Are you ready for a life-changing week?

FIVE DAYS, 200+ CRAFT & BUSINESS WORKSHOPS,
500+ INSPIRING CREATIVES AND THE BEACH...

Craftcation, held annually in the artsy, seaside town of Ventura in Southern California, features industry experts leading attendees in small business classes and craft workshops as well as social gatherings to connect, educate and foster community.

"Craftcation has this effect… when you walk through the door it's almost like a magical transformation."

-holly m., multi-year alumni

Crafts. The beach. Business expertise. New besties. YES, please!

Let me know when registration opens.

JOIN US FOR...

Craftcation Conference Business DIY Craft Maker Retreat Creative

craft workshops

We believe in the magic of making, whether you’re a lifelong crafter or searching to find your inner artist.

Our DIY motto is Make ALL the Things. At Craftcation, you’ll explore dozens of genres in our hands-on workshops where you’ll get instruction and inspiration to find your creative flow. We’ve taught sewing, screenprinting, perfume making, stained glass, shoe making, knitting, weaving, mixed media art, painting, embroidery, dyeing and so much more.

Craftcation provides the expertise and encouragement so you can try it all!

business workshops

Our business workshops have been likened to an “MBA for creatives in a weekend”.

Led by expert instructors, our business classes, panels, intimate think tanks and office hours sessions give you the knowledge, actionable steps and mentorship to start or grow your creative business. We cover branding, marketing, social media, legal and finance, scaling, productivity, product ideation and creation and more.

If you’re ready to go bigger with your business you’ll get the high level guidance to get you to your goals. If you’re just starting out, you’ll get the courage and skills you need to take the first step.

Craftcation business and makers diy conference California

social gatherings

We believe in a world where beauty is found in the everyday, candid moments of life – no staging, no filters, no edits. We create opportunities for these authentic connections at our meals, intimate get-togethers, cocktail and craft sessions, parties and low-key networking events tailored for introverts and first timers.

Even though you may find yourself pushing past sweaty palms and social anxiety to grab a seat at a table full of strangers or head to the hotel bar after hours for a pajama hang out, chances are you’ll end up having one of those moments where you can’t believe you’re laughing so hard or sharing so deeply with people you just met.

Once you register, you’ll be invited to join our private online community, where you can meet attendees and alums in a no-pressure setting. Who knows? You might even find a potential bestie before you arrive!

wellness activities

At Craftcation, we help you take care of YOU with our rotating roster of wellness activities including yoga on the beach, mindful meditation, explorative sketchbook exercises, guided journaling, fitness meet-ups as well as panels on balance, burnout and impostor syndrome.

Together, we break the stereotype that creatives can’t master self-care. We share our trials and triumphs not only to gain support but also to help each other feel less alone and have the courage and knowledge to push past our hang ups and practice gratitude and self-compassion.

Seeking joy is more than doing what you love for a living or being creative. You need the tools and support to forget about perfection and embrace progress. We’ve got you!

Craftcation Business Makers Conference California

explore craftcation

love from our alumni:

Year after year, the most common word attendees use to describe Craftcation is "life changing"!

COMMUNITY

is the heart of craftcation

there are no cliques at craftcation

Time and time again, attendees tell us how the Craftcation community is unlike that from any other conference because it is so welcoming.

We welcome you just as you are. No dress codes. No judgment. 

We’re proud to foster a community of people from all walks of life who form unbreakable bonds and stay connected long after the conference ends.

AT CRAFTCATION, WE HELP YOU FIND YOUR PEOPLE –  THE ONES THAT GET YOU.

get involved…

Looking to share your brand, expertise, talents or love for Craftcation?

PRESENTER

BE A PRESENTER

Share your expertise through teaching a craft or business workshop.
learn more

Volunteer

VOLUNTEER

Work part-time at the conference in exchange for a free ticket!
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Sponsor

BECOME A SPONSOR

Connect your brand with our audience.
learn more

AMBASSADOR

BECOME AN AMBASSADOR

Get perks for sharing your love of Craftcation with your audience.
learn more

you’ve got questions?

we've got answers!

general FAQ

Craftcation Conference is a makers and small business conference held annually in the artsy, seaside town of Ventura on the coast of Southern California. We spend five days being led by industry experts in small business classes and craft workshops as well as attending social gatherings, special events and more to connect, educate and foster community.​

Nothing THIS great ever came from Los Angeles traffic.

On a scouting trip for new Patchwork Show makers festival locations in 2010, co-founders Delilah Snell and Nicole Stevenson got to talking while sitting in bumper to bumper traffic on the 101 freeway. Not just about Patchwork Show, but about a need they saw in the small business and creative community for education, connection and a reprieve from the hustle.

By the time Delilah and Nicole arrived in Ventura, CA to their meeting (originally planned to discuss Patchwork Show) with the city of Ventura, they had a rough business plan for what they wanted to bring to Ventura, Craftcation: Business & Makers Conference. Over the next seven years, the women grew Craftcation from a small niche event filled with just over 100 makers (most of which they knew) to a major creative conference that has helped hundreds of people start their businesses, hone their art skills and build their own creative circles for year-round support.

