America is experiencing a renaissance in design and production. There’s also a palpable shift in consumerism. We see it when we walk the steadily growing farmers markets in cities across the nation; we read about it in high-trafficked blogs covering the people behind some of our favorite businesses; and we feel it with every customer, American designer and supporter we interact with. The enthusiasm and actions taken to shift from throwaway behaviors to thoughtful purchases is real.
These American designers and manufacturers are overcoming business challenges and pressures to outsource. They, along with consumers, value what has steadily diminished since the Golden Era: high-quality, longlasting products, slower consumption, and American job creation within the design and manufacturing sectors. We believed their stories and designs deserved a dedicated digital and physical platform, a place where they can connect with others en masse. So we created one – The MiA Project.
The MiA Project was created by two friends over coffee on a hot Los Angeles afternoon in 2012. It began with a badge of honor. The Badge would be for manufacturers, designers, and artisans conducting a majority of their business in America as well as American design and manufacturing supporters.
Bearing the Badge is such a simple act of solidarity and can be placed anywhere – websites, Tumblrs, marketing materials, storefronts. It can generate more consumer awareness, pique mass curiosity, and ultimately lead to business growth.
The Badge was just the start. Information about American designers, their American-made products, and their stories are buried, unknown to our fashion-savvy aunt in New Jersey or even our Pinterest-obsessed cousin in Los Angeles. The movement of buying American-made and thoughtful purchasing behavior is picking up, and more consumers want to understand what constitutes American-made and where to find these items. They want to know what economies they’re fueling and the people and stories behind the items they buy.
Through stories, behind-the-scenes interviews, educational content, events and a robust E-commerce store, The MiA Project joyfully brings the creator and the consumer together. And we’re just getting started.