Makers Mini Conference


Makers Mini Conference

Lillstreet Art CenterDabble, and Renegade Craft Fair hosted the Makers Mini Conference at the Lillstreet Loft a couple of weeks ago. It was a great opportunity for makers to hear the experiences of other artisans and the assistance that the Chamber of Commerce can provide for entrepreneurs.

The panel was made up of Katie Mills of Lady Faye Jewelry, Marco of Alapash Meaningful Terrariums and Nora Renick-Rinehart of Fiberista Nora.

Questions centered around how they started, how to balance creativity and running a business, that whole work life balance thing and what advice would they have given to themselves as they started out. What was great about the panel is that they each had varied experiences. Nora mixes teaching with making and has had an Etsy shop since 2008. Katie opened her business after taking a class at Lillstreet. After taking a class she decided to do Renegade and took off from there. Marco made a couple of terrariums as a gift and then the demand for more came pouring in. He has also opened up a storefront in Ravenswood.

I would say the key takeaways from the panel were-

  • Collaborate: each panelist mentioned that collaboration was also how they became inspired.
  • Budget: Marco would take half the money from each terrarium he sold and put it to buying new terrarium supplies and the other half towards opening a store.
  • Set goals- each panelist talked about how important it was for them to set goals. Marco finds it useful to write those goals down.

Rudy Flores from the Lincoln Square/Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce stopped by and talked about what the Chamber of Commerce can do for local businesses. He said that is probably the best place for a business to start. They are particularly adept at helping people navigate through the red tape of the City of Chicago.

I hope they will have more events like this. It was educational and it was great to have some time to talk to the panelist afterwards.

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