The time has come–the schedule is here! Whether you’re a fresh face on the scene or a veteran crafty business owner (or somewhere in between), we’ve worked to bring you stellar classes by expert teachers that will help you take the next steps in your business. Below you’ll find the full list of twelve classes to choose from for both days of the conference. There’s no need to pre-register for your classes, though, as there’s plenty of space in each room for everyone. Buy your early-bird two-day passes through Tuesday, September 22nd for a $20 savings on the regular ticket price.
Friday, October 16
8:30–9:00 — Check In
9:00–9:15 — Welcome from Isaac Watson, founder of Maker’s Nation
9:15–9:45 — Keynote: Katie Hunt
9:45–10:00 — Break
10:00–11:30 — Class 1
Your Creative Canvas: Mapping Your Business at Any Stage – Jena Nesbitt
Kick things off by building your business plan and creating a roadmap in 90 minutes! Jena will use her Creative Canvas worksheets to help you define your creative vision, identify your unique value, find your unfair advantage, create your pricing process, and measure your success. Even if you’ve been in business for a few years, revisioning your canvas is a great tool to see how your business model may have changed, set new goals, or make a shift in your business.
Building Your Customer Path: Get the people who love your products to pay for them – Tara Swiger
As a crafter you have plenty of admirers, yet persuading someone who is interested in your work to become a paying customer is no small feat. Learn how you can create a customer path that gets people to find you, fall in love with you, and then pay for them again and again.
11:30–12:30 — Lunch (provided)
12:30–2:00 — Class 2
Getting the Big Picture: Product Photography Essentials for Online Sellers – Marlo Miyashiro
One of the most important selling tools you have for your online shop is the photography of your products. If they don’t look as best as they can, customers won’t be interested. Marlo will walk you through the essential concepts and approaches to product photography that will put you in the right mindset to go out and either take your own photos or hire a professional. Note: This class includes a basic overview of camera settings and focuses mainly on the creative side of product photography that will have your products looking their best.
Legalese: Understanding Contracts and Avoiding Pitfalls – Molly Maloney
Whether you like it or not, contracts and legal agreements pop up a lot in the business world. But what is a “boilerplate” clause anyway? Molly will walk through common contract terminology, types of clauses that we typically encounter, what to look for when you receive a contract from someone else, and what to keep in mind when you’re preparing a contract yourself. Most importantly, she’ll also outline a few scenarios where it might be a good idea to involve an attorney. At the end of this class you just might be itching to find a contract to review and pick apart with the knowledge you’ve just amassed!
2:00–2:15 — Break
2:15–3:00 — Round Table Sessions: Your Next Best Step – In this group activity, you’ll have a chance to make the rounds and get lightning-fast feedback with a focus on actionable next steps from experts on specific topics like social media, online selling, craft fairs and shows, etc. Think of it like an “ask me anything” for creative business but with a ticking clock keeping things lively and interesting.
3:00–3:15 — Break
3:15–4:45 — Class 3
Pay Yourself: Find the Profit In Your Creative Business – Tara Swiger
You want gorgeous, growing, beaming support from the work you love. You work hard, implement your ideas and move towards your goal. But you still wonder: How do I actually get there? To the point where I’m making money, paying myself and building something sustainable? There’s a way to pay yourself and still feel like a human. And an artist. The way you profit and remain human is simple, and Tara will show you how.
Holiday Sanity: Preparing For (and Surviving) the Retail Holiday Season – Sharon Fain
It’s that time of year again. Whether you’ve lined up back-to-back weekends of holiday markets, stocked up your online shop, or have wholesale orders begging to be filled, keeping your sanity during the holidays (not to mention a social life) is no small feat. In this class, you’ll identify what to focus on during the holidays so you maximize your profits and don’t over commit. This will be your best holiday season yet.
4:45–5:30 — Teacher Q&A: We’ll invite the day’s speakers and teachers back up in front of all the attendees for a moderated Q&A on what you learned, what lingering questions you still might have, and other fun conversation.
