by Artsy Coach Dawn Cary
Well, I can finally say I’ve been to a Pinner’s Conference! I’ve heard about them for years and they’ve always sounded amazing. I’m assuming, being an Artsy individual yourself, that you’ve either been to or have also dreamed about going. If you’re the latter version, then I shall do my best to recount my experience with the justice it deserves. If you’re the former, perhaps you can relive your own experience, after all, it's like Disney World for the Artsy types!
At the time of my writing, there are 7 Pinners Conferences throughout the country: Kansas, Georgia, Idaho, California, Texas, Utah, and Arizona. We chose Kansas. It had about 200 booths, and from what I understand, Utah has the largest with over 600 booths. But for me, a total newb, this was plenty to see!
Think of browsing Pinterest come to life! There’s health & beauty, DIY, fashion, cooking, home organization, and of course art! Instead of scrolling through pictures, you’re walking through aisles of booths showcasing the same trending items!
The Pinners Conference is a great way to inspire you and find new creative ideas not only for your business but for many areas of your life, plus there's just a great energy of other creatives!
Not only is there the expo side of things, but the convention also offers classes you can take. Artsy Coach Tami was prepared - she had pre-registered and had her list of classes she had signed up for, having already purchased her ticket. You can buy a variety of tickets which include classes, you can go for the VIP ticket for around $150 which includes a special VIP party, swag, unlimited classes, and early access. Maria, Mandy, and I purchased our $10 tickets at the door and tagged along with Tami to a few of her classes. Many of the classes offer kits that you can buy that include the project supplies.
Tami's first class was “One Dough To Rule Them All” - participants learned a recipe for bread dough that could be made into a variety of baked goods.
While Tami was in class we toured the booths and learned about a machine you could buy to start a business making “permanent jewelry.” This is a trend I had heard about where they weld a bracelet, anklet, or necklace around your wrist, neck, or ankle.
We moved on to a booth where I was quickly targeted to be a model for their hair straighteners and curlers. Since Mandy and I both have a LOT of thick hair, we quite enjoyed trying the products out on each other and, long story short, both Mandy and I left with the straightener, but hey.....we also walked away with a bonus hair serum, shampoo and conditioner!
From there we met back up with Tami for class number two - Brush Script Writing. We were debating whether we’d have to buy a different ticket when another worker told us we could stand in the overflow line and if the class wasn’t full we could join. So, into the overflow line, we went and were admitted. I wasn’t overly impressed, to be honest. If you purchased the kit, you were given a pack of trace-along pages and around 5 pens and markers. The teacher explained how to make each letter and the class followed along as she instructed each letter using an overhead projector.
Throughout the day we shopped at booths, tried on jewelry and clothes, talked about skincare, and finished the day by attending a class on home organization. I got some great ideas about how I’d like to organize my pantry and some awesome product suggestions! In fact, my sister ordered the drawer organizers, and behold, her junk drawers are now organizational inspiration! Note that the drawer doesn’t usually hold a cat, but as she was emptying all the contents, he thought it seemed like a great place to hunker down!
The best part of a Pinner's Conference is turning it into a Girl's Trip and yet it's still a business expense too! We enjoyed morning brunch and we had delicious dinners and cocktails to cheers a life and creative journey we love!
On day two we only had one class on Tami’s agenda: bracelet making. I wasn’t excited about this class because of all the crafts out there, beading and jewelry making haven’t been my forte. But Tami had ideas about turning this into a class she could offer for her Artsy customers.
Tami changed both Maria & my mind. We both figured we may as well learn something so we purchased the kit. We got to make 2 bracelets with Tila beads from Mack and Rex. Ironically, Tami became uber frustrated with the small beads and it was Maria and me who both ended up purchasing a kit of supplies! I plan to offer this as a class for my craft clubs and I know they’ll be a hit! Every time I wear my bracelets I get compliments and interest! You can check them out at www.MackAndRex.com.
For the rest of the day, we finished making our way through the expo booths. We revisited booths we had an interest in, we tried a magical eye serum that cost $300 a vial and reduced eye puffiness and wrinkles, we nearly got suckered in (only to find later it increased said lines - glad we didn't buy that!) and we talked about suicide prevention with a lovely man who sold heart-shaped rocks with a mission to go to schools to tell all kids that they matter.
That was the end of our Pinner’s Conference. Would I go again? Absolutely! I would love to go to one of the larger conferences to see what other classes they offer! I didn’t feel like this particular conference gave me direct inspiration for my art-based business, but I did walk out with one great new business idea, as well as free shampoo, conditioner, and serum!
SAVE THE DATE! Look one of our very own Artsy Members - Abby Chavez is going to have her own booth and demonstration event at Pinners Georgia!