Member Mentions

A lot has been going on in the Makeshift Society world, both on our end (ahem Makeshift Brooklyn) as well as for our members. One  thing that seems to be a common thread amongst our members right now is releasing new books. A few Makeshifters have been flexing their writing skills these days and are or have just put out new titles!

Member mention
Cynthia Wigginton designed the  children’s book Ann and Nan are Anagrams. It is available through Chronicle Books.

Nicole Delger is releasing GET FUNDED: A Guide to Kickass Crowdfunding. You can check out the book on Nicole’s Site here..

Liana Holmberg, the Editor & Publisher Red Bridge Press, has a new book coming out under her publishing company called Writing That Risks: New Work from Beyond the Mainstream. There will be a launch Party on October 17, 2013.

It’s Indian Summer in San Francisco so grab one of these great books and go to a park and read. Enjoy the warm weather while it’s here!

A Thank You Letter

Dear friends of Makeshift Society,

We’re thrilled to share that we’re on track with our Makeshift Society Brooklyn fundraising goal — thanks to all of you we’ve already raised over $10k, which is over 30% of our target amount. With only 35 days left, we need to keep this energy strong to make our goal of $30k. With your continued support at spreading the word online, we are certain we can match our goal. Join the conversation now:

rad together by michaela latavanha

Print by Michaela Latavanha

We have been overwhelmed with the amount of supporters who have backed our project, and eternally grateful for every pledge made to make MSS BK. And we owe endless thanks to our backers, for every penny donated is going towards building a creative tool lending library for rental and onsite usage. These kinds of resources are vital to Makeshift, and without them our clubhouse would be just like any other co-working space. So, THANK YOU for allowing us to set ourselves apart from the rest. Not only do we appreciate our backers, we also appreciate those of you tweeting, pinning, sharing on instagram, and posting on your blogs and facebook about this campaign. The word would not get out without a little social media buzz, so please continue to share with your fans, friends, and followers, because that is the only way we will continue to push strong with this campaign.

Sometimes the greatest form of advertising is word-of-mouth!

Infinite thank you’s and high fives,

The Makeshift Society Team

Makeshift Brooklyn Week 001

Makeshift works because people share — space, ideas, know-how, and experience — so it’s natural that we would also do our best to share the experience of building Makeshift itself. From here on out we will be blogging the story of Makeshift Society Brooklyn via weeknotes.

Week-huh? Weeknotes are exactly what they sound like: regular blog posts that journal the previous seven days or so. I’ll be posting from Brooklyn to give you the inside view of how things are progressing. Each post will feature a recap of what we’ve struggled with, accomplished, perhaps even failed at, and what’s on each of our plates.

Like all ambitious habits, this one is starting with the new year, Makeshift’s new year. Last week we celebrated the first birthday of the business in San Francisco. As if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, we also launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creative tool lending library in Brooklyn.

Week “one” is by no means the first week we’ve been at this. The Makeshift Brooklyn effort got going late last year. I played the role of ‘real estate drone,’ cruising around the city and sending images back to Rena in SF. She researched, re-calibrated, and issued another itinerary. We spent months looking at a variety of places in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, DUMBO, and elsewhere before looking at the space we’re settling into now.

Makeshift is open to the public and we want it to be part of the life of the city. For this reason we went counter to all logic for office space and insisted that we must have ground floor frontage, even if it meant paying more. Being part of the community is important, and the community’s on the street, not in the sky.

mss outside

Our corner of the neighborhood

After seven months of searching we found the right space on a quiet street in Williamsburg that’s close to two train lines, has bars nearby, nice bones, and is walking distance from just about anything you could need or want. Our future home has it all!

The only thing missing was a coffee shop on the same block — and then we noticed something under construction across the street and went to poke our heads in. Frankie opened the door, confused that two people were reading his building permits so carefully, and it turns out he’s opening… a cafe! I can’t recommend that you plan your business around serendipity, but we are happy to be the recipient of such when it visits us.

Getting from the point of having an offer on the table to actually signing a lease took longer than we had hoped, but that’s behind us now. The minute we transferred the deposit on the space we began in earnest on the design of the renovation.

The buildout is being handled by Dash Marshall (full disclosure: I am also a co-founder there) with collaborations by Victoria Smith and others we will be announcing along the way. Dash has been deliberating on the differences between two robots. The design concept is embedded in the image below but I’ll leave it at that for now.

