Gifts Today magazine

NY NOW's new Maker Project

A new three-pronged initiative of exhibits, education & special events will launch at the summer edition

NY NOW’s “Maker Project” will include showcases of individual makers and their products, a four-part seminar program addressing the movement’s evolution, impact and opportunities and exclusive free access to a special “NYC Maker 100” exhibit at New York City’s MAD (Museum of Arts and Design).

“NY NOW has been a long-standing supporter of makers and their wholesale efforts, through our HANDMADE Collection on a broad scale, as well as our specific ‘incubator’ efforts which include A+ The Young Designers’ Platform at Accent on Design, HANDMADE Designer Maker’s Emerging Makers and Artisan Resource’s Market Incubator Program,” said Christian Falkenberg, NY NOW director and senior vice president.

“This summer, we’re extending our support of individual makers through this new initiative, which not only showcases products but also educates Market participants about the movement’s origins, its evolution and its importance to our industry.”

The largest element of the Maker Project is the debut of a new Etsy Wholesale pavilion, featuring Etsy Wholesale Sellers and their products across the spectrum of home and lifestyle merchandise, in nearly 2,000 net square feet of exhibit space in the Javits Connector. Etsy Wholesale is an online platform that allows retailers to connect and transact directly with emerging independent designers. In addition to an exhibition of products, a series of in-booth presentations will augment the commercial activity.

“We’re thrilled to be partnering with NY NOW. The Etsy Wholesale Pavilion at NY NOW offers buyers the opportunity to see products in-person and connect with some of the talented makers that comprise Etsy Wholesale’s online community,” said Elana Dweck, Etsy Wholesale program manager.

An additional display, presented by the product launch platform The Grommet, also will spotlight a variety of new-to-market makers and their home and lifestyle products. Newly-launched, The Grommet Wholesale is an online, Citizen Commerce powered platform designed to connect Main Street retailers and makers. This special exhibit will augment two existing NY NOW maker-focused collectives – American Design Club and JOIN Seattle – exhibiting in Accent on Design®; and two existing NY NOW ‘incubator’ showcases for emerging designers and artisans: A+ The Young Designers’ Platform at Accent on Design and Emerging Makers within HANDMADE Designer Maker. Additionally, a “Market Incubator Pavilion” program is presented at the concurrent Artisan Resource®, which offers U.S.-based volume importers, direct import retailers and wholesalers the opportunity to meet with international artisanal producers.

In connection with this focus on makers and their products, NY NOW will host four seminars connected with the Maker Movement during the summer Market.

• On Sunday, August 17, “Modern-Day Matchmaking: Technology & Tools for the 21st Century” will explore the current tools and technology that connect ideas with action—such as crowd-funding, co-working spaces, and start-up incubators—and the digital technology that enables single individuals to design, develop and deliver items that are customizable and unique.

• On Monday, August 18, “Knock-Out Knock-Offs: Design Integrity in the Internet Age” will explore ethical questions surrounding original design, plagiarism, intellectual property and the creative process of design. The session will be presented by Be Original Americas, which is committed to informing, educating and influencing manufacturers, design professionals and individuals on the economic, ethical, and environmental value of authentic design while preserving and investing in its future.

Susan Szenasy, publisher/editor in chief of METROPOLIS, will moderate “The Maker Movement – Forging A New Paradigm,” on Monday, August 18. The panel discussion will explore the risks and rewards for small businesses dedicated to creating and selling self-made products through processes ranging from the digital to the artisanal. Subjects also will include current issues, local and global impacts, creativity, technique and craftsmanship and predictions about new business models of the future. 

• On Tuesday, August 19, Jules Pieri, founder and CEO of The Grommet, Entrepreneur in Residence at Harvard Business School, and one of Fortune’s 2013 “Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs,” will present “Entrepreneurship & Lessons Learned from the Start-Up Trenches." Pieri will explore entrepreneurship in today’s invention-focused and DIY economy; the three A’s of entrepreneurship; finding funding for a start-up; and challenges for women, minorities and older entrepreneurs.

Complete details about each of the sessions is available online at

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