It all began with dinner, friends and a passion for locally handcrafted goods
Get-togethers with friends and family over dinner and art, making and creating was always a favorite pastime for us. We'd bring the kids and make stuff, talk about art and why it matters, all the while lamenting the fact that the art of handcrafted goods seemed too inaccessible here in San Diego. Dinner and gatherings eventually transformed into events we'd host in each other's homes, inviting friends over to see and buy handmade items. We then helped form The Handmade Revolution, a group of 8 local makers, artisans and hand crafters, and began hosting the events a few times a year in our home. These were an exceptionally good time for us, connecting with artisans and folks in the neighborhood who support them.
Taking the plunge, and the power of local.
Opening Make Good in 2010, our concept was simple: a locally owned store (Sophia and Jon live in the neighborhood), staffed by people living in the neighborhood, selling merchandise made exclusively by artisans in San Diego and Tijuana. We began with 8 artisans, and today, over 130 artisans sells their handmade goods at Make Good. Even though we locally source 100% of our products in San Diego and Tijuana, we're not provincial. We know folks in other places make great things too. For us though, Make Good is an opportunity to pour back into the community, connecting local artisans who love to make, with those who appreciate locally handcrafted items. As a result, we connect buyer to seller as directly as possible. We know every artisan who creates our products, personally. We know where and how they make, the materials they use (often recycled), and where they live. Our customers, many of whom are aware of the realities of conscious consumer behavior, and the power of local living systems, really appreciate this. For us it's a deeply held value, and we know how much a truly locally-based business can benefit the local economy. In fact, the American Independent Business Alliance reports that "Spending at indie retailers generates 4 times more local economic return than spending at chain (retail stores)…".
A little more about the power of local...
Why San Diego and Tijuana?
When we opened our doors, our artisans were only located in San Diego. Quickly though, we found incredibly talented artisans in the Tijuana region of Mexico, our sister-city to the south. We've got friends in Tijuana, and in many ways San Diego and Tijuana function as one metropolitan region. The San Ysidro border crossing is the most-crossed international border in the world, with 60,000 people passing through it daily. In more than a few ways, our two cities function as one, leading some to refer to it, collectively, as Tijuego. Creatively and culturally, the artisans that live in these two cities transcend the border. So, we figured we should as well.