The Book I made in Amy Tan's class

Day 2 of Craftcation has been a total blast and absolutely incredible. I only took one crafty class today; the rest of the day was spent in more business-oriented workshops, which were a little more mentally taxing, but completely wonderful and informative. And I loved the crafty class I took. It was a workshop on making mini-books with Amy Tan, who has her own line of scrap-booking materials (including the mini-books themselves). So the workshop was basically on creating a mini-scrap book. I have never really been a scrap-book type person, but I did have a lot of fun doing the cover and pages in the class. I’m not a converted scrap-booker, but I love her line enough that I may just have to find some way to use it. And it was nice to just be able to be creative and stick stuff on paper.

And now for the business classes. I took a class called Starting Your Own Crafty Business, hosted by Nicole Vasbinder of StitchCraft–which is probably the class most applicable to my situation. It really was geared to those of us who have not turned our hobby into a business and gave a lot of great advice on how to approach that, including things like getting a business license, a DBA, a re-seller’s license, and tips on record keeping and handling sales tax. It really gave a good look at the basics anyone needs to know before starting a business, and now I feel like I have a clear path to follow should I decide to ever start a business.

And then there was an absolutely eye-opening workshop on pricing for my goods taught by Lauren Venell. And man, it is surprising how many crafters undercharge for their labor. It really drove home for me that there is no way that I can make money selling the things I love to make most (pretty lace shawls), because they are way too labor intensive and I would have to charge way more money than anyone sane person would pay. I kind of figured this all along, but it was good to have a confirmation. But it’s just as useful to find out what won’t work, especially if you can find it out before you invest too much into it.

Then I took two great classes on displaying your product. Linsi Brownson of Redefine Home gave a very thorough class on how best to display your product a retail setting, a craft-fair setting, and online. She was great and gave good examples on how to play to the strengths of each type of venue, while still maintaining a consistent image. And tying into that, Megan O. Anderson gave a great rundown of the 10 most common mistakes made in blog photographs and how to fix them. Some of the problems, like bad composition, can really only be solved with practice, but she laid out the basics of what makes a photo have good composition in very clear terms, which was helpful.

On top of the classes, the rest of the day was likewise awesome. I had a sunrise run on the beach, two sessions of yoga, a happy hour full of good networking (something I am really pushing myself to do more of at this conference because that is definitely my weak point in life), and a pleasant solo dinner on the adorable patio of a cute (and tasty) Italian restaurant. Plus I made that cute button ring you see in the photo on the left in a Make and Take hosted by SuperBuzzy. I know you’re jealous.