Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Ashely is our new Operations Assistant.

Why did you join Yukonstruct?

I joined Yukonstruct because there is so much opportunity! I love learning and trying new things, so having the opportunity to do that while working as an operations assistant feels perfect for me.

What do you like to make?

I love making jam and friends. I like making mitts, slippers, and jewelry when I have the patience for it! It is so rewarding to work with fur and leather but it isn’t always the easiest.

What do you want to build at Yukonstruct?

I’m interested in the metal shop! I’ve never tried working with metal before and I’d love to learn how. I think it would be so cool to make an ulu, just like my Ittuq (grandfather) used to. I have a few uluit that he made for my anaana (mother), and she gave them to me as a gift a few years ago.

What inspires you?

My culture inspires me most. I try to incorporate Inuit values in my art and ways of doing, which makes it even more fun to share with others.

What do you like the most in the space? Why?

I love the wide range of makers, entrepreneurs, and handypersons! Having these skills in a concentrated space allows for so much creativity so I’m looking forward to getting to know the folks that create this ambitious environment.

Meet the Team: Josephine

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Josephine is our new Events Coordinator.

 Why did you join Yukonstruct?

My desire to join Yukonstruct was as a result of Yukonstructs’ vision to empower Yukoners to bring their ideas to life in a creative and innovative way. Giving back and community development is a significant part of my personal values and career. I was excited that an organization values the community as much as I do. It was an opportunity for me to contribute to an exciting, fast-moving organization.

What do you like most about Yukonstruct (Cospace /Makespace / Launchspace) being up and running?

I love the fact that creativity innovation and ideas all meet at one place. Yukonstruct to me, is like the thumb you can’t make a knot without it. We don’t just provide you a space to work but also provide support for your business development when you need one!

Why should people become Yukonstruct members?

Even if you are not creative, being in the company of creative minds makes you one. You will not know how creative you are until you walk into our makespace. You will be amazed at the ideas that will run through your mind.

What do you like to make?

I love to bake bread and pie. I am not a pro yet but something good enough to make you ask for more. 

What do you want to build at Yukonstruct?

I want to make a matching shirt for my husband and son.

What inspires you?

Learning new things. The more makers I meet, the more I want to build something and the more confident I get looking at the resources (both human and equipment) available.

What do you like the most in the space? Why?

The entire community that comes with the space. It’s a great feeling knowing that when I need support in making/building something and I get stuck as a beginner,  there will always be someone to give me a hand.

Meet our Members: Erin Holm of Den Designs

Erin Holm is one of our lovely Makespace members who encompasses so much what Yukonstruct aims to support. A maker and an entrepreneur, she makes beautiful art and home décor pieces for her business, Den Designs, in our Makespace.

Here she shares some of her thoughts and experiences of being a Yukonstruct member, an artist, and an entrepreneur.

Why did you join Yukonstruct?

I was working out of a great shop in Saskatoon before moving up, really enjoying the community and shared space environment. Particularly because Den Designs was my only job before moving to the Yukon, and I lacked an office or work social life. I had heard great things were happening up in the Yukon and could not wait to check out Yukonstruct. I think I toured the space day 2 of being in the Yukon and Lana sold me on it instantly – signed up right then and there! Yukonstruct is an impressive space with lovely, helpful people in a positive and supportive environment.

What has been your favourite project so far?

Wood prints using my own photography is the main focus of my business and my primary income for the business. When I had more space and a backyard, I loved making industrial and wood tables using a mixture of plumbing pipes and reclaimed wood. Working out of Yukonstruct and seeing what others are making, I now know that once I have some more time freed up, I can get back into making these larger items and am really looking forward to it!

What advice do you have for other makers in the Yukon?

I am new to the Yukon so cannot speak directly to this market yet, but, I would say that any maker really needs to be open to learning from others. Mentorship is key! I have been very fortunate in my life to have gone to school with, and connected with, other entrepreneurs along the way. It is great to hear from others’ experience and gleam knowledge where you can. So far, I can tell that the Yukon is a unique place, filled with very talented makers, artists, and entrepreneurs alike. I feel very blessed to be here and cannot wait to meet like-minded folks and explore collaboration and partnership opportunities.

What inspires you to make things?

