Saying Goodbye to The Makery....
hello to something new.
The Makery was born out of a desire to elevate my community of makers, inspired by my very talented friends and, particularly, my sister Brita.
The premise was that if people were just given the chance, they would see the value in the handmade, the human, the work of their neighbor. It began as a web venture showcasing North Carolina goods and our tagline was "community supported commerce." It was a project between me and my sisters, allowing us to connect for the first time as adults with ideas.
After my sisters moved on, I found new sisters, Whitney, Joan, and Angie, by way of a common ethos: the love of makers, the love of stories, an appetite for making it up as we go along.
Early in our journey, I met Mercury Studio, a coworking space in Durham. Being around the founding women and the business and the community that they built added depth and focus to my values. Their motto was, work well, be well. Your heart can have a place in your business. Messages I really needed.
The Makery worked alongside Mercury Studio first as members of their workspace, and then Katie DeConto, one of their partners, and I began a new venture: the brick and mortar version of The Makery on 401 W. Geer.
Having a space has been quite different than having a website. Now we have overhead. We have staff. We have a very long list of teeny tiny tasks. But we also have community, the kind that is nearly impossible to build just online. We have chance meetings, long walks, parties, collaborations, hard conversations, good conversations.
We have people doing their work and making here together. The plot thickened. The stakes got higher.
Who are the people?
They are our staff: a mom breastfeeding as she rings up a customer buying handmade jewelry. They are veteran makers: a woman quitting her job to finally work full time on her sewing passion. They are brand new dreamers: a career carpenter venturing into apparel design for the first time.
The Makery story is more theirs than mine, not in an emotional way, just in a practical way. The Makery centers on their beautiful work; our volunteer staff are what made the retail space an actual financial possibility.
We've seen our members grow so much over the years, and we know they need more. They need a better marketed and resourced store to make more sales, more professional development that respects the uniqueness of their work, and a stronger community to rely on and share knowledge with.
And the bigger, broader community: we know they need us to be louder, prouder, and more activated to give them the courage to make (whatever it is they need to make).
The Mothership is a new business that answers those needs, needs that Mercury Studio was hearing from their members, too. It is a blending of both of our services, and a culling of our values. It is more expansive. It is more inclusive, and it is stronger. It is a foothold for people with creative ambition, who make work or work in a way that is a little different, a little off the beaten path. It is all of us, individually and collectively, practicing new ways of being. Ways that are more considerate of our talents and optimistic about big opportunities.
So, oh god.
I am sad that the story of the name "The Makery" is coming to an end. Looking back in awe at everything that my collaborators Sarah Rose, Brita, Joan, Whitney, and Angie were able to make happen. THANK YOU for making this work a reality for me and for so many.
Also, I am excited, knowing that something very brave is being born. I hope you will join us in this new and exciting space in person, online, or in spirit.