Three years ago Maker’s Row set out to solve a problem.
“From first-time entrepreneurs to big brands, everyone faces the same problem when it comes to finding a factory in the US,” said Matthew Burnett, CEO, Maker's Row told IndustryWeek. “When your resources are limited, your options are limited and overall business suffers. Our group provides the means to which a good idea can become a great product here in the United States.”
The industry that Burnett focused on was the apparel and accessories since it is now more of a demand model. “Companies no longer have the luxury of long lead times that are necessary when sourcing overseas.” Explained Burnett.
So he and co-founder Tonya Menendez created on online matchmaking service. For each stage of production there are available sources. The six stages are ideation, pattern making, material, sample making, tooling and production. For example in the ideation stage the site offers names of factories that can help refine an idea and analyze the different components that are involved in bringing the idea to production. At the production stage information on factories in all fifty states is available.
Since the site launched in November 2012, Maker’s Row has connected over 80,000 businesses with domestic manufacturers, creating over 1.5 million products.
As their marketplace for American manufacturing continued to grow, Maker’s Row realized that they were in the unique position to showcase American made products and on Sept.3 they launched The General Store. “It is an immersive online experience that explores Made in America on a consumer level,” the company said.
The store is a showcase of brands that use Maker’s Row factories to develop their collections here in the United States. The store features products that range from unique, one-of-a-kind pieces to everyday classics.
“We’re aiming to cultivate an experience that’s as welcoming as visiting your neighborhood corner store, with an array of unique products you won't see anywhere else,” said Burnett.