Originally a 2 day event named Midwest Craft Caucus formed in 2011. It lived dormant until 3 craft show organizers from around the State of Ohio formed it into the CONference its become today.
Midwest Craft Con is now run by a loyal group of team members and volunteers. Who each have combined passions for furthering the handmade movement and bringing the DIY community together in the name of craft.
Brit Charek is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Midwest Craft Con. She started her crafty journey selling vintage clothing and upcycled jewelry and organized the indie craft fair Crafty Mart for many years. She is a high school English teacher, and the winner of the 2017 Knight Arts Challenge for her work on Bechdel Fest, a film festival featuring films that all pass the “Bechdel Test”, which draws attention to gender inequality in film and fiction. Brit lives with her partner Mathias and two sons.
Megan Green is the Co-Founder and Co-Executive Director of Midwest Craft Con and a general lover of craft related mishaps. She’s been a plush maker and co-founded the Etsy Plush Team and formed a semi- prominent soap company, Stinkybomb Soaps, which was featured in Country Living Magazine, sold in the Warhol Museum and the WWII National Museum. She currently serves as Event Director for Craftin’ Outlaws and through her day job at Columbus Underground. Her passion for bringing together community and crafts into Columbus, Ohio has been an ongoing personal and professional mission for over a decade.
Grants and Partnership Partner: Rachel Dominguez-Benner is a painter and textile artist born and raised in Lansing, Michigan. She received her BFA with a focus in Graphic Design, and Metalsmithing from the Stamps School of Art and Design at the University of Michigan in 2004. Recently Rachel has completed a year of creative practice for the Gem City Market Cooperative , and is practicing the art of screen printing and surface design (adventures best captured in her instagram feed: @RachelDBCreative). With over a decade of sewing utilitarian canvas goods under the banner “Bundle and Stow,” a love of data and spreadsheets, and her two attendances at Midwest Craft Con, Rachel is joyful to join the team as MWCC’s Grants and Partnerships Partner!
Sponsorship Manager: Lesley Ware, an author, educator and fashion personality who has written three books, Sew Fab: Sewing and Style for Young Fashionistas, My Fab Fashion Style File, and How to Be a Fashion Designer with publishers Laurence King and DK Books of London. She’s created fashion education programs for The Parsons School of Design, The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pioneer Works, Museum of the City of New York and other institutions in New York. Lesley is currently writing her 4th book and designing her 2nd capsule collection inspired by silhouette’s from the 17th century, related to her family’s fashion history. Originally from the lovely state of Michigan currently living in Brooklyn.
Speaker Wrangler: Michelle Bazeley is a Cincinnati native who currently lives in the most Midwest of Southern towns – Louisville! She is a compulsively crafty person who loves to dabble in every medium, but is primarily a paper and fabric maker. It all started when she was ten years old – her siblings were playing sports and she was creating ball gowns for her Barbie doll and learning to use her mother’s sewing machine. She sells her handmade goods on Etsy @HotWheelsandGlueGuns and teaches creative classes locally. During the day she works for the City of Louisville in the disabilities field. She’s equally passionate about inclusiveness and promoting the lives of folks with disabilities as she is about teaching people to access their creativity!
Design Manager: Andi Ploehs is the owner and brains behind A.P. Loves Design – a feel good hand lettered stationery and paper goods biz. She works out of her home studio in Cincinnati where she prints, cuts, scores, and packages all items. After graduating high school, Andi moved to Chicago where she received her B.F.A. in Advertising Design. She never imagined leaving Chicago, but soon after moving back she met her husband John. They now live near downtown along with their 4 month old Xavier and dog Scout. Cincinnati is thriving right now. People from all over the world are visiting and small businesses are popping up everywhere. It’s a very exciting time for the city, and Andi is thrilled that her family and business are able to witness and be a part of it. You can find APLD in retailers across the country and online, www. aplovesdesign.com Instagram: @aplovesdesign
Customer Service Manager: Mallory Theiss has been working in the fabric and craft industry for 12 years, specializing in customer service, marketing and project management, she has worked alongside many industry leaders over the years. She has a passion for sewing, hand embroidery and just about anything that involves fabric. She has recently started (slowly) working on a hand made wardrobe and had her first sewing project published in a national magazine. Mallory was born and raised in Ohio where she was taught to sew by her mother and learned that everyone should have at least one room in their house full of fabric and craft supplies. She currently lives outside of Columbus while serving clients locally, and across the country. She has three children, 5 sewing machines and a stash of fabric that would make Tim Gunn blush. Learn more about her at http://www.malloryhill.com or follow along on Instagram @malloryhillmakes.
Social Media Manager: Margot Madison, a Cincinnati, Ohio native and cheerleader of creative entrepreneurs anywhere. She spent 25+ years attending the Business School of Hard Knocks while running (not at the same time, but almost) a freelance graphic design business, a retail stationery shop, a wholesale business and an online business. Margot made a lot of bold moves she’s proud of and many painful mistakes along the way too. Now she’s helping creatives figure out how to build a business that is both manageable AND fulfilling. It can be done, she promises. http://www.morecreativejuice.com
Content Manager: Jessica Anderson recently left super sunny Arizona behind and moved to Ohio with her husband, 5 kids and 3 cats. She is a knitwear designer and the owner of the Jessica Anderson Designs brand and is currently working on a book of patterns inspired by one of her favorite childhood books about a very silly Bear. As the founder and CEO of Yarn Confidential, Jessica loves spending her days collaborating with dyers and designers. Her whole family is looking forward to learning more about their new hometown and exploring more of Ohio! You can find out more about her design process as well as check out her knitting patterns at JessicaAndersonDesigns.com. If you are interested in learning more about how she can help you in your Creative Endeavors, or help you get your own craft related business started, be sure to head over to YarnConfidential.com.
Workshop Coordinator: Stacy Wong is a lifelong collector, maker + creative and inspired by all types and styles of art. She designs and makes a line of meaningful gifts + modern wood goods which are unique, aesthetically pleasing, and functional. She also teaches creative-making workshops in a variety of mediums as a way to give back and share with the community. Stacy really enjoys collaborating with shops, markets, and libraries to host monthly workshops. Her philosophy is simple, “Do more of what makes you happy.” She considers herself a “California Midwesterner” as she was born and raised in Michigan, married a Buckeye, and her two boys are “So Cal” bred. When not creating, you can Stacy checking out the latest indie market or trying out the newest restaurant in town. Websites: https://stacywonghandmade.com/ https://www.shoptwine.com/ Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stacywonghandmade/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stacywonghandmade/
Co-Founder: Grace Dobush, a freelance journalist based in Germany and operating worldwide. She wrote the Crafty Superstar business guides for part-time crafters, and co-founded the Crafty Supermarket craft show in Cincinnati. We look forward to her new role as an International Cat Sitter and thank her for everything!