Summit of Awesome graphicWhere’s my favourite west-coast place to visit? Portland! The home of Powell’s Books and mecca of the crafts world will play host to the Summit of Awesome from June 16-18.

Why do I love working in crafts? Because when crafters throw a conference, we call it the Summit of Awesome. It’s put on by promoters of handmade business, Hello Craft, and here’s how they describe it:

The Summit of Awesome is an annual conference that brings together crafters and makers from across the U.S. to learn, grow, and be prosperous in this ever-changing economy.
The sessions strike a good balance between business and crafts, and I’ll be leading three of them:
  • Mighty Ugly: Challenge Yourself to Make Some Ugly – Without even realizing it, since we were kids we’ve taken on some major pressure to create pretty, good-looking, cute, and dare I say even perfect things. When we have a tough time of it, sometimes we give up. We limit our crafting to the techniques and mediums we feel most confident with. We judge ourselves harshly enough that we even feel great stress. Well let’s turn all that upside-down, shall we? Come spend an hour making a creature that’s hideous. On purpose. Free your mind. Giggle nervously. Relax into the safety of failure, which in this case is kinda pretty. It’s the Mighty Ugly project, and it’s time you took the challenge.
  • How to Pitch a Magazine or Blog (with Jena Covey) – Every crafty entrepreneur loves press coverage, but you can’t wait for the press to find you – you have to knock right on the virtual door of media outlets and introduce yourself! We’ll discuss how to pitch your shop and products to blogs and magazines: which publications you should pitch to, the dos and don’ts to include in your intro email, what to expect, how to follow up, how to approach an editor or blogger about writing an article or a guest post, and much more. You’ll find the confidence you need to get out there and start showing the press how awesome you are!
  • Taking the Pressure Off: When Ugly is Mighty – Ever have crafts block? The ideas dry up, even when you feel huge pressure to be making things for business or just for fun. Ever have an idea for a new product, but you can’t quite seem to make it look or feel right? Of course you have. As crafters, we spend much of our time striving for beauty and even for perfection, and we avoid the squirmy uncomfortableness that comes with exploring beauty’s nasty underbelly: hideousness. So let’s talk about ugly stuff. If we allow ourselves to go there, we can end up inspired in ways we never imagined, fearless and fuelled up to create magnificently beautiful things. That’s what this talk is about. You should come.

I have so much to get ready! I love this part. Are you going?