What is Dear Handmade Life?
Dear Handmade Life provides creatives with community, education and inspiration to build passionate lives and businesses. Crafting a handmade life is about discovering and defining your own idea of success and living and working with purpose and intention.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” -Mary Oliver
If your wild and precious life is a place:
-Where at the end of the day you feel awesome about the work you do
-That is full of inspiring people who believe that we’re stronger together
-Where making something with your hands is not only valued but magical
Then you’ll be right at home here. If you long for those things, you’re in the right place.
Over the last decade we’ve grown from our first event (a tiny craft show in a parking lot) into a destination for our thriving community of supportive creatives to find what they need to stop wishing and start doing. Our co-founder and CEO Nicole Stevenson started her own handmade business almost 20 years ago when only a handful of people knew what DIY meant. In those two decades she owned and sold several businesses, vended at hundreds of craft shows, had her clothing in over 250 stores worldwide, taught craft and business workshops, produced over 100 art & craft events and eventually she found her current passion cultivating community and helping passionate creatives craft awesome lives and businesses when she and her aunt Delilah co-founded Dear Handmade Life in 2007. In 2017 Delilah stepped back from Dear Handmade Life to focus on her deli and market Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana, California.
–Patchwork Show: Modern Makers Festival – our biannual multi-city craft fair showcasing local emerging artists, crafters and designers alongside artisan food, DIY craft workshops, food trucks and music.
–Craftcation: Business + Makers Conference – our annual four day conference at the beach in Ventura, California featuring expert instructors leading attendees in business and craft workshops as well as social gatherings to connect with fellow attendees and activities and inspiration so you can reconnect with yourself.
Our Online workshops
Our online workshops help you build your business and creative skills at home.
On our blog you’ll find solid business advice and tips to shorten the learning curve for product and service based independent business owners, DIY projects to inspire you to step away from your screen and make something with your hands plus our travel, food and self-development adventures.
Join us on our podcast every other week for intimate stories and practical advice about creativity and building a life and business filled with intention and purpose.
We create and curate goods for our shop to celebrate the magic of creativity and the community we call home in California.
In a one-on-one session with our CEO Nicole, she’ll get to know exactly what you need to take the next (or first) step towards your goals and provide actionable tasks to get you there.
NICOLE STEVENSON – CO-FOUNDER AND CEO
Nicole Stevenson is a writer, illustrator, maker, teacher and creative business consultant. Her path includes time as a street artist on the Venice Beach boardwalk, costume designer, DIY workshop instructor, co-founder of a non-profit that produced art shows benefiting charities, owner and designer of Random Nicole (an art-inspired clothing line carried at over 250 locations) and owner of craft workshop studio and retail store: The Craft Kitchen. She has a BA and MA in creative writing and is currently working on a non-fiction book about her creative adventures. She’s also the founder of Nicole Stevenson Studio, where she creates custom portraits, illustrations, branding and logos, editorial design and custom invitations.
When she’s not working, you may find her breaking up scuffles between her dog and three chickens, couch crafting while watching a film she’s seen too many times to count, playing guitar with her husband, sitting in her backyard with good friends and a margarita while playing Cards vs. Humanity or squeezing in time for a quick trip to a lovely place where people are scarce and trees are not.
“Craft can make the world a better place… the feeling one gets from making something with their own hands is beyond empowering.” -Nicole Stevenson
Co-founders Nicole Stevenson & Delilah Snell through the years.