Photo by Bonnie Tsang
Over the past year or so, I’ve felt a huge shift in the things I need and want out of life. Not only because of changes in my personal life, but also because I feel like I’ve hit a place with work and the way I’m used to communicating (online) that feels less effective, satisfying and inspiring. I love the online community and hope to be part of it for a long time to come, but over the past two years, I’ve slowly started to change the way I work and live to include more in-person meetups and face time with friends. I know it seems silly to need to remind myself of this, but I think it can be easy to forget when the world is at your fingertips on a laptop: Connecting with people in person is crucial to happiness and creativity.
One of the groups I am overjoyed to see embracing this idea (and really taking it 50 steps forward) is the newly formed Makeshift Society. The brainchild of one of my creative idols, Rena Tom, Makeshift is a membership-based organization for independent workers who crave camaraderie to fuel their creativity. It’s that simple. Makeshift will launch in San Francisco this fall and share a private clubhouse (a 1,000 square foot storefront in Hayes Valley) that’s been designed for coworking, collaboration and community activities. In addition to a collaborative space, Makeshift will offer classes that encourage personal, business and creative growth.
Rena was the inspiration for my original Biz Ladies series, so I am thrilled (though not surprised) to see her again taking the reigns to not only come up with a great idea, but also have the motivation to see it through. Rena is being helped by Creative Director Suzanne Shade, Interior Designer & Director of Outreach Victoria Smith and an advisory board (of which I’m proud to be a part) and partner/sponsor group that will help make all these creative goals come to life.
I wanted to write about Makeshift this morning not only to congratulate Rena, Suzanne and Victoria on such an amazing new venture, but also in the hopes that this idea inspires other people in different cities to create the same. I’ve been toying with doing something similar in our office in Brooklyn, but I’d really love to see people in cities across the country working together to connect their local communities. These sorts of connections made in person are long lasting and powerful. They give you the strength and support to work through tough times and build friendships that can exist and thrive beyond computer screens. I hope those of you in the SF area will consider joining Makeshift Society, and to anyone out there thinking of doing something similar, please do. I will always use D*S as a platform to support and promote these types of groups because I think they are the key to taking all of the incredible art, business and community ideas floating around to the next level. Here’s to connecting in person and seeing ideas come to life. xo, grace
Victoria made this collage to give us an idea of what the Makeshift Society clubhouse will look like when it opens this fall!