Practical Microfactory

The Practical Microfactory project creates an environment where Makers can explore taking their project from one item or thing they have made to making multiples: ten, twenty, a hundred.

This naturally adjusts the thinking and provides new questions: Where do I get the parts to make my 10 items? Who can I get to help me make 10 items? Am I efficiently producing 10 items? How do I market 10 items? How do the answers to these questions adjust for 100 items? 1000 items?


The Practical Microfactory project evolved from the making of masks during the pandemic. During that time, there was a supply chain problem. All the factories in the world were shut down. More, there was a huge need for masks.

This was a need that could only be fulfilled by Americans. To add to this, there was one thing that Americans gained during the pandemic that they had never before had so much of: time. At Makersville, we found a pattern online, and started working on a design using that pattern. We gathered sewists and opened a kiosk in Shoreline Village for a new brand, Fashion Masques. It was awesome. Our masks sold for $20 each. We experimented with different fabrics and materials. It was an amazing experience! We had developed a product, a brand, a market. We also saw the need for that product eliminated by the re-establishing of supply chains.

The Bunny Factory

I made four tigers for the Long Beach – Qingdao Association’s (LBQA’s) Lunar New Year event in 2022. It was the year of the tiger and I made them for gift baskets for new members. In 2023 it was the year of the rabbit. I made 18 bunnies for the LBQA event,. They were given to volunteers, who LOVED them. Later I gave away another several dozen for a toy giveaway by Centro CHA. In 2024, the year of the dragon, I made two snakes. Lunar Calendar snakes look like Lunar Calendar dragons, without legs. I kept forgetting to put the legs on the dragon, so they were snakes. I also made about 30 bunnies. I made several of them red, so that I could sell them to community members at the Lunar New Year event.

Beyond Bunnies

In 2024 I will be supporting a Makers Camp in La Crescenta, where we will be extending the Bunny Factory concept to whatever the participants want to do. I am hosting classes at Bricks and Minifigs in Lomita, where we will explore themed activities for an event we call 2×4 Day. That event will be celebrated in late summer.

There are many places we can take the Practical Microfactory. As we grow, we will have to consider multiple questions about value of time, value of a manufactured product. We are developing an awareness of the world in those we reach.