Maker Retreat is a 2-day, overnight retreat for female entrepreneurs that used to take place on the grounds of Bonnenfant YMCA camp in beautiful Dunrobin, Ontario. We are currently researching some more unique options.
Founded by small business owner and maker mentor Emily Arbour, Maker Retreat is an accessible, fun, creative environment in which to help female makers learn and grow.
OVER THE COURSE OF THE WEEKEND
YOU WILL BE INSPIRED AND EMPOWERED TO:
Take the next steps in growing your business,
Exist confidently in the brand you've created,
Shed insecurities and successfully promote yourself and your products.
Expert presenters will share their insights gained from their experience as real life makers and business owners.
YOU WILL LEAVE THIS WEEKEND WITH:
A variety of tools to take your small business to the next level.
A better understanding of the the retail/wholesale relationship.
The skills to take your OWN professional looking product photography.
A crash course on SEO aka HOW to drive more traffic to your website.
Actionable steps to improve (or create!) your brand.
The tools to change your mindset and really GO FOR IT.
The confidence to do what you love AND make money doing it.
Answers to some of your burning small business questions.
An expanded network of makers... and friends!
MAKER RETREAT IS FOR YOU IF:
You're curious about wholesaling your products but don't know how yet.
You have a great product, but you don't have a clue how to make them look good online.
You love creating but aren't so good at the "other stuff."
You are stumped about how to take good photos of your work.
You are constantly turning down opportunities to sell your work because you "just aren't ready."
You could use more friends in the handmade community.
You love sleepovers.
PRESENTERS FROM OUR 2020 RETREAT
WE LEARNED FROM INSPIRING WOMEN WITH FIRST HAND EXPERIENCE
The Photography Guru
Amy Eaton has a photographer, educator, and proud member of the creative community since 2010.
Creator of the powerful series of courses "Picture Profit Academy", Amy has carved a true niche for herself as a photographer who isn't afraid to make photography accessible to everyone.
She understands what it takes to be an entrepreneur and the value of sharing knowledge in way that's both digestible and actionable.
Amy's energy is contagious and empowering and we can't wait for her to join us at this year's Maker Retreat.
The Tech Goddess
Avery Swartz is a Toronto-based entrepreneur, tech expert, and consultant. She is all about helping businesses and charities use technology to achieve their goals.
She is the founder and CEO of Camp Tech the tech workshop company for non-technical people and helms North Coast Group, a website advisory and digital consultancy.
Avery hosts the Gather North retreat for women who make the web, and is #5 on the Top 50 Women in Marketing list by Search Engine Journal. She also just wrote her first book: See you on the Internet. Building your Small Business with Digital Marketing.
We're very excited to learn from this energetic tech powerhouse for the second year in a row.
The Brand Wizard
Melissa DiRenzo is an experienced Art Director, Designer, Stylist and all ‘round creative soul.
Her design foundation was built working nearly 10 years in the corporate marketing world designing large retail campaigns for Shoppers Drug Mart. She later went on to give life to the creative DIY magazine Merry, as well as her own lifestyle brand and blog, The Sweet Escape. Her solo work brought her back to the corporate world where she built and designed a bi-yearly lifestyle magazine as part of Leon's Furniture re-branding.
Since the time she could pour lemon concentrate into a pitcher, Emily Arbour has had an unquenchable entrepreneurial spirit. Twenty years after opening her first roadside lemonade stand, Emily opened up her very own retail gift shop in the rural Eastern Ontario town of Almonte called Cheerfully Made.
Now in her (very early) forties, Arbour is a shop owner, craft show organizer, Etsy Team Captain and mother of two who has never strayed from her enterprising roots or her love of slow goods.
She loves colour, accessible design and creating space (and time) for family and friends.
The Cocktail Queen
Kasey is the owner of Cellar 82, Ottawa premier mobile cocktail bar.
She joins us again this year for a little post workshop wind-down on Saturday evening and is going to facilitate us in warming up for our pre-bedtime fireside chat.
The Spiritual Entrepreneur
Aidan Bliss compassionately supports people on their journey to heal and come into alignment with their own authentic power.
She joins us for the first time as we head into day two with a guided meditation focused on manifesting our entrepreneurial goals.
