Liza is the co-founder of HoneyPoint3D, an online education company for the 3D printing industry, operating through a platform of online classes and workshops. HoneyPoint3D originally started as a retail brand located in the Bay Area. Liza and co-founder Nick both have an extended experience as retailers, teachers and business-owners in the 3D printing industry. Liza kindly accepted to share her experience with us here.
Liza, before founding HoneyPoint3D, you were running a jewelry business, LizaSonia Designs. Could you tell us more about this previous business?
Liza: I was always fond of art and would make jewelry for fun. One time at an event in San Francisco, 2 women wanted to buy my necklace I was wearing, that I made that day, right at the event! I did a small show later that month where I sold out of everything I brought for sell. I started my company that month. I opened the LIZA SONIA jewelry shop a year later and was selling to over 80 retailers including Nordstrom.
What brought you to 3D Printing? How did you discovered this technology in the first place?
Liza: My husband mentioned 3D printing to me in 2008 when we met, I wasn’t convinced until I saw one in person, then I was hooked! In 2013 I joined him as a co-founder of HoneyPoint3D.
LizaSonia Designs was obviously a successful business. It sounds risky to stop this activity to start a family-owned 3D printing business. I assume you had no doubts in the success of this enterprise. What motivated you when starting HoneyPoint3D?
Liza: I was completely taken with 3D printing and the capabilities I saw for the future. I was ready to try something new and so making the decision to start HoneyPoint3D felt like it was the right industry at the right time. Plus my husband is super smart so going into business with him seemed like a good idea!
How did HoneyPoint3D evolved over time in terms of your business offer?
Liza: We started as a small retail store in Oakland Hills, CA in 2013. Being Northern California’s only 3D printing store, we received a lot of press that year. Word of mouth spread and we were getting all sorts of requests from demoing at events, to prototyping, workshops, consultations and more. Now we are focused on education though out online platform that will launch in October and our client consultations.
I believe your classes to be mainly addressed to new-comers in our industry. That must give you a good understanding of their interest for the technology. What are their main points of interest and expectations when attending your classes?
Liza: We actually teach from beginner to advance courses. The beginners are interested in what the technology can do and our advanced students want to learn specific ways the technology can help them with their jobs.
Do you see more women or men attending the classes and walking into your stores?
Liza: I would say 65% men and 35% women. With the younger set, it’s actually about 50/50.
That’s encouraging! In your opinion, how could we get more women involved with 3D Printing?
Liza: I think a great place to start is focusing on women dominated industries. For example, we are conducting a workshop at a jewelry bead show in California. The workshop is almost sold out and it will be primarily women who want to learn CAD modeling to make jewelry.
How would you like to see the 3D Printing industry evolve in the future?
Liza: I would like to see more education and better ecosystems for consumers so that more can participate.
I know you have a book coming up in January (2016) to be published by Maker Media. That’s a huge opportunity, congratulations! Could you give us a sneak peek of what the book will cover?
Liza: The Book will be about how consumers can integrate 3D printing into their everyday lives. We are very excited about the book and we hope it will inspire more people to become interested in 3D printing!
Thank you Liza for your time and your involvement with Women in 3D Printing!
And don’t forget to join the Women in 3D Printing group on LinkedIn, click here to join!