SparkMacon Directs Focus to Entrepreneurship
By Devyn Mode
From a dilapidated home to a one-of-a-kind design, Georgia Artisan uses wood from blighted homes in the community to make custom tables, bed frames and more.
Andrew Eck, founder of the Georgia Artisan furniture company and a founding member of SparkMacon, has designed furniture for downtown restaurants like Just Tap’d, Ocmulgee Brewpub and Ginger Stir-fry & Grill. Every step of the design and construction process happened in SparkMacon.
SparkMacon is a makers space equipped with laser and 3D printers, electronic and music stations and a woodworking shop located in downtown Macon. Since opening in November 2014, its members have had access to these tools and pay a monthly fee to work and create in the facility.
“SparkMacon is what you make it,” said Eck. “It can conform to your idea, to your personality, to your needs.”
Since Eck became a member at SparkMacon, he has rebranded his business to Georgia Artisan and sales have increased significantly. Ecks says without SparkMacon, his business probably would have closed long ago.
“I’m a product of SparkMacon,” Eck said. “There’s just so much entrepreneurship here in Macon.”
After nearly three years since its opening, SparkMacon directors are focusing on that entrepreneurship, rather than part-time makers. Directors hope to accommodate private offices along with the co-working spaces in an effort to better serve full-time entrepreneurs.
“We want to be a place that you can go from a business idea that you’ve just written on on a cocktail napkin, all the way to you prototype your new invention in the makers space area,” said Nadia Osman, director of SparkMacon. “And then you move into production in your private workspace and you get a private office and you can really run your company.”
Enrique Molina, member and community coordinator, is also interested in catering to entrepreneurs and helping people make a career doing what they love.
“It is really headed toward helping entrepreneurs go from being hobbyist to actually putting money in their pocket from doing their craft,” Molina said.
Molina makes things like custom T-shirts, socks, phone cases and car decals for individuals and businesses. He works entirely out of SparkMacon.
“SparkMacon has really helped me out a lot,” he said. “I get some many orders now.”
Membership at SparkMacon has grown to a level that is nearly at capacity for their current space, according to Eck.
“We are in the process of looking for a place that is larger and that can better suit the combined high-quality, professional offices with potentially noisy, dusty, dirty industrial workspace,” Eck said.