In 2017, Delilah stepped back from Dear Handmade Life to focus on her deli and market Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana, California. Nicole continues to produce Craftcation Conference alongside an amazing crew of inspiring women.

Craftcation takes place in the beach town of Ventura, California (about an hour north of Los Angeles). Most workshops and events are at the Ventura Beach Marriott. Craftcation also utilizes Ventura’s historic downtown buildings and businesses as well as the beach for special workshops, activities and gatherings.

Not everyone who comes to Craftcation has a business. Many of our attendees come solely for the DIY workshops, community, gatherings and the California beach and sunshine!

It’s never too late to get started on the thing that wakes you up in the middle of the night and fills your daydreams. Craftcation will help you hone in on your perfect idea, create an action plan for your dream business and bolster the courage to take those first steps. Figuring out where to focus your time and energy is easy when someone who’s been there before is guiding you.

If you’re like us and you’ve been running your creative business for a while, you need the inspiration and next-level mentorship that Craftcation provides so you can reignite your passion, play a bigger game, battle burnout, embrace balance, create multiple income sources, be more productive and hone in on exactly what you need to do to make your brand even bigger and more profitable.

attendance & lodging FAQ

Due to COVID, government regulations regarding events and prioritizing the health and safety of our attendees and staff, the next Craftcation Conference date is TBA. Please join our mailing list for updates.

We know how hard it can be to budget for a conference, especially when you’re a creative and you need to make every dollar count. This is why we do everything we can to make it possible for you to come to Craftcation and connect with your community, start or grow your business and have the creative vacation of a lifetime. Time and time again, attendees tell us that their biggest regret was not making Craftcation a priority sooner.

We have a private online community for registered attendees to connect with each other to share travel expenses and rooms. Our work exchange program provides an opportunity for you to work at the conference in exchange for a ticket. We even did a post with tips for making the most of your money and another post on how to prepare for a conference!

We know that traveling to and attending an event solo can bring on anxiety (especially for us creatives who are used to spending lots of time alone making and working). But, at Craftcation we break down the walls of pretension and exclusivity. We’re a merry band of creative misfits from all walks of life, and we are ready to welcome you to the Craftcation family. We provide lots of opportunities for everyone (including introverts) to feel comfortable and create lasting connections. When attendees take a chance and commit to being open – that’s when the magic happens. And that magic, is this community.

Craftcation is not only about taking workshops but also about building your community and making lasting connections which is difficult to do in one day. We want attendees to take advantage of everything Craftcation has to offer, so we don’t offer one-day tickets.

Once you register for Craftcation, you’ll receive an email with a link to book discounted rooms at the Ventura Beach Marriott. If the Marriott is sold out, we’ll share some alternative places to stay.

Yes, we make it a priority to ensure the comfort and access of all attendees. Please contact us if you have special needs for the event.

registration FAQ

Craftcation sells out every year! We encourage you to register as soon as we open registration to make sure you don’t miss out.

  • Lunch on Friday
  • Dinner on Thursday
  • Three full days and two half days of all events and activities Wednesday through Sunday (including workshops, lectures, panels and special events. Most craft workshops require pre-registration as space is limited in hands-on workshops.
  • All the supplies you’ll need for craft workshops are included. You’re welcome to bring your own special supplies if you have favorites. Many attendees choose to bring their own fabric for sewing classes to ensure their project fits their style. Some of the hands-on workshops or special events like tours may have an additional supply fee. The business workshops, lectures and panels are walk-in for all Craftcation attendees.
  • Access to our private online community for attendees and alums where peers share support and resources
  • Entrance to special events like our opening celebration and keynote address, happy hour networking social and dance party
  • Networking with fellow makers and craft industry professionals
  • Welcome gift bag full of amazing goodies from our sponsors

Craftcation does not offer refunds for cancellations by the attendee or by Craftcation for any reason. If you find out you can’t make it or Craftcation is postponed, try posting on our Facebook event page. Once you sell your ticket please email us at katiemac@dearhandmadelife.com with the name and email address of the person who bought it.

Topics, conversations, crafts and events at Craftcation are all geared towards adults. Having said that, we have had a few under 18 attendees in the past. Please email us to get approval before registering your under 18 child.

workshops FAQ

What we offer varies from year to year but it’s always an awesome mix of hands-on craft workshops, classes and panels on creative business and community events like our opening dinner, happy hour, craft competition, dance party, stitch n bitch and more.

While business classes are all walk-in for Craftcation attendees, most craft workshops have limited space and will require you to sign up for them. Once you register for Craftcation, you’ll receive an email with instructions for this. Craftcation workshops fill up FAST. We highly encourage you to be prepared to sign up for craft workshops prior to when sign-ups begin.

These dates will be emailed to registered Craftcation attendees once the day is scheduled.