Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Jaret Slipp is YuKonstruct and (co)space’s new Executive Director and Financial Sustainability Manager. Please come out and meet Jaret at the BBQ we are hosting on August 24 at YuKonstruct’s makerspace.
How and why did you get involved with YuKonstruct?
Jaret: I joined through (co)space right at the beginning of the co-working space. I have always wanted to join the maker space, but hadn’t made the move, but when (co)space was in the works, it was just what I needed: a place to work and feel a part of a community of movers and shakers. I tried it out for a month and really liked the casual yet professional and inspiring feel of the place. The more I connected and got involved with site moderation and learning more about YuKonstruct, the more I wanted to keep being a part of this energy.
What do you like most about YuKonstruct being up and running?
Jaret: I like that the organization is a conduit to draw Yukon talent out of the woodwork and to connect us into a self-fulfilling community. The Yukon is a small community, but we have a high density of talented individuals combined with a culture of creativity and and a “can-do” attitude. I think YuKonstruct is a perfect platform to just give that extra little support and advantage to people with ideas to take things to the next level, what ever that may be. If we are all taking something to the next level, that is good for the Yukon community, economy, and all of our well-being.
What do you think will be YuKonstruct’s biggest challenge?
Jaret: A topic that is at the core of my new role at YuKonstruct is the need to transition from start-up capital to sustainable revenue streams. We will need to find a balance of self-generated income, private sponsorship, and government and project grants. Balance and sustainability, while staying true to our core mission and purpose will be a key challenge in the near future.
Also, peripheral to this, but relevant to increasing sustainability, is going to be the challenge of growing awareness and understanding of our amazing resources in this community. We will need to evolve and continue to offer relevant programming to makers and entrepreneurs of all types, while communicating success stories and showcasing the value and impact of Yukonstruct and (co)space as social and economic assets. This is going to take collective action by the entire YuKonstruct community.
What advice do you have for other makers or entrepreneurs in the Yukon?
Take your idea and make a prototype, just do it, and show it, don’t be shy, share it get feedback and reiterate. This includes business ideas: get out of the idea stage, get out of letting it stew in your head. Things will move faster and better if you throw it on the table and say “what do you think folks?”
What are you working on now?
Jaret: I am building a lot in a new house we moved into, and my current project is to join two raw-edge slabs of Tagish Lake spruce drift wood I got from rustic north into a L-shaped bar top. I will likely use iron piping for supports – I am going for an industrial piping look with raw bark edges on the wood counter top. Hope it turns out well, it will be a central part of our kitchen.