City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Columbus: Part 3!

It’s been 3 years since we’ve hosted Craft Con and so much has changed in the city. If you are visiting Columbus for the first time or visiting our host city again, use this guide as a way to navigate your way around the Discovery District and the city for crafty spots.

Guide # 1 | Guide # 2  | Guide to Dublin


124 S. Washington Ave
Make an appointment for yourself during your Craft Con weekend. Whether you need some pampering or a restorative session, Replenish is my go to spot for self care.  You may recall they offered yoga with with us in 2020. This gem of a space is conveniently tucked between CMA and our hotel.

Hills Market
95 N. Grant
The best little grocery store in the heart of downtown. Stock up on hotel snacks, drinks or Jeni’s Ice Cream. Hills also has a great lunch bar and deli for meals to go. They also have a small handmade section in partnership with Wild Cat Gifts and Party.

Freedom A la Cart
123 E. Spring St. 
We’ve been supporting Freedom A La Cart when we place large catering orders for both Craftin’ Outlaws and Craft Con. A kitchen with a purpose that provides work experience, training and empowerment for survivors of sex trafficking.

The Walrus
16 W. Pacemont Road, Columbus, OH 43202
Located down the street from the hotel, grab a bite or a pint after the conference.  With live music offered on Friday’s and Saturdays it’s a great way of grabbing some nightlife or just a quick meal before retiring back to your room.

Indian Oven
427 E. Main St 
Directly across the street from our hotel is delicious North Indian options. Grab some new friends and sit down for a delicious meal.

Golden Hobby Gift Shop
549 Franklin Ave  
A consignment store celebrating, promoting and working with senior artists and crafts people.


Makers Social
461 W. Rich St.
A DIY Bar with drinks and crafts. Schedule ahead of time to guarantee a seat or wait around with a drink until one opens up.

The Sewing Hive
3455 Indianola Ave
The perfect setting to learn sewing skills or work on advanced pieces with skilled sewists helping you along the way. Check out their class schedule to make an appointment. They will also be onsite with a mending workshop.

On Paper
743 N. High St.
A haven for paper artists with supplies and inspiration for days. Grab a planner or ask them about their custom capabilities.


  • Mystic Market: A community of mystic individuals. Hosting events once a month with their Friday night market of mysticism and enchantment. Explore readers, seers, artists, musicians, herbalist, healers, vintage oddities, fashion, crystal, magic and love
  • Mercadito Cositas Lindas: A collection of latine and hispanic exhibitors and small businesses.
  • German Village Makers Market: An outdoor market in the heart of German Village.

You can explore all of these great spots in Columbus when you join us in March/April 2023! Tickets are on sale now Don’t wait!


Self care for creatives

On the last day of the Con this year, we had a panel discussion called Self Care for Crafters, and I don’t know about y’all, but it was possibly my favorite session of the weekend. Kathy Cano Murillo, Jesi Rodgers, Lesley Ware and Gemma Correll got onstage to discuss taking care of yourself while you’re trying to run a creative business. These are some notes from that session!

Self-care is a buzzword right now, but it’s nothing to roll your eyes at. When your creative business is YOU, you have to take care of yourself. That means getting enough sleep, water, food and movement in your day. It also means being kind to yourself when something goes wrong.

When you’re running a craft business, especially when you’re trying to get up to full speed, you can end up “on the struggle bus,” as Kathy put it. “I should be sprinkling glitter right now!” But learning how to ask for help and taking the day off every Sunday, no matter what, helped her reclaim her time.

jesi rodgers, kathy cano murillo

Let up the pressure on yourself to finish everything right now, Kathy said. Many of these folks also said cutting back on custom orders helped them tame the crazy. It’s OK to say no! In fact, you should say no sometimes. Trust your intuition.

Make an appointment with yourself once a week to check in and breathe. Someone wants to see you during that time? Sorry, you have an appointment! Create routines for yourself that you honor even in times of stress, like regular bedtimes, creating a to-do list first thing in the morning or taking a walk each day.

Spending time on anything other than your business can make you feel guilty sometimes. It took a while for her to realize that we all “need to enjoy life a little more, and it’s OK to do that,” Gemma said.

Self-care gets easier if you plan and make space for it. Like making one day of your week totally off-limits for work, or keeping a regular appointment with a friend or setting aside a night for a favorite non-monetized craft. Eat breakfast every day — no excuses!

Take the time to make doctors’ appointments you’ve been putting off. Get everything you hate to do out of the way, and you’ll stop dreading it — it’s like magic. Reward yourself with a sticker, just like elementary school. Kathy uses Alexa as her personal assistant; for those moments when she wakes up thinking of something she has to do, she just tells Alexa to add it to her to-do list and goes back to sleep.

gemma correll, lesley ware

Lesley uses fashion as therapy: When she was feeling down, she wore seven days of sparkles, even if she wasn’t leaving the house. Jesi’s biggest tip is turn off notifications on your phone. Let those little distractions waltz on out of your life.

Self-care can also be about treating yourself — Kathy has a housekeeper who comes every two weeks to keep things in order and she subscribes to the Hello Fresh meal delivery service to have healthy food on hand. Lesley books a massage once a month (and I emphatically co-sign this idea).

To get out of your head, calm your nerves and refocus your energy, our panelists recommend the Tranquility du Jour podcast, the Headspace app, the Calm app, The Artist’s Way and Yoga with Adriene. You can find more ideas for self-care amid craft show season here.