6:00–8:00 — Happy Hour (optional)
Saturday, October 17
8:30–9:00 — Check In
9:00–9:15 — Welcome & Announcements
9:15–9:45 — Keynote: Kim Werker
9:45–10:00 — Break
10:00–11:30 — Class 4
How To Get More Done: Create a Workday You Love – Tara Swiger
Stop fretting over the limited number of hours in a day and get to work – the smart way! Tara will lead you to create your own simple action plan to manage your time, your business, and your family life more efficiently.
Selling Wholesale: Is it the Next Step for My Business? – Katie Hunt
While it is exciting to think about your products lining the shelves of Target or beautifully displayed in Anthropologie, making the jump to wholesale should not be taken lightly. Selling wholesale is a different ball game than working directly with end consumers therefore your approach needs to be different. This workshop will discuss what it means to sell wholesale, pricing strategies and sales tools you need to have for wholesale. We’ll walk through exercises to help you determine if wholesale is the best next step for your business. Perfect for the beginner just starting out or someone looking to take a step in this direction with their existing retail products.
11:30–12:30 — Lunch
12:30–2:00 — Class 5
Line Sheets & Catalogs: Setting Yourself Up for Wholesale Success – Marlo Miyashiro
Once you’ve decided to pursue wholesale accounts, you’ll want to make sure your wholesale tool belt is armed and looking fabulous with line sheets, catalogs, and other promotional and sales materials to stay on top of the wholesale world. Learn best practices for creating both print and online catalogs and line sheets, effective wholesale order forms, and wholesale terms that work with industry standards.
Mighty Ugly: Embrace Your Creative and Business Demons and Slay Some While You’re at It – Kim Werker
We all make something ugly by accident sometimes, but we certainly try to avoid it. We try very, very hard to avoid it. Especially when we’re making for work. In this class, we’re going to make something hideous on purpose. At every turn, we’ll aim for ugliness. Why? Because for those of us used to striving for loveliness (and sale-worthiness) in everything we create, who equate ugliness with failure, it can be absolutely scary and exhilarating to set out to make something deliberately hideous, and it’s valuable to get uncomfortable sometimes. And because, though we excel at our particular craft, chances are we’re iffy about trying out things that are entirely new.
Mighty Ugly is liberating, as all the pressure of trying to create beauty and sale-worthiness disappears. And it’s meaty, because it forces us to examine our creative process, when we so often keep only the product in mind. This workshop will turn everything you thought you knew about your creativity and crafting on its head. Mighty Ugly: where failure is kinda pretty.
2:00–2:15 — Break
2:15–3:00 — No Sugarcoating Allowed: Rapid-Fire Product Review – Do you have a new product you’re getting ready to launch or something tried-and-true that you’re looking to tweak? This is your chance to show and tell amongst your peers and our panel of experts, then get super-fast, completely honest opinions on your product. Be sure to bring a sample of your work (or some well-developed concepts for something new) and a thick skin, but you’re guaranteed to walk away with invaluable advice and next steps for bringing that product to market.
3:00–3:15 — Break
3:15–4:45 — Class 6
Pins and Needles: Make Your Pinterest Account Work for You in 90 minutes or Less – Caitlin Bacher
Everyone told you that your small business should be on Pinterest. You started a business account, verified your website, and pinned all your products to a board. After an initial burst of followers, your account hasn’t seen any action. I guess your business isn’t suited for Pinterest, right? Wrong. Let’s get your account working for you. Guaranteed.
The Question Ladder: Interviewing Your Customers Without Them Knowing It – Jehn Glynn and Jena Nesbitt
The key to a successful business is knowing your customer. This class includes group brainstorming and exercises designed to create customer interview questions that yield the most insightful answers for market research, customer satisfaction, and repeat purchases. The best questions to ask are sometimes the hardest to formulate, but we will help you!
4:45–6:00 — Teacher Q&A and Craft Social: In addition to inviting the day’s speakers and teachers back up in front of all the attendees for a moderated Q&A, we’ll round out the conference with some crafty fun—several hands-on activities will be available for you to shake out those creative juices as we ruminate on what we’ve learned and what your next steps are for your business.
Note: Despite our best efforts to make this happen, this schedule may be subject to change at any time. Check back here for any updates or subscribe to our mailing list for any notifications.