First thing: trying to work out a name for the 826-inspired project I’m trying to help get off the ground. Ideas? I’ve been in touch with someone at 826 National and though they were encouraging, they said that they’re not open to new chapters just now – this was always going to a long shot, and just another in the possible ideas we had, but it’s good to know now that the project has to emerge from a UK community, and that should be the focus.
On that front, Anna has written an excellent post on some logistical issues, and suggests starting up a collaborative blog for people interested to get together and share ideas. Transferring this to some kind of PubCamp as Alan suggested post-Bookcamp would be helpful too, but a blog is the place to start I think, to start making connections and ideas.
She hits on something I’ve been worrying about, that the idea of establishing a shop is too daunting right now – the better way to go about it might be to start small, pop-up projects, get stalls at maker fairs, that kind of thing. If people want it to happen, and can devote time to helping out, then it will. As Anna said:
One thing I’ve been learning is that it’s better to start small and have something to show, than to wait for someone to bring you something big.
So what form would this take? One thing I’ve been thinking about is maybe putting together kits for kids to do Learning to Love You More-type projects, and creating spaces online for them to share this work. This seems like it could be a good way to really get them engaged with practical making, and would suit a market-stall type environment. Pop-up stall to give them advice and help them with the tasks? Expanded tasks at museum-type events?