Business

‘Makers’ Use TechShop To Build Their Businesses

By David Nicklaus
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “TechShop” is a membership workshop in St. Louis. Entrepreneurs can use their design skills — and TechShop’s equipment — to do small-scale manufacturing.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Bobbie Farrell always thought of herself as a creative person, but she never expected to become an expert on a laser cutter and use it to make money.

Craig Caesar was already an entrepreneur with his own 3-D printing equipment, but didn’t envision himself as a product designer and artisan.

The August opening of TechShop, a membership workshop in the Central West End, has propelled both Farrell and Caesar into the vanguard of the so-called maker movement in St. Louis. Both are using their technology and design skills — and TechShop’s equipment — to do small-scale manufacturing, and both are encouraging others to do the same.

Farrell, a freelance writer from Alton, toured TechShop before it opened and was wowed by the more than $1 million worth of equipment and tools. The $150 monthly membership seemed steep but her boyfriend, Adam Hosmer of Staunton, talked her into it.

“We thought, we’re creative people, surely we will find ways to make use of this equipment,” Farrell recalled. She quickly got trained on TechShop’s laser cutter and used it to make wooden keychains, which have sold well at craft shows.

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