An interview on Making with

Jessica Olivarez-Mazone

Tech Advocate and Educator, Tejana Made

About Jessica

Jessica Olivarez-Mazone is an educator, DIY lifestyle blogger, and speaker. She currently writes at Tejana Made and is in the process of creating The Blinking Light Project, an organization that will help rural students bridge the technology gap.

What is Making?

As a newcomer in the field of Making, I believe that the Maker culture is experiencing a sort of revival period. From hand crafted jewelry to circuitry, there is something awe inspiring in the ability to be able to take raw materials and create something tangible. A person that can create with their hands has the ability to change the world. 

Who are Makers?

Everyone, seriously. We are all Makers. Sometimes the skills that we obtain in our lives seem so subtle that we don’t always consider ourselves Makers. Each one of us has the capacity to be a Maker but all we need is the motivation and desire to start.

Why is Making important?

Making, to me, is important because it allows people to create their own opportunities by combining innovation and creativity. It gives us opportunities to create goods and products that make people’s lives easier.

What is an exciting example of Making and why?

Since I am a rural South Texan, technology advancement takes a little while to get down here but we have a nanotechnology company down here doing some pretty fascinating things with fabric and their technology. My favorite thing at the moment though is 3D printing especially as a jewelry artist because templates can be created to help with my own handmade business. For my students and I, currently, this is the most amazing thing we have seen.

How is Making transforming education?

Making is allowing students to become more self-aware of skills that they may already possess. For example, I do an Entrepreneurship class that gauges skills that students have that include fabrication, design skills, electrical circuitry, sewing, leather making as well as technology based skills such as drafting, social media, coding. Creativity, art, and science go hand in hand.

How can Making change my community?

I live in rural South Texas. Making has been alive and well here for decades but being able to transpose those skills into something more tangible and modern is the key. Our communities will one day suffer from the downfall of the oil boom and we have to be ready. The key for our small communities’ survival is adaptability and I believe Making is the key to creating sustainable income.

How does Making solve big problems?

Making creates opportunities which are something our rural towns are lacking. If we can create those opportunities to become makers, inventors, and creators rather than just consumers in turn we can create wealth. Technology and making can help create wealth among many marginalized socioeconomic groups.