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Chicago

Cinnamon Cooper wasn’t born in Chicago, but she has lived here for almost 20 years and ran the legendary DIY Trunk Show for many years, so she was the perfect person to be our ambassador to the Windy City. Chicago is an epically crafty city, the birthplace of the Renegade Craft Fair and home to dozens of crafty places. This is Cinnamon’s Crafty Guide to Chicago!

Remember to get your ticket to Midwest Craft Con — a creative business retreat coming up in Columbus, Ohio, in February!

Driving into the city and seeing the skyline makes my heart swell with love. This city has problems, but it is called The City That Works for good reason. Despite massive corruption and bureaucratic red tape, the residents of Chicago (especially the creative residents) are really good at identifying loopholes and finding ways to get what they want to happen. I’ve been fortunate to be one of those people who worked through city bureaucracy while encouraging folks to be crafty and business-minded together. And the craft-blood of this city pumps strong, because the willingness to work, and work hard, is integral in the city’s personality. — Cinnamon Cooper


Anastasia Boutique & Atelier
1001 N. Damen Ave. in Ukrainian Village
This shop mostly stocks Anastasia’s own clothing designs, but she has a great eye for accessories and apothecary items that are top-notch and mostly indie-made.

Belle Up
1915 W 103rd St. in Beverly and 520 N. Michigan Ave. in River North
It used to be hard to find indie-made and well-made maternity items, but these two stores have made that not only possible, but easy.

The Fig Tree
1037 W. Madison St. in West Loop
This shop focuses on local and indie-made goods for babies, children, home, and gift items.

3335 S. Halsted in Bridgeport
Not only do they make custom T-shirts and personalized gifts in store, but they also focus on gift items made by local, indie-makers and fair trade groups.

1902 and 1926 W. Montrose in Ravenswood
This started as one store focused on local and indie-made gift items, but grew so popular that there are now two stores, one focused on apparel and accessories, and the other focused on gift items.

Inkling Boutique
2917 1/2 N. Broadway St. in Lakeview
Owner Stephanie Keller is one of our OG crafters. While she was creating her own line of paper goods, she was working for a now defunct but wonderfully curated shop. She took that knowledge, merged it with her knowledge of great local makers, and created one of the city’s best indie-goods shops.

Local Goods Chicago
5422 W. Devon Ave. in Edgebrook and 6443 N. Sheridan in Rogers Park
This shop not only consigns for individual products, but it rents space to individual makers so it is like going into 20+ shops in one location.

Milk Handmade
5137 N. Clark St. in Andersonville
This women’s clothing boutique specializes in small-run and handcrafted apparel, jewelry, and accessories.

2003 W. Montrose in Ravenswood
Jenny tracks down the best of local makers in every category except apparel and showcases them in her gorgeous shop.

Paper Doll
2027 W. Division in Ukrainian Village
Open for more than 15 years, Paper Doll stocks all of the great local paper and gift makers, as well as having their own line of custom stationery that will make you want to send more mail.

Paperish Mess
1955 W. Chicago in Ukrainian Village
This combination storefront and art gallery focuses on locally made and handmade wares and art.

Replica Chicago, Inc. (REP CHI)
4425 N Milwaukee Ave. in Portage Park
This place was also started by an OG crafter, Lyn, who started silkscreen products for indie businesses and branched out to create a brick and mortar that sells her awesome goods as well as a variety of handmade gift items, artwork, and some upcycled/recycled wares.

Rogers Park Provisions
6928 N. Glenwood in Rogers Park
This may look like just a wine and and fancy eats shop, but they do a great job of representing local makers with selections of home gifts and food gifts.

Sacred Art
4619 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square
A store with the motto “Art is Not A Luxury” is a great place to get artwork, accessories, and home and gift items that will make your heart sing.

The Silver Room
1506 E. 53rd St. in Hyde Park
Not only is this a great place to find locally made gift items in the curated storefront, but it is also a great gathering place, event space and artist gallery.

Squasht Boutique
2556 W. Chicago in Ukrainian Village
Owner, designer, awesome gal Lesley Tempe is also an OG crafter who sells her own line of apparel, but also those of other indie designers and accessories makers.

Steel Petal Press
2321 N. Milwaukee in Logan Square
Shayna is also an OG crafter who started at craft shows, branched out to a full-time biz and now also runs a storefront that stocks locally made paper goods.

Stumble & Relish
1310 Chicago Ave. in Evanston
This mother/daughter team represents work from several great local artists, vintage items and art.

5224 N. Clark St. in Andersonville
This combo shop and gallery sells mostly work from local artists and artisans. But also has a podcast, sells books and records, and even audio equipment. There are also many great events and recordings of them.

Urban General Store
4723 N. Lincoln Ave. in Lincoln Square
Rebecca started as an online-only store, but became a brick and mortar more than 11 years ago. It focuses exclusively on Chicago-made goods and puns galore.

Wolfbait & B-girls
3131 W. Logan Blvd. in Logan Square
Shirley and Jenny opened the first Chicago shop that focused on small-run lines made by locals only. More than a decade later, they’re still going strong.


Fat Tiger Workshop
1043 W. Grand Ave. in Ukrainian Village
Not only does Fat Tiger sell some wickedly awesome streetwear, they also offer occasional workshops geared toward creatives of all varieties and freelancers.

Make Chicago
1048 W. 37th St. in Bridgeport
This membership-based maker space offers a plethora of tools and workshops for makers of all sorts.

