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Utah Business

craft & stem

Craft & Stem Is Creating A New Kind Of Makerspace

Spoiler alert! Entrepreneurship is hard. Being an artist is, too. My cofounder, Christopher Ross, and I know that all too well, having been both for the last decade. Over the years we have learned first-hand how difficult it is to raise the capital required to prototype and then manufacture a new product. We also know the frustration of wanting to create new things without having the space to do so efficiently. So, when the opportunity to set up a brick-and-mortar business presented itself to us, we did not hesitate to move ahead with a plan for establishing a makerspace that we had been piecing together and dreaming about for a couple of years. In August 2018, Craft & STEM opened to the public.

Craft & Stem

We created this space with two goals in mind: 1) to provide the opportunity for local artists and entrepreneurs of all ages to make money with their handmade goods, and 2) to make a space in which families and groups can come together to make and learn new things. From the beginning, we have been intent on building a community of creative, driven people and improving the lives of as many Utahans as possible through our guiding principles of hard work, dedication, and self-sufficiency. Accordingly, the studio is split into two parts: The Craft Studio and the Production Studio.

The Craft Studio is set up to be both a versatile workspace, equipped with an ever-expanding array of crafting tools, and a classroom where new skills and concepts can be taught, workshops can be hosted, and ongoing educational series will be held. Craft Room 1 is stocked with the tools and equipment for paper crafts (handmade greeting cards, scrapbooking, etc.), making melt and pour soap and other handmade bath products, and custom vinyl work. The Private Craft Room provides a sequestered crafting space for private events or larger projects.

With two kids of our own, the design had to be both functional and safe. The Craft Studio, along with the whole facility, is family friendly. Our inventory of Melissa & Doug activity and coloring pads for $5 apiece, kid tables and on-hand supply of construction paper, markers and much more make keeping the littlest ones entertained during your craft project so easy. Older kids love using our 3D pens with more than 40 colors of plastic for only $10 per person. On the weekends, we set up the Tamiya Mini Jr. track for STEM Racing – car kits start at $15 and are endlessly customizable. They teach participants about engineering in a fun environment of friendly competition. Weekly craft nights and craft classes offer something for everyone in Craft Room 1.

Craft & Stem

The Production Studio focuses on pottery, plastics, and consumer electronics. The Fabrication rooms (1 and 2) are dedicated to the latter and are designed to take a product from conception to prototyping to small run production all on site. Inventors and entrepreneurs can turn their hard work into profit without having to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars on production molds that can’t be tested and may not even work.

At Craft and STEM, our prototyping process is designed to work out all the kinks and design issues with as little overhead investment as possible. Once the prototype is perfected, production goes forward seamlessly. We carry a selection of high-quality materials on site and can accommodate special requests.

Dubbed the Mud Bakery, our pottery studio is the only one in the valley that doesn’t impose quantity limits; in fact, we encourage our members to make as many pieces as they can so that they can sell as many as they can, either on their own or in our Show Room as member consignment. Members get their own storage cart and access to all the onsite tools and equipment. Our kilns, two brand new Skutt PK 1231s, fire as often as necessary to ensure that work is completed quickly, and our selection of locally-made glazes are both beautiful and reliable. We also offer ongoing pottery classes to potters of all skill levels. Our roster of class times is growing and flexible.

Craft and STEM was designed from the very start to be a place where driven people can make amazing things. The facility is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 8 pm and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm.

Jessica Belnap is the cofounder and studio director of Craft & Stem.