In addition to networking and activities that help us connect as a community of makers and business owners, the weekend will be chock full of speaker sessions, small business classes, panel discussions, and roundtables pertaining to topics that are particularly relevant to those of us in the world of craft businesses.
Have you felt stuck for some time? Whether it’s the intimidating business side of art, maker imposter syndrome, or your corporate work sucking the life out of you, this workshop is for you. Laura will be your guide as you check in with your body, identify what’s stuck, visualize your dream future, and translate your feelings to watercolor. Everyone gets stuck – join this interactive workshop for playful and useful tools to fuel you forward.
You’ll leave this workshop with:
1. Tools to identify and manage your inner critic
2. Watercolor worksheet
3. Concrete next steps created by your inner leader
with Laura Kiyoi
E-com I: Thinking about setting up your own e-commerce website, but unsure where to start? In Intro to e-commerce we’ll go over the pros and cons of various platforms and how to choose the one that is right for your business, the use of 3rd party site (like Etsy) vs having your own, what integration you might consider (email, shipping, reviews, various payment options ect), and best practices. This class is also great for anyone who has a website, but is contemplating a change of platform (wondering if you chose the right one??), or could use some foundational information about how e-commerce works.
with Celestial Sipes
In this workshop, Renée Beaudoin from the Pantry will help illuminate your days by showing you how to dip candles. We will be making handcrafted candles with beeswax, while learning how to use clean-burning wicks, with the option of using dried foraged botanicals, and how to incorporate color. You will leave with a set of adorable hand-dipped beeswax birthday candles and 10″ tapers.
with Renee Beaudoin
E-com II: In this class we’ll talk in a little more advanced way about e-commerce and optimization: which integrations will improve sales or work flow, how to improve conversion rates (or learning what a conversion rate is!), how to find and interpret data (and some good baselines to use), when to hire a web developer, and a brief overview of SEO (we could do a whole other class on this and I am not an expert but I’ll get us pointed in the right direction!). This class is for anyone who has an e-commerce website that is working for them, but wants to get more out of it. There will be a little crossover between this class and e-commerce I, particularly when we talk about integrations and best practices, but we’ll be getting more in depth here.
with Celestial Sipes
Are you looking for a way to connect with nature and create wearable art? Interested in learning the basic bundling techniques to achieve clear and crisp prints on protein fibers? In this 90 minute class you will have to ability to slow down, set intentions and learn more about the magic of botanical printing.
Each participant with leave with two scarves and the basic understanding of eco printing.
with Kendra Russo
Ok so you’ve got your business, your website, your Insta/Twitter/Tiktok handles. That’s everything right? Sure! Social media gets the word out about your business and what you’re selling, but what about the passive income platforms like Patreon and YouTube? In my class I’ll go over what I’ve learned about utilizing these two outlets, my successes and my failures, the expectations vs. reality, and why it might be right for your business venture.
with Jamie Von Stratton
In this class, I will briefly talk about the origins of quilling, go over techniques and teach you the basic shapes and tools used. We will create simple projects for you to take home and hopefully after the class, you’ll have an appreciation for this centuries old art form.
with Nikki Furlong
Here’s what I found out through years of helping artists and makers create profitable, satisfying creative businesses….Regular ole marketing strategy is like kryptonite to artists… and the marketing strategy that works is the one you want to do because it’s fun.In this class, I’ll help you detangle the process of marketing and sales so it feels not so overwhelming… natural even. This class investigates what world you want to create as an artist, who are you creating it for, and eases the process of inviting people in, and asking them to buy.
Through a series of exercises, reflection, and live demonstration, campers will effortlessly create new marketing ideas and copy that will welcome in new life long clients. You’ll leave this class excited to sell your work, you’ll know exactly what to say, and (fingers crossed) you may even NEVER dread selling again.
with Emily Ellen Anderson
In this workshop you will be taught the basic knotting techniques used in macrame. This class is great for beginners and intermediate levels. This project is designed to be altered to cater students at any skill level. We provide craft supplies, video tutorials and one on one guidance to help you create your macrame project. During this class you will learn to macrame a mini air plant hanger. Your instructor, Angie from My Moon Macrame will teach you five different knots and provide step by step instructions to help you complete your project. You will go home with the cutest mini air plant hanger, air plant included!!
with Angie Cooper
This class will outline which aspects of your business are the most important to keep track of, and strategies and suggestions for how to incorporate this into your everyday life so that you aren’t slammed with an overwhelming amount of work come tax-time.
