CREO CORPS is like Skillshare meets a coffee shop meets your grandpa’s workbench, all under one awesome roof.
WHAT DOES YOUR START-UP BUSINESS DO?
We like to describe CREO CORPS as Skillshare meets a coffee shop meets your grandpa’s workbench, all under one awesome roof. CREO CORPS is designed to aid and accelerate the success of Richmond’s creative community of makers, designers, artists, and all those seeking to experiment with their hands through access to comprehensive makerspace, ongoing educational programming, and community building.
The makerspace at CREO CORPS will provide analog and digital tools as well as open space for the act of making and creating. Our makerspace equipment will include tools for wood working, fiber arts, metal working, design software, photography and more.
Educational programming at CREO CORPS will be focused on the business challenges unique to handmaking and design-oriented startup companies. Program topics will include marketing, social media, photography, planning for business growth, inventory issues, legal info, taxes, time management, wholesale logistics, and more. CREO CORPS’ dedicated meeting space will provide an engaging environment for our internal programs as well as for other local businesses and organizations to use and rent as needed.
Community building is the glue that holds CREO CORPS together. By providing a brick and mortar space for the act of making, along with a core location for educational events, the network of makers, designers, and artists will connect and grow as the organization becomes stronger. Our CORPS are encouraged to become active members – supporting one another’s business growth and creative innovation. All educational and other events hosted by CREO CORPS will focus tremendously on community building between members.
HOW DID YOUR VENTURE START?
CREO CORPS started when Christie Thompson (maker and designer – Richmond Thread Lab) and Peter Fraser (designer – Fraser Design Associates) saw a gap in the marketplace for supporting the needs of makers and designers. Christie’s background in the handmade community brought her to the conclusion that many talented craftsmen and artisans were suffering from a lack of professional business knowledge. Peter approached from a slightly different angle, wanting to give digital designers the tools to work with their hands — prototyping and experimenting with objects in a physical way. The overlap of ideas creates a space that supports hobbyists, those trying to go “maker pro”, and creative folks just looking to experiment. The space and community strengthens with a diverse membership of users.
HOW WILL YOU USE THE $10,000 CASH PRIZE TO HELP YOUR START-UP?
The $10,000 will give CREO CORPS the ability to offer educational programming for the next 6-10 months, including pop-up events at festivals and other local gatherings. Potential monthly programs would be a mixture of business education for makers as well as DIY tutorials and other craft-specific skills. These programs would help to build our membership and community as we work to open a brick and mortar space (which we are working to do as soon as financially feasible). The $10,000 would also help us build some infrastructure online to open a web store of member-based handmade goods as well as apply for business licenses and other legal needs.