HOW Design magazine feature

HOW Design sat down with Rena & Bryan to discuss what separates Makeshift Society from other coworking spaces.

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“Makeshifters don’t have to be any one kind of person, but they have to recognize that fact in themselves and in others. Sometimes you just need to do your own work quietly. Other times you need to bug your tablemate and ask for their opinion. And occasionally, you just need to fetch coffee with someone or share your power adapter or watch a cat video. Every day at Makeshift is different and an ideal member enjoys that.” – Rena Tom

Thanks HOW Design!

http://www.howdesign.com/how-magazine/november-2014/makeshift-coworking/

MSS SF Residency Recap- Kiffanie Stahle

For the past five years I’ve been dreaming about the artist’s JD. During that time my daydreams have wildly varied. I’ve imagined everything from a workshop/event space that also hosts drop-in lawyer office hours to a simple blog.

However thanks to Makeshift Society’s residency program, I’ve got a vision and plan for the project. I can’t thank Rena enough for believing in my idea and for all of your kind words and support these past few months!

I will admit I was over ambitious when I crafted my residency proposal. I’ve crossed off some of my deliverables including the survey that many of you filled out (thanks again!) and one-on-one/small group meetings discussing your current legal business struggles. Others including branding elements are in the works.

The rest however, probably won’t ever get accomplished. Why you ask? The survey and meetings taught me that I was headed down the wrong path. I was trying to create something you didn’t really want or need.

So after listening to your input the project pivoted. I’m really excited about this pivot for two reasons.

The first reason is that this new model actually addresses the questions that you asked over and over again. It’s providing you the materials that you want in a way that you’ve told me you want them. It’s putting you first, not me.

The second reason is that I love teaching and this model requires me to focus on it! I get all nerdy and excited talking about something that seems overwhelming and complex and breaking it down. I love making abstract concepts concrete with real world examples, translating legalese into plain English, and sending you off with simple action steps you can take in your business.

Because I listened to the *amazing* feedback I got from you, the current model involves two parts:

Simple, straightforward legal tips on the blog. Each week the artist’s JD blog will give you information on different legal aspects of your creative business. You’ve told me you have lots of questions about LLCs, contracts, copyright, trademark, licensing, website disclaimers, and how to keep your email newsletter legit. I will be crafting my editorial calendar for the next year solely around the questions that you asked me during my MSS residency.

Online and in-person workshops. Many of you told me that you like the idea of self-study materials but know that you’ll read them and never apply them. That’s a big waste of your time and money. What I heard from you was that a more structured format would result in action. But only if paired with action items and a plan of attack. Because knowledge without action is useless, I’m working on finalizing my first workshops. The logistics are still being worked out, but the course will help protect your business and open the door to new business opportunities all by taking the simple step of forming a LLC.

I’m really excited about where things are headed and the direction that you have given the project. If you are interested in staying in the loop, you can join my mailing list here.

Thanks again to the entire Makeshift Society community for all your thoughts, insights, support, and questions my project will be a million times better because of you.

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photo credit: Portraits To The People 

 

Why join Makeshift Society?

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Why do people join Makeshift Society, you ask? Well, here are a few reasons from our newest bunch of members:

“Otherwise, my company, is a small group of like-minded creative women of color trying to do things right!” –Dianne Que

“I’m a writer and would love to have a community of other creatives to work with and around.” — Kristina Johnson

“Because I love the community, the space, and the value makeshift provides to SF.” — David Holl

“We need a space to be creative.” –Irene Duller

“Working from home isn’t very effective for me anymore, and I’m always searching for a good creative community!” –Christine Herrin

“I want to build relationships in the community.” — Arianna Orland

 

p.s. apply now for membership at either our San Francisco or Brooklyn location.

Class Preview- Portrait Photography 101 with Sarah Deragon & Jesse Freidin

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from Sarah Deragon:

On Sunday, July 27th I have the great honor of teaching a Portrait Photography class with my good friend and super talented photographer, Jesse Freidin.

We thought you should hear directly from us why you should come, so here goes:

Jesse says:
In this class I’ll be providing students with very important, yet easily understandable, technical information. Building a strong understanding of camera basics is the most fool-proof way of improving one’s photography- that means understanding what aperture is and how to use, where the shutter speed and ISO knobs are, and how to seamlessly move through all these settings with ease. Photography is available to everyone, but the way in which you understand it’s complexities will make you a better photographer, with a true style. I love teaching with Sarah at Makeshift because we both get to share our passion for portraiture, and get students excited and confident about creating their own portraits. Also, we laugh a lot and balance each other out quite well- I think it makes for a wonderful learning environment for our students.

