conference · craft shows · Craftin' Outlaws · keynotes · News · speakers

Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2023!

Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share! 

Who’s speaking at the CON?
Our keynote for 2023 will be: Toni Lipsey of TL Yarn Crafts.

TLYarn-52

Toni Lipsey, the designer and instructor behind TL Yarn Crafts, strives to inspire others’ creativity through online tutorials and modern, approachable crochet patterns. Toni learned to crochet from her mother as a teenager and has been exploring the possibilities of yarn ever since. Her current design obsessions are oversized shawls and modern home decor. When she’s not crocheting, you can find Toni cuddled with her 2 kittens and husband in her Ohio home, binge-watching the latest true-crime thriller on Netflix. Follow her daily crochet journey on Instagram and pick up her book, The Tunisian Crochet Handbook, and patterns on tlyarncrafts.com.  Stay tuned for our full length keynote interview.

When is Midwest Craft Con returning?
Never Craft Alone at Midwest Craft Con which will be held March 31 – April 2, 2023 in Columbus, Ohio!

In addition to the 3 day conference, we are adding Craftin’ Outlaws, our annual marketplace on Sunday, April 2 to close the event. 

All experiences will be hosted at the Columbus Museum of Art. Attendees will gain access to the Museum and discounted room rate but it’s not required to stay at our contracted hotel. 

Ticket Breakdown:

  • $299.00 – Member tickets open 9/15/2022
  • $349.00 – Early Bird tickets open 10/1/2022
  • $450.00 – General admission tickets opens 11/01/2022
  • $175.00 – $200.00 Day passes open 1/15/2023

If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynote(s) to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at craft fairs.  Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended. 

Read more about joining us and lodging

Stay tuned for speaker & workshop sign ups, scholarship forms, roommate options, and interviews with our keynote(s) and so much more!

Advertisement
conference · craft shows · News · speakers

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.

conference · News

Win a scholarship and attend Midwest Craft Con 2020!

085_MWCC

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.

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!

keynotes · News

Save the Date for Midwest Craft Con 2020!

Midwest Craft Con is back and we have so many exciting announcements to share! Grab your ticket today. 

Who’s speaking at the CON?
Our keynotes for 2020 will be:.

  • Twinkie Chan is a crochet designer, author, blogger, YouTuber, and Creativebug instructor known for her colorful, food-themed accessories like cupcake scarves, hamburger mitts, and slushee cup purses
  • Sara Trail is an author, sewing teacher and pattern and fabric designer. A graduate of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, she founded the Social Justice Sewing Academy (SJSA) to be a platform where youth create art that engages and educates communities. craft con 2019 (3).png

When is Midwest Craft Con returning?
Crafting your own adventure at Midwest Craft Con will start on February 28th – March 1st, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio! If you haven’t been to our conference, prepare yourself for a an endless weekend filled with pom poms and googly eyes, while you build your creative business. Get ready for our keynotes to fill you with inspiration, meet your creative heroes you admire online, and prepare to see colleagues you only see across the aisle at festivals.  Make new friends who help provide the extra drive you need to keep your business growing, long after the conference has ended.

Our theme for 2020 is Craft Your Own Adventure. We will return to the concrete cornfields (Google it!) of Dublin, Ohio. Our craft headquarters will be the Embassy Suites outside of Columbus.

Stay tuned for new team members, speaker & workshop sign ups, early bird release dates, scholarship forms, interviews with our keynotes and so much more!

RSVP Online or sign up to our newsletter to stay up to date on all the announcements!

News

Want to Get Involved With Midwest Craft Con?

As we get ready for our next con in 2020, we’re going to be making some changes in how we run Midwest Craft Con. Specifically, I’m going to be stepping back from active organizing duties.

Those of you who know me as the emcee of the con or from my time organizing Crafty Supermarket might not know that by day I’m a freelance journalist. And since I moved from Cincinnati to Berlin back in 2017, my career has really taken off.

It’s been incredible building up Midwest Craft Con over the past four years with Megan and Brit, and I don’t want my lack of bandwidth to hold back the team. To pick up my slack as I step back, we’re looking for a few people to join Midwest Craft Con’s organizing committee!

The basics

Who you are: A crafty person who is interested in helping make Midwest Craft Con as awesome as it can be! You don’t have to be located in the Midwest, but you have to be willing and able to come to Columbus, Ohio, in February 2020!

