A makerspace is a place with tools, technology, workspace, and equipment for people to make things. It's a place where people come together to cultivate and share a wide variety of crafts, skills, and art forms for personal, professional, and community goals. They operate much like a gym, but instead of exercise equipment there are tools and technology, and instead of trying to get fit, people are there to learn a new skill, develop or scale up a business idea, gain credentialing for employment mobility or career transition, or to simply tinker, fix, or repair everyday household items. They are awesome, in other words.
Ongoing programs at Makers Mill include:
- WORKSHOPS & CLASSES - build a chair, design a website, weld a plant holder, create earrings, craft a ring, work with circuit boards - you get the picture.
- TOOL LENDING LIBRARY - borrow a few tools for a project at home.
- Fix It Clinics - learn how to mend or fix a broken appliance, lamp, yard tool, clothing, or whatever's broken.
- TOOL TRAINING - learn how to use tools and equipment safely, as well as some tricks of the trades.
- ENTREPRENEUR & CAREER SUPPORT - Career coaching and business planning support, and think local SharkTank-style event.
- 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, and Tool Sale Fundraiser.
Yes. There will be specific programs and events designed specifically for youth, as well as family-friendly events for all ages. Shop Membership, however, is limited to individuals 18 years and older.
We are committed to making Makers Mill as accessible as possible, not only for people with different physical abilities but also for different learning styles, languages, and cultures. All members are required to undertake safety training and certification on some of the tools and equipment. Most importantly, we are committed to improving the accessibility of our makerspace over time and welcome any and all feedback toward achieving this goal. We currently have a working elevator, ADA bathroom, and ample clearance around tools for individuals with different physical needs and limitations.
Yes, there are designated parking spaces on each side of the Makers Mill building, including 2 designated as accessible. Please use only the designated spaces and avoid parking directly in front of the building.
Classes and events are open to the public, members and non-members alike. Members, however, generally receive a discount on admission, and sometimes also advance notice of classes.
It is our goal to have all workshops set up with the basic tools and equipment required to run the scheduled programs and classes on offer. We are still working on building up this inventory through donations and sponsorships of tools, equipment, and cash. A complete list of tools and equipment available in each workshop will be posted to this website as soon as possible. In the meantime, the best way to know what tools we have is to come in for one of our tours that happen every Friday and the first Saturday of the month from 10am - 11:30. It is always best practice to check the website first for any cancellations.
Many of our tools require fee-based training before being granted permission to use these tools as a Shop Member. These tools safety classes are open to members and nonmembers. After someone has taken a tools safety training class and been approved, they are then granted permission to use those tools as long as they are a Shop Member in good standing (which itself includes attending an orientation and filling out a member agreement).
Our goal is to make it so that you won't want or need to! That being said, we can anticipate instances where it might make sense for members to bring their own tools, and the policies around doing so will be outlined in a Membership Agreement. This agreement will also address things such as safety, etiquette, ventilation, clearances, storage, and maintenance and cleaning procedures. We will offer secured lockers onsite for members who want to keep tools onsite instead of schlepping them back and forth from home.
If you are regularly using the shop areas and require basic safety gear, it is recommended to bring your own. We will offer secured lockers onsite for members who want to keep tools onsite instead of schlepping them back and forth from home. That being said, we also have ear and eye protection onsite for members' use.
Yes. We will have a few small studios for rent for those looking to do a longer-term project and leave it, and their tools, in one place. There will also be flexible space available for businesses and educational institutions to rent for workforce training and certification programs.
We are so glad you asked! We chose Makers Mill for a variety of reasons. First, it’s a nod to what came before in this particular part of town, the steam-powered mill of S.W. Clow and Company that operated along Back Bay during the turn of the twentieth century. The symbolism of the mill seemed too serendipitous to pass up. It represents a key element of our mission: transformation. Whether it’s a sawmill, gristmill, steel mill, or paper mill, you take a raw product and transform it into something else with a new purpose or use. That’s exactly what we plan to do at the Makers Mill! 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. A mill also exemplifies a sense of industry and the trades, which aligns with our vocational and workforce goals. We also just really enjoyed how it sounds and rolls off the tongue; Makers Mill.