I started Den Designs in 2017, following the loss of my father Dennis to a rare cancer. He had given me his hand tools and I used them to create these prints and other home decor pieces as a means of coping with the grief during the time I spent caring for him while he was sick. After he passed, I continued to create these prints and other artful pieces using my own photography and designs and selling them to friends and other folks. Within the first year, my art was sold at 10 retail locations, now going into my third year of business, you can find Den Designs in over 25 retail locations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, and now the Yukon. We donate 10% of every sale to western Canadian cancer patient lodges, supporting those undergoing cancer treatment in honour and in memory of my later father, Dennis.

What are you working on now?

Den Designs is business as usual, I work most evenings and weekends at Yukonstruct to create prints for my retailers and other customers. And this summer, our first ever storefront is opening at Carcross Commons and we cannot wait to share the space with Yukon Built! We are very busy prepping for a very busy summer ahead! Come on down to our shop this summer, located right beside the Bistro!


Meet the Makers: Jeramy

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Jeramy is our new Operations Assistant.

How did you get involved with Yukonstruct? 

I really wanted to make a titanium ring and found out that there was a metal lathe on site. Logan gave me a crash course on the metal lathe and a week later I was turning my first titanium ring, which I still own and wear.

What is your role at Yukonstruct?

As an operations assistant I work at the front desk greeting people, giving tours of the facilities, signing up new members and helping existing members. I will also be helping keep things clean and running smoothly.

Why should people become MakeSpace or CoSpace members?

I have met many amazing people here, was able to collaborate on projects, get feedback on things I was making and advice when I started my business. It is also a great place to test the waters, try things out that you’re not sure or confident about, and use as a launch pad to the next step.

What inspires you to make things?

Honestly, sometimes making things is my greatest inspiration. I will get into my workshop, or the Makespace, and start a project – half way through I will have an idea sparked by the process or material I am using and either write it down for later or start on it right away.

What has been your favourite project so far?

A steak knife that I forged out of titanium with the induction forge and anodized blue and purple in the Hackerspace. The knife I made is terrible but it taught me so much about the forging process, titanium itself, and anodizing.

What do you like about this organization?

The community of makers and entrepreneurs it has built and is building! The stories, the mentorship, the amazing ideas that come from these people and are helping shape Whitehorse and the Yukon territories future.


Meet the Makers: Claire

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Claire is our new Events and Office Coordinator.


How did you get involved with Yukonstruct?

I am happy to join the Yukonstruct team as the Events and Office Coordinator. I look forward to contributing to this vibrant environment and to supporting our dynamic, hardworking community.

Why should people become Yukonstruct members?

This is a unique space that is friendly to both beginner and more advanced creators. If you are new to dabbling in the realm of the creative, Yukonstruct is an amazing place to bump shoulders with Makers who will spark and support your creativity. For the more advanced, Yukonstruct not only provides the equipment you need to build, but also a platform to share your skills and expertise.

What do you like to make?

I like to make food, bread, and friends! It’s good that these three things tend to go quite well together. I would love to spend some time in the woodshop now that I have access. I’m dying for some beautiful planters for an herb garden.

What advice do you have for other makers in the Yukon?

Don’t be afraid to try something new and be open to learning. There is always someone with something to teach if you let them.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while making something?

I have made my fair share of Kombucha geysers; a smelly mistake. I have also failed embarrassingly when I attempted to build a pallet-bed – I still can’t believe I was defeated by a Pinterest-inspired dream. The point is, it’s important to remember that a project rarely turns out the way you intend, and that’s okay.

Meet the Makers: William

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. William is our new Launchspace Director. 


Why did you join Yukonstruct

I have been an entrepreneur for the past 6 years and I was looking for an organization and a role where I could add value. I came across Yukonstruct, read about cospace, makespace, the people, the stories, and I knew immediately I had found what I was looking for. Entrepreneurs seize opportunities and that is what I did, the rest is history in the making.
William, what’s your role at Yukonstruct?
I’m the new Launchspace Director. My role currently involves working with various partners in creating a new program that will help support Entrepreneurs turn their ideas into sustainable businesses. At the same time, I am looking for ways existing businesses can benefit from the creative ideas coming out of Yukonstruct. I recognize there is more to the Yukon than Whitehorse and I will work hard to expand our reach and extend our support to other parts of the territory.
What do you like most about Yukonstruct and sub – brands being up and running?
Putting cospace and makespace side by side was a great idea. I love how the space was designed to fit everyone and with everyone in mind.  It is a place for established companies, software based businesses and professionals, hardware and more recently for young entrepreneurs, kudos to all volunteers and the people who made this possible.
Why should people become Yukonstruct members?
Humans are social beings and people thrive on social interaction. At Yukonstruct you get so much more than a desk and a cup of coffee, you immediately become part of a powerful community, where you get access to human capital and talent, equipment, training, knowledge… Being a Yukonstruct member is worth every penny.
What do you like to make?
I’d like to make a crib for my son, or at the very least a toy one 🙂

Meet the Makers: Amy

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Amy is a freelance journalist, a writer, a jewelry designer and our newest Operations Assistant!

