Artisans, makers and crafts-people belong to a 21st-century movement that is creating economic change. They make up a growing share of people working in non-traditional areas who are skilled problem-solvers and adopters often leveraging new technology to advance their craft. As micro-entrepreneurs, they represent an opportunity to reinvigorate the Memphis economy in a new direction. As artisans, they enrich our cultural identity across the city.
This report summarizes research and analysis findings through the first nine months of the project. We sought to understand the journeys, aspirations, challenges and lives of Memphis-area makers in order to develop a strategic plan that grows this important sector of our economy.
The end result of the project is an economic development plan that fosters a vibrant, thriving and inclusive community of makers, artisans and micro-manufacturers across the region. In this report, we refer to all of these individuals as “makers” and define them as individuals using skill or craft to create a physical good at small scale to sell.