Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace. Lana is our new Operations Director. She is passionate about creativity, community and entrepreneurship. Her first startup experience was launching a retail boutique and community art gallery in Calgary, AB. Since then she has consulted for many startups, nonprofits and community organizations, helping them grow and support their members.
Lana, what’s your role at Yukonstruct?
I’m thrilled to join the Yukonstruct and (co)space team as the new operations director. I’m looking forward to supporting this dynamic and super creative team in the daily operations of both spaces, and working hard to ensure we are supporting our awesome members, staff and volunteers with the best experience possible!
What do you like about this organization?
Yukonstruct and (co)space are incredible spaces that truly serve those who think outside of the box; whether you are a maker, an entrepreneur, an artist or all of the above. Spaces that foster connection and skill development are so important. The people in this community are creative, they are problem solvers and DIYers, they are committed to building things, to building community, to building ideas and businesses, and to building a more inspiring place for all of us to live, and I love that.
What are you excited about bringing to the community?
I’m really excited to be a part of this community, and I’m looking forward to all of the inspiring people I’m going to meet! As an artist and an entrepreneur, I love to challenge things and ask a lot of questions. It turns out that this can be really helpful in designing systems and processes for organizations that truly meet the needs of everyone involved. So I’m happy to bring that skill, as well as many years of experience in developing businesses, and creating exceptional member experiences for member-based organizations. I also love all ideas, the more impossible the better.
What advice do you have for other makers or entrepreneurs in the Yukon?
I think it is so important to surround yourself with a strong community of like-minded people. It’s not always easy to bring an idea or project to life, and having people around that can help you develop your skills, or just encourage you to keep going when you feel stuck is invaluable. Don’t try to do it all on your own. I’ve been there before- and trust me, it’s so much better to have the support and the resources of a community. So much better.
What are you working on now?
Well, many years and many startups later I finally decided to do a bit of school! So I’m currently working on finishing an MBA in Community Economic Development. It’s been really exciting to be able to complete this program here in Whitehorse. I was inspired to take an MBA to further develop my ability to support incredible organizations that work hard to build community, like Yukonstruct! When I’m done this program, I can’t wait to build a bunch of canvases at Yukonstruct and break out my dusty acrylic paints!