I’m sure the world is wondering… “Sabrina, how was Craftcation? Was it really as good attending the 2nd time around?”
The Answer: YES! Returning to Craftcation as an alum was a very different experience than going as a first timer, but it is just as magical, energizing, and inspirational as the first time. Its now been 2 months since I returned from the conference, and I still get warm fuzzies thinking back to those 4 days.
To refresh your memory on what I’m talking about, you can check out my post about last year’s experience here.
Here are a few things I did differently this year:
- I was an ambassador! Dear Handmade Life takes applications every year for ambassadors, basically those of us who CANNOT shut up about Craftcation. I was SO honored to be selected. The cherry on top was being gifted an ADDITIONAL swag bag upon check in. It was pretty epic.
- I took more business classes than crafting classes. I know, I know, it sounds crazy! But there are SO MANY accomplished and successful presenters that teach every year, and I found myself not being able to resist the business sessions.
- I rented a car. The train was a fun adventure last year, and there’s always a shuttle for those who didn’t bring a car, but I wanted a little more flexibility this time around. I’m so glad I did! I got to do some fabric shopping in LA the day I arrived and some sightseeing on my last day there. (I also lost my phone on the Rental Car Shuttle, but that’s a whole other story…)
- I skipped class. But to be fair, they recommend you skip a class or two! Last year I scheduled something for EVERY session, but this year I consciously scheduled in a few open slots. I used that time to go to the beach one morning, to make the obligatory trip to Superbuzzy for fabric shopping, and to check out a few breweries.
Some other highlights (since I seem to be sticking to last year’s post format…) :
- Laughing and crying (simultaneously) at the Bust Through Imposter Syndrome panel.
- Experiencing my very first Earthquake! We were in the middle of our Etsy Think Tank when the room started vibrating vigorously. Luckily I was in a room full of West Coasters who knew what was going on.
- Spotting a Tsunami warning sign the next day at the beach. (If I’d seen it before the earthquake I’d have been a nervous wreck!)
- Getting distracted while taking a boomerang on the beach, getting splashed by a rogue wave, and having to go back to the room to change my wet leggings. (oops)
- Taking a class with Debbie Stoller, then teaching her how to make friendship bracelets later that day!
- Iron Craft Ventura. A.ma.zing. The hosts were hilarious and the crafting was impressive!!! I’m so happy this existed and I was able to witness it.
- Getting a tattoo. Ok, it was a fake, but the experience was legit…aside from the fact that the tattoo parlor was a hotel room. It started with a shot of bourbon at the door, involved sterilization of the tattoo site, and latex gloves. I’d say that’s pretty legit. (Also, I for real want a scissor tattoo now.) Oh, I should probably mention this was part of Wanderings (see last year’s post for an explanation).
- Another Headshots session with Sarah Deragon. The lead up to this was a bit of a rollercoaster and I almost ended up canceling the session a few days before. I’m so happy I didn’t. Sarah is a magician and even a bit of a therapist without realizing it.
- My solo Beer Trip. The beer nerd in me was singing as I drove down the highway to Oxnard, and my introvert heart was so happy to enjoy a little bit of quiet time away from the party.
- Beach House Tacos with Robin. I randomly roomed with Robin last year, and we kept in touch and decided to room together again this year. It was so nice to be able to wrap up our Craftcation experience before heading our separate ways.
The beauty of attending Craftcation as a 2nd timer (or, I would imagine, as a 3rd, 4th, or 5th timer…) is you’ve already gotten the basics under your belt. You know the venue (shoutout to Ventura Beach Marriott!), you know more or less how things run, and chances are this time you know a few people!
For me, my 2nd year gave me a chance to look at the event with more focused eyes. Last year got me fired up to kick my business back into gear. This year I’d had an opportunity to put some of that learning into place and think to myself “what’s next?!” I took advantage of office hours, tried to make new friends (have I mentioned everyone is SO friendly?!), and meet some of the people I was already stalking on Instagram.
(Next year: convince the organizers to make a yearbook so I don’t have to feel so awkward when I creep over to ask “hey, are you @XXXX on Instagram?”)
Have you ever been to Craftcation? If so, what were some of your highlights from 2018?