It’s been an exciting and sometimes angst filled ride forming a non-profit, finding a suitable property, procuring insurance and choosing the right words to explain the concept of maker spaces. My friends and family have offered tremendous support which I am so grateful for. But, the amazing thing that has happened over the course of the last year is the number of complete strangers who have offered their experience, advice and expertise.
Starting with the folks at Artisans Asylum and Parts and Crafts in Somerville and Lowell Makes who gave me on-site, annotated tours of their maker spaces, with suggestions of what they might do differently, things to go for, things to avoid.
Alex Nunn at Port City Maker Space in Portsmouth walked me through their space and their history and then remained a resource I could email for advice on leasing space and finding insurance. Marvin Nyman guided me through 28 pages of IRS forms for our non-profit application and gave us the printer and folding chairs to set up our office.
Executive Directors from several other non-profits in town sat down for coffee, asked the right questions and answered lots of mine. Former chamber of commerce member liaison, Chris Johnston kept in touch with help even as he started his new job, Mark Iannuccillo picked right up with member services and has gone out of his way to help us.
The local schools and youth services have met with us to talk about collaboration, local businesses have offered welcome and support and busy people with lots of other commitments have offered to be on our board. Buy-in from local teens has been another welcome surprise. We have had volunteers of all ages helping to move tools, clean equipment and prep materials since the day we took over the lease at 3 Graf Rd in Newburyport.
We look forward to offering a vibrant maker community space to you in September. Can’t wait to thank you all in person!