Anyone can have an idea for a great new product. Many people can raise the capital required for the initial startup costs, especially with crowdfunding options like Kickstarter. But not everyone has access to the manufacturing facilities and equipment needed to launch their new business. ‘Maker’s Row’ attempts to change that, connecting designers to manufacturing resources.
‘Maker’s Row’ Bridges Daunting Gap Between Design and Manufacturing
by Joseph Flaherty
3D printers make it easy to create one-off products. Kickstarter gives makers capital to produce at scale. But there aren’t many resources to help navigate the world of high-volume manufacturing. Maker’s Row, a marketplace that connects designers and American factories, aims to fix that by acclimating creators to the culture of manufacturing and making sense of obscure terms like AWO to ZQC production.
The Maker’s Row website allows designers to search for factories with keywords, browse projects the factories have worked on and, in some cases, see videos of the shops and founder in action. The site’s design and videos manage to make manufacturing feel glamorous, and even a little patriotic.
The company grew out of an organic need. Co-founder Matthew Burnett worked for Marc Jacobs and Izod before launching his own line of leather goods. He convinced a friend, Tanya Menendez, who had worked at Google and Goldman Sachs, to join him and help grow the business. After dealing with a costly manufacturing setback overseas, they realized that reorganizing the trillion-dollar manufacturing industry had more upsides than producing well-tailored accessories. They recruited a web designer named Scott Weiner and launched the service.
“Our primary mission is to bring outsourced manufacturing back home, and to plant the seeds of the next generation of businesses that will be able to easily find American manufacturing partners,” Menendez says.
Read the full article at Wired. What do you think? Will the next wave of American manufacturing come from home-run businesses?