Ailie, Amelia, Gabriella, Morgan and Olivia are the five incredible women behind Maker Store & Studio - a collaborative space where creators can share their products with customers without a middleman.
Read on as we chat to the girls about co-owning a business with 5 women, not being to hard on yourself and being in the right place, with the right people, at the right time.
Q1: Welcome to the Woman Of Series ladies! Can you tell us what it is you create?
Maker store & studio is a collaborative space run by five women who each own their own business:
Ailie - Yuni
Amelia - a.
Gabriella - studium
Morgan - val ent een
Olivia - HALLE
We wanted a platform where creators could share their products with customers without a middleman - creating an intimate, authentic shopping experience. So our store & studio was born!
Q2: When did you start Maker Store & Studio? What inspired you to go down this path?
Maker was born in 2018, we rented a little house turned shopfront on a main road that had one room, a kitchenette out the back and a toilet. It was a little bit of an awkward space and we outgrew it in around 6 months but stayed for the year. In 2019 we moved into a bigger warehouse style space tucked away in a street full of other creative businesses in Newcastle West. We decided to go down this path firstly because of passion - passion for sustainability, mindful purchases, small businesses & secondly to create a community around these ethos.
Q3: Talk us through your creative process. How do you source makers that align with your signature style?
It definitely helps that there are five of us to keep our eyes out for future potential stockists. We always make sure they share a similar vision to us in terms of sustainability, handmade, slow made, aesthetics & we also (unintentionally) tend to stock small businesses run by women.
We joke that Amelia has a superpower for sniffing out creatives/ talents in people & encouraging them to turn that passion into a business - an enabler of sorts. Ailie is our stock saint bernard, she finds most of our stockists for us!
Q4: What has been your favourite Maker Store & Studio project? Why?
There’s been so many it’s too hard to narrow down to one! All our projects really do feel like our children - we put so much love and effort into them - from our vintage markets to exhibition openings. It wouldn’t be fair to pick one.
Q5: What single tool or strategy have you found invaluable to your business so far?
Co- owning the business with 5 women can be tricky. One thing is the foundation of our business is our honest communication. If an issue arises we all sit down and discuss things openly, even when the answers can be hard. We also approach our business holistically - we sit down a few times a year and do journaling sessions together - reflecting on what we’re most proud of & what we envision for the future. I think that’s the beauty of sharing a business with all women, that the vulnerability and intuition seems to perhaps come more naturally.
Q6: What (and who) was involved in the process of bringing Maker Store & Studio to life?
Without sounding cliche it, everything really did fall into place for us & we still pinch ourselves about it today. Right place, right people, right time. Amelia & Gab had launched their brands and rented out a space for a week to do a popup shop & run workshops at night. Ailie attended a workshop & Morgan popped in (an acquaintance of Amelia’s) with a bunch of flowers. Before we knew it we had dragged them into it too & then we had a market stall and Liv had a stall across from us showing her HALLE pieces (she had already been on our radar but this was the icing on the cake). Before we knew it, within 5 months we had our first shop & collaborative space.
Q7: What is your big hope and dream for your work?
To keep growing, keep building a sense of community around us & maybe open a few more stores!
Q8: What are your top 3 superpowers?
Q9: We’re all about women inspiring women. Who inspires you?
Honestly - each other. We are lucky to have each other bounce ideas off, cheer on each other’s wild dreams & ask for advice and receive four different perspectives each time. Nothing is more inspiring or contagious than working with women who share the same passion & zest for life/work as you!
Q10: What advice would you impart on the next generation of women, and women in business?
Back yourself, back your passion & don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate each step as it comes.