E.Louise Larson

Making a Makerspace

 

As Director of Marketing for TechShop, Inc., my responsibilities included the marketing of the company's pivot to managed services. As a single-person department for corporate marketing, I directed and designed all company-wide collateral, which included sales campaigns, brochures, feasibility studies, and market assessments. Before the company closed, I built a website, collateral, marketing strategy, and customer deliverables.


Education Manager

As the Education Manager for TechShop Pittsburgh, I was responsible for managing a department of 40+ contract educators, youth programming, and course development. I also oversaw development and marketing for all education initiatives. 

PROJECT CLASSES

In partnership with the Director of Education, I created promotions for an experimental class targeting millennials, which included rack cards, posters, and a social media campaign. Project classes consisted of interdisciplinary maker experiences. The image above shows a bluetooth speaker with wood housing and laser-cut faceplate.

NEW CLASSES

Makerspaces rely on classes for developing cohesive culture and consistent revenue. As class attendance and membership began to wane, I developed a profit-sharing workshop development program to create new offerings. These offerings expanded entry-level classes for new members and expert-level workshops for existing members. 

Many workshops required specialty equipment and materials. I was responsible for research and procurement of any supporting items. In expanding class offerings and equipment, I saw a growing interest in several new course types. Using member and instructor feedback, I created two of the most used studios: jewelry and blacksmithing.


COURSE CATALOGUE

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In tandem with the creation of more than 30 new classes, I also developed a new marketing strategy. The primary component of this strategy was the company's first course catalogue. This course catalogue included new classes, safety classes, youth programs, and company information. I worked with local photographers, writers, and designers to create the catalogue. Our work served as a template that inspired other TechShop locations to create their own catalogues.

In addition to the course catalogue, I also created the member handbook, welcome documents, a maker residency, and branded apparel.


#MAKERSEASON

As part of a company-wide campaign I organized, #MakerSeason, TechShop, Inc. provided free consultation to new maker or maker-adjacent organizations. We delivered nearly 20 consultations in a one-month period.

This campaign highlighted the diversity of members across locations and expertise. I worked with a photographer and copy writer in the Bay Area store to create images and narratives that could be used across all locations, then partnered with each location to highlight local talent through images and interview.

TechShopServices.com served as a sandbox for the future of TechShop.com. My ultimate vision was to replace TechShop.com with a variation of my Wordpress site. Each location would then be responsible for maintaining their own unique subordinate sites.


Market assessment

As a part of the New Store Development team, I created the deliverables for cities that contracted TechShop for market assessments and feasibility studies. I created this document and template using InDesign. The above is an excerpt of a +200-page document.

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client guidebook

Similarly, the Market Assessments were 8.5" x 11" perfect-bound books delivered to clients upon completion of projects. I used Adobe InDesign to create these documents.

To market the company's post-pivot services, I created several guidebooks. The above excerpt features options for specific services that organizations could contract TechShop to conduct. 

Above is a selection from the Managed Services Guidebook I created for TechShop. This guidebook was distributed as a PDF and physical document to potential clients.

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Youth Education

 

Having worked with many youth organizations, I've taught and helped to develop the following programs:

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  • Assemble Programs - 2012–2013

    • Allegheny Tradition Academy

    • Urban League Of Pittsburgh Charter School

    • Environmental Charter School

    • Gwen's Girls

    • PRYSE Academy

    • Brothers and Sisters Emerging

    • Woodland Hills Elementary

    • Tinker Squad at Ellis School

  • TechShop - 2014–16

    • Design and Build Summer Camp

    • Design and Build After School Program

    • Rec2Tech After School Program

    • Field Trip Instructor

  • Pittsburgh Center for the Arts Teach Artist - 2015–2016

    • Maker Madness

    • Green Screen Superheroes

    • Video Game Design

  • Remake Learning Network Digital Corps - 2014–2016

    • Jeron X Community Center

    • Arsenal Middle School

    • Brand Ambassador to various events, including the World Maker Faire, White House Maker Faire, and Pittsburgh Learning Pathways Summit

 

 
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Sharing Ideas and Public Speaking

 

The following is a list of my most recent workshops and speaking engagements. 