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Sarah says:

I’m excited to be teaching this class again because I love photography and I am especially fond of taking natural light portraits. Taking portraits of people can be extremely daunting and I am going to be sharing my top tips and tricks to make folks feel comfortable and relaxed in front of the camera. We will address issues like: what do I do with my hands, how to build rapport with your subject, how to position and pose someone without making it look contrived and how to get a genuine smile out of your person. I love teaching this class with Jesse because he’s a technical genius and has a wonderful approach to showing you the complexities of your camera without overwhelming you with technical jargon. I took a class from him years ago and it totally helped to shape me into the photographer I am today. We will spend a lot of time actually shooting too because that’s the best way to learn – through practice!

Something new we’re offering this session is two breakout sessions after we go on a photo adventure in Hayes Valley. Jesse will be talking to folks about all things technical – workflow, software, and camera settings. I will be leading the break out group offering advice and support for photographers.

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We encourage all levels of students to attend and please bring any camera you have including (but not limited to): DLSRs, iPhones, Smartphones, Point and Shoot Cameras, and/or Film Cameras.

Checklist of Things to Bring:
Shooting Gear
Notebook
Laptop (not required)
Editing Software (not required)

We hope to see you in class and please share this class with your networks. We’d love to have a full house for this exciting class!

See you in a few weeks!

Jesse & Sarah

NMG X MSS

Residency project comes to life as New Market Goods

Member and former MSS resident Stephen Kennedy has been busy building a brand called New Market Goods. He’s partnered with Deshal, a small community of artisans in Dhaka to produce a line of popover shirts, with the goal of better understanding and highlighting positive production practices in Bangladesh. If you’ve been by the clubhouse over the past month, you may have seen the shirts on display in the popup nook, but if you missed them, be sure to check out their Kickstarter.

 

A bit more backstory on New Market Goods, from Stephen:

The design we’ve developed is an all-cotton popover shirt. It takes cues from the punjabis frequently found on the streets of Dhaka, such as the band collar and a placket that extends only to mid-chest.

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We’ve hybridized the style with more traditional button-down features: a slightly more fitted silhouette that hits at the waist and side gussets. The design itself is fairly minimal, and is really meant to highlight the textiles, which are produced in one of the last remaining hand-loom communities called Pabna, in western Bangladesh.

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Our production partner, Deshal is a popular Bangladeshi clothing line that started nine years ago as the passion project of three friends and artists – Kanak, his wife Ishrat and their friend Shobuj. We were stunned by the incredible, hand-loomed textiles that they use, and how the design of their garments (punjabi, tunics, saris) reflects the need for comfort and coolness in such a tropical climate. As a friend wrote about them, “Deshal gives a new meaning to the word factory – bright paints, colours, folk music, quiet smiles and Ishrat, Kanak, and Shobuj can be seen on the factory floor almost every day.” Their line has been super successful and they have several retail outlets throughout Dhaka.

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While visiting their factory, we’d share clothing we liked and work together to design custom pieces with their textiles. After a few visits, everyone seemed game to start something new that could be sold in the US. We agreed to start small: produce a small run of a single design in a couple of different textiles. By learning from the ground up with Deshal, we’ll be able to focus on developing a quality product while gaining full exposure to the garment production process.

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While we’re big supporters of the movement to bring manufacturing back to the US, the reality is that the majority of our garments and products will always be made in places like Bangladesh and China. Horrendous incidents like the factory collapse in Savar last year, shake us up and open our eyes to the terrible conditions in which our clothing is made. But within a few months, the focus subsides and companies continue to turn a blind eye.

We think it’s extremely important to work more closely in these contexts to develop practices that are beneficial for all parties involved. Making improvements is complex and requires a change in perspective from consumers, brands, industry leaders, local government, factory managers, and the garment workers themselves, but the last thing a place like Bangladesh needs is to have the garment industry leave. It’s become an integral part of improving economic conditions, and brands that aren’t willing to take responsibility for fair labor standards will likely continue the cycle of exploitation elsewhere.

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For everyone involved, NMG is currently a passion project; we all have full-time jobs and find ourselves burning the midnight oil to get this thing started. Our Kickstarter, now live through July 20th, is our first step toward seeing NMG and Deshal grow together! We could certainly use your help getting the word out.

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Stephen Kennedy

Stephen earned his Bachelors in Industrial Design at Georgia Tech and a Masters in Urban Planning at MIT. For the past several years, he has been working as a hybrid planner / designer on transportation mapping initiatives in Bangladesh, signage initiatives in New Orleans, waterfront greenway planning in the Bronx, participatory planning in Indonesia, stormwater management strategies in West Philadelphia, and New Town redevelopment in Kiryat Gat, Israel.