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Charlie Swan

I started my small business (with no real capital) around 2010. 

It turns out I was built for entrepreneurship which takes a lot of grit, determination and self-motivation. I wanted to see how big I could grow a business built from basically nothing other than a dream of having full autonomy over my work life and income.

It’s a tough road, being an entrepreneur, even if you start with some basic capital! The long hours, the isolation and lack of personal life, the massive learning curves, the highs and lows of things going right or very very wrong. Looking back, my journey would have been that much easier if I’d known about Made In Workshop sooner.

I had a life-changing event happen in November of 2019 but it took about two months of nagging on Henry Levine’s part to get me there. In about August I was sent a fb friend request which I accepted after a few days. I was then approached by Henry via messenger to come through for a tour of his workshop. I was busy prepping for the madness that was Comic Con 2019 so I simply did not have the time.

When I eventually had a chance to tour the old workshop in November I was absolutely blown away! What an incredible concept! A maker space with every possible machine and tool anyone might need to make absolutely anything. And here was a man with an entirely different vision to assist small businesses like mine and take them to the next level. I would have no need of my own workshop or trying to come up with the funding to buy the big machines I needed.

I jumped at the offer to be an instructor because I could immediately see the win/win of the situation – a mutually beneficial concept. But I actually had no idea at the time how vast that benefit would be to me.

I have become part of one of the most incredible local communities with a huge pool of knowledge at my disposal. My skill set has improved and the scope of my own business has grown vastly bigger. The members who have already joined us are always happy to help and share their knowledge, regardless of what you’re trying to make. 

I’ve also been given the opportunity to pass on my own skills by teaching them here. There is no need for my own studio any more along with the isolation that came with that. I also sometimes get the additional entertainment value of Henry taking an angle grinder to things – although I’ve made him promise not to grind off any more locks before first trying to find the key (that HE has lost)!

I am now very proudly the facilities manager of this amazing place. We have a workshop almost 6 times bigger (1800 square metres) than the old one (307 square metres) and some really fabulous large machines. I am always happy to give tours of the place so if you have a small business, side hustle or you’re trying to cut down on your business overheads please come through for a delicious cappuccino in our new coffee shop and discuss how best we can help you and make the path to your success that little bit easier.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks so much for the tour today. So happy you have found your calling. Very proud of you.

    Thank you Charlie for all your hard work and friendship over the years. Here is to many more weird and wonderful projects!

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