Floating an idea that I’d like to bring into reality to garner support/gauge interest…
Like many people I’ve got to know via hack/maker-spaces - I’ve spent over 20 yrs shopping for parts in Maplin, including a stint working there, and although they’re not the cheapest, they are definitely accessible. So, I can’t think of a better local partner for hack/maker-spaces than Maplin.
Here’s the idea… a future where:
- Each Maplin store hero’s there local hack/maker-space, sending customers in that direction to help make the best of their latest purchase
- Each hack/maker-space celebrates the fast/accessible service Maplin provides (even if its expensive vs online) and offers its members a Maplin discount (to soften the blow)
… this is something that could be tackled locally, with each space working with their local Maplin. However, it would be way more effective/potent/faster if it was tackled by the HSF on behalf of all spaces (at least the interested ones).
disclaimer: I have no ulterior motive here, no secret interest in Maplin, etc I just can’t think of a better alternative.
Sure, the only challenge I can see is that it varies greatly from Maplin to Maplin, eg. there are two in Leeds and one of the two has been interested in the Hackspace, though not the other.
Maplin have been supportive of UK maker culture in the past. They were the main financial sponsor of the Brighton Mini Maker Faire for a couple of years, and also sponsored the Elephant & Castle Mini Maker Faire.
If this is something the HSF is interested in pursuing I can try and dig out some contacts to get in touch with.
Would be great if you could dig out those contacts! Thanks
Hmm so our contact isn’t with Maplin anymore. But our producer initially got in touch with them through Maplin’s marketing department and followed up on Twitter, so you could try that.
I’ve had some very lukewarm responses from Maplin HQ and local branches round by me. I don’t think they’re quite the champion of the home tinkerer that they used to be when I worked there (for eight years, back in the late 80s & early 90s). Back in the old days, we always had a soldering iron handy to help customers before we sent stuff off to HQ for the “get you working” service… nowadays, they’re kinda like Argos with beards. I’m not sure they’d be very keen unless there was a clear commercial benefit.
However, RS seem to be doing a lot with their local communities - my be worth contacting them as a group? Or maybe even Farnell - they aren’t quite as active as RS and they might be looking for ways to raise their profile.
CPC (a Farnell subsidiary) have a Makerspace section of their website and a catalogue to go with it, might be worth chatting to them ?