Craftcation: Business + Makers Conference 2019

Sneak a peek inside this amazing DIY & craft show for makers and business owners!

I’m still in recovery mode from my amazing and inspirational trip to Ventura, California a couple weeks ago! I travelled to Ventura for the annual maker’s show called Craftcation. I’ve wanted to attend this conference for the last few years and it’s never worked out but this year I was determined to make it. Although there were last minute concerns about me leaving during a major home remodel, I decided to take a break from the house and attend—and I am so glad I did!

Ashley Quinn and Amy Tangerine with book signing of Craft a Life You Love

This conference is for makers or creatives who have a business or just enjoy crafts and DIY projects. Anyone wanting to learn more about particular crafts, write a book, own a store or more effectively communicate with their customers would benefit from this amazing creative experience. While at Craftcation I tried to balance my time between business courses, networking events and craft workshops. I filled every minute with learning and meeting new people! All of the attendees had a common interest in connecting with other like-minded creatives which made it super fun and inspirational.

This was the 8th annual Craftcation in which the newly renovated Ventura Beach Marriott transforms itself into a creative wonderland. Most events and classes were held in the Marriott, with the exception of the opening night dinner which was at the Ventura Fairgrounds. Craftcation attendees filled up an enormous space for the opening dinner and presentation. There were photo booths, craft giveaways and lots of great food and fun! Other nightly activities included a costume dance party, Iron-Craft competition and pop-up shops in various rooms at the Marriott.

Having never been to Ventura Beach, I found a little time each day to get out of the hotel and take a short stroll on the beach to stretch, or to catch an amazing sunset. The Ventura Beach Marriott is a block from the beach, making it an incredible location! Some days there were food trucks located near the beach where attendees could grab some tasty food like the amazing lobster roll I splurged on one day. Put me on a beach with a lobster roll and I’m pretty close to heaven!

I took workshops on everything from sewing and weaving, to perfume making and book writing. My schedule was completely full from morning till evening with these amazing classes and workshops. Dear Handmade Life did a great job of organizing the conference and making sure there was something for everyone. The sponsors, including Darice Crafts, made sure we had plenty of fun swag to take home for our continued creative projects!

Some of my favorite workshops included a woven-rope bowl class, taught by Anne Weil of Flax & Twine. I also loved the fabric-wrapped bowl class sponsored by Bernina. Memories from the 1970’s came flooding back when I took a Macrame class, and I used my chemistry skills when I made my own perfume in Jessica Hannah’s class.

In an afternoon business class I learned about all the ways to monetize and advertise a creative business and I found it so inspirational to sit with a table full of like-minded entrepreneurs like myself discussing our hopes and dreams. There was even a workshop called “Networking for Introverts” that I found came in handy as I met new friends and business associates throughout the week.

Have you attended workshops or conferences that inspired you in some way? For me, being with others that enjoy the same hobbies and work just energizes me to continue pushing forward to create projects and decor that make me smile and that others will appreciate.

Sunset at Ventura Beach, California during Craftcation 2019
Ashley of Yarn Scissors Silk gives an inside peek of Craftcation 2019 in Ventura, California