Meet the Maker: Barbara Simoes [sponsored content]

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Maker: Barbara Simoes, East Middlebury

How did you find out about the makerspace?
A tool training workshop was listed on Front Porch Forum. Four women took tool training that night and we felt intimidated at the start. A er two hours we all felt capable and empowered.

Why do you enjoy coming to The Makery?
I’ve had plenty of 1:1 me with a mentor, so questions and help were readily available. I love that I don’t have to buy and set up a woodshop at home. Industrial and professional grade tools of every sort are available for use.

What project did you work on?
I make enamel earrings and sell them at craft shows. Working from a picture I found on Pinterest and adapting along the way, I created two double-panel hinged cases that hold over 350 pairs of earrings. I’ve been using a metal grid system that was heavy and awkward. I had to assemble and disassemble; and put on and take off all the earrings at the beginning and end of every show which added so much me to my day. I was amazed at how easy the new cases made setup.

Have you needed help from mentors?
Oh my, yes! I could not have done it without help from Mark W. I was having trouble getting the hang of the power drill to drive in screws that held the frame to the case. He reminded me that I needed to push on the drill. It seems that with most tools, you let the tool do the work, so it went against my way of thinking, but what a difference! Mark introduced me to the router, which made construction possible. I just can’t say enough about how grateful I am for the skills and confidence I’ve gained.

What would you say to people who might be interested in using The Makery?
Do it! What would you be doing if you weren’t there? I’d probably be in front of the TV. It’s much more exciting to be creating and building a functional item that will last and that you will look at with pride and satisfaction!

Say a few words about how this space is an asset to the community:
The Makery is there, and they do such a fine job of promoting it, inviting the community in to use it, and they offer world- class mentors. If you have any interest in building or creating something and don’t know where to start, this is such a great opportunity—you’ll be supported and given the help you need to accomplish your project.

The Makery is a member-based Makerspace collaborative for people to imagine, experiment, network, collaborate and create for personal and professional growth. We operate within the Adult Education Department of Hannaford Career Center, utilizing its building and equipment to encourage technical and creative entrepreneurship in Addison County. Learn more at

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