It seems as if everyone is talking about makerspaces, hackerspaces, "pop-up" businesses, and the movement and mindset behind the idea. There are magazines, blogs, conferences, television shows about being a Maker and even the global phenomenon, MakerFaire! Sure it is out there and "everyone talks about it" but do secretly (or not so secretly) just want to know what the heck it is?! Well, you aren't alone.
As with any cultural phenomenon, it might not seem to make sense while you are on the outside of it. Then, you meet some people that know some things, and they teach you some things, and you go to an event or two and suddenly, the "light-bulb moment" and it all makes so much sense. The Maker movement is very much an intuitive system of learning, sharing, collaborating and creating a dynamic of innovation and invention. It is literally a do-it-yourself ethic where you learn the way things work, examine how contraptions and processes might work better, and making improvements that work for you and might even be revolutionary. Our ancestors used to learn trades and vocations in schools or by apprenticeship. And, over the decades or centuries many of us have lost touch with the crafts and skills that put food on the table and made us everything from small businesspeople to big tycoons. The Maker movement is one way people are trying to relearn skills we have lost, to be self-sufficient, or, simply, to buy much less "stuff" and make use of materials and items we have already.
What does that have to do with The Village Workshop? We are one of those makerspaces and we are inviting you to jump in to the movement and learn to make some stuff and revolutionize some processes all of your own. All of us have stood somewhere in our home or in our office and said to ourselves at one time or another, "Why does this widget seem so difficult to operate? I could make this better!" or perhaps, "I could have invented this! I could have even made it simpler to use!" And, collectively, these are the people that gravitate to makerspaces and hackspaces to make their gadgets and widgets and thingamajigs. The Village Workshop is filled with labs and spaces where people work on their projects either alone or in groups on equipment that is either to big or too expensive to buy for their homes or offices. Or perhaps they like company while they work. Or perhaps they enjoy the creative sparks that start flying when they see what other members are working on. The members are just regular people with regular jobs and this is a sort of clubhouse. This clubhouse, however, has really big toys that require safety training but we have a lot of fun nonetheless.
Do you think this sounds like you so far? Well, you have a bit of the inventor in you! If not, well read on. Have you ever had an idea for a small business? Perhaps you are a really good cook or baker and wanted to try your hand at catering. You have just stumbled across the definition of a "pop-up business" and we are the space for that as well. Jewelry makers, clothing designers, flea market resellers, furniture refinishers, and mobile dog groomers, all the small businesses you can think of, need a place to bounce ideas off of other people in similar situations. There is networking, advice, support, and the place to call a lockable cubicle home for their business. Coworking is the wave of the future. Bring your business here and work in a cool space surrounded by people who are similarly driven to succeed.
If you think these are great ideas but are not sure they are for you, what about seeing if they are the place for your kids? Makerspaces are great environments for sparking non-traditional learning in children and young adults. Homeschoolers flock to these spaces as both a place for learning separate from home and for equipment and resources that are otherwise cost-prohibitive. Kids have the opportunity to work at their own pace on projects with no pressure to move either faster or slower than classmates or team members. And, interestingly, they are free to draw conclusions from non-traditional sources like watching other members and mentors work on their own projects. The spirit of invention knows no age limitation whether young or old.
Now you have at least some idea about what this makerspace idea is all about. And if you would like to see it in motion, all you need to do is stop by our facility and see some of our Maker Mentors, members, and guests working on their projects and ideas. You just never know when inspiration will strike. You don't need to have a project in mind to join up. All you need is the bravery to jump in and want to try something new. We are all doing the same thing. Do you want to be a Maker too? Well, stop in and talk to us! We are here to help.