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Maker Faire: More Than Just Fire and Flashy Robots

 

Maker Faire Beautiful streamers greeted visitors inside the main NYC Hall of Science building.

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The Grommet team has been attending Maker Faire events around the country since our early days as a company. They have always served as a great place to find new Makers, stay on top of industry trends, and create valuable relationships. This past weekend, The Grommet team stepped up our presence and held a physical booth at Maker Faire in New York City.

Traditionally, when people think of Maker Faire, they envision large, flashy demonstrations including elements like fire or life-sized robots. While that vision certainly held true this weekend, Maker Faire and the Maker Movement is about that and so much more. It’s also about the small, independent Makers who were present to grow their audiences and their businesses.

To read more about our insights and takeaways from the show, see below.

This robotic giraffe named Russell is the same one who greeted Barack Obama at the White House Maker Faire in June where our Co-Founders were present. This robotic giraffe named Russell is the same one who greeted Barack Obama at the White House Maker Faire in June where our Co-Founders were present.

 

It’s no exaggeration to say that Maker Faire is the Greatest Show and Tell on Earth.

We immediately heard the “oohs” and “ahhs” as a 17 foot-tall robotic giraffe named Russell walked the grounds, the world’s largest mouse trap gave daily demonstrations, and stilt walking circus performers made afternoon appearances. This handful of highlights only scratches the surface of what we experienced and the old adage of needing to see to believe holds true here.

 

robot2 A little robot opens his eyes to see the world around him.

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At its core, Maker Faire is about learning, doing, and sharing knowledge.

Everywhere you looked, there were chances to learn a new skill or DIY to your heart’s desire. There were spots to learn how to make or operate robots and tents to learn how to solder. If you’re inclined to learn something new, you can literally make it happen at Maker Faire.

 

The Ford Motor Vehicle Tent The Ford Motor Vehicle Tent

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The Maker Movement’s power has become evident to brands big and small.

At the show, we watched small, wooden cars racing each other at the Ford Motor Vehicle tent but also tested organic, natural body lotion from a local, undiscovered Maker in NYC.

Lumi2 The Grommet Maker from Lumi, Jesse Genet discusses her fabric printing kit with fans.

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Finally, while flashy electronics and over-the-top performances were never far away, our biggest takeaway was that Maker Faire was a huge opportunity for independent Makers to find new audiences to help them scale and grow their businesses.

From a woman who hand made each tub of her own body lotion, to a Kickstarter Village dedicated to a dozen companies that had only just completed their funding, to our own Makers who were given a new audience at the faire, these Makers are making a difference in our economy and shined through the faire’s flashy exterior.

Stay tuned for where The Grommet team will turn up next. You may even see us mingling with Makers and aspiring Makers in your town soon.

Have you attended a Maker Faire before, or were you present at last weekend’s NYC event? Tell us about your experience in the comments.

 

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