The Maker Lab
400 S. State St. in South Loop
The Harold Washington Library Center is home to a free, public maker space with 3D printers, laser cutters and software stations.


  • Renegade Craft FairRenegade started as a show focused solely on craft that took place in one weekend in Chicago, but has spawned an empire of shows worldwide. Now there are three Chicago shows every year: a summer showcase that happens at The Hideout, the September show that takes place on Division Street in Wicker Park, and the Holiday show at the Bridgeport Art Center.
  • Handmade MarketThis monthly market in Wicker Park is the longest running show in Chicago that focuses on sustainable craftiness. With more than 11 years under their belt, it is a reliable place to look for great items with a drink in your hand.
  • Hyde Park HandmadeThis monthly showcase in Hyde Park focuses primarily on makers from the south side of Chicago. A great place to get Sunday brunch and some gifts.
  • Revolution Craft ShowWith around 50 vendors, this craft show in a large brewing facility in Avondale is a great place to pick up holiday gifts while enjoying a beer and a little food.
  • Show of HandsThis show is only a few years old but has attracted 100+ vendors with its semiannual shows in a gorgeous Ravenswood venue full of antiques and collectibles.
  • The Late Late Craft ShowThis North Center show gets a jump on Small Business Saturday by encouraging night-time shopping from 30+ vendors, with a little drinking at Mrs. Murphy and Sons Irish Bistro.
  • Randolph Street MarketThis group hosts four different markets in the Near West Side. Whether you are looking for antique furniture, indie-made gifts, indie-design apparel and accessories or free-trade imports, this monthly show runs year round (outdoor during April through October).


Antique and Resale Shop
7214 N. Harlem Ave. in Niles
What this place lacks in name creativity, they more than makeup for in packed-to-the-gills awesomeness. You’ll be greeted by a charming clerk (the owner or her staff) who will manage to help at least 10 people put together an entire outfit from all the nooks and crannies of the shop while making you feel like the only customer in the store.

Broadway Antique Market
6130 N. Broadway in Edgewater
This market rents spaces it individuals so you are guaranteed to find someone with your aesthetic in this 20,000-square-foot space. Probably the best place to shop for vintage jewelry and accessories at any price range.

Humboldt House
1045 N. California Ave. in Ukrainian Village
This vintage modern home shop doesn’t focus on an era, but does focus on great style and occasional new items.

Lulu’s Vintage
900 N. Michigan Ave. in River North
This is not the place you go for fun vintage cast-offs. This is the place you go to find the perfect dress for that period wedding ensemble, or that so-old-it-is-new-again couture. From flapper to disco, you’ll leave decked out.

Modern Cooperative
1215 W. 18th St. in Pilsen and 1500 E. 53rd St. in Hyde Park
These gorgeous stores focus on furniture, home accessories, and gift items from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. There are some locally-made items that are current and also fit their aesthetic.

Seek Vintage
1432 W. Chicago Ave. in Ukrainian Village
If you’re looking for vintage fashion, not just clothing, this is the shop for you. There are also some home goods, but come here looking for a party dress and you won’t be disappointed.

Vintage Garage Chicago
5051 N. Broadway in Edgewater
This monthly event happens on the third Sunday of the month from April through October and occasional holiday markets. There are 75-100 vendors in this monthly garage show, hence the no winter hours.

Cinnamon Cooper is an aging (but awesome) lady who lives in Chicago and loves to encourage everyone to follow at least one dream and makes reliably attractive bags for her business,

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Columbus: Part 2!

Columbus once again will host creative entrepreneurs from all over the country in 2017, as Midwest Craft Con returns to Ohio’s capital city in February! No one is more excited about this than myself. Not just because the the commute will be a whopping 10 minutes but because I have called this city home for 25 years, and I love showcasing why I love it so.

This city continues to receive national recognition for our food and for our coolness, and we just received a $50 million transportation grant. Columbus just renovated its airport, soon to be named after John Glenn, and added daily shuttle services from the airport to downtown. Our Convention Center got a makeover, including a new food court, which will make conners very happy!

Our volunteer extraordinaire Claire shared with us her top picks for exploring Columbus in our 2015 city guide to Columbus. Here are even more DIY places to visit when you’re here in February!


Robert Mason Company
17 Brickel St., Columbus Ohio 43215
Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, heritage supplier Robert Mason has become a much-beloved retail shop in Columbus. When a fire burned down the former location, it took close to two years for the company to open their doors in a new, bigger location. You’ll find a wide assortment of modern and cool office supplies, from pens, markers and notepads to leather messenger bags and their own brand of candles and lotions.

Robert Mason art supply

Under Aurora
923 Sullivant Ave., Columbus, OH 43223
Tucked into the heart of the neighborhood of Franklinton, Under Aurora opened as a retail space for the much loved skin care line of the same name. It has expanded to sell a curated assortment of handmade goods and offer holistic classes.

Urban Emporium
2260 E. Main St., Bexley, OH 43209
Located next to the Historic Drexel theater in Bexley, you will find Urban Emporium, owned by four local artisans. Find local charm along with fabulous finds from 80 national cool and creative artisans.

Eco Flora
16 W. Pacemont Road, Columbus, OH 43202
A charming floral shop located in Clintonville. Plan for your next event with delicate arrangements, shop their retail section or sign up for a class to cultivate your creative green thumb.


