Searching for American manufacturers?
December 13, 2012 1:24 PM   Subscribe

Billed as "Factory Sourcing Made Easy," Maker's Row is a searchable database of American factories, their specialties, their locations, and which parts of the production process they can help you with.
posted by OmieWise (7 comments total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
This is needlessly twee, but more of this please!
posted by schmod at 1:30 PM on December 13, 2012

Also, apparently America only manufactures textiles.

Still, I'm pretty sure there's a market for an "Etsy for bulk materials"
posted by schmod at 1:33 PM on December 13, 2012

Was hoping for a listing of places that do large runs of specialized foods. Like, if I wanted to bake, package and sell my biscotti for wide distribution, I'd really need to get it made in a contract facility a bit larger than my kitchen. I know there are places that do that, but have no idea where.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:41 PM on December 13, 2012

Also, apparently America only manufactures textiles.

From the first page:
Our first industry target is apparel and accessories. Stay tuned for more...

Presumably they'll be adding in other manufacturers later. I think it makes sense to add the listings in larger numbers, limited to specific categories - if they had, say, two textile manufacturers, two metalworkers, one leather supplier, one plastics fabricator, it would be harder to comparison shop, and if the two listings don't have the metal widget you wanted, you're not as likely to tell your friends on the metal widget forum all about this great place you found to buy widgets.
posted by dubold at 2:00 PM on December 13, 2012

This. Is. Awesome. Not only as a resource for designers, but also a fantastic way to learn how physical stuff gets made.

Not everyone can (or wants to) write code, practice medicine/law or other selections from the 10 "best" jobs according to US News & World Report. We need a better balance of head & hand work & it's great to see the hand getting more exposure.

Count me in line as staying tuned for more...
posted by yoga at 3:43 PM on December 13, 2012

Thorzdad, it looks like the University of Nebraska has a program that's at least a start toward the sort of thing you're talking about.

However, their database of contract manufacturers (also called "co-packers" in the food business - a fun fact I learned today!) doesn't seem to be publicly accessible via the web. Instead, they want you to contact them for some sort of personalized proposal/quote. Still, it's something, I guess.

I know there's a factory in my town that makes bottled sauces - spaghetti sauce, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, etc. - that are sold under a variety of widely-distributed labels, but that also does smaller production runs for more localized/specialized makers. I get the impression that these sorts of arrangements are pretty common in the food processing industry.
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 10:10 PM on December 13, 2012

I just wanna confess, i'm kind of obsessed with (ebay for retailers) i search random shit in countries and languages i don't understand using cut & paste...all that stuff, out there... it's like limitless windowshopping...late at night..
posted by maiamaia at 9:26 AM on December 14, 2012

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