LYNN — After more than a year of searching for a home for his makerspace dream, Ted Dillard finally signed a lease.
The hybrid makerspace is in the works to become a community for the city’s jacks-of-all-trades and creatives. Before finding its home, Brickyard Collaborative was run out of Dillard’s house, with pop-up events all over the city.
“I read a lot about the economic woes of Lynn and my answer to that is create an economy,” said Dillard. “This is an opportunity to bring it in from the grassroots level and start making money by creating products.”
The makerspace has moved into its 71 Linden St. location little by little since Feb. 1, Dillard said. At 3,600 square feet, for now, Brickyard Collaborative is one of many businesses to call Linden Industrial LLC its home.
The space is set to have a complete wood shop, metal shop, photography studio (film and digital) equipped with three dark rooms, video and sound editing studio, automotive, motorcycle and bicycle repair shop, electronics and robotics lab, with growing facilities for rapid prototyping, printmaking, finishing, and biotech hacking, along with complete co-working facilities. The full list of potential studio and shop options can be found on their website.
Dillard said he looked at the location a year ago and has been in contact with the owners since. He initially wanted a spot in downtown Lynn, but he’s over the moon for the clean, industrial warehouse space.
There will be a program that teaches kids all about coding, which would walk them through creating their own mobile apps. Run by Mitchell Ahern, the makerspace will also have the only old-fashioned letterpress co-op in the entire Northeast, according to Dillard.
Six-year-old Serenity Theriault, of Lynn, was roaming around the space with her younger sister on Saturday as their mother, creative Tia Cole, explored the warehouse space. Serenity couldn’t wait to get her own space so she can build her own “Pikachu robot.”
Dillard, his wife, Teresa, and his board, including Ahern and Cole, have their eyes set on applying for more grants to ensure the makerspace will have the ability to provide service for all entrepreneurs, builders, and creatives throughout Lynn. Their goal is to bring the city’s history of manufacturing back into play, but on a smaller, more accessible scale.
For an unlimited membership with 100 square feet of space to make your own, at $75 a month, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We had a hard time raising funds through grants, investors, and backers because we didn’t have a facility,” said Dillard. “We could only go so far with having no space for operations as a makerspace. Now it’s time for us to get members involved and start building a community, get more financial backing, and take it to next level.”