it’s hard to believe it’s been nearly two months since craftcation. craftcation is the indie business & diy conference my aunt delilah and i produce. last march was the first craftcation, set in the lovely seaside artsy town of ventura in southern california. we planned the conference in a mere six months. we gathered, asked and sometimes begged our friends and business contacts to commit their time and energy to being a part of this first event. we signed contracts with the hotel and venues that held us personally responsible for tens of thousands of dollars if enough people didn’t sign up. delilah worked her pechangas off negotiating with the venues, securing permits, heading up ALL aspects of production and managing our team of volunteers and managers. honestly, i don’t know how she did it! i’m SO lucky to have such a talented business partner. i sought out and signed on sponsors (something i had never done before), designed the website and worked with steph calvert of hearts & laserbeams to make it happen, answered several hundred emails and secured supplies for classes. our to-do lists were so much longer than just those few things. we both pushed through several sleepless nights, last minute changes and self-doubt. there were numerous times (especially when i was in the process of sending out 900 personally addressed emails to bloggers asking/pleading with them to please post about the conference on their blogs) i thought to myself, “what am i doing?! this is so much work… does anyone even care?” all that self-doubt and questioning ended upon arriving in ventura the day before our sold out conference started. over the course of the four day conference, so many attendees came up to me to thank me for craftcation, a few even said the experience had changed their lives. even now, as i am writing this, i have goosebumps! it’s hard for me to describe the awesomeness that craftcation was. the feeling of being surrounded by like minded creative individuals so hungry for fellowship, knowledge and creating. so many people who dedicated or wanted to dedicate their lives to making and to making a living doing something they enjoy. i have never worked so hard for something in my entire life (and i bet delilah would second that notion) but i have also never felt a greater reward in my professional life than when i saw craftcation come to life. there were so many people besides delilah and me whose hard work and dedication to the handmade movement made craftcation happen-a heartfelt thank you to all of them! i could go on for pages about the hands-on workshops, business lectures & panels, delicious breakfasts & lunches, amazing community events like the BBQ opening celebration, meet & greet happy hour and 80s dance party but instead, take a peek at my photo journal of the conference below.
the craftcation 2012 event program and the lovely ventura sunset
what a sweet welcome to my room courtesy of the crowne plaza...totally made me feel like a gorwn up business lady
the view from my crowne plaza ventura hotel room balcony-pretty sweet!
our super rad volunteers busted out tons of signage for the event
delilah and i set up shop in the lobby bar and did tons of last minute prep work before everyone arrived
we had to rent out a whole conference room just to store supplies and stuff for the gift bags
my mom & i rocking the check-in table and welcoming attendees on thursday morning
susan checking in attendees
jeanette of sweet perversion who printed our awesome crafty ass bitch gift bags-love her!
all the awesome contents of the gift bags-we had such generous sponsors
the view from city hall of downtown ventura
wednesday morning i took an early morning walk on the beach-ventura is so gorgeous
love the notes people were taking on their event programs-so inspiring
our sponsors also donated great giveaways & love the diy paper flowers our volunteers made
the urban craft center set up a rad pop-up shop at the crowne plaza
angharad jones of the urban craft center on a knitting machine
attendees headed to city hall every morning for breakfast-tons of farmers market fruit, artisan jam, baked goods, lox and erewhon cereals
lunch in the city hall atrium catered by chef tim of the sidecar & the local cafe
i was so lucky my besties came out to support the event and lend a hand
morgan culture's screen-printing class was a BIG hit
one of the attendees (sarah from instructables) showed me this text she sent a friend.
jenny hart of sublime stitching lecturing during her embroidery workshop
etsy's danielle xo & steph (nerd jerk) were awesome!
delilah snell, evan kleiman & me during our 'letting go for new possibilities' panel which got pretty emotional...super moving!
amy tan of amy tangerine during her reverse applique workshop
christine haynes (chic & simple sewing) during her 3 hour skirt workshop
nicole vasbinder of queen puff puff and stitchcraft in petaluma teaching sewing
tracey cenami leading a wine and cheese pairing workshop featuring cambria wines
ernest miller of the hollywood farmers kitchen teaching a fermentation workshop
heather westenhofer (the oc cheesemaker) teaching a cheesemaking workshop
attendees voraciously taking notes in a business lecture in city hall
karyn cantor, melanie & dana harvey & christine haynes sitting on a business panel
our BBQ opening celebration at the WAV (working artists lofts)
two of our chefs: seth (my beau) & joshua (my cousin) prepping food for the BBQ
our volunteers whipped out these awesome diy yarn balls to decorate the BBQ
the tables all set just before attendees arrived at the BBQ
we gattered up tons of bottles and with a little spray paint and some diy magazine flowers they became lovely table decorations
se reed & alicia murphy playing rad indie music at the BBQ
coco gallery set up an awesome photo booth with a scissor background at the BBQ
the BBQ desert: cupcakes from i would rather be baking we SO delicious
the BBQ food was SO good: pulled pork sliders, citrus coleslaw, BBQ chicken & macaroni & cheese
superbuzzy did a fabulous diy paper flower pin make and take at the BBQ
the networking happy hour at the crowne plaza hotel was packed
a few gifts for delilah and i from attendees at the crowne plaza happy hour
delilah, evan, susan and aida at the crowne plaza happy hour
steph calvert & se reed at the 80s dance party at zoeys
our 80s gear was in full effect: enter leopard print, mesh shirts, jean jackets and peach jeans
our crew: (eric wallner, the lovely lamchek sisters, michaele and lana) taking a much needed break in a booth at the 80s dance party
we can't wait for craftcation 2013!