MSS BK is open!! lots of great classes in SF!!

We are so happy to announce that Makeshift Society Brooklyn is now open! If you’re in the neighborhood (55 Hope Street) pop in and say hi.



So many windows and such great light!



We’re all about the perfect reading nook



Tossing it back to the west coast, here’s what’s coming up at MSS SF:

Weaving 101 5/5 & 5/12 SOLD OUT
(contact us if you’d like to be placed on the wait list)

Natural Makeup for Everyday: What to Use and How to Use It 5/13 6:30-8:30
Join Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll Hair & Makeup and Kelly Crispen of Elizabeth Street Cosmetics in exploring the world of natural makeup.

Paper Dahlia Headpiece Workshop 5/15 6:30-9:00
Tiffanie Turner,from sfcornerblog, will teach you how to cut, stretch and assemble an oversized dahlia head from gorgeous floral crepe paper.

Building The Brand with Materials + Process

btb-mp For our second Building the Brand series talks, we have local company MATERIALS + PROCESS. The talk will take place on March 20th at Makeshift Society in San Francisco. MATERIALS + PROCESS is a design studio based in San Francisco founded by Christine Marcelino at the end of 2011.  What started as a platform to explore personal interests as a designer became a business through which she can share her designs with the world. At Materials + Process, we find inspiration in the elemental beauty of materials and the processes that transform their sentiment. We coax the grace and elegance of materials through craft and thoughtful deliberation, carefully honing the design of each of our products until the honest simplicity of purpose reveals itself. Our intention is to create enduring products that intimately reflect individuality and creativity, while keeping pace with a modern lifestyle. Their mission is to design and craft thoughtful, enduring products for the modern nomad and frontiersman. By recognizing essential functionality and using authentic materials, they naturally build longevity into our products. Through their work they cultivate and inspire thought through their artisanship. That philosophy is manifested in MATERIAL + PROCESS’s inaugural line of carryalls, totes, and cases. This line is crafted with vegetable-dyed leather that, with age, gets embedded with the lingering markings of your personal memories and adventures. Their designs invite you to evolve the look, feel and functionality of your product as you engage with it over time. With starting any company, there are unforeseeable challenges, especially when creating a physical product and manufacturing it. With our Building the Brand series, we look to bring you an inside peak of how brands break through the barriers they encounter and creative problem solving they tackle along the way. We asked Christine what she found to be the most challenging thing about creating their own physical products: “The most challenging aspect of starting a business is really staying focused and balanced. The design part comes easy but to build a sustainable business it takes more than just designing and making all day. I have a vision of where I want my business to be and its staying true to that vision and staying focused on the tasks that will take me there. Sometimes its the mundane stuff that keeps me at the computer all the day, it’s the meetings that take me away from making, its taking the time to fix what needs to be fixed, etc. And its all that plus balancing the time to be creative and have a life. With manufacturing, its been a challenge finding small run local domestic manufacturers that have exceptional craft and work with the materials I work with. As a small business, with limited resources its also a challenge to find the right manufacturing model for each product. It takes a lot of relationship building and learning on both ends.” mp   Christine Marcelino is a San Francisco based industrial designer. Originally from Chicago, she moved to SF for the mountains, the ocean, and the food, of course. She studied Industrial Design and Art History at University of Illinois in Champaign and in Newcastle, England at Northumbria University. During that time her interest centered on materials for innovation and sustainable practices.  Christine Marcelino has worked as a product designer in companies such as Smart Design, Pottery Barn, Marmot and Camelbak, and with product startups such as  Alite Designs and Boreas Gear. Join us this Thursday March 20th, 2014 for the Building the Brand talk at the clubhouse in Hayes Valley! Tickets can be found here!

Portrait Photography 101 Class Recap

A few Saturday’s ago, we held “Portrait Photography 101” for those interested in learning how to take better portraits of people. The class was led by  Sarah Deragon and Jesse Friedin who both specialize in natural light portrait photography.

Makeshift member Antony Courtney attended the workshop and here’s what he had to say:

I took the workshop because I enjoy photography and really wanted to learn more about both the technical and artistic side of taking photos that really capture the essence of people.  The workshop delivered on both fronts, and the instructors, Jesse and Sarah, were fantastic teachers and guides.  We learned a reasonable but not overwhelming amount about what matters most in manual settings, how to look for and set up a shot making the most of natural light, and how reflectors can be used to amplify natural light (particularly useful in cloudy San Francisco…). The workshop also covered developing rapport and interacting with subjects to get the best, most natural photos of them and avoid “the cheese factor”.  We got to solidify all of this with a half hour practical session:  we broke in to groups of 3, wandered through the colorful alleyways of Hayes Valley, and all took turns as “subject”, “photographer” and “assistant”, a process that was both informative and often amusing.  The attendees had a wide variety of experience levels, from rank amateur (me) to a few professional photographers and everything in between. I’ve really enjoyed browsing through everyone’s photos after the workshop.  Since we were all shooting basically the same subjects (each other) against many of the same backgrounds the variety of different results is fascinating, and I’ve found it helpful and informative to reflect on which of the various shots I like most and why.

And some lovely images courtesy of participants Megan, Antony, Sarah, and Cristal.



Antony Courtney                                                                         Sarah Deragon






Cristal Veronica                                                                        Megan Alderson





Building The Brand with Endswell

MSS_building the brand_endswell

We are starting off the New Year with a new speaker series entitled Building the Brand. It will encompass the fields of design and production exploring where the physical meets digital. It is a bimonthly event series where you can gain advice from creative professionals (designers, photographers and architects) who have created a physical product line with a Q&A style panel with them following the talk.

