Houston Makerspace Year in Review: Year One

As we approach our one year anniversary, we would like to take this opportunity to look back at some of the incredible things that have happened at Houston Makerspace over the past year.

Some of the accomplishments we have achieved with your help are:

1.     Clean up and preparation of 100 Hutcheson Street – Over 60 volunteers spent most every day during the months of January, February and March stripping and replacing paneling and walls, stripping floors, cleaning, replacing ceiling tiles, cleaning, painting, fixing doors, cleaning and more cleaning to get the building turned into Houston Makerspace.


2.     Grand Opening – On April 12th, from Noon till 6:00 pm, we had close to 600 people check out Houston Makerspace!  We generated this crowd by using social media exclusively.  We also held a pre-launch party for all of our volunteers, investors and donors.

3.     Reddit Global Meetup Day – Hosted the Houston Chapter with about 500 people attending in June.     

4.     Special craft events  – Hosted a Craft Swap in June and a Sign Making Party in July to introduce more people to Houston Makerspace

5.     The Eastern Sea – Hosted the final show of a national tour for Austin-based indie music band The Eastern Sea with an attendance of 300+ people.


6.     IDSA Conference – Our founder, Maclean, was invited to be a panelist at the prestigious IDSA International Conference in Austin in August.

7.     Monthly Events – Regularly host several monthly events to engage the community and expose people to Houston Makerspace, such as our Houston Maker Meet Ups (third Thursday of every month) with anywhere from 5-50 people in attendance, many of them new, our Maker Market and Open House (third Saturday of every month) which features local vendors, music, and demos, and our Volunteer Clean Up Days (fourth Saturday of every month).

8.     Houston Premier of “maker: A documentary on the maker movement” – Maclean was selected to introduce the new documentary “maker” to Houston in September:


9.     Meet Up groups – HMS hosts several meet up groups including Stitch & B!tch, Guys Building Guitars, and Hand Lettering Houston.

 10.  Houston Arts Alliance – HMS hosted two giant events for Houston Arts Alliance.  Through these events, we have created a solid reputation with HAA that will lead to grant funding in the future (we're applying now for specific grants that will be awarded next summer)

a.     Silos 1, which was part of HAA’s Transported and Renewed project, and

b.     Iluminacion, which was their 2014 fundraiser.

11.  Major Art Projects – HMS has facilitated several impressive projects that have garnered media attention:

a.     A giant laser cut cardboard installation that was installed under the 45 overpass at this year's Free Press Summer Fest

b.     A giant pelican that was mounted on a 41 foot shrimp boat that brought shrimp to Shrimp Fest (funded by Houston Arts Alliance)

c.     A large trade show booth for Hewlett Packard

d.     A musical bicycle made from recycled parts that engages musical bottles when the handlebar mounted keyboard is played (funded by Houston Arts Alliance)

 12.  Dinner Lab – HMS hosted this national pop up dinner company’s first Houston event, serving a five course dinner to 250 people over two evenings

13.  Halloween Fundraiser – HMS planned and executed a Halloween fundraiser that brought in half a month's rent in one event.

14.  First Thursday at Mid Main – HMS was the featured non-profit at September's event, which brought hundreds of people to mid-main to support our non-profit arm.


15.  Houston Mini Maker Faire – HMS manned a booth at the very successful Mini Maker Faire in November in Stafford.

16.  Classes – HMS conducted well over 100 classes this year, with an additional 20-30 classes every month.

17.  Members – HMS signed up almost 80 members in our first year!

18.  Volunteer Staff – HMS’ staff of 37 people is 100% volunteer There are no paid staff members, so that we may grow our makerspace for our community.

19.  Small Business Headquarters – HMS serves as the headquarters location for several well-established small businesses including Greenwood Bay (http://greenwoodbay.net/), Edible Earth Resources (http://edibleearthresources.com/) and ArtX (http://www.artx.org/)

20.  Art League Houston – HMS is providing space for Art League Houston to execute their well-publicized African Beading Project.

21.  Sonic Bicycle Opera – HMS provided space for Nameless Sound and visiting artist Jaffe Matthews to complete the Sonic Bicycle Opera, which included 8 bicycles mounted with GPS affected musical speakers.  This was a Houston Arts Alliance project.

22.  The Tontons music video – HMS served as the location set for the music video "Ruins" performed by the popular local band The Tontons.

23. Johnny's Gold Brick - HMS provides makers with space and resources to take on larger projects. A few months ago, Bob Card of Greenwood Bay redid the old bar from the Boom Boom Room and created an impressive live edge back bar for Treadsack International's newest establishment, Johnny's Gold Brick. From Bob: "It's worth mentioning that I benefited from my HMS membership in making this bar and back bar.  Given the large scale of this project, it was critical to have access to multiple large work surfaces, as well as to be able to utilize the talents of other HMS members such as Sanjay in making this all come together.  And it really was a large job: the main portion of the bar top is 25 feet long, plus a 6 foot extension on the right side.  The back bar is made up of 11 Live Oak slabs, each weighing about 100 pounds."

24.  Relationships with the Houston arts community – HMS has forged relationships with many other organizations such as Houston Arts Alliance, Art League Houston, Girls Rock Camp Houston, Houston Zine Fest, Houston Hardcourt, etc. and is establishing a solid reputation in the Houston arts community

25.  Sponsors – We have some great 2014 sponsors that support our cause, and are continuing their sponsorship into 2015:

a.     Lincoln Electric

b.     RedHouse Associates

c.     Space City Credit Union

d.     Boomtown Coffee

e.     Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company

f.      Kind Snacks

g.     Evamor Artesian Water

h.     LRNGO

i.      Kristara Calligraphy + Hand Lettering

26.  Media Attention – Various media outlets have covered HMS since the concept was created.  In addition, we were interviewed live by Fox 26 News and ABC 13 News (see reverences on the HMS webpage here:  http://houstonmakerspace.com/press/).  Also, Russ Capper interviewed Maclean for The Business Makers radio show.  You can see the podcast version of the interview at:  http://www.thebusinessmakers.com/.

All this in just one year?! YES! Come make with us in 2015 and be part of what is sure to be an even more impressive year two!

Please join us on Saturday, May 16th for our One Year Anniversary Party at our new warehouse, 3605 Texas Street.

See you soon!

Copyright Houston Makerspace, LLC 2013.  Background images by Marisa Brodie and Alex Barber.