So yesterday told you about FabLab DC, host of Hello Craft's Summit of Awesome.
FabLab is a meeting and collaboration space where makers can create just about anything. The Summit itself centered on crafty makers and sellers and resources to support them in doing that.
Organizers of a crafty maker event know that crafty makers like to try things. So there was this table of supplies for people to make whatever they liked-- and conveniently, there was duct tape to make duct tape bangles.
While talking to folks sitting near me before sessions started, I met the lovely Director of Marketing for Craftsy. We talked about Claudia Miller's class that I reviewed earlier this year and she said that Craftsy is launching an affiliate program for bloggers. I can think of about a dozen of our reader-bloggers that that could be great for.
There were a lot of sessions to choose from-- the hardest part of any good conference/summit. Choosing between two topics that are both relevant and presented by people you won't easily get another chance to hear.
I've already talked in the last post about the FabLab tour held during the morning Small Manufacturing session, where I was amazed by what the machinery can do and the fact that anyone is able to come in and use them after a quick training session.
I heard Stephen Fraser, co-founder of Spoonflower, speak about how the business began and has evolved and his thought that crafters are hackers. I also learned that the business is named for a flower that grows in his backyard.
When you're a Spoonflower owner going to the Summit of Awesome, what do you wear? Spoonflower toile, of course.
I heard Tina Seamonster speak about her experiences expanding from Etsy seller to wholesaler-- who knew knitting zombies were so popular? Tina said she didn't know either until she tried it. I love to hear crafters talk about how their businesses and crafts have evolved. You get a lot more candid input in person than online.
I heard from Outright-- a service I already use and love to track business income and expenses. I may have more to say about this one later, but what's best about it is that it pulls all of your data from Paypal. Sooo quick and easy-- and free!
Last up for the day was a session with Allison Lince-Bentley of Bits of Thread, a sewing studio in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of DC. She told the story of how she started with classes in a community center and slowly grew into a retail space -- now offering an amazing class list-- including a make-your-own dress form class!
In the middle of all of that, I met with Kate McKean, a literary agent based in NYC. I pitched a book idea that I've been mulling for a while. The good news/bad news is that she liked it! It's good news, because I love to hear that an idea could work! The bad news is... how could I make the time to make it happen? A good problem to have, I know. I'm still mulling.
At the end of the day, there was time for photographic evidence of the gathering.
Megan suggested I go -- thank goodness for crafty friends, and gatherings of crafty people who share their experiences!
Relatedly, I've been thinking about a roundup of crafty business resources for a while now after realizing that I had a long list of them to share. One day soon!
Completely unrelated-- there are still a handful of spots in the swap-- it closes tonight so that the ordering and shipping can begin!