Earlier this month I attended a 2-day conference for creatives called The Makers Summit, put on my Indie Craft Parade. This was the 3rd annual gathering, and I wouldn’t miss it for anything. People from all over the country come to Greenville, SC, to be a part of this event. There's workshops to attend, the chance to meet one-on-one with industry experts, hear keynote speakers share their story, and get to know other makers.
Each year, I’ve gotten something completely different out of the conference. It’s true the workshops and speakers change every time so the experience is never going to be the same, but I think a big reason why my personal takeaway is vastly different year to year is because my business is in a completely different place each time. A lot can happen in between one Makers Summit and the next!
The first year (2013), I was really wanting to improve my Etsy shop, so I signed up for one-on-one sessions with experts related to that, and made big changes in the following weeks to my tags, descriptions, and photos. At the time, I was also toying with creating a personal website where my jewelry, fiber art, interior design, and writing could come together (THIS website, the one you’re reading right now!). Lastly, I was inspired to pitch to a magazine for the first time after hearing Amy Flurry, author of Recipe for Press, speak at the conference. Backstory on my first magazine pitch & feature can be found here:
Last year (2014), I was focused on re-branding and giving my business a better overall appearance, so by the summertime I was finally ready to take the plunge and get serious about this major overhaul. It was a huge thing to check off my Makers Summit to-do list, and now I can finally say I’ve never been happier with my logo and branding. Backstory on my re-branding can be found here:
This year (2015), I found myself tuning in to advice related specifically to wholesale. I already do a fair amount of wholesale business as it is, but I really need to step it up a notch (several notches, actually). Most of my big goals for this year are for growing my wholesale reach even further, and making that side of my business significantly more professional.
Post Makers Summit To-Do List:
Create a printed catalogue to showcase my linesheet
Develop SKU’s for all wholesale inventory
Launch my own e-commerce website with wholesale section
Simplify custom ordering process: color chart, setting options, designs, etc.
Exhibit at one tradeshow in the next 12 months (which is way different than a craft show)
So there it is, my official list. Now that it’s posted here, I really have to be accountable!
The conference was, as it always is, a kick in the butt to take the next major steps of this entrepreneurial journey. My brain is still processing everything I heard. I’m still buzzing with inspiration, even several weeks later.
After the Makers Summit was #thebestcraftpartyever - which is exactly what is sounds like. Click through the album below for a peek at how crafty people get crafty just for fun, when they’re not making things because it’s their job.