Makers Mill exists to enrich rural lives and foster fulfilling livelihoods by bringing people together to discover, cultivate, and share their unique gifts and skills.
We envision a future where people find fellowship, purpose, and joy as they apply their creativity and craft to nurturing thriving economies, healthy ecosystems, and vibrant communities.
Our values serve as both compass and map for creating the culture we aim to cultivate at Makers Mill.
There is a difference in a place that people use and a place where people feel they belong. Getting that culture right is important - creating an open, supportive culture for exploration, risk-taking, creativity, and personal development. A good makerspace can be transformative for its community.
— Free To Make, Dougherty & Conrad
Service & Placemaking
We are committed to improving the quality of life and strengthening community resilience here in the Mountains and Lakes Region of New Hampshire. We draw upon local experience and knowledge to generate place-based solutions that reveal and celebrate our region’s unique character and identity.
Equity & Trust
Everyone has unique gifts and skills to share. Some of these gifts and skills are shaped and influenced by our social identities. Whether it is learning differences, physical ability, race, culture, gender or another social identity, we are committed to offering a space and programs that honor our differences and work toward equity. Doing this well builds trust and a sense of belonging.
Access & Collaboration
We celebrate being part of a maker movement that increases people’s access to technology, workspace, mentors, and creative peers. We believe in open-source methods that facilitate cooperation and collaboration. This exchange of ideas and resources builds a culture of generosity and accelerates innovation.
Self-Reliance & Responsibility
When we start learning how to make or repair the things we use most, we replace a feeling of dependence with that of empowerment. We strive for this sense of empowerment to also generate a greater appreciation and responsibility for how the things we use are made, maintained, disposed, or repurposed.
Resourcefulness & Creativity
We take our Yankee ingenuity seriously. This ability to make-do with materials on hand helps us live within our means, both economically and ecologically. Waste not, want not. This practice requires creativity. Through creativity, we expand our capacity to overcome complex challenges and solve our most pressing local, regional, and yes, global, challenges.
Gainful Employment & Meaningful Engagement
We believe everyone should have the opportunity to be engaged in work they find fulfilling, be it professional or personal. The economy thrives when people are gainfully employed in work they are motivated by and appreciated for. The community thrives when people are meaningfully engaged in applying their skills to support the people and places they care about.
Experimental Play & Experiential Learning
Play lies at the core of creativity and innovation, two indispensable qualities for thriving in our changing economy. At the makerspace, tinkering, disassembling, and reassembling, inventing, designing, building, and iterating, are all forms of experimental play and experiential learning. These activities help people take risks, appreciate failure, and establish new neural connections, essential not just in childhood but throughout our lives.
Growth Mindset & Self-Efficacy
We believe that knowledge and skills can be developed over time through practice and persistence: this is a growth mindset. As we build competency and mastery in our area of focus, we develop the self-perception that we can respond successfully to challenges: this is self-efficacy. Together these qualities strengthen our mental resilience and emotional coping skills, in other words, these qualities help us embrace and effectively navigate our experiences.
Agency & Effort-Driven Rewards
Our brains are programmed to derive a deep sense of satisfaction and pleasure when our physical effort produces something tangible, visible, and meaningful. Making is a way to exert that effort and reap those rewards. Through this process, we also learn that our ideas and expression of those ideas have an impact on the world around us. After we understand this, we want the next question to be, “How can I have a positive impact on the world around me?”
Social Capital & Community Resilience
Social capital refers to the stock and quality of social relationships based on cooperation, reciprocity, good-will, and trust. By using the makerspace to nurture social capital we help people resolve problems more easily and foster awareness of the ways in which our fates are interlinked. Strengthening the weave of our relationships leads to community resilience, the ability to navigate and overcome any challenges we may face.
What to Expect
Just as soon as the last nail has been driven home on Phase I of the Makers Mill building renovation next summer 2021, we will open the doors to programs and classes for people to learn, teach, practice, and collaborate around a wide variety of skills and crafts that support personal, professional, and community goals.
Access to the Makers Mill will be open to all levels of makers: students, hobbyists, and professionals; providing a place where people feed off one another’s interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, ideas, feedback, and projects; and facilitating collaboration, mentorship, and learning exchanges.
While the finer details about memberships are still in the works, we envision multiple tiers of access, such as:
- Day, Weekend, Monthly, Annual
- Student, Senior, Veteran, Guest
- Scholarship, Supporter
- Space Rental
A Variety of Workspaces & Equipment
Phase 1 renovations will result in a fully code-compliant building ready for basic programming.
