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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.

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Win a scholarship and attend Midwest Craft Con 2020!

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If you’re a lover of craft who needs a little boost to come to the con, you are welcome to apply for a scholarship, which covers your full weekend pass (a $249 value) and all the benefits of the conference, including many meals and shared room lodging.

We are covering TWO full scholarships to Midwest Craft Con 2020!!

As an attendee you’ll gain access to our private Facebook page, participate in hands on creative classes, hear our keynotes and attend break out sessions.

Midwest Craft Con is a creative business conference happening just north of Columbus, Ohio, returning for our fourth event on Feb. 28 -March 1, 2020. We’ve got a full weekend of activities lined up, which includes a Thursday evening opening exhibition.

Scholarship applications will close on November 30. We can’t consider any late entries. The organizer team of Midwest Craft Con will review all the applications and select the winners based on the applications by December 15,2019. You can fill out the scholarship application here! Good luck!

Help our efforts of supporting the scholarship program by making a donation to Midwest Craft Con.

News

Get Ready for Craft Con!

Midwest Craft Con is coming up fast! If you haven’t already gotten your ticket, you can get a weekend pass or day pass right here until noon on Feb. 14, and then day passes will also be available on site. The con officially kicks off at 1 p.m. Friday and runs through 4 p.m. Sunday, but if you arrive early on Friday we’ve got a few activities you can enjoy, like this bus tour, or some yoga and a painting party!

We have so many good things for you and your creative business. You can see the full conference schedule right here! There’s good stuff going on every single day. We’ve also got more details on our craft workshops and evening craftivities, which will include karaoke, a craft crawl and introvert hours. You’ll be able to meet and shop with many crafty businesses in our trade show, and many of our speakers are offering one-on-one meetings with Conners in sessions you can sign up for on site. None of this would be possible without the support of our fantastic sponsors from across Ohio and across the country!

craft competition midwest craft con

Phew! With so much going on, it pays to be prepared. We created this list of essentials to help you pack!

The basics: Our program doubles as a place to take notes, but you might want to pack an extra notebook and pen. We also recommend that you bring a water bottle and snacks to get you through the day. Remember to wear comfortable shoes!

Crafty things: During our evening craftivity time and in the introverts’ room we have plenty of space for you to work on your in-progress projects. We also won’t judge at all if you want to knit while you listen to talks!

What to wear: Many crafters wear really spectacular outfits — often handmade! Wear whatever is comfortable for you, and feel free to be as crafty as you wanna be. Bring sequins for karaoke night if you want to sparkle! As for outerwear, the temperature in Columbus is likely to hover around freezing, so bundle up! If you’re a freezebaby, no worries — you never have to leave the hotel if you don’t want to.

Extra cash: The hotel has a free breakfast for guests, and we’re covering lunch Saturday and Sunday, and then dinner is on your own. If you wanna go DIY, you can always bring Tupperware! There will also be opportunities to shop at our Trade Show all weekend. Save a few bucks for raffle tickets for some amazing gift baskets from our sponsors and community partners. And remember to tip housekeeping a few dollars each day!

A smart device: You might not want to drag along your laptop, but we encourage you to bring a smartphone or tablet to access the internet and take pictures. Connecting with other conners directly by trading numbers or following each other on Instagram is easier than busting out business cards. And, of course, don’t forget your charger and backup power source!

Personal items: This is YOUR weekend. Bring your must-have toiletries, maybe a yoga mat, a book for downtime, your bathing suit for the pool, or anything else you’ll need to make this your home away from home.

MWCC 2016

What NOT to bring: Leave your stress at home! This weekend is about improving your business, reinvigorating your creative spirit and having some fun with fellow crafty folks! Make sure to take a look over our Code of Conduct, which is made to ensure everybody has a good time.

Get your ticket for Midwest Craft Con if you haven’t already, and we’ll see you at the con!

News

DIY your dreams with Vickie Howell

vickie howell, the knit showThough we were SO stoked to have Kelley Deal join us and SO bummed when The Breeders’ tour took her away from us, we have found a fantastic replacement for her as our third keynote speaker: the one and only Vickie Howell. You probably know Vickie from TV shows such as DIY Network’s Knitty Gritty and Stylelicious, her best selling knitting, crochet and craft books. Or perhaps from her Facebook Live series, Ask Me Monday, her online courses for CreativeLive and Brit+Co., her podcast, Craft*ish, and her latest project, the first studio-quality, community funded, internationally accessible knitting and crochet series: The Knit Show with Vickie Howell. You’ll see her keynote talk Friday evening at the Con, and she’ll be speaking about running a successful Kickstarter campaign on Saturday. We are thrilled that Vickie will be joining us in Columbus, Ohio, for Midwest Craft Con 2018!

How would you describe your career to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

Oh man, the struggle is real with this one! I dread filling out the “profession” question on medical forms, because I’m sort of a Jill of all trades. The easiest way to explain the core of what I do is: I’m a broadcast personality, content producer, author, designer and community builder in the DIY space. My passion is to empower people to to fit creativity into their lives — usually using yarn as the conduit — via various forms of communication. In short, I’m a maker, talker and doer!