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  • Founder Feedback, Haverford College VCAM Maker Arts Space - 2017

  • Forging Ahead: An Atlantic Forum on Industry & Inclusion, The Atlantic - 2017

  • Google SP–AN - Google, 2017

  • Prototyping For Community Building - 2017

  • Women in Entrepreneurship Dinner - University of Pittsburgh, 2017

  • Resume Review - Prototype PGH, 2017

  • Officiant - Dill & Hall Wedding, 2017

  • Laser Safety & Basic Use - TechShop, 2015–2017

  • 3D Printing Safety & Basic Use - TechShop, 2015–2017

  • Adobe Illustrator for CNC - TechShop, 2015–2017

  • CAD Modeling - TechShop, 2015–2017

  • Maker Educator Professional Development - TechShop, 2015–2017

  • Design Camp - Assemble, 2012

  • Steel City Solutions Conference, MC - 2012

  • AmeriCorps Skill Share - Google Atlanta, 2012

  • Maker Faire Education Conference - Children's Museum, 2015

  • MESS Conference - CMU, 2014

  • White House Maker Faire - Remake Learning Network Brand Ambassador, 2015

  • Pittsburgh Learning Pathways Summit - Remake Learning Network Brand Ambassador, 2015

  • NYC World Maker Faire - Remake Learning Network Brand Ambassador, 2014

 
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A Technology Conference for Nonprofits

 

Steel City Solutions is a one-day conference designed to encourage appropriate technology in Pittsburgh's nonprofit communities.

Local nonprofits will hear from and be heard by some of Pittsburgh’s prominent business representatives, entrepreneurial minds, and community leaders. I expressed these goals in Pop City Media,

"One of our goals is to get nonprofits talking to one another – all sizes of nonprofits – and for nonprofits to be talking to businesses and learn different ways to accomplish their goals."

The Steel City Solutions Conference is brought to you by HandsOn Tech Pittsburgh. HandsOn Tech is an AmeriCorps VISTA team promoting the development of sustainable technology by Pittsburgh nonprofits.

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PERSONAL

Zoo City

Zoo City Apparel is a worker-owned screenprinting collective in Missoula, MT. I was the first employee/owner hired in 2010. My responsibilities included everything from cleaning to design to managing budgets.

 
Outside Zoo City Apparel during local music festival Total Fest, 2011; Photo by Andrew Kemmis; Missoula, MT

Outside Zoo City Apparel during local music festival Total Fest, 2011; Photo by Andrew Kemmis; Missoula, MT

Zoo City Bicentennial Trucker Hats, 2011; Photo by Chris Johnson; Missoula, MT

Zoo City Bicentennial Trucker Hats, 2011; Photo by Chris Johnson; Missoula, MT

Design & Printing

As an employee/owner of Zoo City, I worked with clients to design and print custom apparel. We also carried an in-house line comprised of staff-only contributions. The Zoo City custom line was exclusively sold in our storefront and included hats, hoodies, koozies, T-shirts, youth apparel, and pet apparel. 

Zoo City Modular Stage, 2010; Photo by Chris Johnson; Missoula, MT

Zoo City Modular Stage, 2010; Photo by Chris Johnson; Missoula, MT

Community Space

Zoo City operated out of a downtown storefront and separate printing facility. Our downtown location doubled as a venue for live performances and community events. Because the space was constantly changing, all fixtures were built to be structurally sound and mobile. I designed the above stage to be used for performance and display. The textile "cave" was an installation by Brooklyn-based artist Amanda Bowder. 

PERSONAL

Public Lab

Butte, MT, is a special place. A town out of time, Butte still acts like a mining camp. Most Montanans know Butte for its mining history and undrinkable water. Not dissimilar to Pittsburgh, Butte is undergoing a resurgence.

I moved there to work with a now-defunct artist residency, Scoria. Our first artist was Mathew Lippincott from the Public Laboratory for Open Technology and Science (PLOTS, now Public Lab). Public Lab made Butte a partner site for their programs. 

