Above image: SAC-MADE business card design created by Ashley Rodseth, Sacramento based Graphic Designer.
Original blog can be found at www.sacmade.com/blog.
Located inside the WAL Public Market on R Street, is Old Gold, a boutique shop featuring vintage clothing and unique handmade items. If you’ve ever browsed in there, you know that Old Gold is one of the few retailers in Sacramento that carries products that are handmade by local makers. Owner of Old Gold, Trisha Rhomberg (and a co-founder of Sac-Made), being connected to both local makers and consumers, noticed a growing desire to buy local within the community. People are looking to put their hard earned dollars where they feel it deserves to be, whether that’s locally produced goods or handmade unique items, they’re spending consciously.
“I was being asked for a lot of maker’s contact information to facilitate custom projects by people in the community who wanted to support local makers,” said Rhomberg.
Above Image: Old Gold store front located inside the Warehouse Artist Lofts, an R st. Corridor anchor retailer.
Sac-Made emerged as a way to fulfill the both the needs of local makers and micro-manufacturers, as well as the consumers who support them. As one of the winners of the 2017 City of Sacramento’s Creative Economy Pilot Project, the goal of Sac-Made is to unify makers and micro-manufacturers in the Sacramento region, in addition to providing them with resources required for growing their businesses and connecting them to local consumers. The project is co-founded by Trisha Rhomberg, Eric Ullrich, and Sarah Barkawi, who have been observing a growing need to help the unique maker community gain access to resources, scale their companies, and become self-sustaining.
“We want to provide resources and support for local makers that allow them to make a living off what they create, so their talents aren’t side-hustles, but something that is able to sustain them,” said Barkawi.
Above image: Nils came to Sacramento in 2014 and and made it his full-time dream, creating Newton Booth Builds out of a desire to do what he loves; combining art with functionality.
In order for local makers and micro-manufacturers to be self-sustaining, people need to know who they are and what types of products they create. Unfortunately, hundreds of makers in the region have yet to gain wide recognition, and might be struggling to get into what seems like a tight-knit maker community. It’s important for the maker community to connect with consumers and for them to connect with other makers, to strengthen and unify their community. When makers support each other, their impact on the Sacramento community is more significant and it leads the way for more representation, collaboration, and access to resources.
Sacramento is a city that thrives on supporting locally owned businesses. Whether it’s by supporting the farm-to-fork movement or our overwhelming preference for a locally roasted cup of coffee, we choose local almost every time. However, for a majority of the local consumers, locally made goods aren’t always accessible.</ p>
“Sometimes you go to a makers fair and you see something you really like, but there’s no brick and mortar you can walk into — so how do you find those items again? It has to be easy on the consumer and it can be a much better experience to send someone to Sac-Made where they have access to all the local makers,” said Barkawi.
Above image: Figs and Feathers Farm, herbal skincare and provisions handcrafted with wild-harvested and California-grown ingredients.
Sac-Made is bridging the gap between makers and consumers. We are creating a platform that creates visibility on the products being created by makers and micro-manufacturers and creating an easy to navigate pathway for consumers to find those products. Through Sac-Made, makers and micro-manufacturers are able to apply on our website, and, pending approval, will be added to the Sac-Made public-access directory. This public directory allows consumers the ability to search for and connect with specific makers and their products.
Above Image: Zeal Kombucha is botanically brewed and fermented using organic sugar. Crafted and bottled in Sacramento.
Listed below are resources that we hope to provide Sac-Made certified makers and micro-manufacturers.
1. Visibility through being in the database along with fellow local makers and manufacturers.
2. Access to marketing resources including quarterly emails, social media, and graphic tool kits for your own small-biz self promo.
3. Trusted by consumers through becoming recognized in the community as a high-quality, local maker through the certification process.
“Providing support to makers and manufacturers means revenue coming into the city, jobs being created in the city, and then opportunities for citizens and community members to engage,”said Eric Ullrich.
When members of the community support local businesses, they have the benefit of knowing exactly where their product was made, designed, and/or manufactured. Furthermore, they know the money they spend supporting local is invested back into the Sacramento economy.
A program like this hasn’t existed within the region, and it’s well overdue. Extremely talented makers will now have a centralized space to connect with buyers and potential partners, helping them scale their business and become more sustainable, thus generating more revenue and creating a more transparent transaction between buyer and maker.
“I want people to be happy doing what they love. I want this to be something that connects members of the community, as well as unifies and strengthens it,” stated Rhomberg.
We want to continue to grow as an organization and our hope is that Sac-Made remains, for years to come, an integral part of the success of the maker movement in this region. We are excited to be on this journey with you and even more excited to see the impact we can have on Sacramento.
For more information and to apply, visit sacmade.com/apply.
For questions and inquiries, please email [email protected]