Columbus Museum of Art
480 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
Newly remodeled and AMAZING! The Columbus Museum of Art continues to offer a mixture of national treasures, local artists and hands-on experiences.

columbus museum of art

Wexner Center for the Arts
1871 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43210
Smack dab in the heart of the Ohio State University campus is the Wexner Center, which celebrates contemporary art in all its glory. Explore performing arts, exhibitions and cinema all in one stop.



  • Columbus Flea: These seasonal events showcase vintage finds alongside handmade vendors and bargain basement deals from local shops like Homage. Add in craft beers and locally baked delights and you have the Columbus Flea, now in its sixth year and still going strong.
  • Sunlight Market: The companion show to Moonlight Market, Sunlight Market makes your Sunday mornings more crafty while you enjoy brunch downtown. The third Sunday of each month from April to October, crafters, musicians and performers take over Gay Street for an outdoor shopping experience.
  • Winterfair: Consistently kicking off the holiday handmade season the first weekend of the December since 2008, Winterfair continues to be a celebration of high-end arts and crafts from nationally recognized designers.


Northstar Cafe , Brassica and Third and Hollywood
various locations
Fans of the much beloved Northstar Cafe can now savor the delights of the owners’ new enterprises, Brassica and Third and Hollywood. All have a modern take on casual dining with flavors all their own. Northstar is known for its veggie bowls and burritos, while Brassica offers Middle Eastern fare and Third and Hollywood has tasty burgers and meatballs to die for.

northstar cafe, columbus, ohio

Fox in the Snow Cafe
1031 N. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43201
Enjoy savory treats and caffeinated beverages in this hip, modern environment located in Italian Village.

Sweet Carrot
1417 W. Fifth Ave., Columbus, OH 43212
Sophisticated BBQ and slaws with artisanal groceries is Sweet Carrot Casual Cuisine in a nutshell. Their carrot cake pops are a must.

You can explore all of these great spots in Columbus when you join us in February! Early bird tickets are on sale now until Oct. 1 or until the first 100 sell out. Don’t wait!

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Akron

It might be smaller than Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati, but Akron is teeming with a skilled, do-it-yourself community of artists and crafters. Where else could Mark Mothersbaugh of DEVO and the Black Keys have found their origins but in the Rubber City? Our art is filled with allusions to local eccentricities like blimps, the history of the rubber industry and tire manufacturing, and our love of hard work. This is our crafty city guide to the greater Akron area! — Joanna Wilson, local author and assistant director of Crafty Mart; and Mary Beth Filon, owner of the Portage Trail Barn

S Main cityscape
Cityscape of a row of destinations on S Main St. Photo by Shane Wynn


Everything Akron
209 S. Main St., Akron, OH
This brick-and-morter has been open less than a year, yet it features goods by local artists, designers and crafters in a much-needed downtown space.

Hazel Tree Interiors
143 W. Market St., Akron, OH
The framing shop also carries artsy domestic furnishings and wall decor. They’re well-known for their iconic wall mural, visible from downtown.

Rust and Found
616 S. Main St., North Canton, OH
Repurposed furniture and handmade home goods including candles, jewelry and more. You can even sign up for workshops to learn a thing or two!


Synhak, The Akron Maker Space
48 S. Summit St., Akron, OH
Equipment and classes are available with a focus on technology, science, and art.

Rubber City Prints
First Floor, Summit Artspace, 140 E. Market St. Akron, OH
This is a shared space for artists to make, collaborate, and display printwork.


smARTStudio Akron
678 Paine Ave., Akron, OH
Classes and studio space for artists (both adults and children) to express themselves creatively in a variety of mediums.

OSC Tech Lab
12 E. Exchange St., Akron, OH
A hip downtown coworking space that also serves as a networking group for startups and creatives. Free coworking on Thursdays!


Crafty Mart’s monthly pop-up market at Summit Artspace. Photo by Nat Hansumrittisak

Crafty Mart
various locations
Now a nonprofit organization, Crafty Mart (run by Midwest Craft Con co-organizer Brit Charek!) is in its eighth year and continues to expand, hosting monthly mini-pop-up markets with the downtown Artwalk, the Mom & Pop Shoppe spring show, the annual holiday show, and more. Each year, the holiday show bursts at the seams with handmade goodness, stretching more than 80 vendors across three venues, all within walking distance in downtown Akron on Small Business Saturday just after Thanksgiving.

various locations
Hold on to your hat, Batman! Northeast Ohio’s own Emporium of the Weird celebrates everything unusual, geeky and odd, and showcases artists and crafters.

Portage Trail Barn
151 Portage Trail Ext. W, Cuyahoga Falls, OH
A rustic barn that opens its doors three or four times a year for seasonal events featuring local artists and crafters with an emphasis on repurposed and upcycled items for the family and home.


Givits Thrift and Recycling
5153 Darrow Road, Hudson, OH
A beautiful combination of thrift store, garage sale, and antique shop, Givits has a pickers barn that is perfect for repurposers, treasure hunters and artists.

FullSizeRender (4)

The Bomb Shelter
923 Bank St., Akron, OH
A warehouse of only the best vintage items including midcentury furniture, retro signage, and pop culture items to bring back your favorite memories.

Land of Plenty
339 W. Market St., Akron, OH
An eclectic collection of vintage and antique furniture and decor, arts & crafts, houseplants, succulents, and terrariums, with a new age/metaphysical vibe.

Stagecoach Antiques
449 W. Market St., Akron, OH
Staff that really know their stuff and rooms upon rooms to explore. Dishes, postcards, books, did I say dishes?


