Academy of Handmade
In early 2016 I was facing burnout with Maker's Nation, largely due to the fact that I was working on it solo and pro bono—it was always getting sidelined by paid work and other priorities. In June, Sharon Fain, founder of Academy of Handmade (a sister organization to Maker's Nation offering similar programs), contacted me seeking a business partner that could help her take her community to the next level. I jumped at the chance! We spent the following six months planning, strategizing, and scheming, and made the official announcement at the turn of 2017.
My specific focus with the Academy is on local chapter leadership and growth, but I'm involved at least in some way in every aspect of the organization's strategy and programs. I've found in Sharon a trusted partner and friend, and together we've been able to renew our energy for serving the handmade community and helping maker businesses thrive.
Academy of Handmade is an online and offline community of handmade artists and the people and businesses that support them. In addition to weekly, monthly, and quarterly events in the forums, Academy of Handmade has seven local chapters hosting monthly meetups and workshops for local members and the general public, as well as a an annual awards show celebrating the maker community.