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NextFab and CraftNOW present: Tools of the Trades Conference 2023!

Tools Of The Trades

If you’re looking for a way to kick off Spring, join us at the Tools of the Trades Conference!

The conference designed for makers by makers is back! Craft organization CraftNOW and makerspace NextFab have partnered again, welcoming new partner LaserPhilly, to present the second annual Tools of the Trades, a four-day hybrid conference focused on connecting artisans to business resources in Philadelphia and beyond. From March 22nd to 25th, tickets will unlock access to experts, resources, and peers working in the craft and business community.

Experts will deliver a variety of programming and materials – lectures, resource directories, and a collaborative event – to address the needs voiced by our creatives running small businesses. The conference strives to emphasize approachability, affordability, and a supportive environment where everyone can come together and no question goes unanswered.

After welcoming over 300 attendees to their inaugural conference in 2022, this year’s theme is focusing on connection, collaboration, and commerce – delivering all the tools you need to add fuel to your creative passion and make educated business decisions. Unique to this conference, it focuses on a diverse range of topics and experiences, from members of regional craft communities and seasoned fabricators.

Topics range from conversations such as “Daydream to Day Job” and “Collaboration as Commerce”, which allows our experts to share stories of successes and failures that helped shape them, to practical presentations on “Taxes for Creators: Self-Employment and the Schedule C,” and “Crowdfunding Strategy for Artisans”, which provide tangible solutions and templates for your business.

Tools of the Trades is intended to provide a concentrated period for creative learning to help craft-focused businesses accelerate growth and find success however they choose to define it.

Whether you can attend in-person or online, we’d love to see you there!


All Access Ticket: In-Person and Virtual Events: $50

Access to all digital sessions plus entry to our in-person networking event, optional workshops, and happy hour at NextFab, 1800 North American Street, Philadelphia

Virtual Event Ticket Only: $25

Access to all digital sessions, including speaker Q+A, panel discussions, and peer networking sessions.

In-Person Events Ticket Only: $25

Entry to our in-person networking event, optional workshops, and happy hour at NextFab, 1800 North American Street, Philadelphia

Click here to see the schedule of events!

Tuesday, March 21st: Kickoff Breakfast
(In-Person at 200 South Broad Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia, or Virtual Watch Party)

9:00 AM – In Person – Building Your Creative Business: A Defining Innovation Panel, kickoff breakfast and watch party hosted by the Arts and Business Council, 200 South Broad Street, Suite 700, Philadelphia

Wednesday, March 22nd: Day One Program (Virtual-Only, Zoom)

9:00 AM – Creative Business Handbook: Alicia Puig, PxP Contemporary, and Sharif Pendleton, Laser Philly

10:30 AM – ▶︎ Crafting Your Business Model Canvas: Tim Daniel, Widener University SBDC

12:00 PM – ▶︎ Price Your Work for a Profit: Jessica Abel, Autonomous Creative

2:00 PM – ▶︎ Taxes for Creators: Self-Employment and the Schedule C: Hannah Cole, Sunlight Tax

3:30 PM – E-commerce Essentials: Kim Robinson, 3pts (“three points”)

Thursday, March 23rd: Day Two Program (Virtual-Only, Zoom)

9:00 AM – Daydream to Day Job: Mark Kuhn, Oat Foundry and Nicole Haddad, Lobo Mau

10:30 AM – ▶︎ Creating Multiple Revenue Streams: Joy London, Project Joy Studio, and Alecia Dawn Young, YOGAMOTIF

12:00 PM – Collaboration as Commerce: Nick Vicente, Twice Measured and Maria Eife, Maria Eife Jewelry / JV Collective

2:00 PM – ▶︎ Crowdfunding Strategy for Artisans: Katie Johnson, Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Accelerator, and Khai Van, Techarge

3:30 PM – How I Built My Social Media Brand: Erik Curtis and Larissa Huff, Furniture Makers

Friday, March 24th: Day Three Program (Virtual-Only, Zoom)

9:00 AM – Don’t DIY Everything: Erika Tapp Duran, Temple University’s Small Business Development Center

10:30 AM – ▶︎ Trademarks and Copyrights: Protecting Your Work, Why and Why Not: Ken Metzner, Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts

12:00 PM – Making Materials Matter: Cody Hughes, Untitled_Co and Kate Leibrand, Artist

2:00 PM – Getting into Galleries, Retail Stores, and Wholesale Markets: Sara McCorriston, Paradigm Gallery + Studio and Margaux DelCollo, TWEE

Saturday, March 25th: Workshops and Networking Happy Hour (In-Person Only at NextFab, 1800 N. American Street, Philadelphia)

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM – In-Person: How to Approach Galleries, Wholesalers, and Store Owners Workshop: Margaux DelCollo, TWEE, and Zindzi Harley, Zindzine, Curator & Creative Consultant

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM – In-Person: Product Photography Workshop: Tatiana Mullin, As Seen by T

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM – In-Person: Product Pricing and Strategy Workshop: Jessica Abel, Autonomous Creative

2:30 PM – 4:00 PM – In-Person: Craft Fair & Market Display Workshop: Anne Cecil, ONO made in the 191

4:00 PM – 7:00 PM – In-Person: Happy Hour Closing Celebration with CraftNOW Trunk Show and NextFab Tours

New this year, the conference will kick off with the Arts + Business Council hosting a networking and creative innovation discussion on March 21st. After three days of digital content, it will conclude this year, with a limited number of in-person workshop tickets available to turn learning into action at the NextFab makerspace on Saturday, March 25th. From 2 pm – 4 pm, guests are invited to bring in products and participate in one of four workshops, and starting at 5 pm, all participants are welcome to the in-person Happy Hour and CraftNOW Trunk Show to network, shop, and tour the NextFab makerspace.

Here’s to the makers of today and tomorrow!

Kevin Huang of Kevin B Huang Studio Art for NextFab / September 19, 2022

In Partnership with FORMATION. Media