Urban Eats
51 E. Market St., Akron, OH
Yummy cafe of creative, seasonal and local foods.  I think it’s safe to say most, if not all, crafty ideas have been hatched sitting right there eating an amazing pizza or panini.

Nighlight bar
Ticket counter and bar at Nightlight Cinema. Photo by Shane Wynn

The Nightlight
30 N. High St., Akron, OH
Around the corner from Urban Eats is Akron’s own independent film theater. Come for an artsy movie or enjoy a craft beer, a cocktail and stimulating conversation in the lobby.

Mustard Seed Café
867 W. Market St., Akron, OH
Above the market, the second floor’s healthy food café and patio is a brand-new eatery in the Highland Square neighborhood — even LeBron James has been there! Grab a meal and a smoothie, then head across the street to shop for new and used LPs at Square Records, and then to Angel Falls Coffee Company to sit in the comfy overstuffed chairs and people-watch.

Angel falls mural
Street art mural on the outside wall of Angel Falls Coffee Company. Photo by Shane Wynn

Thirsty Dog Brewing Company
529 Grant St., Akron, OH
The award-winning brewery features a tasting room with their delicious beers, or come on a Saturday and take a tour of the brewing complex.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con in February? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Cleveland

Cleveland is filled with people who support the home team, if you catch our drift. This rust belt jewel’s makers are particularly great at repurposing, upcycling and bringing back to life all manner of rust belt remnants. Cleveland native Shannon Okey is right in the middle of it as the founder of Cleveland Bazaar (the show formerly known as Bazaar Bizarre Cleveland, now in its 11th year) and of knit publishing house Cooperative Press. These are Shannon’s recommendations of what to do and see in Cleveland!



Salty Not Sweet
2074 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
This boutique located across the street from the West Side Market sells handmade goods from small businesses all over the country and the occasional to-die-for vintage find.

In The 216
1854 Coventry Road, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
This Coventry Village gift shop sells exclusively Ohio-made products!


R/S Boutique
2078 W. 25th St., Cleveland, OH 44113
Room Service is a lifestyle boutique in Ohio City that offers a variety of carefully selected designs from regional and national makers.


Tech Central Maker Space
325 Superior Ave., Cleveland, OH 44114
The main branch of Cleveland’s library makes a wide range of maker-focused machinery available to anyone with a CPL library card, including laser engraver/cutting, 3D printing and vinyl-cutting machines as well as sound recording equipment and more!


Small Studio
26113 Detroit Road, Westlake, OH 44145
This little gem on the far west side is an excellent resource for book and paper artists that offers both retail and classes.

Stitch Cleveland
18117 Detroit Road, Lakewood, OH 44107
Stitch offers sewing classes for kids and adults, regular maker spaces for textile artists.

Tabletop Board Game Cafe
1810 W. 25th St. Cleveland, OH 44113
This board game cafe offers DIY maker workshops on a monthly basis. Sign up in advance– they tend to sell out.


Cleveland Bazaar
Main holiday show at 78th Street Studios; other events year-round
Cleveland Bazaar is the longest-running indie handmade show in Northeast Ohio, with a broad audience and a number of longtime vendors with significant draws of their own. The main holiday show takes place at 78th Street Studios, itself home to a large number of artists and makers.


The Cleveland Flea
Tyler Village and other venues
This recent addition to the Cleveland show scene features a combination of vintage and handmade vendors. Summer events are outside in the Tyler Village redevelopment district.

Artscape at MOCA
Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland
An upscale event centered at Cleveland’s beautiful new Museum of Contemporary Art building in University Circle.

The Last Minute Market
The Galleria at Erieview
This annual market, which takes place the Saturday before Christmas, is every Clevelander’s last chance to find the perfect gift.


The Cleveland Shop
6511 Detroit Ave., Cleveland OH 44102
Cleveland’s oldest vintage clothing store (and source of all your fearless author’s prom and formal dresses through high school) is also one of its best.

Flower Child
11508 Clifton Blvd., Cleveland, OH 44102
This shop specializes in vintage clothing and housewares. They feature mid-century modern, funk and more!

17140 Madison Ave., Lakewood, OH 44107
You want plus size vintage? How about a pair of brand new Teggings, a tights/leggings combo that are indestructible and never run? Head over to Re/Dress and owner Rachel Kacenjar will hook you up! Though located in Cleveland, they have a national presence due to their specialized market.

Sweet Lorain
1705 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
This vintage department store boasts 8,000 square feet of vintage housewares, clothes, collectibles and more.


Multiple locations
You like grilled cheese, right? Ok, you need to go. (Don’t miss the buffalo chicken chowder).


Luxe Kitchen and Lounge
6605 Detroit Ave., Cleveland OH 44102
In the middle of the Gordon Square Arts District is Luxe, whose happy hour is legendary and fries are 100% steal-worthy. Open for dinner, with a great Sunday brunch, too.

Platform Brewing Co.
4125 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH 44113
Located in the unofficial brewery district which houses both Cleveland’s oldest brewpub as well as its newest beer-related businesses (a malt house and a brewing supply company among them). Platform is quickly gaining regional and national attention for its Speed IPA. They have an incubator program for microbrewery businesses, too!

Velvet Tango Room
2095 Columbus Road, Cleveland, OH 44113
Feel like you’re in a fancy speakeasy with retro cocktails, fine art from local artists and often live music.

