Recently, we put into action something we’ve long since hoped to do: facilitating more interactive, double-sided conversations with our community. We never want to talk at you; we hope to converse with you, always. Current MiA Badge holders, either designers and manufacturers or American-made supporters, received a concise questionnaire from us regarding their consumption habits, challenges in their current role as either a consumer, maker, or both, and their hopes from the community at large. The answers inevitably better our organization and the support we provide. See how designers and supporters holding The MiA Badge responded.
We weren't at all surprised by the below finding that the most significant impediment to mass consumer adoption of American-made goods is cost. What few people know - and we hope to continue to share - is costs do come down the more people buy American made. It's a somewhat simple math equation of more products produced and bought means the cost comes down.
To be honest, we were a little astonished at the relatively high percentage of even moderate trust in labeling practices given the number of concerns we've heard in confidence over the years.
As we always say, at first blush it may seem that the manufacturing and sourcing origins of products you buy and consume is not a valuable topic to everyone. Yet that couldn't be further from the truth. Whatever you consume, the lineage of its creation includes human rights issues, sustainability concerns, fiscal support for various individuals and groups, and the list goes on. Our respondents seem to agree and feel all aspects of production are important to varying degrees.
What a juxtaposition - the newest and the oldest means of connecting with a fitting audience lead the most meaningful marketing channels for manufacturers. Physical and digital realms really do complement each other.
As a small business ourselves, how manufacturers begin and gain resources is hugely interesting to us, and most likely any of you looking to start a part- or full-time business. Interestingly, almost all of our respondents had no financial assistance other than personal investments or friends and family contributions. 23% also cited industry mentorship; nearly 8% received government support; and 8% utilized crowdfunding tools or worked with VCs or Angel investors. Way to persevere, you all!