Makerhaus founders Ellie and Mike Kemery
Makerhaus founders Ellie and Mike Kemery

Makerhaus, a 10,000 square foot space in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood that caters to electronics, 3D printing, CAD design and other geek enthusiasts, is closing its doors on Sept. 16th just 18 months after opening.

MakerHaus42“It has truly been an amazing journey and the impact that Makerhaus has had will continue to be felt for years to come,” said co-founder Ellie Kemery in an email to GeekWire.

When the facility opened in February 2013, we dubbed it a geek paradise because of the various activities offered. But Kemery said that they just could not attract the membership base to sustain the operation, a unique space where creative types were encouraged to “invent, prototype and explore without boundaries.”

“We still believe in the makers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and curious minds who have come to visit us over the past eighteen months,” the Kemery’s write in a note to members. “Some came by for a day, MakerHaus22some have stayed with us for over a year. Many built new personal and business relationships resulting in Kickstarter campaigns, jobs, new found awareness for their skills & services, and the incubation of their own companies. We are glad to have been able to help others bridge the gap in their lives and realize their dreams.”

Mike Kemery said that they amassed hundreds of members over the past 18 months, with dues ranging from $200 to $500 per month. It is unclear what the landlord plans to do with the space once they leave.

Here’s a tour of the space we took when it first opened.


And here’s the full note that founders Mike and Ellie Kemery sent out earlier today:

Dear Makerhaus members, students, educators, and creative community,

Over the last eighteen months you have helped cultivate an amazing HAUS of learning, making, and connection by attending events, classes, workshops, joining our membership programs, and supporting us through social media and word of mouth. Our goal to empower creative minds and make a meaningful contribution to our community would not have been possible without your involvement and interest. We sincerely thank you for your support.

While there has been great love for our mission, customer demand has fallen short of what is needed to continue to run the business. That said, it is with extreme regret that we are announcing Makerhaus will be closing its doors on September 16th.

Makerhaus has been home to some amazingly talented people. Many of which have directly contributed their time to building the space and cultivating a uniquely creative culture. Without their shared belief in our mission and passion for our goals none of this would have been possible. We are also extremely grateful and fortunate to have been backed by a team of forward thinkers who believe in our mission and shared our vision of helping our society move ahead.

We still believe in the makers, teachers, entrepreneurs, and curious minds who have come to visit us over the past eighteen months. Some came by for a day, some have stayed with us for over a year. Many built new personal and business relationships resulting in Kickstarter campaigns, jobs, new found awareness for their skills & services, and the incubation of their own companies. We are glad to have been able to help others bridge the gap in their lives and realize their dreams.

Our immediate goal is to ensure our members and stakeholders are properly taken care of during this transition. We will continue to operate under our regular business hours during our final days. If you have any questions please contact us at info@makerhaus.com and we will respond as quickly as possible.

Thank you again for an amazing experience. We which you all the very best!

Sincerely,

Mike & Ellie Kemery
Makerhaus

Comments

  • http://www.KristinBennett.com Kristin Bennett

    Too late to even try to salvage? :-(

  • http://www.puzzazz.com/ Roy Leban

    I never visited Makerhaus, but sorry it didn’t make it. I really like the idea. For me, it was a combination of location, time and cost. On location, I live in Redmond, so Fremont isn’t exactly convenient to get to. I planned on stopping by but never did (I never happen to be driving by Fremont). I wonder if they would have been better off locating some place that was easier to get to by both car and bus and with ample parking.

    On time, I’m super busy, as it seems most creative people are. Although I have done a few projects over the last year that could have been executed at Makerhaus, I did them at 2AM and sent them off to Ponoko or equivalent.

    Finally, on cost, at a minimum of $2400 a year, that’s a lot for all but the ultra maker geeks who are likely to have some of their own equipment. While you can’t buy the type of equipment Makerhaus has for that money, $2400 can buy you a decent used laser cutter + a 3D printer. Or a bunch of shop equipment. With high-end equipment, that may not be a solvable problem.