Screen Shot 2013-09-24 at 3.26.17 PM

The bulk of the design effort at this stage is going into things that will be invisible once we open our doors. Dash is coordinating building services to take care of exciting things such as air handling, condensate lines, outlets, fire sprinklers. Glamorous? Nope. Important? Yup. This process will get more exciting when the pragmatics are nailed down and we can share images of all the pretty things.

That leaves Rena. She mostly sends emails and meets with people these days. From time to time she tests the structural integrity of her desk by banging her forehead on it. Rena had an important phone call in week 001 and has been spending a lot of time with Heather on the Google Docs after that. Week 001 ended with the anniversary celebrations, which is why we’ll excuse ourselves for posting this message a little later than we had hoped.

Brooklyn, we’re coming for you!

7 Reasons Why New York Needs Makeshift Society

Seven days in to our Kickstarter Campaign and we have reached over 125 generous backers. Not to mention, we are on our way to raising one third of our $30,000 goal for Makeshift Society Brooklyn. So, first things first: THANK YOU! We hope to keep this energy going until the end of October, so in the meantime, let’s remind ourselves why the East coast needs this creative resource.

Photo by Sarah Deragon, Makeshift Member

Photo by Sarah Deragon, Makeshift Member


  1. New environment. The reason Makeshift stands out beyond many other community working spaces is that it welcomes a wide range of professionals. From freelance artists (designers, illustrators, photographers) to writers, social media managers, and other small business owners – this space provides a single place where a variety of people can get together and learn from each other.
  2. Outlets! Alright, New Yorkers – We’ve all been there. You know how it goes; you get to your favorite coffee shop slash office, and there isn’t a free outlet to plug your laptop charger in to.  It happens to all of us, and there’s no way waiting for someone to leave, so you can grab his or her spot at a ninja pace can be fun. When we bring Makeshift to Brooklyn, you will never have to work under the span of your battery power again. With your help, we will have power sources for every member.
  3. Built in critique panel. Have an idea you’re not sure about? Spare yourself another conversation with your cat, and go get yourself a spot at Makeshift Brooklyn. With an abundance of creative-minded people, all you have to do to get some feedback on your work is ask. Which brings us to #4.
  4. One is the loneliest number. Endless nights working at home can definitely become lonely. Makeshift Society was founded on the concept of community. That means, when you have a membership to a co-working clubhouse, working alone will become more and more rare and freelance loneliness will be a thing of the past.
  5. Tables! In case you hadn’t seen Bryan’s post touching on this subject, we will include this every day object in our list of reasons why Brooklyn needs MSS.  We can take a wild guess and assume our future MSS members are tired of working from their kitchen tables, and are looking forward to our doors opening for this one special resource. Tables are a catalyst for sharing ideas, as they plant a space for a group of people to talk and discuss an infinite range of concepts. Makeshift Society, Brooklyn will have tables so that members can have a foundation for trading ideas and bringing them to life.
  6. Work, learn, grow. Not only will Makeshift Society bring a setting to the New York area that makes the freelance life a little less lonely, it will also bring a tremendous amount of opportunities to learn and meet like-minded people. As we do here in San Francisco, we will look forward to hosting classes, workshops, and lectures for our members to attend or create themselves.
  7. Your own space. Even though the clubhouse in San Francisco is only 1,000 square feet, we still manage having several different areas so that our members can find a space or zone that parallels with their mood. When Makeshift Society opens in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, members are welcome to work where they feel suits them.


As we are counting down the days (and dollars) til we reach our goal, these are only a fraction of reasons why we can’t help but be thrilled to bring Makeshift Society to a whole new territory. If you would like to pledge your support to our campaign, please visit our Kickstarter.


And one last thank you to ALL of our supporters – without you, this would not be possible!

Weekly Roundup


What a week it has been for us- we celebrated our 1 year birthday and launched a Kickstarter campaign for Makeshift Society Brooklyn.

We received some really great mentions about our campaign- thank you to VSCO , Design*Sponge, Lisa Congdon, The Bold Italic , Design TaxiPattern Pulp, Yougna Park, Maggie Mason, Victoria Smith, and Bryan Boyer . Big hugs to you all!


Also, don’t forget to come on by this Saturday from 12-4 for our open house. We’ll have member demos, beverages, a meet and greet with the Makeshift team, and a chance to enroll for classes at a discounted rate.

And members, there are still tickets left for our anniversary party. Beverages, food, decorations, manicures, raffles, and of course, birthday cake.

We hope to see you there!