We’ll cover why and how to track revenue, expenses (and which are deductible), business miles, home office expenses, and saving receipts. We’ll also have time for Q&A so bring your burning record-keeping questions!
with Lindsey Ross
In this class we will learn how (and why!) to repair holes in sweaters, socks, mittens or anything knitted or coarsely woven. We’ll explore the options for colorful visible mending, to wear with pride and show off to your friends, or matching yarn to your fabric for a subtler, hidden repair. The class is geared towards beginners and we will cover the basics of darning, and try it out with some hands-on practice. If there is time and interest we may discuss a few more advanced techniques. If you are planning to take this class, please bring a garment with a hole (or a thin area that looks like it might eventually become a hole) that you’d like to repair, and any yarn you may have at home that you’d like to use for the repair. I will have a selection of yarn, needles, and a few other tools available as well. Come have fun learning an old-fashioned skill that’s practical, creative, and meditative!
with Emma Swartz
This class is designed for busy individuals who know they should have a business plan but need help figuring out where to start. Hint: most businesses don’t need 50-page business plans; instead, taking the time to write down the fundamental aspects of your business, understanding where and when to do market research, and having a basic financial plan are often all that is needed. This class will utilize the Business Model Canvas and other tools to expedite the planning process. The material in this course will be great for those just starting and those already working on their business.
with Domonique Juleon
In this course, we will learn some basic tie dye techniques on tees and tea towels. We will also talk about finding and centering balance in our lives while working on and monetizing our crafts. This is a great class to take if you are wanting to learn more about dye, share in a little vulnerability and also learn to trust a little more of our own personal waves and processes.
with Kanda Mbenza-Ngoma
In this workshop you will get to make your own custom Crunch Supply style magnets and ornaments. These tiny treasures are made from a soft clay that air dries into a durable foam. I hand mold or press them into candy molds, then paint, seal, and add all important *glittery* accents. It’s a labor of love but a lot of fun as you will see! First we will go over in a demo the techniques I have developed and supplies I use for making them. Then we will do what is arguably the “fun” part together, painting and glittering them! All while chatting about crafts and probably our favorite VHS movies. I will have a variety of pre-dried “blanks” to choose from, and you will walk away with up to 5 magnets or ornaments depending on how detailed you like to get.
With Claire England
“There is no line where life ends and art begins.” –Sister Corita Kent
As creative entrepreneurs, we all know that there’s no formula to follow or rulebook to consult as we navigate our lives and careers. We also probably know that wallowing in that unknown can be paralyzing and scary. In between those extremes is a space where a set of rules can come in really handy.
In this workshop we will do a deep dive into the fuzzy grey area where life and art converge, the elusive space that creative entrepreneurs reside in. Inspired by the famous set of “Immaculate Heart Art Department Rules” developed in the 1960’s by Sister Corita Kent and John Cage, we will brainstorm our own sets of rules to use as guiding principles in our own unique situations.
This fun and engaging workshop is meant to spark insights and we will each walk away with our own set of rules that we can look to when we need to remember why we signed up for this to begin with.
With Chelsea Snow
Learn basic crochet stitches and make the cutest little mushroom bookmark. This class is great for crocheters of all levels – even first-timers. We’ll have a lot of fun crocheting a small mushroom cap and using techniques borrowed from paper flower design to make a long stem. You can also use these mushrooms for other projects like little botanical display jars, hair accessories, and probably even an adorable bracelet. Let’s have fun with some yarn!
With Twinkie Chan
Whether you need to grow your revenue, inventory, social media audience or all of the above, this is the time and place for your to create your own roadmap on how to achieve your goals. Tiffany will help you identify your why, what to focus on first, and how to reverse engineer your vision.
With Tiffany Ju
Learn how view social media as a place to connect with your customer, not another full time job that you’re not good at. Instagram and Tiktok are powerful platforms to tell a story and have meaningful feedback from your customers. Find an approach and tactical strategy that works for you and your busy schedule.
With Tiffany Ju
Ready to grow your business and expand your customer market by selling wholesale? Or, already selling wholesale but struggling to get new accounts and re-orders? This course will help you create an effective wholesale strategy that’s proven to build long term buyer relationships and grow your wholesale revenue without having to rely on fickle platforms that take money out of your pocket, or expensive trade shows. In this course you’ll learn how to build an effective wholesale strategy that’s easy to maintain, values driven, and builds sustainable long-term revenue.
With London Tierney
Have you vended at a craft show yet? Have you done a few and have your eye on a larger craft show but can’t seem to get in? Join two of the organizers of UCU to talk all about craft show vending. We will provide some insight from an organizer perspective along with tips for preparing for larger shows, how to improve your photos and why this is SO important for many juried events, how to feel confident and ready, how to improve your booth display and why it’s all important so you can have the best craft show experience you can! We are also happy to answer any UCU-specific questions.
With Kristen Rask and Heather Peek
We all know that Instagram can be a powerful platform to connect with customers and share our work, but it can also be A LOT of work! How can you make an impact on the platform without spending hours on it each day? In this class, you will learn how to be intentional with your time on the platform while also maximizing your results. Some of the topics we will cover include: how to perform an Instagram audit on your account to learn about what is and isn’t working, how to optimize your Instagram bio, how to speed up your content creation process, how to repurpose content thoughtfully, and how to use engagement strategies to create meaningful connections with others. *This is an intermediate class that will be best for those who are already using the platform and will not cover the basics of how to use Instagram.
With Anna Osgoodby
Camp ThunderCraft wouldn’t be nearly as awesome without our generous sponsors! All these wonderful businesses are helping out in some way to make sure the weekend is super fantastic.