    Thanks to the the Emerys for giving it a shot and I wish them best of luck in whatever they do next.

    • Jason Rodman

      Membership gave you a LOT more than just use of equipment – plus $2,400 does not buy a decent laser OR printer, much less both.

      • http://www.puzzazz.com/ Roy Leban

        Jason, it seems like you have misunderstood me. Go back and read my first two sentences.

        If you’re doing a startup, one of the things you have to do is be real. You can’t believe your hype. We know now that Makerhaus didn’t make it. The question is why? What can the founders learn for their next venture? What can we as a community learn from it?

        Denying reality doesn’t get you there. You can easily buy a used laser cutter for under $1000 on Ebay. Search for “laser cutter” and 4 of the first 10 results are $600-800 (and these are Buy It Now prices). You can buy multiple new 3D printers for under $800. By my math, that leaves you with $800-1000 left over from the $2400. Now, you can argue that used cutters are unreliable and those 3D printers aren’t as good as the ones at Makerhaus, and you’d be absolutely right. But that’s the competition and that’s the reality.

        If you want to insist that everything was done right, that they should have been successful, that’s just sticking your head in the sand.

  • Strunkwhite

    Really sad to hear about this. I’m not much of a hardware person, but visited the space a few times and felt Makerhaus brought a unique creative spirit to the community.

  • http://marcbarros.com/ Marc Barros

    Super sad.

    Mike and Ellie are awesome entrepreneurs and I’m sure they will do something even more amazing next time.

  • Jason Rodman

    A big loss for Seattle’s growing hardware community. The vision behind this endeavor is a great one and I hope Mike and Ellie take what they’ve learned and try again – Seattle entrepreneurs need them!

  • Pierce Nichols

    Insufficient demand? LOL. There’s nearly a dozen functioning hacker and maker spaces of various configurations in the Seattle metro area. Compared to their local competition, Makerhaus was expensive, inflexible, and unfriendly. In such an intense competitive environment, that’s fatal.

    • Hal D

      Interesting. Could you name a few to check out?

      • Deb Schumacher

        Metrix Create Space, Jigsaw Renaissance . Heck even Renton is getting one with Frankenstein’s Maker Space

        • Halfrack

          +1 for Metrix – while they don’t have a huge space, they are sustainable, which seems to be the biggest issue. Plus, they’re on the north end of Broadway and are a noon-midnight type operation.

          There was an attempt to franchise the tech lab model and they got a few started, but all in, the costs between rent, tools, and insurance plus employees able to teach a class hasn’t worked out.

        • Hal D

          Thanks for the tips. I’ve used Metrix before – it’s an interesting shop. Actually, I think I took my first electronics class there! I’m going to be needing a wood shop soon, though. I wonder if there’s anything out there to help with that.

          • PMT

            Check out the Pratt Fine Arts Center for a first rate wood shop at a reasonable cost. They just built it a couple of years ago.

  • http://morphingthrough.blogspot.com/ rodica

    I also really liked the idea of the Makerhaus, but the price point seemed a bit off the charts – even for some of their classes. Maybe having a more tiered approach, where the heavy users have a different price structure than the less hardcore makers could have helped.

    Wishing Mike & Ellie the best in their next venture!

  • Hulksmashchop Martin

    I live under 3 miles from the space and have never heard of it…

    • Spruce Cycle

      cuz ur a dum-dum.

  • http://www.batteryr-d.com Boinc Fan

    I appreciated my visit in March 2013. MakerHouse and Metrix:Create Space are in a different league than the low rent Make Spaces.

    Providing a entrepreneurial working environment is risky with a still undeveloped business model for sustainability.

    MakerHouse’s materials library is an impressive concept and worthy of mention.

    Metrix:Create Space has probably the best current model. But still has flaws that also could be terminal.

    While M:CS is at the end of Broadway, neighborhood still not safe from Seattle’s pernicious car prowls. [5/31/2014]

  • http://twitter.com/macartisan macartisan

    Makerhaus membership and single-day ticket prices were far above the neighborhood. $75 for a day ticket can be better spent toward building your own home maker space.

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