Maker Media in Sebastopol, the publisher of Make Magazine and organizer of the hugely popular Maker Faire, has begun the process of leaving Sonoma County.
The company, headed by O’Reilly Media co-founder Dale Dougherty, opened an office in Berkeley last week and will be leaving its Gravenstein Highway offices by the end of the year.
The move is an effort to get closer to the growing maker community in the Bay Area and to potential future employees. Already, about a fifth of Maker Media’s more than 40 employees who work in Sebastopol live in Oakland or San Francisco.
“It’s hard for us to hire people from those areas,” Dougherty said.
Maker Media spun off from its parent company O’Reilly Media in January 2013. The move to Berkeley will be temporary. Eventually, Dougherty said he hopes to move the company permanently to Oakland.
Dougherty said that when he launched Make Magazine in 2005, the maker movement was too young to claim a home.
“Today, there are a lot of makers in Oakland and San Francisco and we need to engage with them on a regular basis,” he said.
Sebastopol Mayor Robert Jacob said he was sorry to see a “progressive” company like Maker Media leave the city.
“Sebastopol has seen the launch of many progressive companies and businesses,” he said. “It’s really a testament to the quality of citizens that we have. It’s not ideal for us to lose a progressive business such as Maker, but I trust that Sebastopol will continue to attract cutting edge and leading business models.”