Maker City app hyperlinks shoppers with Northeast Ohio’s inventive sector

Artist Anne Harrill is aware of she’s lucky to have saved her enterprise open throughout a pandemic that shuttered small storefronts nationwide.

Océanne — which offers in vintage-inspired jewellery, attire and equipment — has been buoyed by a mix of on-line gross sales, a $23,000 Paycheck Safety Program mortgage and a devoted shop-local motion.

Additional help arrived in early November with the cell launch of Maker City, an internet software created by Cleveland artist Susie Frazier to assist shoppers discover Northeast Ohio’s art-related companies, boutiques and galleries.

Harrill is certainly one of 498 entrepreneurial artists on the budding Maker City community. Although the cell app directs customers to artist studios, business workshops and different maker-related companies, it’s not an e-commerce web site.

Fairly, the app — now accessible by way of Google and Apple — aggregates regional information to disclose sorts of handmade merchandise and the place to seek out them. Appearing as a buying concierge with GPS performance, Maker City kinds searches by house décor, furnishings, jewellery and extra merchandise. Qualifying companies are viewable by interactive maps, alphabetical lists or Instagram-style messages.

Océanne started life a decade in the past in a spare bed room of Harrill’s house, rising into a contemporary jewellery and attire model now working from a 2,000-square-foot Gordon Sq. storefront. COVID-19 stay-at-home orders closed the enterprise from March to June, with on-line gross sales now comprising 80% of general income, a determine Harrill declined to share.

“We additionally promote wholesale, so issues have been regular business-wise,” mentioned Harrill, a local of France. “We have been featured as a minority-owned enterprise as nicely, which has drawn some new eyes. We’re fortunate to be in a supportive neighborhood.”

Maker City ideally improves upon options discovered on Etsy, Shopify and comparable apps, mentioned founder Frazier. For example, shoppers can store for makers that supply merchandise at $100 or under. A number of clicks navigates customers to brief firm descriptions alongside product photographs and hyperlinks to e-commerce websites. Frazier expects the app to spice up a transitioning Cleveland maker group impacted by virus-canceled festivals, artwork walks and flea markets.

“Entry to artists is gone with occasions being shut down, in order a area, the place are individuals getting their touchpoints with native makers?” Frazier mentioned. “We’d like methods for individuals to seek out us with out being depending on bodily walk-ins.”

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