Woodcraft Supports WorkbenchCon DIY Social Influencer Business Conference

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WorkBenchCon


   Initially an interior designer, event coordinator, charity fund raiser and blogger, Kristen Stockdale formed Stockdale Design. WorkbenchCon was founded in 2017 with an idea that began with Kristen to give birth to, as she puts it, "An intense DIY niche conference connecting social influencers with brands and inspiring makers with relevant content to transition their passion into a career." 

   As Kristen expanded her business, acquiring more clients, creating props and floral arrangements for sales and holiday events, she found her passion and niche in the DIY marketplace. In 2010, wanting to share and grow that love, she connected with a social media influencer and blogger, and created a conference for DIY designers. From that effort, engaging with makers, WorkbenchCon was born.

   Since 2017, the Atlanta based WBC conference for makers and content creators, has grown with attendee numbers to over 500 thus far. Held at the Cobb Galleria Convention Centre, the fine accommodations are all under one roof with a great staff and the daily provided cuisine kept the woodworkers hunger growls to a minimum.

   

   With over 20 daily seminars to choose from with additional keynote speakers during the 2.5 day event, the information intake is overwhelming and the knowledge therein is a complete sharing of individual experiences. You can learn from covered topics on photography, videography, SketchUp design, business growth strategies, product branding & sales, using digital organizational business tools, essential hand tools, woodworking success from mistakes, various woodworking venues, finishes & epoxy, and much more. 

   Find out how to improve your workflow, market your niche business to like markets, grow your viewer and business audience, connect with vendors, share your woodworking knowledge to help others, make more money, all while maintaining your life/work balance. Get recharged, find your inspiration and be your own boss. Network at the annual WBC!




   Woodcraft joined WorkbenchCon as a vendor in 2019, and became a silver sponsor in 2020. The Woodcraft social media team was represented by Frank Byers, Kevin Reed, Kelly Martin and Eric Gorges. Additionally, David Jervis, assistant manager from our Atlanta store joined us to learn from seminars, networking and he also tuned up our WoodRiver planes for booth visitors to practice their hand skills. David enjoys helping others in their store classes and is all about woodworking. He said, "These WoodRiver planes have a great balance about them with fine control, weight, smoothness, machining, finish and functionality."

Eric Gorges host of A Craftsman's Legacy PBS Show, was on-hand...  

...autographing and handing out his books on, "Why Working With Our Hands Gives Us Meaning"...

...talking shop and taking photos with attendees. (@CamsCornerShop)

   During the show, vendors offered demos, hands-on projects, tools, free swag,  merchandise and drawing giveaways. TotalBoat demoed their epoxy resin products and Jess Crow from Crow Creek Designs held a class for building coasters in their booth (above). In addition to the WoodRiver Planes at our Woodcraft booth, we set up two Sjobergs Hobby Birch Benches and attendees stood in line to spin our wheel of swag to win free Woodcraft gear. At the close of the show on Saturday, Brad Fletchall Custom Builds was the winner of our drawing for three WoodRiver planes and a Woodcraft coffee mug! The show closed on Saturday with a final discussion about a May2020 hardware show in Vegas, Make48 with Tom Gray, where inventing against the clock, teams have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch a new idea within the specifications of a challenge.

Show Reviews

Brad Fletchall - Fletchall Custom Builds

   "I'm a  custom furniture maker and woodworking content creator. This was my first time attending the WorkbenchCon show and the experience was outstanding.  From meeting a lot of the woodworking and maker YouTubers I frequently watch and learn from, the education sessions got my gears turning, to connecting to others trying to make their way in the space and interacting with the awesome sponsors of the show.  Everyone was interesting and engaging.  I learned something from every connection and interaction that will either improve my skills in making things or improve my ability to grow my woodworking business.  I learned a couple tips for making hand cut dovetails, working in SketchUp, tools to organize my business to ways to create additional revenue streams with work I’m already doing. I made new friends and am already looking forward to next year."

   "I was also very fortunate to win the drawing at the Woodcraft booth for the WoodRiver Ultimate Cabinet Makers Hand Plane Set that was on display at the show.  I’ve been in the market to upgrade and expand my hand plane collection as my skills have improved and I continue to produce higher quality furniture pieces and content.  I consider myself a hybrid woodworker.  Power tools certainly have their place, but few things are as satisfying to me as using a good sharp, quality hand plane.  The sound and the feel of it cutting a nice curl off a good piece of wood is quite satisfying.  The cabinet makers hand plane set includes the Woodriver #4 and #6 bench planes and a Low Angle Block plane.  These planes are well made, and I find the weight and totes to have a great feel.  I’ve already put the #4 to use doing some smoothing and the block plane to use easing some edges on a dining table project I’m finishing up. I’ll certainly be putting these to use on all my future projects."

Jess & Jef Behnke - Two Moose Design

   "WBC 2020 was another fantastic year. We had the chance for the second time to meet face to face with the people behind the brands, both influencers, and companies. It offers the opportunity to solidify both business and personal relationships. As a married woodworking couple, we had the unique chance of getting two different perspectives from some of the classes and being able to divide so we could make the most of this event. I think it's also beneficial for brands to see us together and succeeding as a couple in the maker world."

Sarah Listi - Tool Girl's Garage

   "Workbench Con was a great chance to network with both other creators and brands, as well as learn some of the processes and thoughts behind some of woodworking's biggest names. For me, building relationships with other creators is the biggest benefit of the event overall. As well, I also came home inspired to keep pushing myself and my craft to new levels. The woodworking community is one of the most passionate and diverse groups to be a part of, and I am honored to be included."

