A scientist, a microbiologist, and a wine maker gather around a table… no it’s not the beginning of a joke, but the dinner table at Jeremy Hanson’s childhood home—and the spark that led the former Fred Hutch technician to create Seattle Makers, the Seattle-based group creating a community and a space to make makers ideas a reality.
As lead fabricator and founder of the newly launched Seattle Makers makerspace, Jeremy is on a mission “to spread the maker movement and the skills for the jobs of the future to an ever expanding community of makers, students and businesses, by creating a world-class fabrication and teaching facility that is accessible to all.”
Armed with a biology degree from the University of Washington, Jeremy went to work at Fred Hutch as a technician. While he enjoyed the benefits of working for the renowned health organization, he felt unfulfilled and began looking for side projects to fuel his creative side.
“I taught myself 3D modeling, Photoshop and graphic design, and started volunteering for graphic design projects within the organization,” explains Jeremy.
Despite the creative work, Jeremy still felt limited and, in true maker spirit, started several side projects, including an iPad case, a sign language app, and a home use hydroponic garden. While product development was successful, Jeremy learned that he had limited knowledge in manufacturing, marketing and sales, and these early projects fizzled out. His creative drive, however, only got stronger.
As Jeremy worked on his side projects, he discovered the concept of co-working makerspaces, first designing and working out of a makerspace in Fremont, then working and volunteering in the SoDo Makerspace after the Fremont space shut down.
“Through these experiences, I realized that I didn’t want to build a business around a product, but work with other innovators to help them make their products and dreams a reality.”
At the time Jeremy made this realization, he decided to move his maker desk to a co-working space for non-profits, NonprofitLeader.org, located at the former site of the School of Visual Concepts on Aurora Ave. At this space he started to ponder what the ideal makerspace would be – then set out to create it.
“At the time I was thinking about building a co-working space, I was also going through a management and leadership program. Through this training, I learned how important having a team in place was before creating the space. So I spent the next 6 months building a team.”
Eventually, Jeremy and the Non-Profit Leader.org team swapped spaces, allowing Jeremy to take over more square footage and build several work stations to serve the maker community. With a classroom and co-working space built, he and his team officially opened Seattle Makers on September 1, 2017.
Only a couple months old, Seattle Makers continues to grow, creating additional opportunities for Seattle makers (like a music/video/photo studio and woodworking), as well as building a community space for Seattle.
“Our goal is to obliterate the barriers for people, especially kids, to create the future,” Jeremy says. “Seattle Makers gives access to emerging tech, classes, skills and community to help anyone learn and create anything they can dream of.
“There’s nothing like the look of amazement on someone’s face when they make their idea a reality. It opens up a whole new world.”