Creating for a Cause | Izzy Swan and Meghan Baker in The Maker Series

By October 14, 2020General

We completed our October Maker Series event with creators Izzy Swan and Meghan Baker! The small, private event was designed to raise awareness for Stanley Black & Decker and Autism Speaks’ collaborative efforts to create job opportunities for people with autism. Filmed in collaboration with Make48 & WORKBENCHCon, you can now watch a sizzle reel of the first episode of the Maker Series. Visit Youtube Maker Series #1

This was our FIRST event of the Maker Series Project. Fellow designers and neighbors, Izzy and Meghan have an incredible working relationship. It all began when the Make48 and WORKBENCHCon crew popped into Izzy’s personal workshop at a stunning location in Greenville, South Carolina. 

Due to the incredible supporters of the Maker Series challenge, we had a trailer full of tools. From ShopBot Tools shipping a 1,000 lb. CNC machine……


……to our crew unloading a customized trailer-full of fabrication tools and materials from Stanley Black & Decker, DeWalt, Original Super Glue, and Millers Rustic Sawmill.

Tom Gray drove the Make48 trailer from Kansas City to Greenville, SC with the help from City Rent A Truck. We exposed the makers to three up and coming inventions including; the Spider Holster, TrakBelt 360 and Peel & Stick Sanding Gloves.

From miter saws to scroll saws, planers and air compressors to workbenches and welding tools…the team had all the tools necessary and what tools we didn’t have Home Depot did.  It only took 4 emergency supply runs over the course of the 48 hours but we got it done.

The Makers were challenged to build a personal relaxation (and movable) retreat for autistic individuals who may experience sensory differences, like having over- or under-sensitivities to sounds, lights, touch, tastes, smells, pain and other stimuli.

“In the U.S. alone, there are more than five million adults on the autism spectrum, and each year more than 70,000 autistic teens transition to adulthood. Together with partners like Stanley Black & Decker, we aim to transform employment for those on the spectrum by building more inclusive, welcoming workplaces nationwide,” said Valerie Paradiz, Autism Speaks’ vice president of services and support. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to work with Make48 and Stanley Black & Decker to support inclusive workplace culture and help inspire more people in our community to harness their creativity and identify workplaces where they can thrive.”

Just like our Make48 competitions, Izzy and Meghan had 48 hours to create and complete the build. With only 2 makers to create something so unique, they determined some help was needed in the art department. Izzy called on artist and YouTuber Bobby Duke aka Bobby Duke Arts. Bobby, a Texas sculpture and woodworking expert, helped complete the build with his talents. 


It was a definitely a mad rush at the end with all hands on deck including Tom, Cass & Amy from Make48 and Kristin from WorkbenchCon all pitching in to beat the clock!


Throughout filming Cannington Farms, using local ingredients, cooked meals for the makers and filmmakers onsite, making it feel like a cozy, family get together.

Izzy, Meghan and Bobby were amazing to work with and to learn from. With hundreds of thousands of followers on YouTube and Instagram, the trio have worked on hundreds of projects and are eager to share with the viewers their design for Autism Speaks, and to help inspire more makers around the world.


Stanley Black & Decker nominated Autism Speaks as our inaugural nonprofit for the challenge as part of its mission to support inclusivity in the workplace and prepare people with autism to pursue skilled-labor jobs in manufacturing. Catch behind the scenes moments from the series at our Instagram page @gomake48 to watch an amazing, talented group of makers create for a good cause. 


The next Maker Series project took place in Canyon Lake, Texas last week with makers April Wilkerson and Brandy Aubé, to support the River Kelly Fund,  

River went to Heaven in June 2019 after a tragic drowning accident at his home at the age of three. His final mission on this earth was to donate his organs to those in need and the tiny hero saved at least two other lives after giving his own.  The charity provides support and brings awareness to causes including children in need, arts and education, wildlife preservation, military, veteran and first responder assistance.  The team will build a project that will be gifted to the River Kelly Fund.

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