Thursday, July 30, 2015
THE BOHEMIAN (SANTA ROSA) -- Passing by Nicole Stevenson’s house in a quiet Santa Rosa neighborhood, you’d never know that the backyard serves as the headquarters for a mini DIY empire. From her studio, she and her aunt and business partner, Delilah Snell, run two of California’s biggest craft events, the Craftcation Conference and the Patchwork Show. Stevenson says she’s never had a proper 9-to-5 job, but most of the time she’s in the studio, working away. As the maker movement gained prominence over the last decade, the online crafts marketplace, spearheaded by Etsy, inspired such brick-and-mortar events as the Renegade Craft Fair, West Coast Craft and the Maker Faire. You won’t find “Put a bird on it” — type crafts at these fairs, but highly polished and stylish wares. Stevenson, 38, wanted in on it. A graphic designer, illustrator and writer, Stevenson grew up in Los Angeles and moved to Sonoma County in 2000 to finish a Master’s degree at San Francisco State University.