General Questions

GirlsGuild is a service that offers apprenticeships for girls, by girls. We connect girls and women with artists and makers to build a supportive, collaborative community.

We define apprenticeship as more hands-on than a “mentorship”, and more equitable than an “internship”. In an apprenticeship, a maker works one-on-one with a girl interested in learning the skills of her craft. It's about getting real world understanding of a maker's work and lifestyle, and building some serious skills in a particular area of making.

If you have a skill you’d like to share, and could use some help with your work, consider posting an apprenticeship. You can teach a particular technique or tool in a Workshop (aka a 1-day Apprenticeship), or share your practice in a Production, Event, Business, or Ongoing Apprenticeships.

If you're interested in picking up some new skills and meeting new friends while you're at it, you can try a Workshop (1-day Apprenticeship) to get your feet wet and learn a new technique. And if you're really looking to build your skills and get some real experience working and learning with a Maker longer term, apply for a Production, Event, Business or Ongoing Apprenticeship.

To get the drop on new opportunities and upcoming events in the community, sign up for our newsletter.

We take a broad definition of the term “Maker” that includes people working in creative fields from art, design, and craft, to tech, engineering, media, fabrication, style, food, music, entrepreneurship, and beyond!

Apprenticeships are built for girls and women 14 and up. Some Workshops are all ages. Check each listing for the age range set by the Maker. We also partner with local organizations to offer free workshops to girls and women through our scholarship fund.

Absolutely! Though we want to create a space for learning where girls and women feel safe and confident, we also want to be inclusive of everyone who would appreciate this space as well. Makers have the option to specify that their workshop or apprenticeship be opened to all gender identities.

Yes! All transactions on GirlsGuild are processed over a certified secure connection and we use Stripe, a respected third party service to fulfill payments, refunds, and security.

It’s of utmost importance to us that you feel confident joining or hosting Workshops and Apprenticeships. We exist to build a supportive and collaborative community of makers, and we believe the girls and women who get involved are also inspired by this goal.

We pay for a monthly background check service called PublicData.com. When a maker posts an apprenticeship or workshop, we use their first and last name to search both criminal offenses as well as sexual offenses. If we find a match for any of these serious crimes we won't post the Apprenticeship or Workshop for this reason. Makers, be assured there will be no point in the process that we share any information we may find on PublicData.com with anyone, nor will this process affect your public records in any way.






Apprenticeships

1. Posting an apprenticeship

You probably already ARE! If you’ve got a skill, process, or technique that you’re passionate about, that excitement will rub off on others. Being a maker can be a lonely venture! We believe sharing your skills and techniques is both smart for your business as well as your heart. Get help making while you share your skills and benefit from working alongside other makers. They’ll give you a fresh perspective and force you to put your process into words. If you’re still not sure, we’d be happy to chat with you about what types of skills you could share.

We've put together a checklist to help you decide if you're ready to host an apprenticeship.

We've found that most apprenticeships fall into four main categories; Production, Event, Business, and Ongoing.

Production Apprenticeship

If you're interested in trading your skills and technique for help producing a new line of your work, you might consider taking someone on to help you as a production apprentice.

Event Apprenticeship

If you have an upcoming event you could use a hand with, consider teaching an apprentice to help plan, prepare for, and carry it out.

Business Apprenticeship

If you'd like to teach what you've learned starting a business or being an independent Maker in trade for help with your business then consider offering a Business Apprenticeship.

Ongoing Apprenticeship

Or if you're simply interested in new collaborations and the chance to teach your skills and share your process, an ongoing apprenticeship carries a lot of possibilities.

Workshop (1-Day Apprenticeship)

Workshops, (what we call "1-Day Apprenticeships") are typically for a group of apprentices, where the focus is on either demonstrating a process or technique, or actually working on making a project either collaboratively or independently.

Once you know what you'd like in an apprentice, you can let us know by proposing an apprenticeship for us to list on our website. We'll collect applications from interested applicants for you to review, and you choose the one (or more) that seems best suited to work with you.

