Friday, April 10, 2015

Nourishing A Creative Soul

People who love handmade items are often creative themselves.  Sometimes their creativity is still in the heart, yet to appear in the form of a handmade item.  Others have made something that they deem unworthy and declare themselves "not creative".  Most artists start by creating items that they later look back upon and cringe.  Creativity is like a muscle that becomes stronger with use.

There are many ways that you can strengthen that muscle but the main way is to create.  Start making stuff.  Don't pigeon-hole yourself.  Paint, crochet, sew, make jewelry - try everything that you've always wanted to try.  Have fun and make new friends who support you and inspire you creatively.  That is one of the main functions of this amazing community, Handmade in Kansas City.

Another way to continue to grow is to take classes or attend a creative conference.  Recently two of our Handmade in Kansas City Members, Ni-Chern Designs and Hang Ups in KC, traveled to Ventura California to attend Craftcation, a business and makers conference.  This was a great chance to meet and learn from our favorite authors and bloggers.

Carolyn & Kristi from Hang Ups in KC hanging out with Kim Werker author of  Make it Mighty Ugly and multiple crochet books.
Kristi & Nicole with handmade artist, marketing guru, author and blogger Tara Swiger
We spent 5 days learning how to grow our business through classes such as pricing, social media, crafting a brand identity, creating effective blogs & newsletters, craft writing and wholesaling.  We also broadened our creative skills by learning how to screen print, ombre dye, make gluten free pasta, a scrunchie scarf and stamped metal pendants. 

Nicole's first attempt at Screen Printing turned out great!  Notice her shout out to Kansas City via her Made in Kansas City t-shirt. 
Christine Street from Chocolate and Steel leading a Stamped Clay Metal Pendant workshop.

 Cara Reed cookbook author from Fork and Beans teaching how to make gluten free pasta.

Author and maker Jenelle Montilone from TrashN2Tees led a scrunchie scarf creative session.
Bernina is one of the major sponsors of the conference.
It's OK if you can't make it to California to attend this awesome conference.  You can learn from "handmade" experts via Creative Live.  They have an incredibly diverse offering of courses for small business owners or people considering starting a small business. 
There is nothing as satisfying as making a business doing something you are passionate about.  We'd love to support you in your creative journey by sharing ours.  Check out our events page and drop by and see us in person sometime!

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