Are you handy with a hammer and a saw, but just don’t have the right tools or the space to work on a woodworking project?
Well, take a look at Framework Studios, a newly opened shared woodworking studio that is a fully equipped workshop with all the machinery and workbenches that you will ever need.
Sean Livingstone and Morrah Jakubiec have partnered in this new venture that is unique to Barrie. Their mission is “to grow the woodworking community and provide opportunity for woodworkers and small businesses to succeed.”
The business model is membership-based where clients sign up for many of the plans on offer that are tailored to different needs and skill sets, as well as timeframes.
“Different tiers of membership is available, depending on people’s needs," Livingstone tells BarrieToday. "We have all of the woodworking machinery that anyone could need to do any kind of furniture or cabinet making."
Flexibility is their aim.
Whether you’re an early riser or a night owl, there's 24-hour access to the shop and its equipment.
Livingstone owns a cabinet business, which originally started in his basement and garage, and this new venture is his first push into a commercial space.
“The idea came about around a year ago,” he says.
Jakubiec, meanwhile, is a cabinetmaker by trade and works with Livingstone in the cabinet business.
They’ve been “beating a path” to get to this point with their business and charting new territory.
Jakubiec calls it “flying the plane while building it.”
Their membership-based platform is now in use and “people are loving it,” she says. "We’ve signed up people already, some daily, some monthly.”
The grand opening is slated for Saturday May 27. The studio is located at 317 Saunders Rd., Unit 2, in south-end Barrie.
And you don’t have to be handy to be able to join. Ongoing woodworking classes began on May 15 for those that have never touched tools or machines before.
They also offer one-on-one classes for the novice or the pro, with whatever skill that is needed to be learned when it comes to completing a project.
And if space is an issue for you, they have thought of that, too.
“One thing that people reach out to us for is project storage,” says Jakubiec, “so when you are here and you are building, you don’t have to take your dining room table project that you’re working on home every night.”
“We are trying to focus on the type of member who would appreciate being able to build larger projects, where they can leave something like a dining table here for a week while they are working on it,” says Livingstone.
The membership concept is new to the area.
“There aren’t many. I know of maybe two others in Ontario, one out in Ottawa and one in London. They are very few and far between,” Livingstone says. “I know that there are a couple of maker-spaces in the greater area that’s very hobbyist oriented where you have to clean up and take everything with you at the end of the day.
“We want to see other small businesses succeed, and starting as a small business ourselves, we know the struggles. Just the machinery alone, no one can afford to house all of this stuff in a small basement or a garage workshop,” he adds.
Supplying materials is also part of the business plan.
“We have lumber here as well, live-edge slabs and dimensional lumber for sale, and sandpaper and glue, and more,” says Livingstone.
“Members create an account when they join us, so they can just pay for things right on their account, we don’t even have to be here, so at 2 a.m., if they need more sandpaper, they just throw that in their cart, grab some off the wall, and away they go,” he adds.
The pair's favourite part of the operation so far, now that it is underway, has been “meeting all the new woodworkers that come in the door,” says Livingstone.
“Everyone has a unique story of how they got into woodworking, how they ended up here today, and it’s just inspiring to see some of these people’s journeys. It’s rewarding to know that we are helping them create the next chapter in their woodworking careers,” he says.
For more details, visit their website at www.frameworkstudios.ca.