The Darice team spent the last week in beautiful Ventura, CA at the Craftcation Business & Makers Creative conference.
You’ve never heard of the conference? Let us tell you! It’s four days surrounded by makers, crafters, entrepreneurs, DIY- enthusiasts and small business owners. Conference-goers can learn new techniques to refining their craft to developing a marketing strategy to understanding their niche. The hustle and bustle with the openness to learn something new is contagious.
For those who wanted to learn all things creative, people had the opportunity to chose from a variety of classes that ranged from; rubber stamping to punch needle to sewing a jumper to (everyone’s favorite) macramé. One of Darice’s own, Keith, taught three drop-in classes which were a Spirograph pendant necklace and macramé keychain. The Darice team was able to break away to learn how to make felt flowers, cement pots and indigo dyeing.
Business minded folks were able to take an interactive classes, listen to a panel of entrepreneurs to improving your social media presence. These sessions were not only great for those makers who are just starting out, but also great for those who may feel that they have fallen in a business (or creative) funk.
The creative energy and the want to learn was everywhere. When people weren’t taking a class or there was down time, they were meeting with presenters for a one-on-one business session or were crafting.
Can’t stop. Won’t stop. It truly felt like a creative conference and they are passionate about making all the things. The mantra for the conference was “make all the things” which aligns with what happened over those four days.
Some of our fun highlights from the conference was the Iron Craft Ventura and the Wanderings. Iron Craft Ventura is just like the T.V. show Iron Chef but with crafts instead of food. The contestants had to pre-register and their names were pulled minutes before the competition. There was blood shed, lots of laugh and crafts made. It was fun to see what they created on the spot, in limited amount of time and with the special “ingredient.”
That same night was the Wanderings event. For those who were staying at the hotel they were able to turn their rooms into pop-up shops, show-n-tell or an 80’s rocker theme with metal stamping. People were bouncing from one room to the next with either newly purchased items, another new technique under their belt or just made a new friend.
We can’t forget about the CO-Founder & CEO of Dear Handmade Life, Craftcation and the Patch Work show, Nicole Stevenson. She sits at her kitchen table about 6 months prior, planning Craftcation with the intention of creating an event that is different and unique each year. There’s a team of very talented and friendly people that help organize and make sure everything runs smoothly. This was the eighth year of Craftcation and Darice’s fourth year of being their official craft sponsor.
At the end of the four days, we felt inspired and in awe of the creativity that was apparent throughout the conference. The Darice team cannot wait to see what Nicole and her team plans for next year.
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Darice was founded in 1954, by Pat Catan, an entrepreneur from humble beginnings who valued hard work and dedication. Today, Darice Inc. is a premier manufacturer and wholesale distributor in the craft industry.