Amy, why did you join YuKonstruct?

I got a tour from a friend because I was interested in becoming a member. At the same time, I was looking to leave my full-time job for a part-time one when the part-time operations assistant position came up. I applied, had a great interview and got a really good vibe from the place and people.

What do you like most about Yukonstruct and sub-brands being up and running?

Tool and space-sharing like this just makes so much sense to me. It’s way more efficient and affordable.

I’m also a huge fan of projects that come out of collaborations between people working in different disciplines (musicians working with illustrators, ie: Christine Fellows and Shary Boyle, or the Interactive Digital Media Incubator at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, which used to connect fine artists with tech experts in software development and gaming to help facilitate the creation of interactive gallery installations), so I’m excited to see what kind of cross-pollination comes out of people working across different media in the same space.

What do you like to make?

I do leatherwork and also work as a silversmith. A lot of the jewelry and accessories I sell are small and simple, but what I love most is working on bigger, sculptural pieces – necklaces that might as well be armour, or wallets/purses/packs that wrap around your hips and leg like you’re a gunslinger. I like the things I make to have a narrative element, even if that narrative is only obvious to me. I think this owes partly to the fact that the things I most like to make are stories (I’ve been a journalist for about 13 years and am currently finishing a master of fine arts in creative writing).

Why should people become Yukonstruct members?

1) Dog pats are on point.

2) I think one of the most important elements in fostering your own creativity is surrounding yourself with other creative people. You feed off each other’s energy, even if you’re doing completely different things. That’s definitely something you feel here.

3) When I first quit my day job to focus on freelance life (journalism and jewelry), I spent two months looking for the perfect robe because it was going to be my new “work uniform.” That robe consumed me like the Ring consumed Gollum. I borderline refused to leave the house because it meant ditching the robe and putting on real clothes. Cospace/Makespace offers a built-in community that not only guards against that kind of abject slothfulness, it guards against the related isolation and tunnel vision that can accompany the freelance/entrepreneur lifestyle. Here, there’s always someone to chat with at lunch or bounce ideas off of over coffee or just take a break and joke around with. Sometimes those conversations can also lead to work – you can find yourself getting hired for your particular expertise, or you might find the perfect person to hire yourself.

What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on my thesis, which is a novel. I’m also working on re-branding my jewelry line, complete with a new name, website, and logo. (which was actually designed by another Cospace member.)

Meet the Makers: Rick

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Rick spent ten years as a programmer, designer, and project manager at an indie game studio, working with a small team of artists and programmers on an engine built from scratch using nothing but C++, DirectX, and passion. His other passions include traditional woodworking, electronics, leather working, and chocolate making.

Rick, what’s your role at Yukonstruct?

I’m the new program coordinator, so my role will be to expand programming throughout the space, whether that means designing workshops for members, orientations for some of our more complicated tools, or bringing school kids in to give them access to this amazing resource.

How did you get involved with Yukonstruct?

When my partner and I moved to Whitehorse, she needed some office space and discovered (co)space. Through that, we found Yukonstruct. This was when Yukonstruct was still on Industrial Rd, and when I heard they were moving, I thought volunteering sounded like a great way to learn about the space and get to know everyone, and I wasn’t disappointed! I found an instant community of creative, talented people here, and it was very easy to get attached to them! I just kept finding more and more ways to get involved, and now I’m delighted to officially be part of the team!

What do you like most about NorthLight Innovation being up and running?

The community is amazing. They exactly my kind of people. When I lived down south, I ran an indie video game company for a while, and then helped a friend start a home renovation company, and when I told people what my background was, they were baffled. “Those things sound as far apart as you can possibly get”, they’d say. But I didn’t see it that way. I just like making things. All things, no matter whether it’s on the computer, in the shop, or in the kitchen. And when I met everyone at Yukonstruct, they didn’t give me that baffled response. They simply replied “You’ll fit in perfectly here.”

What do you like to make?

Everything. I like woodworking, metalworking, 3D printing, sewing, programming, bookbinding, leather working, mould making, baking, chocolate making, glass blowing, there’s no end to it. And this place ticks so many of those boxes, it’s pretty mind blowing how perfect it feels.

