Road Trip of a Lifetime, Part 1

When our member, Christina Wennstrom of Soap Seas in Redondo Beach, California, reached out to me a few weeks ago to ask if I would like to blog her and fellow IBN member Kristina Nanninga's upcoming “road trip of a lifetime,” I immediately jumped at the chance because I knew it would be fun and I knew you would love it. Here are the Indie road trippers. That's Christina on the left, and Kristina and on the right.

Shortly after Christina joined the Indie Business Network a few years ago, I realized that we have a mutual friend, Bibi Goldstein, the founder and CEO of Buying Time. I reached out to meet her, and ultimately interviewed her for this episode of the Indie Business Podcast. Christina is a bright, bubbly, positive, go getting woman, so I am thrilled that she asked me to tell you about her fantastic trip.

Christina and Kristina are attending three events, and this will be a three-part series on their road trip of a lifetime.

First Stop: Craftcation

Craftcation is a business conference that features hands-on food, craft and creative business workshops. Here are some of the things Christina and Kristina learned there.

Q. WHAT IS ONE OF THE MOST VALUABLE THINGS YOU LEARNED AT CRAFTCATION?

CHRISTINA: The most valuable thing I learned is to always be open and accepting towards new people, places, and opportunities! This is my first time attending, so my mantra for this event was to “soak it in” and absorb all the good Maker energy I could.

I dove into workshops and did things I never have done before. For example, I created a beachy floppy hat during a sewing project. I loved embracing all of the teachers and fellow Makers there to guide me. I discovered a hidden love I had never known. It's a magical thing when you surprise yourself.

KRISTINA: Photography has always been an area I have struggled with, so I was excited to take an iPhonengraphy class from Sarah Deragon at Portraits to the People. Among other things, I learned the importance of putting the subject in a shadowed yet bright area such as a parking garage or under the shade of a tree.

Another tip is to take more than one picture so you have many to choose from, and can be more selective about which ones you share. I also learned the benefits of taking a picture in horizontal mode rather than vertical. I picked up some new editing programs and learned how to edit more effectively too. It seems so simple to take a picture, but getting the right picture is the hard part.

Q. WHO DID YOU MEET AND FALL IN LOVE WITH WHILE THERE?

CHRISTINA: I absolutely fell in love with Amy Tangerine! Amy is a scrapbooker, designer, crafter, and blogger, and I met and enjoyed her company at my lunch table. She has a lovely soul filled with a bright and colorful spirit. I've been a fan of her work, positive vibes, and adorable creations, so it was great that I got to purchase a few of her cute colorful pins and her book Craft a Life You Love: 25 Practices for Infusing Creativity, Fun & Intention into Your Every Day.

Here is a picture of Christina with Amy, along with Robert Mahar of World Crafted with Robert Mahar.

Enjoying a bit of one-on-one time with Amy was a dream come true. Check out Amy Tangerine online here.

KRISTINA: I loved meeting Jennifer of Mods Best Friend. Jennifer makes some of the most adorable pillows showcasing the United States, individual states, and countries when requested. They are very soft, and made with beautiful fabrics. Many of them feature vintage buttons. I purchased a California pillow for myself and plan to order more for family members.

Q. WHAT WILL YOU DO DIFFERENTLY AS A RESULT OF YOUR CRAFTCATION EXPERIENCE?

CHRISTINA: I will embrace new ideas and new paths more openly now. I want to continue to grow and evolve into the best beachy brand I can create. This trip has really brought some fresh pair of eyes to my budding business, and I can't wait to get back to work at my soap studio. Having fun with it all is definitely a must. Craftcation does a great job reminding you of all the fun you should be having as an entrepreneur!

KRISTINA: I will take multiple shots of the same subject so I can capture many different angles and have more than one image to choose from when I post. I will also take product photos as I work so I can curate a photo collection for my social media, as well as my upcoming website.

Check out this fun image, featuring (left to right): Kristina, Lisa Verni, Isabel Alvarez of Albisa Candles (another IBN member!), and Christina.

Learn more about Christina and Kristina

You can learn more about Christina at the Soap Seas website. Check out her fun Instagram filled with all things beachy.

You can learn more about Kristina at her website, and on Instagram.

And don't forget to meet our Isabel Alvarez of Albisa Candles too!

If this article has inspired you, or if you have friends who love local and artisan made products, please share this video on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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About Donna Maria Coles Johnson

Donna Maria is an author, podcaster, attorney, and the founder and CEO of the Indie Business Network, providing affordable product liability insurance and mentoring. Donna Maria teaches Makers and Creative Entrepreneurs how to use technology and community to build a profitable, sustainable business.