3 Things I Learned at Makers Summit 2018

 Guys. I had the most amazing/overwhelming/transformative 2 days at the Makers Co Makers Summit in Greenville, South Carolina. It was the first event like this I've attended and I'll admit, I was pretty nervous about the whole thing, but I'm SO glad I made it a priority to get out of my comfort zone and meet other makers who I could learn from. And now my mind is exploding with all the knowledge that was dropped while I was there. 

I got to hear from some of my biggest heroes, like Jeni Britton Bauer of THE Jeni's Ice Cream, Jen Gotch of Ban.do (who was v stylish and funny), and Phil Sanders, who started Citizen Supply - the coolest store I have ever been to - and they sell some of our goodies! They all have had vastly different experiences, but there were definite commonalities between them. Here are some of the themes I picked up on...

1. Know & Tell Your Story

It was clear that telling your story through your craft/product is something that takes time, but is an essential part of your success. Phil Sanders talked about the importance of telling your story through every aspect of your product, from the product itself, to the packaging, to the email a customer gets when they order your goods. 

*One protip for figuring out what the heck your story is: ask someone to tell it back to you. Probably not your BFF, but someone who is familiar with your work and can be honest about what comes to mind when they think of you and your brand.

PS I totally spelled visionary wrong here. Nobody's perfect, okay?? ;-)

2. Community

 Everyone at the Makers Summit talked about the importance of having a support group, whether they are working for you or along side you cheering you on. But it was more than just support for you and your brand that was discussed. It's also important for you to give back and support the community you want to be a part of. This ties into telling your story, which should be done through producing a good or service that has the highest possible quality, but quality also comes through being valuable to your customers through your brand and the core values, business pillars, and message you are trying to convey. 

*Protip from Phil Sanders: Call it service, not sales. Good mind shift when thinking about new selling. 

3. It's Not Going to be Easy

 This was definitely clear after everything was said and done. Each speaker brought up moments in their careers when they faced failure (Jeni's Ice Cream recall, Jen Gotch's openness on mental health, Phil Sanders' talking about copyright & trademark scares). But what kept them motivated and inspired was knowing that this path was theirs to take. They made the choice to follow their passion and that's the first thing they want to do when they wake up in the morning and the last thing they think about when they go to sleep at night - sound familiar? :)

*Jen Gotch talked about deglamorizing success and reminding yourself that it's not an overnight success. It can be helpful to look back and find the little markers of success and wins that grew your business as you keep moving towards your next big goal. 

Although she did look v glamorous at the event:

I couldn't fit everything I learned into this blog post, so stay tuned for more on who I met while I was there and what actionable steps I've made for myself and Aviate Press! Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know.


Want to see more of my notes from the Maker's Summit? Click here for a PDF version!!!


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