The Madewell x Nest Hometown Heroes Collective Welcomes Its 100th Maker
Photos provided by makers and Madewell respectively. From upper left to lower right: By Ren, Twenty Two West, Tumble, Soil to Studio, ABCrete & Co., Ritual Stems, Laina Miller, Ser Paraiso, and Rio Blanco Provisions.
Through the Hometown Heroes Collective, Madewell and Nest work directly with makers across the country, imparting valuable small business and branding tips while simultaneously providing exposure to Madewell customers by selling participating makers’ goods on Madewell.com.
All makers are also granted access to the Nest Maker’s United program, a growing community that provides pro bono business education and resources to makers and entrepreneurs.
As Nest and Madewell celebrate over 100 makers who have gone through the program, we are proud to reflect on both the measurable—and immeasurable—impact that we have achieved. Through the program the makers have generated over half a million dollars in new sales, which has equated to an average increase of 61% in these makers’ annual income.
Additionally, we’ve heard from makers like Eli and Valencia Morr of Peacesake Candles, a member of Class 6 of the Collective, who shared, “Since joining the Collective, we have been able to improve many areas of our business and gain experience that helps us continue to better our processes and grow. Working with Madewell has been a dream come true to us. We are extremely grateful for this opportunity, it validated everything we worked hard towards, we gained a ton of experience and saw significant growth for Peacesake.”
In addition to practical business support, the program prioritizes peer mentorship by pairing current program participants with previous participants specializing in a similar craft type, like Lalese Stamps of Lolly Lolly Ceramics and Peyton Flynn of Cloud 9 Clay. Both mentors and mentees report growing personally and professionally from these relationships, and some have even gone on to create product collaborations together.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in both the Hometown Heroes Collective and Madewell marketplace!” said Liz Wible of Wild Lather, a member of the Hometown Heroes Collective, Class 9. “I still can’t really believe that Wild Lather’s been a part of it. I feel like it’s been great exposure and validity for the brand and everyone has been so kind, generous, and great to work with – truly. And, I met my mentors from Peacesake Candle Co., they’re super kind, we purchased each other’s products, decided to stay in touch, and have plans for a possible collaboration down the line.”
In 2010, Madewell started the Hometown Heroes program as a way to provide makers and creative entrepreneurs with in-store pop-up opportunities. After hearing positive feedback from customers and participating makers, Madewell perceived an opportunity to provide even more impactful support to creatives and small businesses across the U.S. In 2019, Madewell relaunched the program alongside Nest, a recognized champion of the artisan and handcraft sector, calling it the Madewell x Nest Hometown Heroes Collective.
Each quarter, Madewell and Nest welcome a new class of talented makers to the program who represent a range of small-batch, handmade goods from clothing to home decor to apothecary, and more.
On March 16, the twelfth class of the Madewell x Nest Hometown Heroes Collective launched and included the program’s 106th participant. In addition to this significant milestone, we are celebrating the tremendous impacts the program has had since our partnership with Madewell began three years ago. These impacts include:
- Launching 12 classes that represent 23 states, providing makers with the opportunity to gain valuable market exposure through listing their products on Madewell.com and in select Madewell stores
- More than 12,000 locally-made, artfully-crafted products sold from categories like jewelry, home, accessories, apparel, and beauty
- +61% increase in annual income for participating creative entrepreneurs
Awarding over $141,000 in grants to makers to help them prepare for participation in the program
“Not to be dramatic—but also to be dramatic— this program changed my world as a maker, said Lauren Harbury, owner of Feminist Goods, a Class 7 participant. “I gained exposure and support that I could only have dreamed about prior to this program and the effect on my business has been very noticeable. The resources and team at Nest and Madewell have been absolutely the best thing to happen to my journey as a maker.”
In addition to the Hometown Heroes Collective, Nest has partnered with Madewell to provide expert-led business resources to creative entrepreneurs in the Nest Artisan & Maker Guild. Since the Hometown Heroes Collective re-launched in 2019, Madewell and Nest have remained committed to guiding this inclusive and connected community of American makers to be both economically viable and socially impactful.
We look forward to working together to welcome a maker from every state by 2025, and to create many more opportunities for participating artisans to learn and grow their businesses by reaching new audiences.