People's Liberty is a philanthropic lab that empowers individuals eager to make positive change in Cincinnati—but don't just take our word for it! We're passing the megaphone along to our 2015 Project Grantees in a series we're calling "Grantees Takeover the Blog," in order to better capture their projects, process and unique stories. Read on...
Made In Cincinnati; Grantees: Maija Zummo & Colleen Sullivan
If you're anything like more than half of Americans, you like to do your shopping online — maybe because it’s 2 a.m. and you’re in your pajamas or maybe because you just don't feel like dealing with parking. And you know shopping locally is “good” — for the economy, environment and labor practices. But you also know shopping locally is the best way to find the coolest things for yourself, your home, your friends, your dog or your significant other. You're the person who gives the best gifts at birthday parties, baby showers, weddings, graduation parties and housewarmings because you enjoy giving those you love thoughtful, unique presents; things that mean something. Or maybe you take a special thrill when people ask you "Where's that from?" and you don't have to answer “the mall.”
Whatever your reason for wanting to shop locally, Made in Cincinnati has you covered. Launching this Fall, Made in Cincinnati will be a curated online shopping experience — an e-commerce site — connecting customers to local makers 24/7. It will provide consumers (aka you) with a one-stop-shop to buy goods directly from Cincinnati’s best creatives and artisans in a centralized location, without leaving home. It will be easy to navigate and feature products as unique as the people who make them — no complicated filters, no unauthorized companies posing as crafters, just real people making really great products.
So what will be sold on the site and what does "curated" even mean? Basically, by using the term "curated," we're letting shoppers and vendors know that each seller has been vetted for quality, whether they're selling wood goods, pottery, jewelry, art prints, greeting cards or artisan popcorn. It's the same thing a brick-and-mortar retail shop does; they send out buyers to pick the best products to go in their store. By curating the site, we are ensuring quality and a manageable selection. Shoppers can feel comfortable that they're purchasing high-quality goods — goods we stand behind — and makers can feel comfortable knowing the platform is providing a commerce site where their hard work will be showcased with others who work just as hard. And by curating, it'll be easier to find a ceramic mug or a ring or weavings for your wall. Nobody — vendor or shopper — will get lost in pages and pages of redundant products.
Moreover, Made in Cincinnati will also feature profiles of each local maker whose goods are available for purchase on the site, allowing consumers to get to know them on a human level. Maker culture is nothing unless you know who the maker is. Learn each vendor's story, learn how they make their product and get a dose of transparency you rarely see in retail — by taking a glimpse behind the curtain of the maker process, you’ll understand the cost. We're putting the human element back into the digital space, on a hyperlocal level.
Who’s behind Made in Cincinnati? Made in Cincinnati is brought to you by Maija Zummo and Colleen Sullivan, a writer and digital marketer, respectively. We’re lifelong Cincinnatians with a passion for connecting Cincinnati craftspeople to the wider community and helping grassroots businesses grow.
We’re currently accepting vendor applications. If you're interested in more information, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.