What’s the funniest thing that’s happened to you while making something?

Well, my friends often tease me for my obsession with “bootstrapping”. Several years ago I got interested in traditional woodworking, and what are the most important tools for woodworking? A saw and a workbench. So, of course, made a saw and a workbench, and I started rebuilding whatever antique tools found their way into my hands. Then I wanted to build a tool chest, but the various work holding techniques I cobbled together weren’t sufficient for that. I needed a vise. But I didn’t want to just go out and buy one, I wanted to build one! So I needed tap and die… or I could build a traditional screw box and carpenter’s tap! But to build those, I’d need proper tool blades, so, of course, I started studying how to make those! And then, and then, and then…

As you might have guessed, I haven’t gotten around to making the tool chest yet.

Meet the Makers: Ulrich

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our community. Ulrich is our new Operations Assistant. 

Ulrich, what’s your role at Yukonstruct?
I just joined the YuKonstruct Makerspace Society again this October as one of their Operations Assistants. I’m excited to support members in developing their ideas here as well as doing my part to make sure everybody can use the facilities and tackle their projects as hoped.

How did you get involved with YuKonstruct?
I had an interest in YuKonstruct since they started. I didn’t officially join until they needed new woodshop instructors at some point, which I was interested in becoming. Along with giving monthly woodshop instructions from May 2017 to May 2018 I worked on lots of projects and learned new skills from courses and members. My main motivation to join YuKonstruct was to expand my skill set. It was the best place near and far to do that thanks to the amazing community with so many talented people!

What do you like most about NorthLight Innovation being up and running?
NorthLight Innovation is a place with so many great resources, workspaces, members and staff. I like how easily people can join and get started on realizing their ideas without having to put a lot of money and effort into infrastructure. I appreciate how the sharing of resources enables us to use tools and workspaces we could hardly access independently.

What do you like to make?
I keep coming up with new ideas. I am trained in boat building which is a versatile trade to start off with. Building things is my greatest joy and I come up with new ideas all the time. Most of them are of functional manner because most things you can buy at a store don’t quite fit individual situations or needs. The skills I was able to add to my repertoire at YuKonstruct expanded my ability to build increasingly more complex things. The best project I built at YuKonstruct to date was a welded barbecue setup for a campfire that hangs from a tripod and is height adjustable and able to cook food for up to 10 people at a time. Welding is a trade I learned exclusively at YuKonstruct.

Why should people become MakeSpace or CoSpace members?
Have an idea and need the right tools or a reliable office space? This is the place to experiment and start out, along with so many creative people who can support you along the way. We’ll make sure we hear your ideas and lead you into the right direction in our space. I’ll enjoy to support you in getting set up so you are ready to tackle your project or business idea in no time.

Meet the Makers: Torey

Meet the Makers is a series of interviews to help you get to know the people who are building our makerspace.
Torey Hampson is our new Makerspace Assistant. We’re excited to add her enthusiasm and engagement to our team!

Torey, how did you get involved with YuKonstruct/cospace?

I lived in several different provinces before moving to the Yukon Territory, and worked with various D.I.Y. bicycle. When I first signed up to volunteer with YuKonstruct I was looking for work within a skill-sharing system and hoped to assist others in pursuing new learnings. I ended up applying for the Operations Assistant position, and am now just beginning my work with YuKonstruct and cospace!

Why should people become YuKonstruct members?

To discover all the new skills you can learn, or sharpen what you already know. It’s a chance to meet active doers and potentially collaborate. It gives you the space, physical and otherwise, to try new things and attempt new projects. You also have the opportunity to both support and be supported by other makers.

What do you like to make?

Frittatas and bicycles. Both don’t always come out the way I imagine. It’s all a process, and I look forward to broadening my “maker” abilities.

What do you want to build at YuKonstruct?

Community! The continued development of a strong sense of community for all our members. I hope to play a role in ensuring YuKonstruct and (co)space are welcoming, fun, and engaging places to be. I want everyone to have the opportunity to learn and connect through workshops, volunteering, and utilizing the spaces.

What inspires you to make things?

The challenge of discomfort. My craftsmanship skills are still limited, and every opportunity to make things is a chance to challenge my discomfort of the unknown. It can be hard to do something you’re not good at, but it can also bring a lot of personal growth. Learning can be messy, and also a lot of fun!

What are you working on now?

I would like to build some simple wooden furniture, maybe stools and side tables. Perhaps I can even do some decorating of table tops with the wood cutter… I’ll find out in my Wood Cutter 101 Workshop next week!