About Us

Meet the Owners

 

Aaron Leis

Aaron is a father of two daughters and husband of over 25  years to his wife, Charah. As owner of a drywall construction business by day, and computer tech by night Aaron is always busy tinkering with something. Aaron became a maker in that classic way that many kids get started: fixing the lawn mower. Take it apart, clean all the parts, put it back together.

Over the years Aaron discovered that most anything could be taken apart, assessed, improved and put back together. Eventually that mentality leads one to think “I could just make the solution to this problem instead of buying it”. And a Maker is born.

Tim Willis 

Tim was raised fixing stuff. His dad was a high school industrial arts teacher who was always repairing and rebuilding everything and his mom taught him arts, crafts and homemaking skills by making the things she wanted instead of buying. With an awesome set of tools (his dad’s), wooden go-carts, bicycle repairs and modifications were just part of growing up. After two years of college studying business, new opportunities to took him to Alaska and resulted in a 30 year career in the fishing industry, and is now a licensed captain and engineer.

Tim and his wife Annie have been busy raising three children and remodeling homes together for the past 23 years . Today, he enjoys sharing his passion of reusing, repairing, rebuilding and repurposing with his family, friends and anyone else who shares the passion of seeing ideas become reality.

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Our Story

During the  2014/15 winter we were having a conversation about what Bend really needs. We started talking about how great it would be to have the ultimate workshop and make it available to everyone. At the time (and not until many months later) we had never heard of Makerspaces or the Maker Movement. We both immediately became obsessed with the idea and spent endless hours meeting and working out a strategy.


What we came up with very early in our discussions was that, no matter what plans we made or what we thought the ultimate workshop was, the most important piece of the puzzle would be the people who were using the space. We made a pact that we would always be willing to shape and changed our business to meet the needs of the community that would be using it. So we set out to meet the public and find out what people want. 

Choosing to set up shop in the former Pakit Liquidators space makes sense for a lot of reasons. While the space was occupied by Pakit, many DIY'ers went there to find parts, pieces, and treasures to add to their projects and many Bendites already know where it is. Aside from being Pakit's space, the building's entire history has been one of building, fixing, and making. The ease of access to the space from both the East Side and the West Side of Bend make the location ideal. 

 

The purpose of DIYcave is to make a self sufficient lifestyle accessible to everyone. We're building a space for people who want to be able do projects themselves but have no idea where to start or how to do them, as well as for people who are expert makers who need access to equipment and space.


Taking classes is a great way to learn new skills or hone skills one already has. The list of classes we will be offering is vast and we've been spending a great deal of time finding experts in many areas to instruct them.


There are two of us listed as owners, but there are many others who bring life to the DIYcave. There's no way that we would have made it this far without the support, encouragement, and dedication of our families, friends, and other Makers who want to see DIYcave happen and believe that what we're doing is as great of an idea as we do.


We work well together because of our very different but complimentary personalities and our deep dedication to what we're doing. We're each completely active in the continuous development of the space and working out the details of running the business. We meet regularly and at length to discuss what needs to happen next and we decide which of us is best suited to each task. If we get stuck on a particular subject, whether it's about running the business or about running the shop, we find someone who knows about what we're trying to accomplish and get the help we need to move forward.


Though we're building a business that's based on self sufficiency, “Do It Yourself” doesn't actually mean do it “by” yourself. It really means “Make it happen” That's what we're doing and that's why we built DIYcave.

Think it. Make it!