Student entrepreneurs display handmade creations

Andrew Salaiza, junior studio art major, works on electronics in his handmade Spider-Man mask Wednesday at the Mini Maker Fair on the Citrus Lawn. The electronics make the eyes of the mask light up. / photo by Nareg Agopian
Andrew Salaiza, junior studio art major, works on electronics in his handmade Spider-Man mask Wednesday at the Mini Maker Fair on the Citrus Lawn. The electronics make the eyes of the mask light up. / photo by Nareg Agopian

Kael Matias
Staff Writer

Students of many backgrounds showcased and, for the first time, sold their creations at the Mini Maker Fair on the Citrus Lawn on Wednesday at noon.

From jewelry to terrariums, students made a variety of items on their own to sell and showcase to the community. 

This event was organized by Amy Jiang, Head of Emerging Technology and Digital Initiatives, who also runs the Wilson Library’s Makerspace.

“The Makerspace is a place for creativity, innovation, and for the spirit of entrepreneurship,” Jiang said. “We’ve run the maker fair many times, but this is the first time we started to think, ‘Can we have our students not only showcase their creativity, but also sell their makings.”

The makerspace is a place for all students to create and innovate whatever they please. It is home to cutting edge technology for students to use for their creations. The makerspace has technology from 3D Printing to Virtual Reality.

“We have 3D Printers, laser cutters, virtual reality, we have a lot of innovative technology tools there,” Jiang said. “We welcome students to use it to create many fun projects out of it.”

The use of the makerspace is affordable for anyone that uses it. Students who come to the makerspace for academic related projects can create free of charge. The maximum charge for personal projects is $15.

Those who are unfamiliar with the technology can get assistance with their projects. The Wilson Library Makerspace also hosts workshops on creating projects throughout the semester and summer.

Among the presenters were Jayla Scott, a junior studio art major, who works at the makerspace. As studio art major, she found that this fair was a great learning experience for her down the line.

“I mostly help with customer orders, but when it’s downtime, I create my own personal projects,” Scott said. “I want to be an artist when I graduate and this maker fair is a good stepping stone.”

Using the resources provided by the makerspace, she made stickers and 3D printed embellishments for her painting.

Right next to Scott was Katelyn Graham, a sophomore psychology major, who showcased her laser cut dice holder, a resin printed porcupine, and 3D printed figures. Much of her works were personal projects and could not sell due to her attachment to the figures.

“I would sell any of it, but I love it all too much, I don’t want to give it away,” Graham said.

In the spirit of entrepreneurship, some students also presented a variety of products they made on their own. Paulina Day, a graduate student, sold items like crocheted octopi and goat’s milk soap.

Day also finds it very therapeutic when making her projects.

“My mind shuts off and I just get to think about nothing and be in the zone, it’s the best,” Day said.

The maker fair is unique because it is the first and only event where students can essentially become a small business owner. Jiang believes that this event could inspire other students to create and become entrepreneurs.

“We want to have a place for students to come together and show what they can do, because they could inspire other students,” Jiang said. “Right now, with the technology advancements, anything is possible.”

Kael Matias can be reached at kael.matias@laverne.edu.

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