We got the chance to catch up with Melissa Ellis, Exhibitions and Retail Manager, at WNYBAC to answer questions about the business and provide insight to future makers leading up to Buffalo Mini Maker Faire, Saturday, May 20th.
1. Tell us about yourself and how you got started as an inventor/maker?
WNYBAC started in 2008/2009 as a educational nonprofit dedicated to printmaking and preserving the book arts in Buffalo. Our storefront space at 468 Washington Street in downtown Buffalo is home to our letterpress and screenprint studios, a gallery, and a retail shop. Throughout the year we offer workshops for all ages and skill levels in book arts; paper making, bookbinding, lino/etching/letterpress/and screen printing, hand lettering and more! We also hold field trips and professional developments for groups of all ages. Currently, WNYBAC is run by three employees: Gail Nicholson; Executive Director, Rosemary Williams; Program Director, and Melissa Ellis; Exhibitions & Retail Manager.
- What is the first thing a new inventor/maker should consider?
The first thing a new maker should consider is what their motivation is and grow from there.
- Are you selling products? What sorts of licensing/patents do you have in place?
WNYBAC sells a plethora of hand printed goods! Our store and online shops feature hand made posters, prints, notebooks, paper, coaster, postcards, stationery, greeting cards as well as consignment items from local and regional artists.
- What has been your greatest success in business?
I think our greatest success throughout the years has been our community outreach and being able to bring educational programming to underprivileged youths throughout Western New York. We are able to show kids that they can be creative and learn the skills to make something that is both beautiful and meaningful.
- What advice would you offer fellow inventors/makers who are in the beginning stages of development?
Don’t be afraid to take risks! Sometimes the most unusual ideas are the most successful.