About this project
WE DID IT! THANK YOU! Your support means everything and we even have a few more hours to fundraise for the creative tool library. We've put extra effort into designing great rewards that can be shipped anywhere, so you don't have to live in Brooklyn to support Makeshift Society. You'll be joining backers from Berlin, Tokyo, Helsinki, London, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Venice, Auckland, Chicago, and many points in between.
Makeshift Society is a community for creative freelancers and independent workers. We have a clubhouse in San Francisco, CA where people work, take classes, attend events and collaborate on projects. We opened a year ago and are ready to bring the Makeshift goodness to Brooklyn before the snow melts in early 2014.
Despite being one of the largest, most jam-packed cities in America, New York City can still be a lonely place, and a logistically difficult one to navigate. Tired of spending our time worrying about the preconditions for work and not enough time focusing on our passions, we created Makeshift for the freelancers working from their living rooms or fighting for power outlets at the corner café. Brooklyn has an enormously creative population that deserves a beautiful place to work, teach, learn and meet others. That’s exactly what we built in San Francisco, and what we are building in Brooklyn.
We’ve scoured the borough to find an incredible space in Williamsburg that’s very close to the L, G, J, M, Z trains, connecting us to many Brooklyn neighborhoods (including Greenpoint, Bushwick, DUMBO & Prospect Heights) and Manhattan. With so many great cafés and restaurants a short walk away, you can easily make a night of visiting Makeshift for a class or event.
Freelancers are the fastest-growing segment of the job market, with an estimated 40% of all US workers joining their ranks by 2020.* Makeshift supports that community by providing the camaraderie and accountability that freelancers often lack when they work alone. Our specific focus is on creative professionals. Photographers, architects, stylists, copy editors, chefs - all and more are welcome. No matter what your area of interest, we understand that creativity is at the core of what you do.
The clubhouse is the easiest thing to point to, but Makeshift is more than a workplace. We also offer classes, skills training, a library full of visual inspiration and business smarts, meeting space, a residency program, and evening events. The heart of Makeshift is our community of like-minded peers who work next to, collaborate with, and learn from one another.
The Makeshift community in San Francisco has had an incredible year, with 300 members and growing. Watch the video below to hear about the Makeshift experience directly from the community.
We found a beautiful two-level space in Williamsburg with soaring ceilings and great natural light. We will share more about the renovation throughout the campaign in the Updates. This work is being led by Dash Marshall, which is also offering a workplace consultation as one of our rewards.
The Makeshift Brooklyn train has left the station. Our location is set and the team is in place. We've turned to Kickstarter to engage our future neighbors early on, in hopes that you will help us make the Clubhouse even better. The more money raised now, the more we'll be able to do as we plan out the new Clubhouse. It will enable us to create a space that’s not just functional and beautiful, but one that is a vibrant center for creative business in Brooklyn.
The funds raised in this campaign will help us build a creative tool lending library for rental and onsite usage. A reference library of books and material samples, audio and video equipment for production and post-production, and art and design tools and supplies will help outfit the Clubhouse with shared, creative resources for making shi(f)t happen.
We've pulled together a fantastic collection of artwork and products by our friends, produced just for Makeshift and this Kickstarter campaign. We have more details about the rewards and the designers on our blog.
We also wanted to offer rewards that reflect our values and mission, so you can participate in office hours with one of our founders or advisors (see team profiles below), or sponsor our Maker-in-Residence program to help a community member fulfill a creative project at the Clubhouse.
Rena Tom is a strategist and matchmaker for independent business owners. She is deeply involved with many different communities - makers, designers, entrepreneurs - to encourage mentorship, resource sharing, and meaningful connections among creatives. Rena is also the Market Editor for Anthology Magazine and business columnist for UPPERCASE Magazine. She owned and operated the design store/art gallery Rare Device in Brooklyn and San Francisco, and is the visionary behind Makeshift. She will be managing strategic partnerships, programming efforts and community engagement.