You were one of the first modern or indie crafters to make it big — how have your goals changed since you got started?

I think at its heart my goal is the same — to thrive professionally doing what I love. On a more esoteric level, I think that as my career has matured I’ve become less focused on dominating the DIY world and more interested in nurturing an ever-evolving path towards a sustainable and profitable business. In turn, I strive to take the lessons I learn along the way and share them with other creative entrepreneurs in effort to help them rise along with me.

How was it bringing The Knit Show to life?

Thrilling, challenging, exhausting and gratifying! I think I went through the full spectrum of emotions during the process of conception, fundraising, execution and promotion of The Knit Show. I’m really proud of the result, though, and I’m excited about the prospect of making more seasons!

What will you talk about in your keynote?

I’ll share a few of the crazy, random, wonderful things that have happened to me — all in the name of knitting — and talk about how we as creative types are in the highly unique situation of being able to literally DIY our dreams!

What three things do you recommend to makers?

  1. Playlists: Compilations of music you can count on to get you into a zone for writing or otherwise creating.
  2. Mind & body time: Keep a yoga mat in your workspace so you can grab some stretching, strengthening and mindfulness time throughout your day. You can’t have a long career if your mind and body aren’t taken care of!
  3. Boundaries: Creative types are so often asked to work for free or “exposure.” Sometimes it’s worth it; sometimes it’s not. Setting your own boundaries to keep both your integrity and sanity, are key to the longevity of your business.

How do you feel about the Midwest?

It’s both the middiest and the westiest area of our great nation!

What are your pro tips for crafters going to a conference for the first time?

It’s really important to be present at these conferences. It’s so easy in this day and age to spend all of our time at events documenting them instead of actually absorbing them. Be sure to interact with fellow attendees and speakers. Trade cards whenever you get a chance. Make connections. Networking is the single most important step in broadening the scope of possibilities of your career trajectory!

What are you looking forward to most about Midwest Craft Con?

Encouraging and absorbing all of the creative energy and enthusiasm of fellow attendees. There’s nothing more professionally revitalizing than to be surrounded by others who share the passion and drive to pursue their respective dreams!

What are you going to say to Kelley Deal next time you see her? 

Nothing. I’m just going to give her the side eye. Just kidding. I fully respect the hustle, and I can’t imagine what the added aspect of having to be at the whim of a machine like a successful band would be like!

The last day to buy tickets online for Midwest Craft Con 2018 is Feb. 14! Day and weekend passes will be available at the conference after that. 

News

Full 2018 schedule, day passes and an important change!

vickie howell, the knit showWelcome to 2018, 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.

And speaking of keynotes: We’ve got an important lineup change! The Breeders’ tour schedule is sadly taking Kelley Deal away from Ohio next month, and we will miss her. But we have found a fabulous replacement: Vickie Howell!

Vickie Howell is a broadcast personality, producer, author, designer, and instructor in the DIY world with a penchant for motivational speaking, and social media marketing. Vickie is well-known as the Host of TV shows such as DIY Network’s Knitty Gritty and Stylelicious, her best selling knitting, crochet, and craft books. Vickie strives to motivate and inspire people to both live creatively and make a living being creative — most recently reaching out to people via her Facebook Live series, Ask Me Monday, her online courses for CreativeLive and Brit+Co., her podcast, Craft*ish, and her latest project, the first studio-quality, community funded, internationally accessible knitting and crochet episodic series: The Knit Show with Vickie Howell. You’ll see her keynote talk Friday evening at the Con, and she’ll be giving a talk about running a successful Kickstarter campaign. Get your ticket here!

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How to Apply for a Scholarship!

midwest craft con scholarship fun

We know running a handmade business is really hard work, and sometimes you yourself need a hand. Thanks to the generosity of our conners, sponsors and the Greater Columbus Arts Council, we are able to offer FOUR full scholarships to Midwest Craft Con this year!

If you’re a maker who needs a little boost to come to the con, you are welcome to apply for a scholarship, which covers your full weekend pass (a $249 value) and all the benefits of the conference, including many meals. We aren’t able to cover lodging and travel, but the $99 rooms at the Embassy Suites sleep four, and we have a space in our private Facebook group for people to find roommates. The suites come with mini-fridges so you can pack a lunch if you want!

Midwest Craft Con is a creative business conference happening just north of Columbus, Ohio, coming up Feb. 16-18, 2018. We’ve got a full weekend of activities lined up, so we recommend getting into town early Friday and staying until late Sunday afternoon.

Scholarship applications will close on Jan. 15. We can’t consider any late entries. The three organizers of Midwest Craft Con will review all the applications and select the winners based on the applications by February 1. You can fill out the scholarship application here! Good luck!

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News about our future!

Hello Conners and friends! We’ve got a quick announcement amid all the last-minute holiday craft shows and online sales. After our 2018 event, Midwest Craft Con will be switching to a biennial format, meaning that our next conference will be in 2020, not 2019.

Going biennial will help us make Midwest Craft Con bigger and better, and allow more time for our Conners save their pennies in between events. So if you were thinking, “Oh, maybe I’ll skip 2018 and do 2019 instead,” don’t do it! You’ll miss out on your only chance for Conner family fun until 2020.