   "I was essentially born with a power tool in my hand, and after years of watching my Dad do everything from rebuilding engines to adding an addition onto my childhood home, my passion for working with my hands was born. I gravitate towards woodworking for its ability to combine critical thoughts as well as creativity to create or restore one of a kind pieces. I have been woodworking more seriously for the last ten years or so, and find it to be an exceptional way to combine my personality and passion into each piece I create. I love that there is no real end to the learning process and I am eager to absorb it all!"

Chris Schoenberg - Third Coast Craftsman

   "It all started with learning woodworking from my Grandfather. His sense of work ethic he passed along to me gave me the foundation of what I am and what I do today. WorkbenchCon is kinda like going to church on Sunday. It gave me a kick start in the butt to get organized and further boost my business. I felt like I have left money and growth on the table and need to get my classes in gear to provide a schooling program. That means getting additional sponsors that truly align with my woodworking and hand tool nature. I want to video my 10 class per year schedule, with a 5 in-seat and 5 in-shop program, while adding 2-day mini-skill building workshops. Additionally, I want to video more projects in my shop with purchase programs on YouTube, create more project plans and perhaps bring other makers into my videos for collaboration. I have a pole barn ready to build a workshop starting this Spring (2020), and I can't wait to put it all together."


Anne Briggs - Anne Of All Trades

   "Woodworking, for the last 60 years, has largely been dominated by [older, white] gentlemen working alone in their garage. My own motivation for getting into the woodshop is not to "escape" anything nor to isolate myself from the world outside, but rather, to become better connected with the things I own and the maker community at large. So many of my peers are excited to do the same, and I have loved turning sharing the things I've learned about craft with the world at large via social media into a full-fledged career. I recently spoke at a gathering called Workbench Conference, an event aimed at an entire generation of young makers interested in doing the same. As a young female working in a male dominated field, it was wonderfully surprising to see that young female makers made up over 1/3 of the conference attendees. An incredibly inspiring, energizing time was had by all, and I expect to see many fun new collaborations between these young makers in the coming year!"


Ronnie & Cam Fulton - Fulton Fine Woodworking

     Ronnie explained, "I was a hobby woodworker for 15 years before leaving the Corporate IT cubical job to go full time 10 years ago.  My Son Cameron, was 2 years old at the time and he has always wanted to be in the shop helping and learning as much as possible.  We have expanded the shop 3 times now and he has been right by my side during all of it.  Cameron is now 12 and he has become a skilled woodworker and usually has a build of his own on the bench of his corner shop as well for his Etsy shop where he reinvests the money he makes on his tools collection. I look forward to each summer when we can spend more than just weekends together in the shop!  WorkbenchCon has become a traditional annual trip for us to be able to spend time together and plan our focus for the upcoming year.  Even the 350 mile drive down to Atlanta is something I look forward too!"

   Cam (@camscornershop) articulated, "This was my second year at WorkbenchCon.  I really like it.  I get to hang out with many makers I know from Instagram and we talk about tools and projects.  I also get to miss school for it!

   


   Cam's father Ronnie (@fultonfinewoodworks) conveyed, "WorkbenchCon gives us an opportunity to dedicate a few days to learning and connecting regarding all things regarding social media and the craft.  I have attended all three years of WorkbenchCon and have found it well worth the time spent.  Many of us joke that this is like summer camp in that we only get to see each other in person once a year.  We had a lot of new makers this year, and while it’s not possible to personally meet everyone, I appreciate the down time on the schedule to mingle and catch up.  The relationships with vendors has been strengthened as well through discussions that provide better understanding of what deliverables they are seeking in partnerships with influencers.  I can always count on seeing some new tools and products also!"


Donnie & Jennifer Galli - Designs by Donnie

   "My first Workbench Conference I was able to attend was in 2019 and man it didn’t disappoint! I went with the intent to grow my social media channels and learn tips and tricks of the trade. After a jam-packed weekend of networking and putting faces to their “stage name” aka Instagram handle, my business saw a huge growth spurt! It also put some pep in my step; I had a new energy that helped tremendously in the workshop. WBC gave me the drive I needed to want to keep growing and want to continue sharing knowledge. I’ve grown many friendships with fellow makers and we’ve all helped each other in one way or another and that to me is priceless. Fast forward to the WBC20, I was fortunate enough to attend but this time with a twist. I was a speaker! Being able to share my "why I do this" and "how you can too" was an amazing experience. I have found that my journey as a maker isn’t just being able to work for myself; it’s about inspiring others to create and to do it successfully! We live in a different world now, social media is a beast and if you don’t learn how to use it you will be left in the dust. Workbench offers endless knowledge and being able to go head to head with other makers all under the same roof is life changing! This conference is made to help any maker from beginner to hobbyist to all the way to the king of making! Knowledge is power and when used correctly you will see the benefit it will bring into your world."

2019

2020

Tamar Hannah

O Dark Thirty Woodworks

Jonathan Katz-Moses

What's Up With All The Stickers?

   Stickers have become the new business card! Thanks to all of you WBC attendees who visited our Woodcraft booth, helped fill our sticker board two years in a row! Thank you very much, we appreciate all you do with your woodworking talents! From branding to distributing, the more you affix them to your products, the more exposure is gained. When you give them to your existing customers, you are not only increasing brand exposure when they display the stickers, but you are also reinforcing the brand with them as well. With YouTube and Instagram being the main avenue for many woodworkers and woodworking businesses, the stickers play an integral part of subtle branding on tools, machines and in the video and photo backgrounds. 

   We look forward to next year's WorkbenchCon event and in working with as many of you as possible. We wish all of the makers and influencers out there much success. 

As always, we are here to help you make wood work, so....

Get to Woodcraft, Get Inspired and Get Woodworking... Frank

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