Matthew Burnett is a Detroit native whose grandfather inspired his interest in manufacturing, as he was a watchmaker by trade. Matthew received a BFA in industrial design from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York in 2007. He began his professional career designing watches for Marc Jacobs, DKNY, and Diesel. After working in the watch industry, he decided to start his own line, Steel Cake, having watches made overseas. Though previously designing and overseeing production for big brands, he found that manufacturing as an independent brand overseas would be a much different experience. Extended turnaround periods, language barriers, and continuous manufacturing errors brought the Steel Cake Watch line to a close. In 2010, Burnett decided to start a line of leather goods (The Brooklyn Bakery) using domestic manufacturers in order to maintain control over the quality of production and form closer relationships with the suppliers and contractors. In 2011 Burnett partnered with Tanya Menendez on The Brooklyn Bakery to manage sales and operations. After pairing with Burnett on the accessories brand, Menendez suggested that they develop a resource that would assist designers in finding American manufacturers. With Burnett’s background in manufacturing and Menendez’s experience with operations, they began to develop the blueprint for what is today, Maker’s Row.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Tanya studied technology and its socioeconomic impacts on rural economies at UCSD. Conducting a number of studies on financial technology advancements in Oaxaca, Mexico, she co-authored “The Economics of Migration”, published by the University of California. Shortly thereafter, Menendez joined the Google Strategy and Integration group advising on internal system operations. In 2011 Menendez partnered with Matthew Burnett on The Brooklyn Bakery to manage sales and operations. While at The Brooklyn Bakery, she came up with the idea to create a platform for entrepreneurs to be able to easily access American manufacturers. Combining her experience in operations / automation with Matthew’s experience in global manufacturing, they started Maker’s Row.
Senior Software Engineer
New York, NY
Born and raised in New York City, Rafael began his career at The Daily, the first national news publication with original content on the iPad. He helped build the system that powered the iPad app, along with a Facebook app that allowed for social consumption of news. While at The Daily, he founded and began working on Wish & Tell, a community-driven products index built around things people wanted. He soon realized he needed to get acquainted with e-commerce, so he joined Acadaca where he built e-commerce websites for jewelry and fashion clients. Having been stricken by the entrepreneurial itch and wanting to do something impactful, Rafael joined Maker’s Row to help bring “Made in USA” back. When not cranking out code, Rafael can be found writing on his blog, running, and on a never-ending quest for the best lobster rolls.
Senior Software Engineer
West Haven, CT
While attending RPI, Adam found his passion in computing and has been doing it ever since. He has built a variety of web applications: from social networking to recruiting to dating to publishing to e-commerce and has worked at Community Connect, Inc., the New York Times and Warby Parker. He is excited to be part of the Maker’s Row team and hopes to contribute to its success. When not programming, he likes attending matinee movies, grabbing a drink at the nearest dive bar, eating tacos and playing ping pong — which he claims to be exceptionally good at.
After graduating with a B.A. in Strategic Communication and Entrepreneurship from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Cat moved to Minneapolis to work in e-commerce as a senior business analyst at Target.com. While there, she drove online growth within the preschool toy business through building strategic relationships with vendor partners and efficient merchandise planning. Needing to feed her entrepreneurial spirit, Cat moved back to NY and joined Maker’s Row for a real challenge at a growing and impactful start-up. In her free time, Cat enjoys spending time outdoors, freelance graphic design and learning from reading and traveling.