After eight productive, creative, and fun years it’s time for a change at Makerhood. The current directors are looking to step down. We welcome interest from others to continue the project, or we may turn it an informal network for makers to collaborate and exchange information, without formal structures. Makerhood will run as usual until Christmas 2018 while we consider the options and finalise its future shape in during the autumn. Read on to find out more!
When we started Makerhood in 2010 we embarked on a journey. We wanted to support making, creativity and skills in our local community in Brixton, and create new connections and business opportunities.
The original idea was simple: let’s help people find locally made things online, and thus support a more robust, environmentally-friendly and creative local economy. We started by building a website, but very quickly it grew into something much richer: a community of brilliant volunteers, a social enterprise, network for local makers, a set of business partnerships, a rich events programme, and more.
Over the next few years we expanded from Brixton, first to West Norwood and then to cover all of Lambeth, collaborated with many local, London and national projects and organisations, and learned and grew together. Our community kept developing and changing, and many ideas and projects sprang out of these connections. It’s time for some reflection – and a change.
What has Makerhood achieved?
We never dreamt that Makerhood would do so many things as a community (a separate blog post with thanks to so many who were and are part of it is due, too!). For example, together we:
- launched a business network of which saw hundreds of local makers and artists benefiting from business opportunities, discounts, learning, workshops, events and promotion on- and offline
- took part in or supported many markets and selling events, from helping launch Brixton Station Road Market, to annual WOW markets, Love your Local Market events each year and many more
- built a website using the open source Drupal platform from scratch to promote, sell and showcase local makers’ work and events
- ran the wonderful Making Uncovered events – a showcase for many talented makers in south London
- held over 70 business support events for local makers on a huge range of topics, from creative copyright and photography to pricing, pitching and work-life balance
- collaborated with Brixton’s Diverse Gift shop on an annual showcase of local makers’ work – often the first experience for many makers of working with a retailer
- organised some very memorable Christmas card making parties!
There’s more, and there are many possibilities for the future, too – but the current team have come to the end of our time. We are looking to step down after 2018, due to a combination of personal and work commitments.
What’s the future?
As we step down, we are considering different options – from turning Makerhood into an informal network, to giving it over to others wanting to run the project, to merging with another local organisation. From the start, we’ve always wanted to be open and public about our progress and work, so we continue in this spirit.
Makerhood is a social enterprise (registered CIC) with a great brand, a membership scheme (with around 70 paying businesses at the moment), no debt (and a small amount of cash in the bank), and a great social media presence in the creative community in Lambeth and broader south London. It could continue formally supporting makers through new ventures.
So we welcome interest from local parties who might like to take Makerhood forward. Over the years there have been many ideas from launching a physical shop or space, to publishing books on business for makers and artists, to applying for further funding.
If you’re an group, individual or organisation who is interested in exploring ideas together, let us know your thoughts at http://bit.ly/MakerhoodInterest by Monday 8 October. We are interested in hearing form people who support our ethos, and whose ideas are a good fit with Makerhood’s Community Interest Statement.
Alternatively, we could turn the project into an informal network – for example, based around a Facebook group where people can still share information, communicate and run initiatives/events together.
We will keep running as normal until the end of 2018, while exploring options during the autumn. Watch this space to find out more. And join us for a Christmas party in December to mark the change, whatever it will be!
We are grateful for everyone who’s been part of Makerhood over these years. It has been an incredible journey – inspiring, fun, supportive and social. We couldn’t have wished for a more amazing community to be part ot! We are very happy to have worked with you all and helping Makerhood do so many things together. Thank you, friends.
Love to all,
Kristina, Kim, Gabriela, Jonny and Karen