Ed note: This story is a re-post from Makezine.com, MAKE magazine’s blog.
MakerBot has a retail store in Manhattan. And UPS is testing in-store 3DPrinting services in five locations. But how many neighborhoods or Main Streets have a small-biz, 3D printing/digital fabrication retail store? One that not only prints but teaches classes and sells printers?
The answer is… not very many. According to MAKE contributing editor, Anna Kaziunas France, there is Deezmaker in Pasadena; The Color Company and iMakr in London; =The 3D Printing Store in Denver; and the GetPrinting3D Retail Store in Evanston. And through this post we found out about iGo3D in Oldenberg, Germany.
As of yesterday, HoneyBee3D in the Montclair district of Oakland, Calif. can be added to this list. Husband and wife team Liza Wallach and Nick Kloski are offering classes, printing, rapid prototyping, and they are a distributor for TypeA Machines.
Liza actually has had this storefront since 2003, running her successful jewelry line and store, LizaSonia Designs, out of the space. Nick is an Engilsh major who rolled into the tech industry during the dot-com boom, doing 15+ years between Sun Microsystems and Oracle.
Knowing their background, It makes sense then that the two of them might have aspirations beyond the “Mayberry” of Oakland. The HoneyBee3D website says that six more retail stores are planned for 2014.
The store is simple, uncluttered, and calm in feel. There are wood desks and a ceiling-mounted computer screen that can be pivoted out the display window, or inside the store for teaching purposes. When I arrived Nick was winding down a good conversation with a dad and two post-game soccer boys, and three TypeA Machines were printing away.
Montclair feels like a 60s throwback main street-as-shopping-village. It’s up in the Oakland hills. It is full of small businesses and is still supporting two or three bookstores. There is frozen yogurt, coffee, dentistry, sporting goods, shoes, kitchen tools, dry cleaning. Lots and lots and lots of families, and a good number of seniors. Not “hip” in the least (the foodies and fixies are <em>not</em> in Montclair). So it’s an interesting and telling choice for a store selling 3D printers.
Welcome HoneyBee3D! We’re very curious to know how it will go; please keep in touch!
Visit with HoneyBee3D at their store in Montclair, or come meet them at the East Bay Mini Maker Faire on October 20th.