On this date in 2010 We signed the lease on the first location that Quelab opened. We knew at the time it was not perfect, but with less than 7 people onboard we knew this was a community we needed to grow before we could even dream of perfect.
Quelab 1.0 was a quaint little place, a pretty old converted house (previous to us it was used as a flower shop), less than about 1200 sq foot of usable space (billed as 1400), it was quirky, But it let us have a space to “build it and see if the come”. It was not the dozens of people we hoped for but a small trickle. Our first tasks were building workbenches and some shelving, moving in some tables (most scrounged), chairs. By our grand opening party on August 12th (note that date Its when Quelab is going to observe its birthday this year with some Cake and Icecream with the members.) We had some bits of equipment, and we were just starting to make a name for ourselves.
Can’t say the next 4 years were easy, most of the time we were broke and being propped up on donations, and there were many times where we could have just closed the doors rather than digging deeper, We grew at a slow pace, and there was little chance we could reach out far and fast enough to survive on memberships alone. And none of us were good at grant writing, or experienced marketeers.
To survive we turned to what we knew, how to tinker with geeky things and thought we we should share that with the world. So we put on events, LED’s, Attraction, March of the Robots, Sound of the electron, Eco MAcGyver, Air&space, HauntedLab
Swapmeet’s, Steampunk Crafting, Hacking_Chocolate and more. We started hosting the Albuquerque Mini Maker Faire, and the Ignite Talks meetings, We setup booths at Tedxabq, Ace, and various other spaces. We have been toured by Caleb Kraft of Hackaday, we have won several Contests (Inventables, Instructables).
In November of 2013 after more than a year of hunting, Quelab was able to move to the grand Quelab 2.0 Campus we are in now. With over 340 people in attendance at our @nd grand opening (that is a huge increase over the 24 or so people who made it to our first one.) And a membership in excess of 50 members we are still on rocky waters but we have come a long-long way baby!
Thank you Albuquerque Makers, and supporters everywhere!
Happy Birthday Quelab!