The Make Liverpool team approached The Women’s Organisation for business development support under our growth programme; New Markets 2. We caught up with co-director Kirsten Little to find out how business is going.
|Kirsten Little, co-director of Make Liverpool|
Describing itself as ‘a place to play, make and fix; bring an idea and take away your invention,’ Make Liverpool is a maker space which crosses the boundaries. It’s a place where digital and creative businesses work alongside artists and crafters, offering up a creative hub for honest conversations and unique skill shares.
The brainchild of co-directors Kirsten Little and Liam Kelly, the team are on a mission to support makers, artists and small businesses across Liverpool.
|Communal space at Make Liverpool|
It all started back in 2012 with a post from Liam on Facebook venturing the idea of a unique co-working space for creative makers. Having experienced first-hand the isolation of working remotely and the impact this can have on your mental health, Liam set his sights on opening a co-working space. The post immediately caught Kirsten’s eye. Having recently completed her masters degree in fine art it was the ideal next challenge.
The pair set off on a research mission, taking inspiration from maker spaces across Europe. 4 months later and their Baltic Triangle space was born and already filled with nearly 30 residents from a whole host of creative backgrounds. From those working in graphic design and photography to fine art, Kirsten says that it is this diverse skill set which has been the catalyst for their success.
|Make resident, Max Rawhide hard at work|
Fast forward four years and the team soon saw the need for a second space. Kirsten explains: “The problem with the Baltic space was that we couldn’t offer maker spaces and our residents wanted to grow their businesses without having to invest in equipment. One of our tenants needed access to a laser cutter to create her product meaning that she had to outsource this element, a cost which would ultimately impact on the final cost of her product. We wanted to create a one-stop shop of equipment where our residents could freely create and experiment.”
Make North Docks was born.
|Another maker, Chris Wylie of Puppetuity|
With their sights firmly set on business growth and having received support from The Women’s Organisation at the inception of the company, the team decided it was time to return to the organisation to find out what support was available as they entered this new era of high business growth.
Working closely with our business advisor, Francine Taylor, the Make team were able to identify new opportunities in the current business and gain the support to enter this new phase.
Of their time with Francine, co-director Liam says: “Francine was very supportive and easy to talk with. It’s great having knowledgeable and trustworthy people around you when you’re focused on growing a businesses.”
With a third venue now in the pipeline, there’s no sign of Make Liverpool slowing down now.
Kirsten and the team received growth advice through our New Markets 2 Programme. part funded by European Regional Development Fund. The programme is aimed at women who are running a business focussing on business to business (B2B) activity in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, St Helens, Knowsley and Halton) and are ready to take their business to the next level, either by expanding their team or significantly increasing turnover.