She is passionate about radical self-love and self-acceptance.
WHAT CAN YOU REALLY EXPECT
Full disclosure, we're getting up close and personal.
Like, sleepover personal.
Camp Bonnenfant is located along the shores of the Ottawa River in Dunrobin, Ontario Canada (just west of Ottawa).
It's a beautiful space with a lot of charm, and we will be occupying the entire camp and using their conference space (which boasts amazing views of the woods to help coax our minds back to nature!), their dining room, cabins and outdoor campfire pit.
During your experience not only will we be feeding your creative minds, but we'll also be feeding your tummys!
All meals during your stay are included.
Including all the coffee in the world.
We'll be putting you up in shared cabins (bunkbeds) that are heated.
We provide fresh sheets and duvets, though we ask that you bring your own pillow, and you may like to bring an extra blanket or mattress pad for additional comfort.
The washroom is in the centre of 4 cabins and approximately 20 steps away.
We'll be sleeping there too!
Sunday morning will begin with an optional meditation session hosted by Aiden Bliss of Aiden Bliss Reiki and each camper will leave with a healthy amount of swag. Cuz...I mean, we LOVE us some swag.
At this time, Maker Retreat is for women only.
We understand when it comes to sharing sleeping space, we all have our hang ups.
For our first retreat we have decided to limit registration to women (and those who identify as women) to keep things simpler.
We will ensure that everyone is comfortable with their arrangements in advance of committing to attendance.
"Emily is an expert and mentor in the maker community and the advice I've received from her has given me the courage to take steps to both increase my profit and grow as a small business. She's so in-tune with what we go through as makers and genuinely want to see us succeed, the definition of #communitynotcompetition."
"When I need a guide to help me flourish in my handmade business I think immediately of Emily!
She is the bomb. Her experience as a wholesaler and a buyer gives her a unique perspective, making her my #1 for wholesale advice!"
Do I need a PayPal account to register?
No you don't. Although you will be redirected to a PayPal payment page, you do not need an account to complete your purchase. Simply enter your credit card number and you're done!
What are the sleeping arrangements like?
We will be occupying 4 different cabins at Camp Bonnenfant. Each cabin sleeps approximately 10 campers. They aren't glamorous, but they're cozy and clean and we're sleeping there too!
I have some dietary restrictions? Can you accommodate my needs?
Yes! We will be able to accommodate most dietary requirements. We will have gluten free, dairy free, and nut free options. Please note that the entire property is a peanut free zone!
I have other questions about food. Tell me more!
On Saturday we will have a coffee and tea on arrival (bottomless, naturally), lunch, excellent dinner, snacks in the morning, afternoon and evening. On Sunday we'll have a hot breakfast, and an awesome lunch to send you on your way.
Where is the retreat taking place?
Camp Bonnenfant is approximately 30 minutes west of downtown Ottawa, in Dunrobin, along the Ottawa River. There are is ample parking on site. However, the parking lot is not beside the cabins and you will need to carry your luggage to your cabin. Unfortunately, we can not guarantee that the site will be cleared of snow sufficiently to be accessible to who use mobility aids.
Something has come up and I can no longer attend as I had planned. What happens now?
Your registration is not refundable. Please ensure that you are able to attend before registering. If you find you are unable to attend, you may transfer your registration to a friend, but you must inform us of this change. Most importantly, if you are having a problem, please contact us and we'll do our best to work things out.
What should I bring with me?
Packing list will follow closer to the event. Plan on bringing clothing appropriate for walking from your cabin to the lodges for meals and workshops. And don't forget that it'll be February in Ottawa. You may also want to bring a notebook, laptop, cell phone etc.
What time should I arrive? What is the schedule?
Arrival will be at 9am on Saturday morning. Departure will be between 2pm and 5pm on Sunday.
Schedule is being finalized and will follow closer to the event.
I'm coming from out of town. Is there an option to stay overnight on Friday?
Yep! We will be setting up on Friday afternoon and are staying at the camp ourselves on Friday. We'd love you to join us. For an additional $50 you'll have accommodations and a fireside pizza party with us!
If you have any specific questions, please send us an email!
We'll be updating this section as questions arise! -Emily