Knoxville was branded Tennessee’s Maker City at The Maker City Summit 2017, a gathering of the city’s artisans, small-scale manufacturers and entrepreneurs that was held Sept. 19 at the Mill and Mine.
Whether for tourism, economic development, heritage or regional pride, cities across Tennessee have official and unofficial nicknames that identify them. Branding Knoxville as Tennessee’s Maker City aims to address its entrepreneurial spirit both with makers and the larger community.
The branding project is a joint effort of Mayor Madeline Rogero’s Maker Council, the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center and Designsensory, a Knoxville advertising firm.
“Knoxville has always been a city of makers of arts and crafts and industry,” said Rogero. “We make everything from smart transportation technology to bread and beer and a lot of music.”
Designsensory, led by Principal and Co-Founder Joseph Nother, gifted the branding project to the City of Knoxville as a celebration of its 15th anniversary in business. The company partnered with the Mayor’s Maker Council to build an all-encompassing name for the city’s maker movement, an effort that began in the spring of 2016 when a team of Knoxville entrepreneurs, operating under the banner of MakeKnox, attended Etsy’s inaugural Maker City Summit in Brooklyn, N.Y. In September 2016, the Mayor’s Summit on Entrepreneurship convened at Mill & Mine to bring together local officials, civic leaders and entrepreneurs for a conversation on rethinking economic development. The same day, the city’s first Maker City Summit gathered local artists and small manufacturers along with Etsy experts to discuss creative manufacturing. The 2016 Maker City Summit also provided Mayor Rogero the opportunity to proclaim Knoxville an Etsy Maker City, the first such award by Etsy to a city in the U.S.
Nother of Designsensory unveiled The Maker City logo and concept today’s second annual Maker City Summit.
“Designsensory is thrilled to have helped establish a name and brand identity for the maker movement in Knoxville. Knoxville is a great place for entrepreneurship and creative risk-taking and a home that has nourished our own growth for many years,” Nother said. “This is a defining moment for Knoxville and important to our collective growth; I ‘m excited to see how people embrace the mantle of being The Maker City and how they will build on this momentum.”
Jim Biggs of Knoxville Entrepreneur Center states “KEC is excited to be part of the second annual Maker City Summit, and in particular to support both the Mayor’s Maker Council and Designsensory in their exceptional work to brand Knoxville as The Maker City, and all of the crafters, artisans, developers and small-scale manufacturers who have made Knoxville THE place to make in Tennessee.”
For more information, go to www.makeknox.com.