What you need: A reliable home internet connection and computer access. (We use Google Drive for almost everything.) Relevant skills and experience for the specific position. A can-do attitude and a love for crafty people and crafty life. Respect for our code of conduct.

Your time commitment: We’ll need you to join occasional Google Hangout meetings starting in June, which we’ll schedule to best fit everyone’s availability. The individual positions have varying time commitments: Some require more work months before the conference, some require more time in the last weeks leading up to the con. You’ll need to be willing to work during the conference, including during setup or teardown. So you might not get to see every session you want to see, but we guarantee you’ll have a good time.

What you get: You’ll get free access to Midwest Craft Con, a shared hotel room for four nights and your meals covered. If we surpass our goal of selling 250 tickets, cash money compensation will kick in on a sliding scale, which can include travel expenses to and from the con. You’ll also be as a Midwest Craft Con Team Member on the website with a bio and links.

What to do now: If you’re interested, read the position descriptions below and then fill out this form by March 15! If you’re interested in more than one position, that’s totally fine! Just explain to us in the notes what skills you’d bring to the group. We’ll review the applications and reply to everyone in April, and set up our first team videochat after that to get started on planning for 2020!

The positions

Grants and Partnerships Partner

Time commitment: Most work happens months ahead of the conference, plus wrap up. reporting after the event, as well as manage data collection through DataArts. We’d also love for this person to be with us for the long haul, as the grant cycles may fall in our off years.
Job description: This position requires attention to detail and also collection of data to prove our effectiveness. We’d also love for this person to build partnerships with other nonprofits and craft shows to create in-kind deals.

Sponsorship Manager

Time commitment: Most work happens months ahead of the conference, plus on-site management of the Trade Show and wrap up.
Job description: Be the point person to connect with corporations and businesses who want to support crafters in the form of cash money! We’re looking for someone with a lot of initiative to reach out to existing and new potential sponsors. This person will also be in charge of coordination of the on-site trade show and the crafty caravans.

Workshop Coordinator

Time commitment: The bulk of this work happens 3 to 4 months ahead of the conference.
Job description: Develop the workshop track of the conference, which is free to all attendees. Identify and recruit workshop leaders and workshop themes. Work with instructors to get supply lists and purchase items while sticking to a budget. Collect and manage deliveries of supplies, assist with day of room shifts from 1 activity to another, take inventory at the end of the event.

Speaker Wrangler

Time commitment: Most of this work happens in the 4 to 8 months ahead of the conference.
Job description: The speaker wrangler is the main contact person for all our speakers, working closely with the founders to develop the content plan. Duties include reaching out to potential speakers, communicating with speakers and keynotes invited to the conference, collecting biographies, session descriptions and other content. Duties also include coordinating speakers’ travel and itineraries, collecting accounting forms and maintaining the speaker budget and schedule.

Content Manager

Time commitment: About 15 hours per month
Job description: This person is the voice of our blog and updates our website. We need someone with a lively writing style and solid editing skills to write original content and edit contributed content for our website. This person also writes the approximately monthly newsletter that we use to promote the event. We welcome someone who has ideas to bring to the table! This person will also be responsible for collecting and editing content for the con program and any auxiliary print materials.

Social Media Manager

Time commitment: Weekly check-ins, 5 hours per week for the 6 months leading up to the con.
Job description: We’ve got great followings on Facebook and Instagram, but we’ve so far lacked a cohesive social plan. Our social specialist will own our social channels and help promote Midwest Craft Con in an engaging, crafty way, tying together our blog content with ticket sales. This person will also be responsible for coordinating our speakers’ instagram takeovers and reaching out to crafty influencers.

Customer Service Manager

Time commitment: Weekly check-ins, then 5 hours per week in the 4 months leading up to the con.
Job description: This person would monitor our email account to reply to potential attendees, answer questions coming from Eventbrite and send confirmation details to attendees. This person will print the final attendee lists for the con as well as the side events, such as the Crafty Caravan and Craft Swap. This person needs to have a problem-solving attitude and be also available to help work on the first day of Midwest Craft Con to help check in attendees and oversee a loyal group of volunteers.

Design Manager

Time commitment: Periodic check-ins, then 5 hours per week in the 2 months leading up to the con.
Job description: This person assists the Social Media Manager and Content Manager with any image needs they have for our social media and website. This person’s main work will be leading up to the conference as we prepare the con program, auxiliary materials and signage. This position requires Adobe Creative Suite experience.