Public Lab creates DIY environmental monitoring kits anyone can build and use. During Mathews residency in Butte, we built DIY aerial photography rigs to map geo-social change. 

This work was heavily tied into the community. For these maps to provide data over time, citizens had to take an interest. We taught many community rig-building sessions, photo hikes, and meet-ups. Below is a map from the Centerville neighborhood.

 
Butte, Montana Centerville Map, 2011; Map by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Butte, Montana Centerville Map, 2011; Map by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Centerville New Years Symposium, 2011; Photo by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Centerville New Years Symposium, 2011; Photo by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Centerville

On the edges of Butte's open pit mine, Centerville is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Centerville is home to the first Cornish architecture in America. Part of my work with Scoria included the establishment of a community organization in Centerville. This photo is from a New Year's Party where we gathered photos and documents from the historic neighborhood. Attendees ranged in age from 8–100. Older adults pointed out their former neighbors and family members in the photos. One such photo sparked a group sing-along of nearly forgotten neighborhood drinking songs.

Adam Lynn Gallery Show, 2011; Photo by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Adam Lynn Gallery Show, 2011; Photo by Louise Larson; Butte, MT

Scoria

In 2012, the leadership of Scoria transformed the organization into a community art space under a new name. In its original conception as an artist residency, Scoria operated out of an underused historic building. Our goal was to activate this building and surrounding lots. We ran a gallery of local and traveling artists' work and held live performances and community meetings. The above photo is from one of the first First Friday gallery shows. The artist was Montana native Adam Lynn.

Marketing Director at TechShop, Inc.

Managing a small team to execute massive sales on makerspace membership

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Duration
8 weeks

Roles
Manager • Strategist • Content Creator • Brand Manager • Corporate Liason

Techniques + Tools
Wacom Intuos Tablet • Carnegie Mellon Swiss Poster Collection


 

Role

As Director of Marketing for TechShop, Inc., my responsibilities included the messaging of a company pivot, local marketing efforts at 10 US stores, and customer communications. As the sole agent of marketing at a corporate level, I invented and executed at many levels. This included owning company-wide collateral like brochures, social media posts, feasibility studies, and market assessments. I also had many UX responsibilities like website wire-framing, user flows, content creation, and brand management. Prior to my roles as Director of Marketing, I was the Senior Manager of Creative Media where I held many of the same responsibilities.

Licensing and managed services

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In 2016 TechShop had announced a pivot that would shift the focus of the core business to licensing and managed services.

As part of new store development, I worked on a small executive team to assess and design market surveys for corporations, cities, and real estate developers. We accomplished the delivery of four surveys in major North American markets.

As the only designer on the team I was responsible for the wireframes, layout, photography, data visualization, printing, and some content for these deliverables.

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The bulk of this work was designing and managing the +200-page market assessment documents. These documents included market plans, site surveys, design specifications, operational procedures, and detailed location assessments. These images are a sampling of the documents.

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#MAKERSEASON

In my role as Director of Marketing, I organization #MakerSeason, a company-wide campaign that resulted in 20 consultations within the first month. During this campaign, TechShop, Inc. provided free consultation to new maker or maker-adjacent organizations. These consultations created warm leads for future managed service clients.

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This campaign also highlighted the diversity of members across locations and expertise. I worked with a photographer and copywriter at our Bay Area store to develop member profiles to seed the effort. Each location added local flavor to the campaign by highlighting local talent through images and interviews.

Project Classes

In partnership with the Director of Education, I created promotions for experimental classes geared toward millennials. These hands-on projects were delivered step-by-step in an immersive maker experience. One of the most popular classes was a guided journey through the process of woodworking and electronics in order to make a mid-century modern inspired bluetooth speaker.

Branding

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One of my major goals as Director of Marketing was to create a vibrant visual identity that featured the range of makers and talent across the membership. The logo and website were created and managed by the founding team, so my efforts were focused on new store development collateral, in-store marketing, member experience, and wireframes for the second iteration of the website.

To assist stores in local marketing efforts, I created a media library of quality photography that showcases many different kinds of members. All photography on this page was created at my direction. Below is a photograph used as the background to TechShop’s booth at the World Maker Faire.

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