Shannon Okey is a craft show manager, publisher, author and designer who lives in Cleveland, Ohio, with her husband and four cats (who are probably plotting to kill them both for their thumbs). You can find her on most social media as @knitgrrl.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con in Columbus? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!


Sponsor Love: The Hoop and Needle

Get to know the makers, businesses and faces who are helping us create Midwest Craft Con! Today we meet Sarah Fisher, shop owner of The Hoop and Needle in Cincinnati and online force behind Purple Hippo Stitches. The Hoop and Needle first opened in 2014 to provide downtown Cincinnati as a place to explore cross-stitch and embroidery, and it moved to Northside last year. Sarah will be bringing her store to the Midwest Craft Con trade show!

The coolest embroidery wall on display at The Hoop and Needle.

Megan: How long have you been in the creative scene? How did you get your start?

Sarah: I’ve been cross-stitching since I was 10 years old. When I moved to Indiana for grad school, I started making my own patterns. Stitching was very relaxing compared to grad school. When I lost my main student job in 2010, I started selling some stitches on Etsy and participated in the Bloomington Handmade Market for the first time. I spent the next few years traveling around the Midwest doing as many indie shows as I could and kept outgrowing my studio space in the house. A year and a half ago, I decided to open a small storefront selling cross-stitch and embroidery supplies. After only a year, we packed up and moved into a huge new storefront with plenty of room to expand.


Megan: What services do you provide to your community?

Sarah: In our bigger space, we are able to hold classes and are teaching the next generation to stitch. Every month, a group of about 15 stitchers meet at our storefront for Sip ‘N Stitch, which is exactly what it sounds like: stitching and alcoholic beverages! We also want to show people that there’s plenty of great projects out there that aren’t just cutesy teddy bears and angels. There are tons of modern patterns available and we also stock of adult-oriented stitches!

Megan: What are you most proud of when it comes to your business?

Sarah: Sometimes, you just have to take a huge risk, and moving into our new storefront has really paid off. I’m proud that I took the plunge, because our other location just wasn’t working out. It took a lot of work getting this place usable. It was an old bank that hadn’t been updated since the ’70s. But our landlord let us customize the entire interior and let us paint a mural on the front of the building. Now, this place really feels like it’s all mine.

Megan: What is one big mistake you would suggest others avoid when entering the handmade arena?

Sarah: Don’t put all your time and effort into an Etsy shop. The market is oversaturated, and I’ve seen many small businesses (including my own) take big hits to sales after major policy changes. Just make sure you have a back-up plan. Also, product design and packaging is really key. Watch your customers and see how they respond. I’ve gone through at least three major product redesigns that wouldn’t have happened if I knew what I know now. For example, an artist that I carry in my store recently redesigned all of her packaging and her sales in my store have easily doubled.

Download kits like this from The Hoop and Needle.

Megan: Any big goals for the new year?

Sarah: This year is all about building on the foundations of last year and getting the store to turn a profit. (Nope, we aren’t there yet! Moving was expensive!) I also want to get back into cross-stitch design and make a few new kits and patterns.

Megan: What are you most looking forward to at Midwest Craft Con?

Sarah: I practically live in my store at this point, so I can’t wait for a weekend away with other crafty people and sharing our experiences.

Sarah will be joining us for all three days at the conference along with her perpetual unpaid intern and husband, Tim. Be nice to him — he can teach you how to embroider or cross-stitch!

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Milwaukee

Our crafty city guide for Milwaukee, Wisconsin, comes from Cortney Heimerl, a transplant who became a force in the local craft scene there:

I have lived in Milwaukee for 15 years. I moved here to earn my BFA, and I stayed when I found I could contribute in a meaningful way to the local creative community. Today I spend a lot of my time creating opportunities for people who want to turn their crafty hobbies into small businesses, whether that means coordinating a craft fair or creating a business class for artists — I have found many, many enthusiastic participants in these ideas I dream up. It’s all part of my plan to engage with my community, to make it stronger and to create opportunity. I certainly do not do this alone, as you will see from my list! Milwaukee is lucky to have so many creative people creating and so many supportive people out there shopping local and buying from independent artists. I like to watch the momentum as it builds, and I am excited to see what we can do in the next 15 years. — Cortney Heimerl


Hometown Established, A General Store
321 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53204
Hometown Established was created to give Milwaukee an option for locally sourced utilitarian items and art, with a beautifully curated selection of Milwaukee’s best artists and crafters.

Orange Gallery
1438 E. Russell Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Orange Gallery is the smallest of all of the crafty stores I’m listing, but it is so finely curated and merchandised it would be a shame if you missed it. The owner of this gallery often seeks out artists to make something special just for her shop, so you never know what you’ll find!

Our Daily Salt
3519 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53215
Our Daily Salt opened a storefront to sell their handcrafted kitchen goods and their woodworking shop under one roof.

1800 E. North Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
The Waxwing showcases the work of more than 100 local designers. If you want to see the range of talent that exists in Milwaukee, this is a great place to start.


ABK Weaving Center
1250 E. Burleigh St., Milwaukee, WI 53212
ABK Weaving Center hosts classes for beginning students and intermediate weavers who want to enhance their skills.


Milwaukee Makerspace
2555 S. Lenox St., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Milwaukee Makerspace hosts a community of makers, providing knowledge, equipment and space to support everyone from emerging makers to established creatives. Join them for free open-to-the-public nights on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

1422 N. Fourth St., Milwaukee, WI 53212
RedLine is a gallery and education space but also a print shop and paper-making studio that provides resources to the community.


