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Teen Brings Wealth Of Experience To Mini Makers Market At Westport Library

Demetri Dassouras has gathered an eclectic band of entrepreneurs for the Westport Library's first-ever Mini Makers Market.
Demetri Dassouras has gathered an eclectic band of entrepreneurs for the Westport Library's first-ever Mini Makers Market. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness
Demetri Dassouras of Norwalk enjoys volunteering at Westport Library's MakerSpace.
Demetri Dassouras of Norwalk enjoys volunteering at Westport Library's MakerSpace. Photo Credit: Meredith Guinness

WESTPORT, Conn. — Demetri Dassouras was one of the first people to use the 3D printer in the Westport Library’s 4-year-old MakerSpace, so it’s not that surprising that he’s the event coordinator for the library’s first-ever Mini Makers Market.

Well, unless you consider that he’s just 14.

“I’m one of the oldest people here,” the Norwalk High School freshman said. “Well, the one who’s used it the longest, I mean. I’m not the oldest.”

Dassouras has spent the past few months gathering together an eclectic band of vendors for the Dec. 10 event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the library’s great hall.

The free market is open to the public and will feature about 20 craftspeople, artisans and makers from all over Fairfield County, just in time for the holidays. Those hoping to entice shoppers will include jewelry designers, sculptors, artisan chocolate makers, wood turners, glassblowers and more.

“It will basically show how talented people can be,” Dassouras said.

Some of the vendors used the library’s innovative MakerSpace to help their fledgling businesses along. Each budding entrepreneur — from teens to seniors — completes about two hours of training before he or she can use the robotics, routers and other tools in the bustling space, said Dassouras, who is a regular volunteer.

The library has been on the vanguard of the makers movement, hosting everything from Lego mindstorms to mini-classes in things such as costume-making. Each month, fans gather to take apart and rebuild something, most recently a pinball machine.

Dassouras, who hopes to major in biomedical engineering, is already looking at colleges, weighing Johns Hopkins University against MIT and Harvard.

“I want to go into prosthetic making,” he said. “I kind of like to help people.”

He’s already made a prosthetic arm and the teen, who plays the heavy baritone sax in his school’s marching band, is working on a prototype that would help sax players with strained thumbs and fingers.

Dassouras said he’s enjoyed finding vendors for Saturday’s market. Since he’s made most of the plans over the phone, many may be surprised to meet him in person.

“I don’t think most know I’m a kid,” he said with a laugh.

To learn more about the market, email minimakersmarket2016@gmail.com.

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