So aside from staying at an awesome bed and breakfast, we also got to attend The Maker's Summit while we were in Greenville. The Maker's Summit is a business conference for the art, craft, and design world. There were several really inspiring speakers, discussion panels, and one on one appointments with professionals in multiple fields. In between all the learning, we were treated to pastries, artisan coffee, a delicious lunch, and chocolate chip cookies. High fives to the organizers for knowing what makes a conference great.
Going into the day, I was super excited to hear from a couple of the speakers. At the end of the day, I was thrilled to have heard from all of them and had pages of ideas written in my notebook. It would be almost impossible to describe to you how a whole day of listening to people talk could be absolutely riveting, but it was.
We spent an hour in small groups, discussing more specific issues that everyone faces with a small business. Our group of twelve was made up of both women and men and probably had an age range of fifty years between the oldest and the youngest. I love the diversity in the handmade community and how it's so easy for everyone to feel like they belong. Before we left, I worried about what I should wear. Once I was there, I realized how silly that was, because everyone was dressed so differently that nobody stood out, thus squelching my nightmare of being the lone jeans-wearer in a sea of pencil skirts.
I'll be honest and tell you that I shy away from situations where I may have to meet lots of strangers and I think I am fairly terrible at small talk. Luckily, Steve can make conversation with anyone, so it was easy to make friends. We met pattern designers, jewelry makers, graphic designers, and some people who were just taking the first steps toward starting a business. It felt amazing to be in a room full of people who are all passionate about making beautiful things.
Another awesome thing about attending a conference that is put on by a group of creative people is that everything was so thoughtfully done. From the goody bags to the table decorations to the flowers on the lunch buffet, I felt like I was at a lovely party at a friend's house.
I don't actually know the story behind Barnum, the larger-than-human sized stuffed octopus, but he fit right in too.
The conference lasted until 5:00, but the fun didn't end then. We also attending the after-party which included dinner, craft making, and some other really cool activities. I'm finishing up a few pictures of all the goods we came home with and will post a full party report on Thursday!