You may have noticed that Crafty Mart is growing by leaps and bounds. One of the growth opportunities we're most excited about is extending our efforts to help nurture and develop our local maker community. That's what the MAKER SESSIONS are all about. With the assistance of the Burton D. Morgan Foundation, we have put together a series of five classes designed specifically for artists and makers to address some of your business needs. Want to know how to better turn your efforts into a sustainable income? This is for you.

The third Maker Session is Wednesday, July 27th, 6-9pm at The Bit Factory (526 S Main St, Akron, OH 44311 Suite 511 -- within the Akron Global Business Accelerator). This third session is about branding and photography. Our guest speakers will be Corporate Marketing Manager Corey Jenkins, and Photographer Melissa Kreider. Here's a little more about both of them:

Corey Jenkins is Corporate Marketing Manager, EMSCO, Inc. & Marketing, Branding & Business Communication Consultant. He is a Marketing Communications/Branding/Advertising professional from Akron, Ohio. A graduate of Kent State University, Corey has served as a creative driving force in generating brand awareness for organizations of all sizes and complexities including small independent businesses, multi-million dollar corporations, and non-profits. In his day-to-day, Corey oversees all aspects of marketing for three companies in five locations nationwide.

Corey will be presenting a general introduction to branding and will be sharing insights into how you can craft a successful branding strategy for your creative business.

Melissa Kreider is an MFA candidate at the University of Iowa and holds a BFA in Photography from the University of Akron. Melissa has been photographing since her late teens and is well versed in both digital and film photography. Her work has been exhibited and published nationally and internationally. Melissa Kreider is a Graduate Teacher of Record at the University of Iowa, in the Art and Art History Department. Melissa is the founder and curator of Don’t Smile, an online space dedicated to showcasing photography by women artists. Feel free to contact her at

Melissa will be speaking about the importance of photography while branding your creative business and selling your products. She will give tips on how to set up a small space for photographing at home and how to take professional-grade images of both 2D and 3D objects! Melissa will also offer a few DIY tips on how to make your own equipment, which quality tools to purchase that are easy on your budget, and which will enhance your final images.

Crafty Mart's Education Director Marissa McClellan will also be talking briefly about some resources available in our own community to help with branding.

Whether your ambition is towards a hobby that pays for itself, a professional operation that is your livelihood--or something in between--these Maker Sessions will give you practical and usable tools to help you protect, produce, and thrive. Learning while you enjoy a libation, some local culinary delights, and of course great company – what could be better? And, make sure to bring your questions.


Tickets to the Maker Sessions are $20 each. Click HERE to purchase your ticket for Session #3 from Eventbrite.

The Bit Factory--on the 5th floor of the Akron Global Business Accelerator at Canal Place.

The Bit Factory--on the 5th floor of the Akron Global Business Accelerator at Canal Place.

What do you get for your money and attendance? There will be a knowledgeable presentation followed by a Q&A discussion, catered food, a cash bar featuring Thirsty Dog beer, and networking opportunities with fellow artists and makers.

Again, the Branding & Photography Maker Session is the third in a series of 5 classes. We also have these upcoming classes scheduled:

Maker Session #4: Wednesday Aug 24th: Planning your Business/How to Finance It.

Maker Session #5: Wednesday Sep 21st: Social Media--learn how to sell your products online, as well as how to respond to negativity within your social media platform.

Have a question before you purchase your tickets? Please email Crafty Mart's Director of Education Marissa McClellan at