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$5,528 pledged of $14,000 goal
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By Marcis Curtis
$5,528 pledged of $14,000 goal
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About this project

At Citizen Carpentry, we build community around a shared woodworking shop.

Our workshop is almost complete! We've been putting up walls and getting our storage built out over the last 5 months, and this final push will allow us to operate on our own hours and offer shop time and classes in the evenings.

We're dedicated to increasing public access to tools and space to work.

Teaching and sharing skills.

  • On-site training and workshop access for people to earn and learn.
  • Lowering barriers to access for community members to accomplish their goals.

Keeping St. Louis' resources out of the landfill.

  • Utilizing salvaged material and repurposing waste wood to create unique elements within our projects.
  • Showcasing what is possible with a sustainability-focused practice.

Maintaining our city's unique built environment.

  • Restoration of historic elements of St. Louis homes such as antique window repair and door installations.
  • Finish carpentry, plaster wall repairs, and custom built bookshelves and cabinetry.

Creating sustainable products and spaces.

  • Engaging a network of local partners to prevent the flight of money to large corporations.
  • Custom installations for local businesses, organizations, and homeowners.

 

 We need your help to finish building out our shop in its new location. We share building space with Refab STL, an amazing non-profit providing skills training to former combat veterans by deconstructing old buildings in and around St. Louis. These materials are then processed and stored for resale in the historic 40,000 square foot building along Route 66, which houses Citizen Carpentry’s new workshop.

We have to purchase a macerating toilet for our bathroom, since the floor drain is too small for a traditional toilet.  This also utilizes a greywater system, further reducing our environmental impact.

We're expanding the capacity of our shop, facilitating mutual aid networks and resource recovery opportunities in St. Louis. We want open, community access to the Citizen Carpentry shop, and that starts with the physical space. With our own dedicated bathroom, cleaning station, and kitchen, we'll be able to offer our members a more welcoming and inclusive work environment, and healthy food choices for our apprentices.

An example of our kitchen spatula, part of the Utensil pledge reward along with a simple two-tined salad fork.
An example of our kitchen spatula, part of the Utensil pledge reward along with a simple two-tined salad fork.

Citizen Carpentry aims to be the first worker-owned woodworking co-operative of its kind in the Midwest, encouraging community members, artists, and entrepreneurs to utilize our shop for their work. We have the chance to be a hub of creative revitalization, recycling, and skill-sharing in a city sorely lacking in opportunities. 

From planning to execution, the work of our Apprentices is invaluable to us!
From planning to execution, the work of our Apprentices is invaluable to us!

Through this campaign, you can help us grow in a number of ways: 

  • Sharing and getting the word out is critical to our success
  • Pledging to buy some of our unique products and offerings
  • St. Louis folks can become Members at our shop

Membership (St. Louis locals)

Our Membership platform will help fund Apprenticeships for those who've previously faced barriers to employment.

Our Individual Memberships will be offered at two levels. 

  • A Basic Membership will cost $90/month and will include shop access during member hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 12pm to 6pm, up to a total of 15 hours/month, as well as bi-weekly consulting to discuss your project. We'll make sure you have help on hand to accomplish your goals with us.
  • A Sustaining Membership will cost $160/month and will include everything listed above plus access to storage and unlimited hours in the shop during member hours. If you aren't able to regularly use the shop but want to support our work and have access in the future, this membership level can act like a savings pool - we will roll your monthly payments as credit for projects up to $600.

Our Business Membership is a versatile tool for any small business. 

  • Our Business Membership will cost $250 per month and is for local businesses who need handyman services and small project help. Want to build a new retail display? We'll come to you with our Apprentice to take stock of your project, and you'll get priority booking.
  • We recognize that not every business needs projects regularly, so this membership level can also act like a savings pool - we will roll your monthly payments as credit for projects up to $1000. 
  • This means that your business could plan out and execute seasonal updates, or if you're operating out of an older building, you'll have the peace of mind that someone you trust can come get the job done right, quickly.

Sustaining and Business Members will get to know our Apprentices through workshop hours and on-site training as we teach each other how to improve our built environment. We also offer seasonal Trainee positions as work allows, which are more focused sessions centered around specific projects.

LET'S DO THIS!

With an improved workspace and added memberships, we hope to engage with more community partners in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors. We've paid Jacob Berkowitz to create our video and our shop has allowed us to create frames and other work for local artists. 

Why this can work.

