With so much uncertainty in the world right now, we want to let our beloved community of makers, students and teachers know that we're working hard to stay in business. We have been investigating business relief loans and doing some creative planning for what's next. Since we self-funded the Lab from our savings, we are very lucky to have no debt and since we hadn't gotten our act together to hire anyone we have no employees. Win-win! Most of the emergency loans on offer are designed to alleviate debt and payroll obligations. Considering the massive need to save jobs, we are trying to avoid accessing those programs unless we absolutely have to to make rent. Instead, to stay afloat we accepted a temporary rent deferral and we both immediately pivoted to our other businesses working on rings and websites. Now, as our COVID adventure enters a new month, we're itching to get back to the Lab! So here are the ideas we're rolling out and the ones we're thinking about ... and we could use your feedback on both so read on for our tiny questionnaire.
Firstly, we're very excited to announce our first online workshop, taught by the ever capable and hilarious Bette Barnett! She has worked hard to thoughtfully adapt her Keum Boo on Steel class for online instruction and is offering a great materials kit by mail to go with it. The workshop will run three evenings, 2 hrs. each night, and includes live instruction, valuable handouts, Q&A and more. We are doing our best to replicate the classroom experience online and we hope that you - our students - will help us learn and grow so that we can add more interesting, fun classes in the coming month. Hint: Anne has a few in mind too!
Secondly, we're considering Lab rentals once the shelter-in-place order is lifted .... and we'd like your feedback. We've been experimenting with reconfigurations where we would have two complete workstations and a place for you to store your things when you're not here all for one monthly membership. Each workstation would have its own work space, pegboard with a full set of tools, soldering station, pickle, stump, etc. The only shared asset would be the sink, otherwise the two spaces would be 10' apart and separated by a large divider. Makers would want to wear a mask coming and going, but ideally that would not be needed inside the work spaces. Access would be via a key lockbox and makers would be able to come and go as they please with a few basic safety requirements. Either Anne or I would access the space after the last departure to shut off the gas, wipe everything down and lock up. We're also open to renting the Lab out to a single user for one day each week (so, not shared at all). If this is something you're interested in, please let us know!
Thirdly, we have some other fun things planned like a Maker's Happy Hour, our traditional goofy giveaways and more so stay tuned. We're finding inspiration in isolation and trying to embrace this time of change as a challenge to grow. It's a little scary, but we believe our community is way bigger than fits in the four walls of studio #212 anyways. If you agree, let us know in the by filling in our tiny questionnaire.
Educator, metalsmith, jeweler, maker of custom mokume gane jewelry and wedding rings.