Maker’s Row connects designers and creators with American manufacturers — and has presently raised $75,000, shooting for a goal of $1.25 million to hire developers. The website allows creators to pick and choose amongst factories, judging off past work and multimedia presentations of the factory features. Manufacturer’s pay a subscription fee to post about their factory.
According to TechCrunch, the startup was a finalist in last week’s Women 2.0 Pitch Competition — and arose out of a genuine need from the founders, Matthew Burnett and Tanya Menendez.
Burnett was involved in the fashion industry as a watch designer for Izod and Marc Jacobs, before launching leather-goods maker The Brooklyn Bakery. Menendez, a business-savvy Goldman Sachs alum, helped Burnett operate The Brooklyn Bakery — and both young professionals soon discovered the problems of international manufacturing. High transit costs, uncertain transportation safety and finicky customs offices all created headaches for the duo, inspiring them to create a “matchmaker” for designers and stateside factories.
Scott Weiner led the tech development for the website, and the company further developed in the Brooklyn Beta summer incubator program. The company plans to focus on fashion and textile designers, for now, with particular concentration for “small and mid-size businesses.” In other words, the website is perfect for Kickstarter-funded fashion designers.