WSW: Makers Find Their "Space" In Kalamazoo

Feb 6, 2019

Credit WMUK

The Project Editor for Southwest Michigan’s Second Wave On the Ground Kalamazoo says the story of Kzoo Makers was one that people in the Eastside Neighborhood wanted her to tell. Theresa Coty O’Neil wrote about what goes on in the old warehouse, and how the makers in Kalamazoo help each other.

One the non-profit group’s founding members Al Holloway says it grew from a group of "makers" in town. He says they needed space and found it on East Michigan Avenue. Their makers’ space includes woodworking and metal shops, welding equipment, laser engraving and more. Coty O’Neil says most of the people she met were already working with their hands, but wanted to do something creative. “That hacker mentality it’s contagious, but…it just has this wonderful spirit as well.”

Holloway says the makers’ space really works because of the people there. He says people work together and have the chance to learn new skills from each other. Holloway says they try to stay away from the term “incubator” because it implies business assistance. He says they have some connections in that area, but Holloway says “it’s not our primary focus, our focus is on making and creating.”

WestSouhwest Brief with Theresa Coty O'Neil and Al Holloway

Coty O’Neil says she enjoyed reporting this story, because “I always love discovering a new sub-culture.” She says the makers’ place was the first story she wrote for the On The Ground series in Kalamazoo’s Eastside Neighborhood. Coty O’Neil says it showed her the exciting possibilities.