Across 14,000 square feet of shop space located near the Ann Arbor Airport, the facility offers access to hundreds of craftsman's tools for a membership fee of $35 per day, $90 per month, or $900 per year. From basic tools to state-of-the-art machinery, the shop presents a craftsperson's embarrassment of riches.
Root and partner Dale Grover founded Maker Works in September 2011, funding it entirely out-of-pocket. Grover, an electrical engineer, was a member of the smaller A2 MechShop maker space (which has since moved into Maker Works). Root, a robotics enthusiast and managing partner of Zingerman's Mail Order, was partly driven by his worries about who would solve the economic problems left behind by the 2008 financial crisis. "I finally realized that I needed to get out of the basement," Root says. "Because if not us, who? And if not now, when?"