a custom creation with stamps, stencils and more. Your piece will be ready for pickup in one week after being fired in the kiln.

Terra Gallery
36 N. High St., Dublin, OH 43017
This studio specializes in creative painting parties. The impressive gallery also offers custom framing and the option to rent the space for a private party. Check out their event calendar for more information regarding private and public painting parties, art lessons and birthday parties.

We can’t wait to get crafty with you in Dublin, Ohio, from Feb. 16 to 18, 2018!