Suzanne Shade has been a part of the changing landscape of brands for the past twenty years. She’s been a designer and art director for agencies like Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Eleven, and is currently a ‘brand muse’ for Minted, a site for crowd-sourced design products. When she’s not busy shooting ads or making videos, Suzanne is also the Director/Curator for The Beholder, a marketplace for artists she founded in 2005.
Heather Lowe brings more than fifteen years of product development, economic analysis, and Silicon Valley startup experience to Makeshift. Heather’s passion is operating at the intersection of product development and business strategy. Her firm, Avenue Associates, provides UX, marketing, development, and financial advising to early stage ventures to help teams craft, finance, build, and launch their best product concepts.
Grace Bonney is a Brooklyn-based writer and the founder of the blog Design*Sponge. She loves anything related to design, animals, small business and chocolate. Her second book, Design*Sponge by Hand, will be published in Fall 2015 by Artisan Books.
Artist and illustrator Lisa Congdon is best known for her colorful paintings and collages. Since 2007, she has been illustrating for clients including The Museum of Modern Art, Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Chronicle Books, The Land of Nod, Harper Collins Publishing, The Obama Campaign and Simon & Schuster, among others. Lisa is also known for her intricate line drawings and pattern design and has licensed her work for fabric, kitchen linens, wallpaper and bedding. In addition to illustrating full time, Lisa maintains a thriving Etsy shop and writes a popular daily blog of her work, life and inspiration called "Today is Going to be Awesome." She is the author of Whatever You Are, Be a Good One and Art, Inc., both set to be released by Chronicle Books in 2014.
Sean Fletcher is a principal at Rhodes & Fletcher, LLC. He has over fifteen years of experience in financial services. Sean graduated from Rutgers University in 1992 and spent a year at the Anderson Business School at UCLA before moving to San Francisco to complete a Masters Degree in Fine Art and Critical Theory. He has appeared in the Washington Post, Flash Art International and on Public Radio International in New York and KALX in Berkeley, CA. Sean has taught workshops to students at CCA, Mills College, and taught a course called “Financial Basics for Creative Entrepreneurs” at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Anne Ho is managing attorney for Create Legal, offering services to creative industry individuals and organizations. She has developed her professional skills in the areas of research, analytics, and consulting with concentrations in international economic law, international development, and corporate governance. Anne worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to examine rule of law developments in Asian countries.
Our Kickstarter campaign would not have been nearly as fun without the help of Jacob and Youngna of Wild Combination, who created the video; Pony Diver, who contributed the music for our video; Julia Kostreva, who made our beautiful graphics; Sarah Deragon, Victoria Smith and Jared Frazer, who kindly lent their photos and video of the SF clubhouse to this page; Nicole Delger for her sage advice on this campaign; and Gloria Catherine Waters who helped pull it all together.
Super thanks to the stars of our video, who spent a long, hot day at the space, expertly opening warm, flat beer on camera: Amy Azzarito, Janet Berman, Grace Bonney, Doug Johnston, Shayna Kulik, Jessica Leibowitz, Laura Lewis, Viki Peitchev, Sam Petersson, Julie Schneider.
And even more thanks to our friends who created fantastic artwork for us, working with short deadlines and vague instructions: Neal of Present and Correct, Lupi and Martin (TwoPoints.Net), Stewart Scott-Curran, Kate Bingaman-Burt, Lisa Congdon, Sarah and Ryan (Lab Partners SF), Jane Mount, Julia Rothman and Max Gunawan (Lumio).
Risks and challenges
As with any build-out, our biggest risk is the opening date. Our goal is early 2014, but delays are not uncommon in construction. Creating Makeshift Brooklyn involves the building of new walls, a brand-new kitchen and bathroom, and additional outlets, not to mention furniture, furnishings and equipment.
Even though we face an epic build-out, we are entering with relevant experience. Our team is led by Bryan Boyer, trained as an architect, and Rena Tom, the founder of Makeshift San Francisco and previously of Rare Device in Brooklyn and San Francisco. Combined, they’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to getting the doors open on a business. We can’t predict everything, but we do promise to be open and transparent throughout the whole process.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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