The Maker’s Row story
Matthew and Tanya exemplify how some Americans are looking at the new tools that this era of American economic history is offering to them. They are seizing ways to use these tools—like platforms and new kinds of producer-consumer relationships—to build new businesses. When they look at this digital revolution and the networked economy, they see new opportunities. Together, they founded Maker’s Row, a domestic sourcing platform making the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access.
Maker’s Row has been described as “a kind of proto-Alibaba for U.S. businesses” that, in Tanya’s words, can “bring outsourced manufacturing back home, and . . . plant the seeds of the next generation of businesses that will be able to easily find American manufacturing partners.” That way, according to Matthew, “a good idea can become a great product here in the United States.”
The company has a growing database of suppliers in everything from zippers to tooling. Users can write reviews of suppliers in a Yelp-like manner. Maker’s Row has taken off. “In its first year, the site connected 26,000 buyers to 2,000 domestic manufacturers with its easy-to-access platform, [plugging] holes within a variety of manufacturing ecosystems.” It has expanded to help businesses, students, and designers by developing a service that offers personal guidance in manufacturing, marketing, PR, production, and more.