Our neighbors have already come through in big ways - Citizen Carpentry recently gained our first Business Member, Strange Folk Festival, bringing a laser cutter to the shop for prototyping, pattern-making, design work, and all sorts of things. 

We teach classes at Perennial STL, another great local non-profit pushing creative reuse.

For individual clients, we've offered restoration of historic elements of St. Louis homes such as antique window repair, door installations, custom-built cabinetry, and more.

We make frames for area artists and have provided fabrication services for local and international artists in collaboration with the Pulitzer Arts Foundation

Other clients include South City Art SupplyThe Luminary, Blank Space, Paul Art Space, Parkway North School District, TechArtista, Refab STL, US Department of Arts & Culture, Artivists STL, Civic Creatives, The Cowry Collective, Dutchtown South Community Corporation, Organization for Black StruggleCherokee Street Business AssocationVSA Missouri, Solidarity Economy STL, Oak Hill Elementary School, and the Pink House in Pagedale, MO. 

 

A custom, white oak butcher block counter top for a private residence in south city.
A custom, white oak butcher block counter top for a private residence in south city.

 

A wall of shelves and custom rolling ladder system for South City Art Supply using Xena's old roller derby skates and a ladder that came with the building.
A wall of shelves and custom rolling ladder system for South City Art Supply using Xena's old roller derby skates and a ladder that came with the building.

 

Hardwood cutting board made from shop off-cuts.
Hardwood cutting board made from shop off-cuts.

 

Tinkering space we built out for TechArtista and Squarefruit labs. Each brightly-trimmed work table slides out to transform the space as needed.
Tinkering space we built out for TechArtista and Squarefruit labs. Each brightly-trimmed work table slides out to transform the space as needed.

 

An example of the Hallway Mirror Shelf Reward
An example of the Hallway Mirror Shelf Reward

 

 

CITIZEN CARPENTRY t-shirt!
CITIZEN CARPENTRY t-shirt!

 

 

Risks and challenges

The funds from this campaign will go towards paying licensed plumbers and electricians to do the rough-in work for our new bathroom and kitchen.

We have a wide array of skills to bring to any project, but we also recognize where it is best to hire an expert outside our field.

We are in our second year of business and recognize that not everything turns out exactly as planned every single time. We're acutely aware of the tendency in the construction field to run over timelines and budgets, and have been guilty of this ourselves.

In order for our workshop to be made public and accessible, we need an occupancy permit, and the funds raised here will go directly to meeting those requirements. There may be other issues to be resolved in order to get our occupancy permit, but we have a great community network of skills to draw on and hold us accountable. Through our connections we have gained valuable experience and believe we have the talent to overcome these obstacles.

Learning from our mistakes and being transparent about challenges in our growth is central to moving forward together. We recognize that in order to scale up our business to have the most impact, we need to build it on a foundation of integrity where everyone's voices are heard.

Additionally, we will be seeking administrative help from community partners and aim to hire someone part time in the near future to help us coordinate as we grow.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU!

    We'll laser-cut your name and the names of all of our backers onto plywood panels that will clad the walls of our kitchen and bathroom, so every day we'll be reminded of what community can look like and how powerful people are when they mobilize.

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    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    Challenge Coin

    Show your support of Citizen Carpentry with a 2.5" laser-etched wooden challenge coin!

    These high-relief laser-cut discs will feel great in your hand or pocket, and you'll know you've helped employ people who've previously faced barriers to good work every time you touch it.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Chopsticks

    Hand-crafted out of hardwood scraps, these wooden chopsticks will be sanded to a fine finish. They will endure the test of time with a little coconut oil conditioning and you'll enjoy your favorite foods with pleasure knowing you've helped people who've faced barriers to employment.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Kitchen Utensil Set

    Resawn hardwoods will be passed through the laser cutter and finished by hand to create a small spatula and two-tined salad fork. These everyday utensils wear well over time with a little coconut oil conditioning, and the material will remind you of the natural roots of good health.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    CITIZEN CARPENTRY T-shirt!

    You'll get an awesome Citizen Carpentry shirt printed by Art Farm on Cherokee Street! These guys really know what they're doing and we hope it will quickly become a staple of your wardrobe.

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    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Challenge Coin Action Pack

    We'll take your message to the next level by creating a pack of 6 custom challenge coins for spreading news outside of digital channels about your next action.