First up are Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming, the designers behind Endswell and Yield Design Co. Endswell is best described as the modern day heirloom. At Endswell they cast solid gold rings from 3-dimensional prints and hand-finishing them to perfection. They believe in creating pieces of value, imbued with meaning, that stand the test of time. They create rings that embody their own beliefs in the importance of good design and responsible sustainable production while respecting the past, yielding to the present and looking forward to the future.

Endswell is the creatives sister company to Yield Design Co. Yield is a San Francisco based design house creating products that pair progressive design with traditional craft. Yield goods are designed to encourage a vibrant lifestyle and to facilitate the better parts of life. Founded by Rachel and Andrew in late 2012, they have crafted numerous collections with a wide material vocabulary, all unified by a distinctive and refined sense of play.


As for Endswell, Rachel Gant and Andrew Deming found their inspiration for their new venture after designing the ‘Infinity’ pair of wedding bands for their close friends. In 2013 they began creating the line of rings that would become Endswell, consisting of rings designed for everyday as well as a “Commitment” collection of non-traditional wedding bands. Each design is a physical translation of a concept or feeling; the Infinity series reveals continuous surfaces and mobius strips to represent the concept of endlessness and the Align series shows a motion in which two pieces meet to become one. Each piece is a delicate balance of rich meaning and minimalist form.

With starting any company, there are unforeseeable challenges, especially when creating a physical product and manufacturing it. With our Building the Brand series, we look to bring you an inside peak of how brands break through the barriers they encounter and creative problem solving they tackle along the way. As a preview of what they will be discussing, we asked Andrew and Rachel what they found to be the most challenging thing about creating their own physical products:

“What we’ve found to be the most challenging is everything outside of the design of the products themselves–designing them has been the fun and easy part. It’s the operational challenges, figuring out the infrastructure that supports the ordering, manufacturing and fulfillment of our goods where we’ve encountered the most difficulty. It’s something we’ve had to learn on the fly, just by making mistakes and correcting. When we created Endswell, we tried to put a lot of what we learned from Yield into practice. We greatly simplified our supply chain and created a model where we didn’t need to go out of pocket to stock a large inventory before we could sell to customers.”

Join us for our founding Building the Brand talk this month at the clubhouse on January 27th to hear more on Endswell, Yield, and this dynamic duo!


Rachel Gant

Rachel earned her Bachelors in Industrial Design following a period of Architecture studies at Cal Poly. Her experience has ranged from a brief stint at the firm of architect Cass Calder Smith, to designing custom products for the playful photo store Photojojo. Rachel’s way of thinking is a bit unexpected, leading to unique pairings of ideas.

Andrew Deming

Andrew is a designer and strategist with a degree in graphic design and an MBA in Design Strategy from CCA. He is also cofounder of the city based experience sharing service Mosey. Prior to starting Yield, Andrew worked Yves Béhar at fuseproject where he took part in designing award-winning projects for clients such as Herman Miller, GE, and Sodastream Source.

Class preview: Surviving Career Change


 Image from Flickr, courtesy of avrene 

Do what you love.

If you’re consistently unhappy at a job that isn’t making good use of your talents and strengths, it’s time to make a change. Life is short.

As Howard Thurman said, “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

Perhaps only a small change is needed to make you come alive. If switching to a different role at your current company does the trick, you’re lucky. But sometimes, a larger leap is called for.

If you’re contemplating changing companies or careers, or if you want to become your own boss, be prepared.

It’s always more challenging than you would expect.

When you’ve been at a job for a while, you know how things operate. It’s predictable. You can often take care of your responsibilities relatively easily while having the security of a steady paycheck.

But when you leap into a career change, either by necessity or because you decide to give up “good enough” for your dream, predictability goes out the window.

As Murphy’s law so optimistically states, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Nothing goes as planned. Your brilliant career move or business plan doesn’t map to reality. You keep getting rejected. And you’re feeling more and more frustrated, lost, fearful, and out of control.

Overnight success is a myth.

Many of us have absorbed the cultural myth that switching careers should be fast and easy.

We hear stories of billionaire rappers who have reinvented themselves and think that change actually works that way.

It doesn’t. For anyone. If you look closely at any example of “overnight success,” you’ll discover chapter upon chapter of unglamorous effort leading up to the finale of glory and fame.

The problem is, we know what the final destination looks like, but we have very little knowledge about the journey itself.

We need a better understanding of the process of change.

While nobody can predict the exact sequence of events that will happen when you change careers, the process of change is actually quite predictable.

My favorite model of change, developed by Martha Beck, maps out four stages or “squares” of change, and what to do and not to do in the particular stage we’re in.

The final square, called “The Promised Land,” is where you want to end up. Once you’ve reached Square Four, your new career or business is running smoothly, you’re doing creative work that you love, making plenty of money, and have time left over for travel, hobbies, long trips to Italy with your sweetheart, or whatever your heart desires.

But to get there, you have to travel through squares one, two, and three, which are far less sexy.

Square One is called “Death and Rebirth.” It consists of a lot of grieving, confusion, and turmoil. We’re thrown into Square One whenever we initiate a major life change, such as getting laid off or quitting a job.

Square One, uncomfortable as it sounds, is a useful and necessary step in the change process.

If you don’t realize this and think that being in Square One is a big mistake, you’ll be tempted to jump right back into the frying pan of the job you hated, or try to skip ahead to a more fun square. But that would only cause more difficulty.

Come learn more and get some support!

I’ve just given you a taste of this model. Would you like to learn more about this model of change and how it can help you navigate your career change?

Then join me on the evening of January 16th at Makeshift Society for a workshop on Surviving Career Change. Learn more and RSVP here.