Start Small, Dream Big: Celebrating National Small Business Week!

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Happy national small business week! Every year since 1963, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, which recognizes the critical contributions of America’s entrepreneurs and small business owners.

More than half of Americans either own or work for a small business, and they create about two out of every three new jobs in the U.S. each year.

Start Small, Dream Big

As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration takes the opportunity to highlight the impact of outstanding entrepreneurs, small business owners, and others from all 50 states and U.S. territories. Every day, they’re working to grow small businesses, create 21st century jobs, drive innovation, and increase America’s global competitiveness.

We’ve chosen to spotlight a few of the amazing small businesses in the Maker’s Row community:

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Modern Vice

Brothers Jordan and Jensen Adoni are the creative brain power behind Modern Vice, a brand bringing back local manufacturing in style and saving the Garment District one shoe at a time. When they were growing up, their father opened a footwear factory in New York City. Continuing the tradition, the entrepreneurs opened a shoe factory in the city of fashion where they were able to stay close to their design process and work hands on with their design team.

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Modern Vice develops its products with a focus on quality, fast accessible fashion, and the necessity of all stylistic individuals in mind. The Modern Vice Collection has been carefully crafted and entirely handmade in New York City.

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Plain Stitches

Javan Lapp and his family are the the owners of a clothing company that specializes in not only traditional and modest clothing for Amish and Mennonite populations all across North America, but also small production runs for independent makers and designers in the USA. Javan Lapp and his father-in-law started the business in 2012 after hearing of an opportunity to buy some sewing equipment from an Amish man in the midwest who never got his business off the ground. So despite having little experience in the field, Javan’s career in sales in marketing for various industries helped him to recognize this opportunity.

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Plain Stitches is truly a family business. Javan and his wife live next door with their young daughter, and the sewing operations are located in a huge barn that was build by Javan’s wife’s grandparents in the late 1800s.

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The American Knitting Company

The American Knitting Company is a full-fashion knitting facility located in historic Brooklyn, NY, with a vision to see a resurgence of world class manufacturing in the USA. In the mid 1900’s Brooklyn was the epicenter of quality American knitting, but before the end of the century the fashion industry moved manufacturing overseas, sacrificing quality for cheap labor.

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Leading the return of world class knitting to Brooklyn, the American Knitting Company works with the latest technology and the best American craftsmen to create knit goods of impeccable quality.

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Factory 212

Angela Kim is the founder of The Factory.212, located in New York City’s Garment District. She graduated from Purdue University and from FIT, and has spent 14 years as a designer in New York City. After designing her own successful apparel line, many young designers began to approach Angela for assistance on technical design questions, sample making and small production. She decided to start The Factory.212 to help modernize the communication between designers and factories. Angela spent 12 years designing for other companies before founding her factory in the Garment District. She understands, firsthand, the challenge young designers face when trying to get their samples made. With over 20 years of experience in design, pattern making, sourcing, production, she is passionate about helping emerging designers take off.

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Clean Air Woodworks

Matt Rogers moved into the Hudson Valley in 2006 looking to find a mix of community and natural beauty that is uncommon in today’s world. He has always been deeply connected with nature – a passion that drove him to climb big walls in Zion, UT, hike in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and bicycle across the United States.  After completing his Honors Degree at Penn State in Earth Sciences, he went on to found a small construction company and build two super-insulated and very “green” homes in the area as well as several other barns, sheds, and other structures.  Acting as both the general contractor, project manager, and lead craftsman on these projects lent him a diverse background of skills and knowledge.

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Clean Air Woodworks is a production shop designed to work with new brands and products to produce production runs of high quality America-made items. Their background in furniture gives them the flexibility to work with a wide range of products and the ability to prototype items that are brand new to the world. The Hudson Valley location provides the best combination of access to high quality locally cut hardwoods and convenience to a large population of customers on the East Coast. Clean Air Woodworks uses reclaimed and recycled wood slabs that can’t be found anywhere else.

Have a small business owner or entrepreneur you’d like to spotlight? Give them a shoutout in the comments below or share your own small business journey and lessons with the Maker’s Row community!

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