Exploring the business of making


For the next few months, in concert with our “Your Desktop Factory” themed issue of MAKE (Volume 21), we’re going to be exploring the world of “maker business,” turning your passion for making things into a means of making money. We’ll look at everything from casual commerce, selling small numbers of goods online, at places like Etsy and the upcoming Makers Market, to the running of a more serious and sustainable small business. We’ll be talking to, and have guest articles by, maker businessfolk across this spectrum, from those just starting out, to those who are making a comfortable living as self-employed makers. We’ll also be touching on everything from the most philosophical questions of why to the more pragmatic nuts and bolts of how.

Do you run a small “maker business?” If so, we’d love to hear from you. If creating such a business is something you’ve thought about, what questions/concerns do you have? What would you like to see us cover in this series? Let us know in the comments, or email me (gareth at makezine). We’d love for this series to be a useful service to you, especially if going into such a business is a fantasy, but you have nagging questions or reservations that hold you back, or just need a little encouragement from those who’ve made this sort of career change work for them.


From MAKE magazine:

make volume 21 little cover.jpg

MAKE Volume 21 is the Desktop Manufacturing issue, with how-to articles on making three-dimensional parts using inexpensive computer-controlled manufacturing equipment. Both additive (RepRap, CandyFab) and subtractive (Lumenlab Micro CNC) systems are covered. Also in this issue: instructions for making a cigar box guitar, building your own CNC for under $800, running a mini electric bike with a cordless drill, making a magic photo cube, and tons more. If you’re a subscriber, you may have your issue in hand already, and can access the Digital Edition. Otherwise, you can pick up MAKE 21 in the Maker Shed or look for it on newsstands near you!

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

View more articles by Gareth Branwyn


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