Right now it's FREE to list your apprenticeship on our site. We'll promote it to the community, and collect applications for you to review and interview all for FREE. If you find the right fit, it's only $30 to connect with each apprentice you choose.
Our framework is set up to balance out the give and take of teaching and working; you teach your process and skills in return for an apprentice's assistance with your work. However, if that balance skews towards more working than teaching, then you should pay the apprentice(s) for their time working. If you do plan to pay your apprentice you should explain that in the description of your apprenticeship when you propose it. Payments are handled between you and the apprentice, and would not be managed by GirlsGuild.
It's up to you, based on your needs. Some apprenticeships might be as short as a few weeks, but we think the most rewarding will be for a longer period of a few months. That way you'll have time to teach your apprentice the skills and techniques she needs, and see her progress in the work she's doing with you. You can meet as often as works for both your schedules; 4-16 hours a week is typical. We limit the length of all apprenticeships to 6 months.
We require that all apprentices agree to a participation waiver (and for minors, their parents sign an indemnification agreement) before accepting an apprenticeship or signing up for a workshop, in order to protect you if something were to happen. We will also send you a link to download a copy of those waivers to have your participants sign in person and for you to keep on file. We encourage you to contact us at any time; we’ll do our best to address any questions or issues that arise.
Participation Waiver
Indemnification Agreement for Minors


2. Applying to be an apprentice

It depends on the focus of the apprenticeship - some apprenticeships might have a fairly short timeframe of just a few weeks to meet relevant deadlines. Others have a longer lead time or are planned as ongoing over the course of a few months, up to 6 months.
Apprenticeships typically take place in the maker's studio or workspace. Depending on the kind of apprenticeship, it may also involve visiting event venues, fabrication workshops, or other places.

When you apply for an apprenticeship we'll ask for your billing information, but we won't charge you unless you're accepted to be an apprentice. The maker reviews all the applications she receives, and chooses the girl who'll be the best fit for the work they'll be doing. Makers sometimes ask to meet up to get a feel for personality before making a decision, so if that’s the case we'll get in touch to set it up. We'll let you know her decision within two weeks, and if you're accepted, we'll put you in touch to get started. You'll have 7 days to cancel if you decide it's not a good fit, before we charge you both the $30 matching fee.

Each apprenticeship that’s posted typically gets 3-10 applications, so don’t be discouraged if someone else is chosen for the apprenticeship you applied for! We’re always working on getting more makers offering new opportunities, and in the meantime, consider building up your skills through workshops (1-day apprenticeships).



3. Reviewing and choosing

We ask 5 general questions to get an idea of personality, interest in working together, and schedule:

  1. I'm truly happy when...
  2. I like working together on projects because...
  3. What’s most interesting to me about this apprenticeship is…
  4. My goals for this experience are…
  5. Preferred meeting times…

We then send out an email to followers for first dibs on applying. A day later we send out a newsletter to everyone in the Guild. Usually after that we start receiving applications, which we’ll forward along immediately as they come in for you to review.

Sometimes if the apprenticeship is a longer or more intensive time commitment it will take longer to fill the apprenticeship. The sweet spot seems to be a 3-month apprenticeship from 4-16 hours per week, which may fill in a week or two, but there are so many factors that go into it, that it’s hard to tell. Feel free to email us if you’d like suggestions on how to fill it quickly.
You have 2 weeks to decide if you want to accept the applicant from when you receive their application. If for some reason you need more time to make your decision, please let us know how long and for what reason so we can communicate this with the applicants.
Absolutely - we recommend it! What we'll do is forward you the applications as we receive them and when you see someone you'd like to interview just follow the link to their application and click "Request an Interview". She'll choose a time and date that works for her, and you're all set to meet up. We'll even send you both an interview worksheet for help covering all the right topics.

You can keep your apprenticehsip posting open as long as you'd like. Sometimes it takes just the right person to find it and apply. We don't guarantee that we'll be able to fill apprenticeships, but we'll do our best to promote the opportunity on our site and on social networks. We put all new apprenticeships in our newsletter that goes out to the entire guild. It's always best, though, to help promote it through your own social networks as well!

We are happy to give advice on how to promote the apprenticeship, or on what might be keeping people from pulling the trigger and applying!

Nope. It's totally up to you, we just want to facilitate a good connection for you both and get more women collaborating with each other.
We'll connect you to get started working together and give you an Apprenticeship Agreement to fill out at your first meeting. She'll have 7 days to cancel if it's not working out, and then we'll charge your card on file the $30 matching fee (per apprentice).


4. Apprentices confirm & pay

There's a flat fee of $30 to confirm an apprenticeship match. This is charged 7 days after you've been accepted for the apprenticeship unless you decide you need to cancel. It’s always free to apply!

Get Dirty

Roll up your sleeves! You should be learning new things frequently enough to stay challenged, but don't be afraid to practice what you're learning; you're there to both learn and be helpful!

Be Curious

Ask what it's like to run a small business, how she got to where she is in her field, and the challenges she's had along the way - it's likely that you've experienced some of the same stuff.



Ask for Feedback

Remember to ask for gentle but constructive feedback. You'll gain the best kind of real-life experience when you're learning from your mistakes.

Share Goals

Get to know each others goals and dreams! We want to help you build a mentor network because we're all stronger when we learn together.



