The Loop has always been a place for creative industries, fix-it shops, and those who believe that if you're not wearing coveralls, you're not really working. Now, we're turning this same attention to the individual makers and creatives who love what they do and take pride in a job well done. We're creating partnerships, building shared spaces, and providing support for our local maker community as a way to incubate small businesses and revitalize The Loop.
Our efforts have been noticed on a nationwide level.
We partnered with Regional Economic Development Inc and were one of six organizations in the nation to receive a grant from Smart Growth America, the Economic Development Administration and Recast City to encourage local, small-scale manufacturing. Just a year later, we partnered with Jabberwocky Studios and were named one of five Maker Cities by Etsy and the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth.
We're not just reaching out to Columbia's hidden economy of makers and creatives, we're creating pathways for those left out of the traditional funding and start up process, often women and minorities. Our goal is a one-stop shop of resources for a diverse range of makers with a shared branding program, a community-wide awareness campaign, an online makers directory, educational workshops, regular maker meet-ups, pop ups and tasting events, and assistance locating manufacturing space along The Loop corridor.
Our goal is to support and promote our diverse maker community and raise awareness of how critical local makers are to the economic vitality of the area. We know small makers don't have big ad budgets and that's where we can help with joint branding and a shared marketing campaign. We've created a brand that all our local makers and creatives can use--on packaging, labels, social media and more. And the more we work together, the stronger our community becomes.
Why CRE? Our Loop logo is built upon the infinity symbol, spray painted on city sidewalks to indicate the start of a public works project. We love the allure of a new project as well as the concept of infinite potential when it comes to our community of makers, artisans, crafters, and cooks. And in true creative fashion, our team tipped this symbol on its side and our brand was born.
So makers, use your brand with abandon. Emboss it on leather, carve it into wood, sew it on a scarf, or ice it on cookies. Stamp it on your packaging and use it in your social media posts. Use it to show your pride--in your work and in our community of makers.
To download logo files and graphic standards, visit https://drive.google.com/drive/u/1/folders/17c5VaaHEHgWrgULJqRfJSEp3q2vTNLXo
For a branding kit and to join our online Makers Directory, contact Rae Adams at [email protected].