We recently launched a new website featuring products made exclusively by manufacturers in northwest Arkansas.
The new website called nwamakers.com, offers local artwork, jewelry, furniture and other products for the home, toys, t-shirts and all kinds of items in between.
The project was launched by the NWA Makers Club, a new group made up earlier this year of creative people of all kinds who “love to work together, communicate, eye each other at work, and shower each other with encouragement” .
The website was launched last week and manufacturers have been working on adding their products since then. Group founder Bo Dutton said he considers the official launch date to be September 1st.
“I started our group in January 2021 after watching the abundance of incredible movers and shakers in the area and realizing that this was a community without a community center,” said Dutton. âI wanted to create a place where we can socialize, work together, admire the work of other manufacturers, seek help and really be everything that is needed for local manufacturers. Born in the midst of COVID, we have so far been forced to primarily interact online, which I believe has helped our online community explode as it has done. We have almost 2000 makers, artists and creatives of all kinds in our Facebook group, all of whom are based in northwest Arkansas. “
The aim of the new website is to highlight some locally made products and to educate people about local options for purchasing a wide variety of items that they may want or need.
âI took my website dreams to NWA Maker Club member Adam Gronwald from Happy Design Co.
More than 40 artists, woodworkers, potters and other creative types have already added products to the website.
They include Austin Vanderveer, a woodworker who makes bespoke toy trucks through his Bad Ash Toys company, and Crystal Widger, who makes crocheted creations through her Crochet a Memory company. The site also includes artists of all skill levels, from newer artists to more established companies like longtime glass artist Ed Pennebaker.
Each manufacturer has its own profile page and the opportunity to present its products on the website.
Buyers can view the products they are interested in and either contact the artists directly or visit their websites or Etsy pages to shop from them directly.
His hope, Dutton said, is that the website will answer questions like, “Who can make me a _____? and âWhere can I find ____ on site?â he said.
âThis website serves a few purposes that are most relevant to your audience. It is the first and only place to look for locally made goods or manufacturers who work in the media that you are interested in, âhe said.
Locals who want to get involved with the NWA Makers can join the Facebook group to become part of the community.
“Our doors are open to anyone who sees themselves as creative, and we’d love to have you in our community,” said Dutton.
If all goes well, the makers also have other plans.
âWe plan to open a store called The NWA Makers’ Market to give our manufacturers a place to show and sell their products and a place where the public can come and know that they are unique find quality products, all made right here in northwest Arkansas by their friends and neighbors, âsaid Dutton.