This will include new mechanical systems, fire and safety upgrades, ADA compliance throughout, energy efficiency upgrades, and a variety of functional and flexible workshops, studios, and public spaces.
Like a phoenix rising out of the ashes, the new building will be an inspiration for the creative process where people have access to tools and equipment for tinkering, fixing, repairing, inventing, building, designing, producing, crafting, iterating, and innovating.
- METALWORKING & MACHINING
- FABLAB & 3D ARTS
- FIBER ARTS
- JEWELRY & METALSMITHING
- FINE ARTS & 2D ARTS
- COMPUTING & CODING
- SKI TUNING BENCH
- BICYCLE MAINTENANCE BENCH
- CULINARY ARTS (Phase II)
Transformational Programs & Classes
The Makers Mill is your Oyster!
Enter the building with an idea or goal; be met with tools, equipment, mentors, collaborators, and a creative working environment; and leave the space with a new skill, or maybe a product prototype, or a lead on an apprenticeship, or a business plan.
Ongoing programs will include:
- WORKSHOPS & CLASSES - build a chair, design a website, weld a plant holder, create earrings, craft a silver ring, work with circuit boards - you get the picture.
- TOOL LENDING LIBRARY - borrow a few tools for a project at home.
- REPAIR CAFES - learn how to mend or fix a broken appliance, lamp, yard tool, clothing.
- TOOL TRAINING - learn how to use tools and equipment safely, and some tricks of the trades.
- ENTREPRENEUR PITCH EVENTS - think local Shark Tank!
- SEASONAL TRADITIONS - Seed and Plant Swaps, Make a Halloween Costume, Wreath Making, Winter Boot Repair, Yard Tool Sharpening, DIY Ski Tuning and Bicycle Tune-Ups, Tool Sale Fundraiser.
Resources for Professionals, Businesses & Entrepreneurs
Coordinate workforce training
...to help close the skills-gap so businesses can grow, especially for the trades sector.
Credentialing and portfolio-building opportunities
...that support career mobility and transition.
Affordable entry points for entrepreneurs
...to rapid prototyping, fabrication, and an inspiring co-working space to help launch and pursue their own business.
Our goal at Makers Mill is to build upon and complement existing efforts in the ways of supporting career pathways, workforce development, and the arts.
We are excited to continue forging partnerships with those institutions already doing the work:
- The Career and Technical Education Centers (CTE’s) across NH, especially our local Lakes Region Technology Center (LRTC);
- the Community College System of NH, especially our nearby White Mountains, Lakes Region, and Great Bay Community Colleges;
- NH Regional Economic Development Corporations, especially our local Wentworth Economic Development Corporation (WEDCO);
- the NH State Council of the Arts;, as well as our local Governor Wentworth Arts Council;
- and last but certainly not least, all of the other dedicated makerspaces across NH with whom we convene regularly as part of the statewide NH Makerspace Network.
A Welcoming & Collaborative Environment
Maintaining an inspiring shared working and learning environment
...and facilitate peer-matching where people feed off one another’s interests, curiosity, enthusiasm, ideas, feedback, and projects, facilitating collaboration, mentorship, and learning exchanges.
Providing a platform for people to teach and share skills
...developing appreciation, visibility, and income for their respective craft.
Creating a sense of community and belonging
...among makers, strengthening relationships and resiliency that we can draw on when facing the inevitable ups and downs of being human.
Local & Global Connections
We didn’t invent this whole makerspace thing.
In fact, it’s one of the fastest growing “industries” around, with more than 1,000 across the country, all looking a little different based on unique community interests and needs. New Hampshire already has fourteen of its own dedicated makerspaces comprising the NH Makerspace Network, of which Makers Mill is a participant. As a member of Makers Mill, you become part of a network of people and organizations across the globe with shared values and goals.
Today, architectural designs for Makers Mill are ready to go to bid, all necessary state and town approvals are in place, and over 94% of the needed funds have been committed! Makers Mill will be the first dedicated Community Makerspace & Vocation Hub in Carroll County, NH.
We are so incredibly close to realizing a dream that’s been 14 years in the making! With help from generous donors and grant funding, we have raised 94% of the funds needed to bring Makers Mill to life. Raising this final 6% ($78,000) by summer 2021 will allow us to start construction this spring and be ready for programming in the fall! Help us break ground by making a donation toward our home stretch fundraising goal today!