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Round-robin discussions and storytelling sessions make the Makers Convergence unique. Photo courtesy of Imbibe Events.

Turning Hobby into Business with the Makers Convergence

Learn how to grow—or start—your small business with this conference for Denver's butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers. 

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With the rise of online marketplaces like Etsy and the increasing popularity of shopping local, more and more creative Coloradans have taken the plunge in recent years into starting their own small businesses.

The folks at Imbibe Events took this local creator-centered market by storm when they started the Denver Flea in 2014, and with next week’s Makers Convergence, they’re looking to do it again.

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According to founders Sarah Wells and Katie Schulze, the event was born from the experiences and needs of the small-business owners who participated in the Denver Flea. These producers and artisans—makers, as Imbibe calls them—are passionate about their craft, but keep running into the same question: How can I turn my hobby into a viable business enterprise?

(Meet the Makers: 10 Craftspeople to Know in Denver)

The Makers Convergence, coming to the McNichols Building on Monday, August 24, hopes to give local businesses the tools to do just that. Its founders call the event a “non-conference conference.” Focusing on storytelling and round-robin chats rather than speeches and panels, the Convergence’s aim is that every maker in attendance can engage with and learn from everyone else, whether fellow participant or Imbibe-selected panelist.

The afternoon will begin with a storytelling session in which a team of established Denver makers will share their stories and explain how they balance day-to-day business operations with the passions that first inspired them to set up shop. From there, participants can break into their choice of round-robin discussion sessions on various elements of running a business, like sales strategy and social media marketing.

Any business that’s making something is welcome at the Makers Convergence, whether that something is food, retail items, or market products. Entrepreneurs just making the move from idea to business and existing ventures looking to grow can both benefit from the Convergence’s exchange of ideas. If you’re not in the small-business business, be sure to pay a visit to your local makers’ shops and stalls in the next few months. We have a feeling they’re about to be better than ever.

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$25, imbibe-events.com; McNichols Building, 144 W Colfax St., 720-865-4220; Monday, 1–6 p.m. Register here.

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