News

2018 Fall + Holiday Craft Shows Around the Midwest

Midwest Craft Con was founded by three craft show organizers with the mission to help people grow their handmade businesses. While we are still recovering from our conference — sign up for our emails to get details on the next con in 2020 — we are deep in the DIY craft show scene all year round. This list of craft shows and fairs around the Midwest and adjacent states for the rest of 2018 is our gift to makers who want to branch out to new markets. But it’s also for handmade fans who feel like taking a craft show road trip!

strung by shawna, string art, usa map
Art by Midwest Craft Con alumna Strung by Shawna

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

News

All the feels 😊

Anyone who knows me knows I have a lot of feelings. I said that from the Midwest Craft Con stage, and I stand by that statement as I slowly come down from the high of euphoria brought on by being surrounded by so many lovely, hustling, resourceful, creative sisters (and five brothers!) for one of the best weekends of my life.

You might have caught me openly weeping during our inspiring keynote speakers. Gemma Correll helped me stop stressing about how my son would rather draw and make up stories than interact with actual people. Creativity creates confidence! Vickie Howell reminded me that I can and totally am DIYing my dreams. Finally, I couldn’t agree more with Kathy Cano-Murillo’s advice to feed off the energy of up-and-comers instead of being intimated. And the timely reminder to have more glitter in my life is always welcome.

In addition to all the great business classes, the DIY craft workshops were so much fun! I learned to macrame, shibori dye, bind a book and draw a pug! It was also a great way to “network” with other attendees without the awkwardness of forced social interaction with strangers.

The Craft Crawl was a huge success, despite the googly eye explosion left in my hotel room post-Galentine’s Day party. 🤣 The roving party from hotel room to hotel room had super fun activities along the way combined with great company.

I was also lucky enough to hit up one of the bus tours to visit Wholly Craft (which is one of my favorite places in the world), Surprise Modern Party, Blockfort (where I saw a spoiler-free Black Panther exhibit and screened a cozy [koozie]) and ended with dinner at the Grass Skirt Tiki Room.

Somehow I was also able to squeeze in some quality time in the hot tub with some BFFs that I don’t see often enough. (See, Megan? At least someone benefits from your insomnia!)

And, oh yes, karaoke.

I agree with Grace that this has been our best Con yet. Can’t wait to see y’all in 2020!

News

Thank you for being you!

I don’t think I’m being hyperbolic when I say Midwest Craft Con 2018 was the best con ever! More than 200 makers joined us from across North America in Dublin, Ohio, for three days of learning, doing and connecting. If you were with us last weekend, please let us know how it was for you in this short survey!

We have a lot of people to thank for helping make it possible — our excellent speakers who came from near and far to share their expertise, and especially Kathy Cano Murillo, Gemma Correll and Vickie Howell for their inspiring keynote talks!

midwest craft con 2018
Photo taken by Chris Rutan just before the final keynote! Many delightful conners who had to depart early not pictured.

We also have to thank especially the Ohio Arts Council and Greater Columbus Arts Council for their generous funding in the form of multiple grants in 2018. And we extend our utmost appreciation to our many sponsors and supporters: the Craft Industry Alliance, Igloo Letterpress, Handmade Arcade, Hello Fresh, Yarn It and Haberdashery, Dabble and Stitch, Alison Rose, The Hoop and Needle, Wholly Craft, Surprise!, Sew to Speak, Fire Mountain Gems and Beads, Canva, Aeolidia, StickerYou, Square, and Clif Bars.

And we couldn’t have pulled it off without our amazing volunteers: Claire, Mallory, Juniper, Cheryl, Sam and Al and Tricia from Handmade Arcade. And shoutouts to Jodi Lynn of Detroit Craft Academy, who did interviews with conners all weekend, and Chris Rutan who photographed our event and Megan Leigh Barnard, who took headshots in the trade show.

A great new feature of Midwest Craft Con this year was the hands-on making opportunities over the weekend, led by smART studios, Alternative Fashion Mob, Craft-a-way Camp, Gemma Correll, Jesiiii, Betsy Greer and Igloo Letterpress. And thanks to the sponsors and friends who opened up their suites on the Craft Crawl, which will absolutely be happening again!

If you didn’t get a T-shirt at the con — or you need another shirt or a tote for a friend, those will be for sale soon right here in our Big Cartel shop!

The next Midwest Craft Con will be happening in 2020, and for now we are going to wrap things up and take some much needed R&R! Thank you so much for being a part of Midwest Craft Con, and in the meantime we will see you here on the internet so you #nevercraftalone.

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!