JUNE 2017

Memphis Business Journal // June 16, 2017

EPIcenter is hosting a competition where makers will pitch their business-hindering challenges, with the hopes that other entrepreneurs and startups will build businesses to directly address those challenges.



High Ground News // Feb 8, 2017

The first-of-its-kind quantitative and qualitative survey tracks the aspirations and demographics of more than 300 makers in Memphis and Shelby County.

The Renewal Project // Feb 7, 2017

Communities working with their small-scale manufacturing businesses made waves in 2016 and more places are aiming to do so in 2017. What trends can we expect to see in this sector in 2017?

Memphis Daily News // Feb 7, 2017

The Made By Project has released key data from its survey of more than 300 Memphis-area makers and creative entrepreneurs, data that showcase the business opportunities as well as the challenges for local artisans making handcrafted products.



Memphis Business Journal // Dec 14, 2016

This month, Etsy Inc., a global marketplace where people connect online and offline to sell and buy unique goods, recognized Memphis' efforts to include makers, artisans and micro-manufacturers as equal players in the city's economy.

High Ground News // December 14, 2016

Etsy, the multi-billion dollar online marketplace, has named Memphis its fourth official Maker City, a title that ushers Memphis to the top of the list of cities willing to go the extra mile in providing a supportive and competitive environment for entrepreneurs.

Memphis Daily News // December 5, 2016

What’s already clear – certainly to entrepreneurs participating in that community – is that the maker economy is strong in Memphis. So much so that the CEO of online marketplace Etsy has in a letter to Memphis leaders praised the city with the official distinction of being a “Maker City.”

Smart City Memphis // December 2, 2016

Etsy designates Memphis as an official "Maker City," a network of “strong municipalities that value entrepreneurship, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing with the creative and innovative spirit of the Etsy community,” according to Etsy. 

The Commercial Appeal // December 2, 2016

Etsy cited an effort in Memphis this summer and fall to survey and support the city's community of makers, artisans and micro-manufacturers with help of Little Bird Innovation and EPIcenter Memphis. 

Memphis Flyer // December 1, 2016

For months, staff at Little Bird have been conducting intensive surveys and interviews of Memphis makers, with the ultimate goal of bringing to light the needs and challenges faced by these entrepreneurs living and working in the Memphis area. And on Dec 1 the project celebrated and gathered people from makers to city representatives for a night of community, appreciation, and share-outs. 

Memphis Flyer // December 1, 2016

Little Bird Innovation is helping answer questions like; how do we create a competitive economy in Memphis that helps their businesses thrive? As one of two key partners in the Made By project, Little Bird is conducting dizzying amounts of research to find these exact solutions for the Memphis area. 



StyleBlueprint // November 10, 2016

As part of StyleBlueprint's Memphis Makers coverage, they highlight initiatives like Made By and Memphis Fashion Week that are helping to bring makers to the forefront. Spotlighting two local makers in clothing Monte Stewart of Beg + Borrow and in jewelry Mimi Beasley Danosky & Mary Seay Loeb of Brave Design.



Memphis Business Journal // October 7, 2016

When you think of “manufacturing” the first thing that comes to mind isn’t soap. But entrepreneurs like soap maker Kimeli Wade of Gifts From Nature are bright spots in the conversation around makers and manufacturing. On October 7, Manufacturing Day 2016, the Made By project shared initial data from surveying over 300 makers and interviewing more than 30 entrepreneurs as part of the national event at Advance Memphis.


JULY 2016

Carmelized // July 18, 2016

Cara Greenstein of Caramelized highlights Dr. Albert Bean of Dr. Beans Coffee. Dr. Bean shares his story about how his goal to start a coffee and tea business became a reality as well as why he likes being based in Memphis. Also, as a small business owner in Memphis, he is part of the Made By Project, an initiative aimed at growing the maker community in Memphis.

Style Blueprint // July 14, 2016

The Made By Project aims at strengthening the artisan community in Memphis and three women have joined the cause to promote local businesses to Memphians. These women, Samilia Colar, Elise Wigen, and Grace Sheila, describe their small businesses, selling specialty goods from handbags and accessories to clothing and infant toys, in efforts to encourage Memphians to buy local.

Local Memphis Live // July 12, 2016.

Brit McDaniel of Paper and Clay and Tonya Tate of Olivia and Ruby share their personal business stories with Amy Speropoulos of Local Memphis 24. They also share how they’re in partnership with the Made By Project and other things mentioned are Mayor Strickland’s effort to support the maker community in the city and more information about the collaboration between Little Bird Innovation and EPICenter to make a stronger artisan community in Memphis.


JUNE 2016

Memphis Business Journal // June 23, 2016. 

The Made By Project seeks to help local small-owned businesses grow in Memphis. Co-founded and operated by Nicole Heckman, she discusses the purpose of the project and other efforts underway to help small business owners, like Judy Douglass of Judy Pound Cakes, expand their businesses. Also highlighted is the recent National Week of Making event that took place at the White House as an initiative to support artisan communities in Memphis.

Commercial Appeal // June 21, 2016. 

A recent Maker Faire was hosted by Mayor Strickland as part of his efforts to support small businesses in the city. More than a dozen artisans displayed products as Mayor Jim Strickland kicked off the fair at City Hall. Strickland said the community can help create more maker spaces, share best practices and develop more businesses. Also mentioned is the Made By Project and its efforts to support the maker community in the city.

Memphis Flyer // June 21, 2016. 

Makers in Memphis are being supported by the Mayor in efforts to help their businesses grow. Mayor Strickland sponsored a public Makers Faire in front of City Hall where makers sold their goods and networked with other makers. Present was a crew from the National Ornamental Metal Museum with art demonstrations, as well as food trucks. Strickland also signed the Mayor's Maker Challenge, a pledge to support the growth of local makers.

Commercial Appeal // June 16, 2016. 

Bill Rout is the founder of Express Packaging, a wholesale firm that sells custom packaging to over 500 Mid-South businesses. Rout discusses how entrepreneurs in Memphis are doing great things for the city, and how they could progress more if they had better guidance. Also mentioned is Little Bird Innovation and the Made By Project and their efforts to reach out to the maker community. Personal opinions from local small business owners are also shared about what isn’t being done to support local businesses.

Choose901 // June 10, 2016.

The National Week of Making was sponsored by the White House and the city of Memphis took time out to celebrate. Several events took place in union with the National Week, from the Meet Your Maker reception to the Makers Faire. Both of these local events were created by the Made By Project and its mission to help local artisans grow their businesses.

High Ground News // June 9, 2016.

The Made By Project was co-founded by Nicole Heckman and is an effort to bring more opportunities for makers to the city of Memphis. Heckman discusses the origins of the Project and what its ultimate goal is for the city, as well as several events that took place, like the Makers Faire, and their efforts to grow the maker community in the city.

Memphis Daily News // June 2, 2016. 

The month of June was a pivotal time for gathering makers in Memphis. Over the month, three events took place to discuss ways to help the maker community in Memphis thrive.

Events highlighted were: the Makers Cities Summit in Brooklyn, NY, were a team from Memphis was selected by Etsy to discuss how to improve the maker community, as well as the Meet Your Maker social and the Makers Faire which both took place in Memphis as networking platforms for makers.

For media inquiries contact these folks here!

Nicole Heckman | Little Bird Innovation

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Kerry HayesStrategic Communications