2224 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Sparrow hosts a wide range of classes from metal etching and enamels to constructing jewelry or tying Celtic knots. Stop by any time to check out the store, which showcases the work of more than 100 artists from Milwaukee and beyond.

Wild Haven
2658 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Wild Haven is a yarn shop focusing on unique fibers and notions for knitters, crocheters and weavers. And if you aren’t a knitter, crocheter or weaver yet, you can take a class to become one!


Hover Craft
annually in early December
Hover Craft focuses on encouraging creative people to create. We host over 70 vendors from Milwaukee who range from emerging to established.


Maker Market
first Sunday of each month May through September, in the parking lot of Bay View’s Colectivo
Over 40 artists, crafters and makers from Milwaukee and beyond come to vend each market day. Grab a cup of coffee, listen to local DJs spinning vinyl, and enjoy checking out the crafts!

One Trick Pony
biannual — check website for upcoming shows
A pop-up flea market that provides a unique one-day shopping event with local and regional collectors, vendors and vintage specialists.

Urban Garage Sale
annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving at Turner Hall
Local shops, makers, artists and crafters showcasing their work at this holiday-focused buying event.


Alt’s Antiques
601 S. Sixth St., Milwaukee, WI 53204
A curiosity shop with a finely curated selection of antiques, oddities and flowers.

Dragonfly Vintage Goods
1117 E. Brady St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Vintage clothing for men, women and children — but it doesn’t stop there! Shop at Dragonfly for an impressive array of barware, vintage vinyl and beautiful old record players.


Luv Unlimited
2649 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53202
Luv’s got new, vintage and handmade clothing, plus an assortment of jewelry and accessories of men and women.



2457 S. Wentworth Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
A charming farm-to-fork restaurant specializing in craft cocktails and beer paired with an ever-changing menu. Delicious!

Milwaukee Public Market
400 N. Water St., Milwaukee, WI 53202
The independent merchants of the Public Market provide high quality selections of artisan and ethnic foods. It’s like a food court, but way, way better.

2491 S. Superior St., Milwaukee, WI 53207
Stop by Palomino for a wide selection of bourbon and delicious Southern-inspired cooking, or take a class to learn the secrets of pie! They really have it all.

Sugar Maple
441 E. Lincoln Ave., Milwaukee, WI 53207
More than 60 American craft beers on tap. What’s more crafty than that?

Cortney Heimerl is a fiber artist and craft fair organizer who loves to find ways to grow the local creative community in Milwaukee. She organizes both Maker Market and Hover Craft, she creates small business classes for artists through Maker Sessions and she provides a consulting service for people who are interested in growing their handmade business, but just aren’t quite sure of the next steps. You can find Cortney in Milwaukee, see what she is making at or follow her on Instagram (@cortneyheimerl).

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Minneapolis and Saint Paul

The crafty city guide to the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN, comes from Mei Pak of Creative Hive Co., one of our creative conference’s illustrious speakers:

I met my husband while we were studying at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. After graduating, I went full time into running my own business, and my husband got a job offer in Minneapolis, so we moved to the Twin Cities. Although we’re transplants, we love Minneapolis and call it our home. It’s a beautiful city with awesome people, it’s super affordable to live here, and we have a thriving creative community! Here are my favorite places that any crafter or maker should visit if you find yourself in this corner of the Midwest. — Mei Pak


ilikeyou, minneapolis

I Like You
501 First Ave. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
I Like You carries the largest selection of handmade products from the Midwest and beyond. You’ll find something for everyone!

1082 Grand Ave., Saint Paul, MN 55105
Bibelot is home to a variety of locally made and designed products ranging from jewelry and paper to home goods and eco-friendly wares.

821 50th St. W, Minneapolis, MN 55419
You could spend hours browsing through Patina’s unique curation of home décor, paper, jewelry, toys and accessories. With seven stores in the Twin Cities, you can’t miss it the next time you’re in town!


crafty planet, minneapolis

Crafty Planet
2833 Johnson St. NE, Minneapolis, MN 55418
Find super cool reproduction and modern fabrics as well as tons of craft stuff here.

2613 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55406
Kids and adults can take a workshop or two at Articulture — but don’t forget to visit their gallery and retail space where you can find art supplies and products made by local artists.


No Coast Craft-o-Rama
Annually at Midtown Global Market
This holiday indie craft show is heavily advertised and promoted in the Twin Cities. Vendors from out of town brave the snowy weather to sell at No Coast because foot traffic and sales can go through the roof!

craftstravaganza, minneapolis

Craftstravaganza and Craft’za
Annually at Minnesota State Fair Grounds and Grain Belt Bottling House
Andy Krueger at Scuttlebug LLC organizes two annual awesome craft shows in the Twin Cities. They’re juried shows that showcase the best and coolest handmade products and art!


Junk Bonanza
Canterbury Park in Shakopee, MN
One of the biggest events for purveyors and shoppers of vintage finds, beautiful antiques and artisan-repurposed pieces.

junk bonanza, minneapolis

2207 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55405
Specializing in men’s and women’s fashion and accessories from the ’60s to the ’90s.

The Cottage House
4304 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407
Find rare vintage items, shabby chic furniture and antique home décor accessories here that you can’t get anywhere else.


