Our Team

Hello! We're the dedicated folks who want to help makes create sustainable businesses. Don't hesitate to reach out.


Sharon FAin, Founder/Director

Sharon Fain is the founder and director of Academy of Handmade (AHAS), a community with hundreds members which supports and celebrates makers through online and offline connections, special programming and an awards show. With over 15 years of marketing and PR experience, working with small businesses, nonprofits and creative business clients, she has made her passion of being a fangirl of makers into a profession! When she’s not geeking out about handmade businesses, she’s riding bikes with her husband or walking her dogs at her home in Los Angeles.

Please contact Sharon for questions regarding:

  • Becoming a member
  • Sponsorship and partnership opportunities
  • Online member programming 

Email: sharon@academyofhandmade.com


Isaac watson, Director

Isaac Watson is a community organizer, event planner, and a creator of business education and support networks for the maker community. He’s passionate about finding your people, building lasting relationships, and thinking about the big picture for your small business. 

Please contact Isaac for questions regarding:

  • Starting a chapter
  • How to become a chapter leader
  • Becoming involved in a local chapter
  • Local chapter programming

Email: isaac@academyofhandmade.com


Nessa Jay, Member support Assistant

I'm Nessa Jay, member support for the Academy of Handmade. I'm here to help you get the most out of your membership. I can answer questions about your membership and benefits, help you navigate the site, the member forums, and access any AHAS resource, worksheet or download you're looking for. When I'm not assisting AHAS members you can find me creating playful pinatas for beautiful events at my own business, LaLa's Party.

Please contact Nessa for questions regarding:

  • Members and blog post ideas
  • Questions about the member forums
  • Online member programming

Email: members@academyofhandmade.com

Lisa Cookston, Member Accounts and administrative Assistant

Supporter of small business and entrepreneurs, Lisa believes in mom-and-pop shops and everyone having the opportunity to have their own business!  Creativity and the people who share theirs feed her soul. Her gifts include administrative skills, event planning, organization, and customer service. Lisa is also currently curating her newest business Hemingway House, a seasonal blog and handmade retail shop!

Please contact Lisa for questions regarding:

  • Your member account
  • Your member application
  • Programming payments and enrollment

Email: info@academyofhandmade.com

Sandy Rodriguez head shot.jpeg

Sandy rodriguez, Marketing ASsistant

With nearly a decade of public relations experience, Sandy Rodriguez is an award-winning media relations expert that specializes in social media, special events, healthcare, restaurants and more. Sandy works to bring you Academy of Handmade's latest and greatest to social media and the weekly member newsletters. She earned her bachelor’s degree in communications from California State University, Fullerton. Away from the office, she is a new mom, who practices photography, enjoys crafts, party planning, cooking, and traveling.