Generosity in Sharing Skills and Knowledge

Visitors amazed, excited, by the possibilities at Nova Labs.

A makerspace, shared workshop, education center and a continual source of inspiration and motivation – that’s Nova Labs in Fairfax City. And during its March 18 grand opening, both existing members, volunteers and visitors sang its praises.

“I love the community here,” said Hale Sinek, assistant steward of Crafters Cove. “Everyone is so wonderful – it’s like a family. We’re volunteer-run, but most volunteers are also members. I make a lot of chainmail jewelry, just for fun, and it feels wonderful to create something with my own two hands that wasn’t there before.”

“I also like teaching because it’s sharing knowledge and strengthens that sense of community – especially when people were so isolated during the pandemic,” she continued. “People are so helpful here and enjoy imparting what they know to others.”

Nearby, visitor Janet Carlton stopped to chat with member Sally Byers, operating a long-arm quilting machine. “I make leather moccasins,” said Carlton. “We came today because my husband likes fixing things and we both could use more community.”

Will Turner brought his children from Reston to the grand opening. “I think it’s a good program for kids and entrepreneurs, and a great opportunity to expose kids to technology,” he said. “My son participates in a First LEGO League here. He loves robots and space and is amazed by the 3D printers here.”

Nearby, volunteer Alex Rennie demonstrated the art of foamsmithing. “It’s taking a flexible, foam material in different layers of thickness, cutting and gluing it together and shaping it using a dremel,” he said. Rennie then explained that a dremel is “a rotary tool, like a portable sander.”