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Lance: Local makerspace provides opportunity

Over the past several years, local business Maven Makers has provided Savannah creators with a collaborative place to learn, design and make products. With a spacious workshop full of tools, materials and ideas to inspire your next creative project, Maven Makers offers several membership packages for those in need of the resources to create. Members pay a monthly fee, receive safety training and can then utilize any of the equipment, from bandsaws and soldering irons to 3D printers.

Co-founder Ty Donaldson and Tim Cone started Maven Makers out of their passion for the maker movement, which fosters a community of making over that of consumption. Why buy something when you can make it yourself? Furthermore, why not make it and sell it? Through bootcamps and courses, Ty and Tim often collaborate with other local entities and organizations to teach the value of making over consuming to those of a younger age.

Their most recent collaboration is with Design for Ability, which works with high school students of special needs populations to give them a hands-on approach to green jobs training and vocational education, and the Savannah Chatham County Public School System.

Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, six students hop on a school bus to receive special training from the Maven Makers crew. The program is facilitated by Willie Mobley, who serves as a job coach for SCCPSS, to help the six students not just find a career, but find a career they enjoy.

During their time at Maven Makers, the students will be building an entire furniture line to be sold at 24e Design Company.The line will feature coffee tables and end tables with tique tops, steel bottoms, and a unique design by SCAD furniture design professor George Perez.

The program has been a collaborative effort of many local businesses. The materials for the project include donated wood from Release Marine in Thunderbolt and free welding help from Xcel. Oxform Studio in conjunction with Jelinek Cork Group, Emergent Structures and Southern Pine Company have all worked together to make Design for Ability a success for student participants over the years.

On April 7 to 12, Maven Makers will take part in the Soul Proprietors film competition, which features three local businesses giving back to the community. The filming will feature the students’ progress and work. Other competing businesses include Green Truck Pub and the Sentient Bean.

The screening will take place on April 20 at the Telfair Jepson Museum. Proceeds for the event will benefit the business winner’s charity of choice.

If Maven Makers is selected as the winner, prize money proceeds will be given to Design for Ability.

To learn more about how to get involved with Design For Ability or become a member of Maven Makers, contact ty@mavenmakers.com.

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Kait Lance is a community manager at The Creative Coast, a non-profit supporting local innovators and made possible by the City of Savannah and the Savannah Economic Development Authority. Kait can be reached at 912-447-8457 or kait@thecreativecoast.org.

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