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 fourth Maker Session is Wednesday, August 24th, 6-9pm at The Bit Factory (526 S Main St, Akron, OH 44311 Suite 511 -- within the Akron Global Business Accelerator). The fourth session is about creating a business plan and how to finance it. Our guest speakers will be Business Advisor Jim Griggy, and ECDI's Chris Faircloth. Here's a little more about both of our speakers:


Jim Griggy is currently a business advisor for the Small Business Development Center at the Summit Medina Business Alliance. Griggy is certified as a business advisor through the state of Ohio. Jim’s background lends itself to supporting SBDC clients with accounting and finance, franchising, business planning, strategic planning, marketing and other business areas.

Before joining the Summit Medina Business Alliance, Mr. Griggy was employed by SRA International, the franchisor of Sanford Rose Associates executive recruiting offices. His last position with SRA was director of finance where he was in charge of accounting, finance, franchisee compliance, risk management and intellectual property. Jim’s duties also involved formal training presentations and one-on-one business counseling with franchisees. He was instrumental in developing a program to help new franchise owners complete all of their administrative and business set-up issues efficiently.


Chris Faircloth was hired in November of 2014 to open the Akron office of ECDI, and currently manages the Akron location, facilitates outreach in the Akron-Canton region, and works directly to develop and assist ECDI Akron’s lending clients.  He brings seven years of both consumer and business banking and lending experience to ECDI, as well as experience with his own entrepreneurial venture.  Christopher is a 2005 graduate of the University of Akron’s College of Business Administration. 

Active in the Akron community, he is a member of the 2013 class of young professional service organization Torchbearers, a Greater Akron Chamber 30 for the Future award recipient, a 2016 recipient in of the Akron/Canton chapter of the National Sales and Marketing Executives Accent on Excellence award, board member of Highland Square Neighborhood Association, planning committee member of Akron-based PorchRokr music festival, planning committee member of the 2015 Akron Better Block event, and founding member of the Akron chapter of PechaKucha speaker series, among many other activities.

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 #4 from Eventbrite.


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

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

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 Business Plan & Financing Maker Session is the fourth in a series of 5 classes. We also have this upcoming class scheduled:

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