Wednesday, January 20, 2016

What Do Makers Do After Christmas?

Have you ever wondered what people in the maker community do once the Christmas rush is over? The first thing we do is take some time to relax and recover from the sheer amount of energy it takes to get through the holiday season of making, completing special orders, working shows and fulfilling, packing and mailing online and phone orders.  Then we clean our studios, which look like a tornado has been through them.  After that we start thinking about the fresh new year and planning what we'd like to do.  Many of us use this down time to take creative classes, business courses or attend a conference.  We thought we'd share with you what we do to strengthen our creative muscles and grow our business acumen.

Creative Live offers online classes in everything from photography, art & design, music & audio, hands on crafting and business skills for artists to lifestyle classes.  The class list is incredibly impressive and their instructors have solid skills that we can learn from.  The best thing is that most classes are free if you watch them live.  If you can't watch them live there is a small cost involved. Creative Live makes it possible to take basically any kind of class you want from the comfort of your home.  Check out their site and read the bio's on the instructors, we promise you'll be impressed.  

Eat Drink Stitch is a monthly series of embroidery happy hours, workshops and crafty events that rotate around various bars and restaurants in Kansas City.  You don't have to be experienced at stitching to attend these events - beginners are welcome.  These fun events were created by and are hosted by Kristen Shuler of Hey Paul Studios.  Several of our Handmade in Kansas City members love to attend these events regularly.

Craftcation is an annual four day business & makers conference that is held in Ventura California.  Instructors are comprised of industry professionals, several of which are well known authors in the "maker" world.  This conference is an excellent investment and experience for makers, bloggers, creative entrepreneurs and food artisans.  We (Hang Ups in KC) have attended this conference for the past three years and it's far exceeded our expectations every single year.  Nicole from Ni-Chern Designs attended with us last year and not only learned valuable business skills but screen printing and gluten free cooking.  We were thrilled to learn from one of our favorite authors, Kim Werker of Make it Mighty Ugly.  Kim gives a whole new meaning to the word dynamic.  The fact that the conference takes place in California, on the beach, is a major bonus.  Ventura is a gorgeous beach town with a wonderful creative vibe.  We highly recommend this conference!


MidWest CraftCon is a newly established conference for Makers.  Similar to Craftcation, they offer a wide range of classes in "maker" business skills to creative fun.  This March, Kristi & I will be attending this conference, located in Columbus, Ohio.  We are looking forward to making new creative like-minded friends from the Mid-West.  We are especially excited about keynote speakers Lisa Congden from Lisa Congden Art + Illistration and author and creative business guru Abby Glassenberg from While She Naps.  Both Craftcation and MidWest CraftCon are perfect for creative people who are considering selling their arts & crafts to people with established businesses.

If you have any questions about our personal experience with any of these events, classes or conferences let us know.  You can do that by commenting on this blog.

We all believe that expressing ourselves creatively is good for the soul.  If you have always wanted to be creative but think you are not creative we challenge you to make a resolution to try something new in 2016.  Happy making!

This blog was written by Carolyn Adams from Hang Ups in KC.

1 comment:

  1. I wish there were more places like this, because it was simply too amazing for words. I came here with my boyfriend the other night, and it was absolutely fabulous. The use of wood throughout the venue Houston adds a very warm and inviting feel to venue.