Meet the Speakers: Dana Walsh & Katie Swett of Weebly

Dana Walsh is the event and community coordinator at Weebly. While based in NYC, Dana travels across the country to work with some of Weebly’s 40 million users. Last year, both Dana led Weebly’s Like a Boss Bus Tour across the southeast to help over 1,000 Americans get signed up and online with Weebly!

Katie Swett is a senior product manager at Weebly.  She currently lives in NYC with her husband and their mini goldendoodle, Henry. At Weebly, she manages two products, Weebly Themes and Weebly Promote, essentially crafting how your websites and email communications are designed.


At Midwest Craft Con 2017, Dana and Katie will present a session called Website Best Practices. They’re also giving a demonstration of what the Weebly platform can do for your small business on Friday night, followed by a hands-on workshop where conners can cook up a new website — and get a discount on their plans. Oh, and they’re providing happy hour drinks on Friday! Thanks, Weebly!


How would you describe yourself in 10 words or less?

Dana: I am an active and quirky individual who loves outdoor craftivities!

Katie: Aesthetically inclined, realistically optimistic, secretly competitive and a lifelong student.

What is your earliest crafty memory?

Dana: I recall basket weaving with my grandmother when I was about 7!

Katie: Making braided bracelets with my sister at summer swim meets.

What is your favorite thing about the Midwest?

Dana: Midwest Craft Con 🙂 and the beautiful snow!

Katie: Buckeyes (the dessert and the team) and the people!

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

Dana: I have always dreamed of being a professional athlete who gets to travel and compete across the world.

Katie: A patent lawyer, protecting people’s creations

What three things would you recommend to makers?


  • Trust your unique and creative instincts.
  • Don’t be afraid to try something very very different and new.
  • Get off social media, and start living in the present and creative moment.


  • Turn off your cell phones and computer — just take in your surroundings. Pinterest is GREAT, but sometimes you want to create trends and that inspiration often comes offline.
  • Be you — listen to yourself.
  • Travel — be inspired by real life and real people.

What are your personal resolutions for 2017?

Dana: I am trying to cook all my meals and get more creative in the kitchen.

Katie: I am training to run my first half marathon!


Tell Your Story to CraftSanity at Midwest Craft Con!

Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood of the amazing CraftSanity podcast will be recording audio and video podcasts at Midwest Craft Con! Some of the topics she’s interested in discussing are listed below but she’s totally open to discussions not on the list as well, traditional CraftSanity artist profiles, too. Feel free to email her if you have a story to share! From her blog:

  • Failing Up & Starting Over. Have you flamed out, lost steam or flat out failed to get your big dream off the ground only to have to head back to the drawing board to regroup and try again? What did you learn from this experience? How did it change you? How are you better off after that initial stumble or misstep? What advice do you have for others who haven’t gotten all the way across the bridge to success yet? Or are you still working through this process? What motivates you to try even harder to stick the landing this time time around? When should you call it quits? How are you working to build momentum again?
  • What is your superpower and how do you use it? What is your kryptonite and how do you work around it? True confession: I’ve been binge watching superhero shows on Netflix and I’m addicted. There’s something about going after bad guys with non-lethal, bad*ss moves that really appeals to me. But, sadly, I’m not a superhero (and I would not be able to reveal this if I was). The point is, we all have different strengths and weakness, and I’m interested in talking to creative folks about how you use both to be successful.
  • Handmade as self-help. This topic is the core of the CraftSanity philosophy. I make stuff when I’m happy, sad and in between. It’s how I breathe and how I process just about everything I experience in life. When babies are born, I knit blankets and make quilts. I print my kids custom T-shirts for special events and friend birthdays. When the weekly art & craft column I wrote for many years was cut, I wrote a column reflecting on what I learned from all the wonderful artists and crafters who invited me into their homes and studios and then I made a modern quilt with a hand-carved and printed “Thank you” message on it to photograph and publish with the column. I’m interested in hearing how you have used art and craft to create your way through difficult times and any advice you might have for others going through a rough patch right now. What would you say to inspire someone to try to pick up a paint brush, crochet hook or embroidery needle as a calming act of self-empowerment?
  • The best/worst handmade gift ever. My mom has graciously accepted some hideous handmade stuff that I’ve made her through the years. (It took me a couple decades to get good at this stuff, what can I say?) And while handmade gifts remain my favorite, sometimes they are terrible. I want to hear about the best and worst handmade gifts you’ve ever given or received. Bonus points to those who bring the item or a photo of it along. 🙂
  • Let’s dream out loud, okay?! I’m a huge fan of bucket lists and really like to ask people I know and strangers, too, what they would do if they could do anything. Aside from my very unlikely but fun dream of owning a lavender farm on Lake Michigan waterfront, I would love to travel the country, towing a shiny Airstream trailer equipped with a modest recording booth and interview artists and crafters along the way. I would load my trailer with my printmaking and other art and craft supplies and I would skill share with the people I meet along the way. I would teach what I know and learn from everyone I meet and write a book and shoot a documentary about the experience. I’d blog about it, too.

If you’ve never been interviewed before, don’t worry, it’s totally painless! Just think of it like talking to a friend. Listen to the CraftSanity episodes with me talking about Midwest Craft Con and Lisa Congdon talking about her career here. And don’t forget to get a ticket to the conference if you haven’t already!