1. Growing a Nation of Makers

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    The President has proclaimed today a “National Day of Making” and I thought this was a great opportunity to think about all the activity I’ve seen around making and entrepreneurship as I have shared my book Grow with creatives around the country over the past year. 

    As I traveled through the Midwest last summer the term “makers” was more and more on the lips of those I talked to about growing a creative business. Makers were also crafters, designers, creatives and artists, but the idea of being a “maker” united them all, whether it was at the Walker Museum in Minneapolis, a pre-MakerFaire meetup in Detroit, at the Made: Indie Emporium in Tulsa, or while meeting in an art gallery in Kansas City. 

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    Whether its through revitalizing local industry through traditional craft like letterpress; creating space to create handmade goods through sewing or silkscreening, like Creative Outlet Studios in Costa Mesa, CA; embracing high tech practices such as 3D printing that can help makers prototype and produce new products like my company Shapeways; creating alternative strategies for raising creative capital through crowd funding like Rockethub; or organizing opportunities for makers and creatives to come together to learn from each other and share their experiences like Craftcation or at shows that celebrate local makers like Handmade Omaha, making embodies an exploratory, entrepreneurial, do it yourself effort.

    I’m so glad to be part of this “Nation of Makers” and get to share advice, ideas and inspiration through my book. It’s great to see the maker movement get attention from the highest level of public policy. However, there’s a lot that needs to improve for independent creatives to be truly supported and empowered, whether it’s micro-grants to start businesses, affordable health insurance, or accessible business advice and support. What do you need to help build a strong, creative business and to keep on making? 

  2. As part of my job as Community Outreach Coordinator for Shapeways, a 3D printing marketplace and community, I facilitated a panel on building a maker business with 3D artists, designers and Shapeways shop owners for National Small Business Week hosted by Wix Lounge (who also hosted Grow’s NYC book launch last year!). This video features Melissa Ng, Sophie Kahn, and Ryan Kittleson sharing their work and talking about what it means to run an independent, creative business. 

  3. The whole life picture of DIY: your business and your life on BreakThruRadio TV!

  4. Structuring your creative business on BreakThruRadio TV!

  5. How to spread the word about your DIY project and build an audience on BreakThruRadio TV!

  6. The basics of goal setting and clarifying your DIY project on BreakThruRadioTV! 

  7. I discuss how I developed Grow and my love of the DIY economy and am featured on BreakThruRadio TV

  8. The moment I’ve been waiting for all winter is almost here! Tomorrow I’ll be heading to the Craftcation conference, a creative business conference focusing on crafters and handmade business owners in Ventura, California. I’m fresh off the heels of 10 days at South by South West, where I was speaking and soaking in the creative ambiance of techies, musicians, entrepreneurs, media makers and everyone in between, and I’m looking forward to the creative mix at Craftcation. However, whether you are a speaker or a participant (or both!) even the most fun conferences can be draining. For my latest entry for Dear Handmade Life I put together a list of tips for how to survive (and thrive) at a conference, whether several hours or a whole week. Enjoy! 
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    The moment I’ve been waiting for all winter is almost here! Tomorrow I’ll be heading to the Craftcation conference, a creative business conference focusing on crafters and handmade business owners in Ventura, California. I’m fresh off the heels of 10 days at South by South West, where I was speaking and soaking in the creative ambiance of techies, musicians, entrepreneurs, media makers and everyone in between, and I’m looking forward to the creative mix at Craftcation. However, whether you are a speaker or a participant (or both!) even the most fun conferences can be draining. For my latest entry for Dear Handmade Life I put together a list of tips for how to survive (and thrive) at a conference, whether several hours or a whole week. Enjoy! 

  9. SxSW 2014 Talk Schedule

    I’m so excited that I will be speaking at the SxSW Interactive, Music and Film conferences in just under a week in Austin! If you are there, I would love to see you to talk about skills and strategies for building a creative business and life.

    March 8: SxSW Film
    2 pm Meet the Insiders: Funding and Special Organizations panel discussion with grant makers and nonprofit film service organizations

    March 9: SxSW Interactive
    11 am Navigating the New Handmade Economy panel discussion
    with Rena Tom of Make Shift Society, Sharon Fain of Academy of Handmade, and Courtney Klossner, Digital Content Consultant

    3:30 pm: Grow book signing

    March 13: SxSW Music
    3:30 pm: Grow book signing

    5 pm: Your Data and Your Life workshop with Courtney Klossner

    Are you hosting a talk, get together or event in Austin during SxSW? Please let me know - I’d love to link up! 

  10. 2014 SXSW Interactive Session Spotlight: Navigating the New Handmade Economy | SXSW 2014

    I’m so excited to be presenting at the SxSW Interactive, Music and Film conferences in Austin, Texas this year! This blog post highlights my session at the Interactive conference that takes place on Sunday, March 9 at 11 am. I’m so excited to be speaking with Rena Tom of Makeshift Society, Sharon Fain of Academy of Handmade, and Courtney Klossner. We hope you’ll join us if you will be at South by!