Our Origin Story
The San Francisco Bay Area has always been a center for the maker movement; a nexus of creativity, innovation, and market disrupting inventions. After a national for-profit makerspace abruptly closed in 2017, a local group of craftspeople, hobbyists, students, and artists met to imagine what a new community-oriented makerspace for the Bay Area could look like. We organized a series of public town hall meetings and the turnout was greater than we could have imagined. It became clear that the makers in our area would step up and come together to create a new non-profit makerspace focused on empowering and educating the maker in each of us. We spent much of 2018 fund-raising, incorporating as a non-profit, and looking for real estate. We found our first home in northern Sunnyvale, and opened our doors for the first time in April 2019. Thus, Maker Nexus was born.
While planning our 1-year anniversary party in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic reached California and we had to shut our doors to our membership. As a member-driven organization whose primary value is the physical use of the space, this presented a crisis of survival. What happened then is a fascinating story. Maker Nexus was able to pivot nearly instantaneously from being a makerspace to a design, manufacture, and distribution hub coordinating with volunteer makers and donors to deliver close to half a million units of PPE at no charge to healthcare professionals locally and across the country.
After 2 years, we outgrew our first facility and moved to our current location in summer 2021. We quadrupled our square footage, growing from a cozy 7,000 sq foot makerspace to a 28,000 sq foot building. Because move-in ready spaces that would fully meet our needs are rare, we are converting an office building with some warehouse space into a full service multi-media workshop. Currently our facility has separate areas for working with wood, cold and hot metal, textiles, electronics, 3D printers, laser cutters, and more. We also have a large event room, computer classroom, oversize build tables, dedicated member storage, and private studio space.
Our Pledge to the Community
Maker Nexus is a registered California non-profit corporation and we have 501(c)(3) status. We vow to be a transparent organization, sharing everything from our financial plans and position, to our plans for development. We believe our maker members should know where their money goes, and have a say in how their monthly membership dues are being used.