    Designed to be used as rubbings or stamps, these high-relief laser-cut wooden discs will help you or your organization get the word out about your next meeting or mass action. Distribute them to your trusted people and disseminate information privately to a larger audience.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    EARLY BIRD: Individual Membership

    One month of membership with Citizen Carpentry at almost half off!

    This gives you access to everything in our shop for projects Thurs-Sat 12p-6p, bi-weekly consulting services / project planning meetings, and our eternal gratitude for supporting a stronger creative reuse ecosystem in St. Louis.

    Can be started at anytime in 2017.

    Only available to St. Louis-based backers.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    EARLY BIRD: Custom Cutting Board

    As an early supporter of Citizen Carpentry, we'll craft a beautiful 9 x 12 inch laminated cutting board for you with proper care instructions laser-etched into the back. Using hardwood species from Refab STL and other local sources, With a rounded, beveled edge, these boards feel great in hand and will become a treasured piece of your kitchen and home.

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    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    Citizen Street Pack

    You'll get the Challenge Coin Action Pack, or 10 Citizen Carpentry Challenge Coins, as well as a t-shirt to help us spread the word about new economic models for rebuilding our cities.

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    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    One Month Individual Membership

    One month of membership with Citizen Carpentry!

    This gives you access to everything in our shop for projects Fri-Sun from 10-4, bi-weekly consulting services / project planning meetings, and our eternal gratitude for supporting a stronger creative reuse ecosystem in St. Louis.

    Can be started at anytime in 2017.

    Only available to St. Louis-based backers.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Custom Cutting Board

    Using hardwood species from Refab STL and other local sources, we'll craft a beautiful 9 x 12 inch laminated cutting board for you with proper care instructions laser-etched into the back. With a rounded, beveled edge, these boards feel great in hand and will become a treasured piece of your kitchen and home.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    EARLY BIRD: Business Membership

    One month of membership with Citizen Carpentry. This gives you access to everything in our shop for projects Fri-Sun from 10-4, bi-weekly consulting services / project planning meetings, and our eternal gratitude for supporting a stronger creative reuse ecosystem in St. Louis. Your logo will be on our 2017 promotional material as community partners with Citizen Carpentry. Can be started at anytime in 2017.

    Only available to St. Louis-based backers.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Hallway Mirror Shelf

    Using mirror scraps and hooks from Refab and offcuts from the shop, backers will receive a one of a kind hallway shelf for your coats, keys, or sunglasses with a handy mirror to check yourself out before you head out. Please add $80 to checkout for non-STL backers!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Business Membership

    One month of membership with Citizen Carpentry. This gives you access to everything in our shop for projects Fri-Sun from 10-4, bi-weekly consulting services / project planning meetings, and our eternal gratitude for supporting a stronger creative reuse ecosystem in St. Louis. Your logo will be on our 2017 promotional material as community partners with Citizen Carpentry. Can be started at anytime in 2017.

    Only available to St. Louis-based backers.

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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Imaginarium

    Marcis will create a unique city-scape out of reclaimed materials to inhabit your desk or mantle at home. Using scraps from Citizen Carpentry's projects, moss, and other salvaged materials, these small worlds provide a beautiful moment of wonder during your day. Take a break from the digital rush and explore a delightful Imaginarium.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Strange Worlds Print Set

    The last of a series of 20 prints created for STRANGE WORLDS, a print exhibition by Cullen Curtis where Citizen Carpentry fabricated custom boxes out of reclaimed materials for each set of prints. Each artist received their own finely crafted custom box containing a print from every participant. This final edition can be yours for your generous support of our mission!

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Jupiter Table

    Emanuel designed a beautiful 3-legged table out of reclaimed white oak stair treads from a mansion in St. Louis for a residential client. We'll use his design to create a unique table for your home from reclaimed materials finely reworked into a piece that will last a generation.

    Available to St. Louis backers only

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Master Chef

    Your name or a name of your choice will be proudly displayed over our kitchen door on a custom-etched brass plaque for completely funding our kitchen build-out! Every time we make lunch with our co-workers or provide a healthy alternative for our apprentices, we'll sing your praises.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Bathroom Genie

    Our new bathroom has to be plumbed, and we need water for a clean-up station! We need to be able to offer our members access to facilities outside of Refab's business hours, so this is a vital part of our plans. Your name or a name of your choice will grace the corner of our shop where the new facilities will be built, and we'll think about you every time we... wash our hands :)

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Funding period

- (49 days)