Be a Makeshifter in Residence this Summer

Do you know about our quarterly residency program? We started the Makeshift Society residency because we want to make space for things that are experimental, unfunded, risky but *loved*. Sometimes the ideas that are the hardest to explain are the most interesting and worthy, so they can go without support. The residency gives us the flexibility to throw our support behind great experiments and projects that provide benefits to the creative community, or to society at large. See some of our alumni below.


Read some posts from our blog about the work of previous residents, or apply here. The deadline for our second quarter residency (which begins June 1) is this Monday at noon PST.

Lunch Bunch with Storehouse

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If you’re a San Francisco MSS member, join us next Wednesday May 28 for a little presentation/demo from Storehouse.

Storehouse is visual storytelling platform that seamlessly combines photographs, videos, and text to tell beautiful, scrolling stories online. Stories are built using the iPad app and then can be shared in the app and over the web.

It’s a venue for multimedia stories that require more than a slideshow. You can feature processes, studio tours, show whats new at a boutique, profile a “day in the life” of an artist, and announce new projects. In addition to these uses, in the past 4 months we have seen news stories, travel stories, recipes, how-to’s, elementary school projects, and all kinds of other uses.

Galleries and blogs are hard to maintain, there aren’t many design options without knowledge of code, and you have to drive traffic to them in order for them to be seen. With Storehouse, the design is simple so you can focus on the narrative. I love that there is a community discovering the content within the app, but you can also use our new preview embed feature to drive traffic to the story from your website. See the preview embed in action here on Nylon Mag and also on our blog. The videos play automatically in the preview. Sweet.

We have new features coming out this summer that will allow for easier browsing and discovery within the app and to create groups of stories for other Storehouse members to follow.

Lunch Bunch runs from 12-1 every other Wednesday, and if you have something you want to present to our group let us know.

From Maker to Making a Brand recap

Last Sunday we were joined by Craighton Berman, who was in town for NYC design week, and graciously agreed to spend the afternoon talking about his design studio and the adventures of moving from maker to manufacturing to building a brand. This was also our first event at Makeshift Society Brooklyn (!) so it was a good chance to test the flow of things.

Craighton recently completed a successful Kickstarter for the Manual Coffee Maker no. 1. Besides being an affable fellow who’s always up to interesting things, we were excited about Craighton’s talk because we wanted to spend some time focusing on how you grow something. In this case, how you grow a business out of a project. The gloss of Kickstarter and a flurry of press can make the production of a new brand, a new product, a new company seem easy or seamless. But as we learned from Craighton, that’s usually far from the truth.

What do you call a random group of chair? We’ll call it a ‘democracy’ of chairs.


Not every speaker comes with their own illustrated, animated version of themselves!

I want to highlight two points from Craighton’s presentation. The first is that making = easy and manufacturing = not. In recent years, as ‘the maker’ has become a cultural phenomenon; there’s a certain glamor associated with it. At the same time, it’s never been cheaper (and often easier) to make a one-off product or prototype.

And yet, as Craighton explained, when you need to take something to scale, there are far fewer options. For the Manual coffeemaker there was literally no one in the US that Berman could find to manufacture the glass with the craft and quality required. Making is easy. Manufacturing is (still) hard.


Craighton shared the very careful planning behind his Kickstarter. Secret tips: lots of excel spreadsheets, tons of effort to line up press in advance. And yet, despite all of his effort on strategy, the development of the coffeemaker is also dotted with moments of pure serendipity. When his first manufacturer decided to triple the production cost, Craighton’s planning was thrown out the window. Shortly afterwards he happened to share this during a talk at a local business school. Someone in the audience happened to have a father who works as a manufacturing agent in China. That led to a new working relationship, a whirlwind trip to Shanghai, and now Manual no. 1 is a product of globalization. Strategy and serendipity are not binary choices.


And then we made coffee and enjoyed the pleasures of a calm Sunday in a quiet corner of Brooklyn.

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Save the Date for Open House and Launch Party


It’s time to celebrate!

Our Brooklyn location has been open almost a month and it’s time to party. Visit Makeshift Society on Wednesday, June 4 and see how we make shift happen. There are two ways to do it:

DAY / 9am – 6pm: Bring your laptop or sketchpad and drop in for a day of free coworking with refreshments, demos and talks.

Explore the space, meet our community and participate in creative demos from Kollabora, a tasting event with Spindrift Soda, and a ‘making of’ discussion with co-founders Bryan Boyer and Rena Tom. And, visitors who apply for membership during the open house will receive a discount. The first new members are eligible for special giveaways donated by Photojojo and Adobe!

NIGHT / 7pm-10pm: Celebrate our second location during our evening soirée, sponsored by MailChimp and Adobe.

Mingle with Makeshift members and our friends in the NYC creative community! We’re proud to feature food and drink from local makers including Momofuku Milk BarBrooklyn Brewery and P&H Soda Co. and gift bags with treats from Social Print StudioTattly, JauntfulMOOD Magazine, Photojojo and VSCO.

Aesop + Makeshift Society


What do essential oils and co-working have in common? Besides providing some much needed relaxing after a long day of work (hellooo lavender & chamomile), Makeshift was invited to the chic Aesop on Fillmore last week for an Essential Oil Workshop.

We were greeted with a hand wash at their beautiful sink station followed by a glass of wine. Talk about being pampered! The store manager introduced us to Aesop and their luxurious products. Founded in the 80’s in Australia, they use both cold pressed plant-based materials and laboratory-made ingredients that are highest quality and have a focus on anti-oxidant properties, which means they are simply best!

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We were then introduced to 7 different essential oils they utilize in their range of beauty and skin care products. They kept our noses thinking and often stumped us with what oil we were smelling. Think your discerning nose can stand up to the challenge? A few of the Aesop essences we experienced were parsley seed, violet leaf, and petit grain. If you went huh when you heard petit grain, your not the only one! We were all unable to figure our the elusive smell of the leaves of the bitter orange plant. Clove essence was more identifiable, evoking memories of Winter time soirees and mulled cider. We learned that each essential oil has it’s own fingerprint, just like that of a snowflake!

Similar to essential oils, each store has their own look and design. It is a good reflection of the style of the city it is in. The San Francisco store is minimal with a beautiful display of natural wooden boxes with lovely vignettes of their skin care items, not a thing out of place and impeccable service. Head to Fillmore Street if you have not stopped into the Aesop store in Pacific Heights, It’s definitely an experience to be had!

Thank you to Aesop for inviting us to your lovely space and being such gracious hosts for our members!