And you’ll also miss out on our incredible 2018 keynote speakers: the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano Murillo, knitter and Breeders rockstar Kelley Deal, and cartoonist and pug parent Gemma Correll! Not to mention the evening craftivities, the inspiring breakout sessions and all of the other crafty fun you love.

So we hope to see you in Columbus in February at Midwest Craft Con, because you should never craft alone. Get your ticket right here.

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Group Discounts for the Con!

bring a friend to midwest craft con

When it comes to Midwest Craft Con, we say the more the merrier! So when you bring more than one person from your business, you can get their additional tickets at the early bird price. That’s a $50 savings per person! The rooms at the Embassy Suites Dublin sleep up to four people, so you can make our craft business conference your DIY business retreat.

When buying your 3-Day ticket, enter the access code COMEWITHME to unlock the Partner 3-Day Pass, and you can add one, two or even three of them to your order. We’ll add all of you to the private Conner Facebook group, and you’ll enjoy all the benefits of the Con: sessions to strengthen your business, DIY sessions to tickle your crafty bone, and social hours to get to know your creative kinfolk. Hope you’ll join us in February!

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Look who’s talking at Midwest Craft Con 2018!

The third edition of Midwest Craft Con, happening Feb. 16 to 18, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio, is going to be chock-full of craft business sessions, inspiring keynote talks and hands-on workshops.

Our keynote speakers are the Crafty Chica herself, Kathy Cano Murillo, cartoonist and pug parent Gemma Correll, and Kelley Deal, a knitwear designer who is also in a little band called the Breeders.

kathy cano murillo, kelley deal, gemma correll, midwest craft con keynote speakers 2018

The breakout sessions on craft business topics range from marketing and PR to accounting and legalities as well as getting into wholesale and scaling up your operation. The speaker lineup for 2018 includes some familiar faces as well as new friends! Such as:

There’s just too much good stuff! Check out the whole lineup here.

midwest craft con 2018

The hands-on workshops are new this coming year — we’re working to make these activities free for attendees and totally casual. You’ll be able to drop in to any session that inspires you. Details to come!

You definitely don’t want to miss out — tickets are on sale now!

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The Introvert Life with Gemma Correll

gemma correll, cartoonist,When we asked our Conners who they’d most like to see speak at a future con, Gemma Correll’s name came up more than once. We live to serve the craft community, and we made it happen!

Originally from England, Gemma is a writer, artist and cartoonist residing in Oakland, Calif., with her trusty pug sidekicks, Mr. Pickles and Bella. Gemma’s published works include The Worrier’s Guide to Life, The Feminist Activity Book and A Pug’s Guide to Etiquette, as well as her award-winning eponymous series of quirky, humorous greeting cards and gift products that are sold all over the world. Gemma is particularly well known for her comics about mental health in collaboration with charities including Mental Health America.

Gemma will be giving a keynote talk at Midwest Craft Con 2018 in Columbus, Ohio, but until then you can learn more about her below:

How would you describe your work to someone who isn’t familiar with it?

My work is narrative-based illustration with an emphasis on simple linework, humor in the form of wordplay … and pugs.

You are so huge on social media — how do you manage your big following and still get work done?

The things I post on social media are the things that I’d be making anyway. I spend as much time as I can on personal work — it only takes a couple of minutes to post.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BVgASUzjzEF/?taken-by=gemmacorrell

Have you ever been to the Midwest before? Any thoughts, questions or concerns?

I have been to Lincoln, Neb., and Milwaukee, Wis. At first, I was very overwhelmed by the amount of space in the Midwest. I grew up in England and now live in the Bay Area in California — neither of which are known for being spacious. But I actually enjoy the feeling of freedom that comes with having more space and the more relaxed pace. I also find people in the Midwest to be very friendly. I’ve been to Louisville, Ky., a few times, and I know that’s technically the South, but it’s one of my favorite US cities.

What would you be if you weren’t an artist?

I’d be a teacher, a social worker or a psychologist, I think.

What will you talk about in your keynote?

I am planning to talk about where ideas come from, how to get through a creative block and then show you some photos of my pugs (because that’s what y’all really want to see!)

What three things would you recommend to makers?

Yoga (to help with posture and general mental health), animal companions and a good coffee maker.

What are your tips for introverts who are going to a conference?

Conferences can be a little overwhelming, especially if you’re an introvert but you feel like you have to be “on” all the time. I take frequent breaks — if I don’t, I get very tired and overstimulated. Just having a short walk outside to grab a coffee really helps.

What are you looking forward to most about Midwest Craft Con?

I find it really inspiring to be around like-minded people. I work at home by myself and it’s easy to get stuck in a rut. I really enjoy learning new crafts, too — especially when it’s just for fun (rather than for “work”). I’m also looking forward to visiting Columbus — I’ve heard good things about it, and there’s a tiki bar there that I’m dying to visit!

You can meet Gemma Correll at Midwest Craft Con in Columbus, Ohio! The event is Feb. 16-18, 2018, and early bird tickets are on sale now!