5. Makers, we support you

If your apprentice isn't working out for any reason, just let us know and we'd be happy to gently end it early. We think that being honest and clear about expectations from the apprentice is the best way to find someone who's committed. And of course it will always be our priority to help out if you have any difficulty along the way.

Challenge

The apprentice should be learning new things frequently enough to stay challenged, but don't forget to have them also practice what they're learning.

World View

Think about giving the apprentice a feel for what its like to run a small business, OR why you choose not to.



Feedback

Remember to give gentle but constructive feedback. Help her learn from her mistakes which is often the best way to gain experience.

Encourage

Get to know each others goals and dreams! We want to help you build a mentor network because we're all stronger when we learn together.



6. Build your portfolio
coming soon

We track the skills and tools you’re learning so that we can suggest the next steps toward building out your skill-sets. We’ll also suggest makers in the community that can help you reach your goals. It’s all about who you know, so we’ll help you build skills and social connections with maker-mentors who can help guide your career toward awesomeness. You can get started by following makers who inspire you to get first dibs on opportunities to work with them before we release to the rest of the Guild.
We’re planning on building portfolios that track the skills and tools you’re learning and the social connections you’re making in each apprenticeship you participate in. You’ll be able to upload pictures of the work you’ve made, add titles and text, and share on your social networks. These portfolios will serve to help you get more opportunities to work with other makers, as well maybe even apply for school or for jobs! We’ll let you opt in to publicly display your portfolio once we’ve built it!





Workshops (1-Day Apprenticeships)

In a workshop (what we call a 1-day Apprenticeship), an artist or maker offers to teach a particular project or technique to one or more girls, usually in a 2-4 hour session. It's a chance to learn from the maker, to gain a new skill, to try your hand at a new process, or see how it's done.


1. Makers post a workshop (1-day apprenticeship)

The date/time of the workshop is up to you! It helps to consider your audience; if you're leading a workshop for teens or children, after-school hours or weekends will be best. If you're teaching a workshop for adults, evenings might be a good option. Whatever time you choose, it's always best to schedule the date far enough in advance to give us 4 weeks or more to promote it, and give people a chance to sign up.

Workshops typically take place in the maker's studio or workspace. If you need help finding a place to host your workshop, let us know and we’ll either host it at our headquarters at the Austin Center for Design or try and help find an appropriate spot.
If you need help sourcing enough tools for the workshop, we'll do our best to help. Another suggestion is to put out a request for tools on our Facebook page.

We believe that the maker is the best person to determine the cost of their workshop based on materials, length of the session, and effort. That's why we leave the cost up to you. Sometimes that means it will be too high and you will get fewer registrants, or if it's too low, you may feel like it wasn't quite worth the effort. So to give you some basic guidelines, when we spoke to parents they were comfortable paying between $40-60 for a 2-3 hour workshop. The cost of materials should be included in the cost you set for your workshop. Sometimes the materials can be expensive, so let that show by listing the materials in the class description! Generally, it's up to the maker to source and provide materials (depending on what you plan to teach).

We want to make GirlsGuild a viable way to make supplementary income, so we encourage you not to sell yourself short. Even if you'd be happy to teach a workshop for free, we've found that putting a small cost ($5-10 or so) actually gets better attendance - people see it as more valuable, and more of a commitment, when they've paid for it.

GirlsGuild workshop cost structure:
  1. You set the total cost - Example: $45.00 per person
  2. We split it 80% / 20% - Example: 60 x 0.8 = You earn $48.00 per person
    Example: total cost = $60, GirlsGuild takes $12, the artists takes $48.
You can choose to receive payments for workshops either by Paypal or by Check. We'll ask you to choose an option and provide details as part of the process for posting your workshop, so there won't be any delays getting your payment to you after the workshop.

Share Skills

The students should be learning new or specialized skills and techniques that provide a foundation for building out a skill set.

Teach Tools

Consider teaching students to use the key tools for your craft, especially ones they may never have had a chance to try before.

Explore

Give your students a chance to explore a new medium, technique, or process that can help them begin or grow their own practice.

Inspire Growth

The 1-Day should give students inspiration and next steps to continue practicing and developing their new skills on their own.


2. Girls sign up and pay

Each workshop is different, so costs vary. When a maker offers to lead a workshop, she sets the cost to include the materials and tools that will be used, and to fit the length of the workshop. For most workshops, the sign-up fee covers all the materials you’ll use to make something you’ll bring home with you.
That's fine. We offer students a full refund if they let us know 7 days before the workshop. We do this so that the maker knows a full week before the event to prepare for the full number of students, and doesn't get stuck with extra materials she's purchased.