Opening soon: Makerspace Merchateria

After talking with the rest of the Fundraising Committee, I cleared out the foyer between Digital Fab, Electronics, and Crafting to make space for what I’m calling the Makerspace Merchateria. This is intended to display our merchandise for sale to members, class takers, and visitors.

What will it be?
We have always had LMN T-shirts, but we don’t move very many. For a long time, we have talked about a “convenience store” for maker materials, like pre-taped thin plywood for the laser cutter and similar things. And if you’ve ever been in a museum or similar non-profit organization, you can bet they’ve got a gift shop – and by sheer coincidence, the tour or walking path always ends in the gift shop. We already have members who make interesting things and sell them, just not in the shop. Why not?

It’s a very visible, high-traffic area that we’re not currently using well. Let’s turn this area into an attractive display, and turn up the dial on these efforts.

What can we fill it with?

  • LMN-branded items like T-shirts, hats, etc.
  • Maker materials like pre-taped plywood, USB sticks
  • Member-made items for resale, either consignment or bought wholesale
  • Things we can laser etch: a USB stick with name and phone number; lawn dice with a name or company logo.

What do we need?
How about some new T-shirt designs? Something aimed at class participants: “Ask me what I made at Lansing Makers Network”

Do you make items for sale? Would you like to offer them in the Merchateria? If it’s something you produce in quantity, maybe that’s a wholesale purchase by LMN up front. If you make unique art pieces, maybe that’s a consignment model, where you get paid when it’s sold, and can take it back if you have another opportunity for it.

Do you have “retail sense” and design instincts, and want to help figure out the layout? We need to turn that little space into an attractive display for all of the things. (I think to get started, the white shelf can stay, and the brown shelf can go to free up that wall for hanging things.)

Things we’re still figuring out
There are important rules about non-profits making sales, and about collecting and remitting sales tax, and we need to be sure we’re on the right side of those rules. We also need to figure out the logistics of it all – how items are selected, how consignments work, where we keep the inventory, and things we haven’t thought of yet. But I think this is a good opportunity to use that space better, and bring in a little more green at the same time.


Great idea…& will be wonderful to have ready before holiday shopping!

I am so excited for this!

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