4762 Chicago Ave., Minneapolis, MN 55407
A local favorite artisanal bakery that serves up delicious soup and lunch items. Come for the good food and peaceful atmosphere! 

turtlebread, minneapolis

3220 W. Lake St., Minneapolis, MN 55416
A cozy neighborhood bakery with a unique selection of breads, pastries and dessert tarts.

Bull Run Coffee
3346 Lyndale Ave. S, Minneapolis, MN 55408
Bull Run Coffee is a small-batch coffee roaster with a great new expanded space to hang out and chat with crafty friends!

Mei Pak is a marketing strategist guiding and supporting small and creative business owners to a more consistent income. Mei also runs Tiny Hands, a line of handmade, scented food jewelry with her small team of assistants, that is sold in over a hundred stores across the U.S. You can find Mei in Minneapolis and on Instagram.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con? Get your tickets now and join creative business people from all across the Midwest!

City Guides

The Crafty Guide to Cincinnati

In my eight years living in Cincinnati, I’ve seen the city grow into a real center for creative activity. Back when my friend and I started Crafty Supermarket six years ago, it was hard to find other crafters, makers and creatives. I’m very happy to report that is no longer the case, as you can see the options for creative engagement abound in my Crafty Guide to Cincinnati:


The Hoop & Needle
4019 Hamilton Ave, Cincinnati, OH 45223
All the supplies you need to do needlework, cross-stitching and embroidery, plus fun works of art by the owner, Purple Hippo Stitches.

hoop and needle

2010 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45208
This gallery has a long history of showing fine craft and art from around Cincinnati and around the world.

MiCA 12/v
1201 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
A lovely store run by a couple of design lovers with a great eye for housewares, jewelry and accessories.

Red Tree Gallery
3210 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209
A wonderful coffee shop that has expanded its gallery to include tons of work from local makers and crafters.

Rock Paper Scissors
1301 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
This homegrown arts and crafts store focuses exclusively on crafts, art and music made around Cincinnati. Say hello to the shop dog!


Brazee Street Studios
4426 Brazee Street, Cincinnati, OH 45209
If you love glass art, you’ll love this creative center where you can take a class or set up some studio time for yourself.

Funke Fired Arts
3130 Wasson Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209
This clay studio (soon to become Queen City Clay) offers lots of classes for kids and adults alike.

2929 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45225
If your interests skew tech-y, check out this hackerspace in Camp Washington. 

Maker Space at the Cincinnati Main Library
800 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH, 45202
The main branch of the public library has a new, giganto maker space including 3D printers, lasercutters, vinyl printers, A/V recording, sewing machines and button makers, all available to use for very cheap.

The Manufactory
12055 Mosteller Road, Cincinnati, OH ‎45241
Up in the northern suburbs, this member-based makerspace offers classes in everything from woodworking to welding to lasercutting.

Sewn Studio
3212 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209
This adorable fabric shop in Oakley also hosts classes for sewists of all levels. 

crafty supermarket crowd


  • Crafty SupermarketThe show I run with my business partner, Chris, is celebrating its sixth birthday this year, and we anticipate more than 5,000 shoppers to join us and 90+ vendors at Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine on Nov. 28!
  • The City Flea: A monthly urban flea market that runs from May to December each year. The next big show for them is Small Mall, bringing together bricks-and-mortar stores on Nov. 29.
  • Art On Vine: This monthly art market is downtown on Fountain Square during the warmer months and up at the Rhinegeist brewery in OTR when it’s cold.
  • Clay AllianceIf you love ceramics and pottery, you’ll love the two shows this organization puts on each year, in spring and around the holidays.
  • Art Off PikeJust across the river in Covington, KY, this annual big street festival includes lots of makers.
  • The OFF Market: This monthly street fair in Oakley draws lots of makers and crafters from around the city.


Lentz & Company
339 Ludlow Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45220
This vintage shop in the very cute Gaslight District also sells handmade items from local crafters.

Mainly Art
3711 Madison Road, Cincinnati, OH 45209
If high-end mid-century modern furniture is your jam, you will love this shop that frequently sends its pieces to movie sets.

4577 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45223
From the huge amounts of reasonably priced vintage clothing to the impeccable mid-century furniture, you’re bound to find something to fall in love with here.

Ohio Valley Antique Mall
7285 Dixie Highway, Fairfield, OH 45014
This gigantic antique mall is a favorite for pickers from surrounding counties, with reasonable prices and everything you could possibly hope to find. Plan to spend at least a few hours to get through it all.


Cheapside Cafe
326 E. Eighth St., Cincinnati OH 45202
Cool decor, great coffee and even better food at this breakfast-and-lunch spot.

collective CAC

Collective CAC
44 E. Sixth St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
The first floor of the Contemporary Arts Center has a brand new cafe and beautiful lounge area where you can chill.

The Comet
4579 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati OH 45223
Have a beer, get a burrito and hang out with the creative community in Northside.

Findlay Market
1801 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Ohio’s oldest continually operating market offers fresh foods year-round, and there are great places to eat in and around the square!

1400 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
I wholeheartedly endorse the cocktails at this Japanese gastropub on Vine Street.

1345 Main St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
A chill local bar where you are sure to find other creative types. Try the MOTR burger!

Grace Dobush is a freelance journalist in Cincinnati and one of the organizers of Midwest Craft Con. You can follow her on Twitter at @gracedobushtogo.

Are you coming to Midwest Craft Con? Early bird tickets are on sale now until Oct. 31 or until the first 100 sell out. Don’t wait!