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Build Things Better Episode 1

Ep. 01 – Introductions

This week we interviewed…each other. That’s right, we are starting out with introductions. We hope you will join us for this conversation to learn more about us, and why we want to highlight Midwest makers.

Ben Petersen is the founder and owner of Bench, a collaborative workshop space in downtown Omaha catering to makers of all sorts. Ben started Bench in a 2,500 square foot storefront in 2012 with just a couple of makers. In its 5-year life, Bench has moved into more than 10,000 square feet and provides private studios and access to shared workspace for more than two-dozen makers. Bench has become a creative community that connects makers and supports the maker community. In addition to running Bench, Ben also owns Timbersmith Goods, a custom furniture shop, which operates out of a private studio at Bench. Timbersmith Goods focuses on handmade furniture and fixtures for homes and businesses. Whenever possible, Ben likes to use material milled on his family’s farm about an hour from Omaha. Ben is a maker and a supporter of other makers with a passion for building things better.

Zach Reinhardt is not what you would think of when you think of a maker. That is probably because he doesn’t really make much (aside from bad jokes). While Zach may not, currently, be a maker, he does fancy himself a bit of an evangelist for the Midwest maker community. He loves knowing who made the candle in his living room, the jewelry his wife wears, and the furniture in his home. The story behind the product, and the person that made it, is as important to Zach as the product itself. Prior to starting a career in real estate development, Zach spent 10 years as a screen printer and freelance graphic designer. In 2015, he and Ben started a screen-printing business, Meadowlark Print Co, as a creative outlet from the hours spent staring at spreadsheets. While that business ran its course and has since been closed, Zach still enjoys finding new ways to flex his creative muscles.

Please join us as we kick off a new series, Build Things Better. We’ll be chatting with makers from Omaha, Lincoln, and all-over the Midwest, learning the stories behind their products, and whether they are team cake or team pie