An evolving directory of creative entrepreneurs built and operated by an organization committed to economic and community development.

MONMADE is a network, platform, and program developed by the Craft Business Accelerator at Bridgeway Capital. The Craft Business Accelerator provides local producers (craft businesses, maker enterprises, design/build shops, and entrepreneurial artists) with greater access to capital, guidance, markets, peers, space, and workforce – the essential elements of business success. The initiative aims to create a vibrant craft manufacturing ecosystem that revitalizes the Pittsburgh region’s disinvested areas and produces quality manufacturing jobs.

The Network

Producers engaged with MONMADE are committed to growing their businesses in ways that expand and diversify Pittsburgh’s economic landscape. They possess serious business characteristics and aspirations for greater impact. By working with MONMADE, producers achieve greater visibility and access supportive resources provided by the Craft Business Accelerator. In addition, MONMADE producers form a peer group of ambitious and like-minded small and microbusinesses. The network allows producers to share the best practices and lessons learned from starting, growing, and sustaining creative enterprises.

The Platform

MONMADE aggregates the Pittsburgh region’s top craft businesses, maker enterprises, entrepreneurial artists, and design/build shops. MONMADE connects a range of consumers to producers that stand ready, willing, and able to do business. It is not a passive website. The Craft Business Accelerator actively uses MONMADE to work with development, design, and retail professionals looking to enhance their projects and expand their offerings with specialty goods made with skill, heart, and creativity in the Pittsburgh region. By working with these MONMADE producers, they access locally relevant products that resonate with contemporary consumers.

The Program

MONMADE is the tip of the spear for the Craft Business Accelerator, a comprehensive economic development initiative. The initiative helps producers grow and growth takes many different forms. A ceramicist might require capital for a larger kiln or support in identifying and leasing a storefront. A print shop might require business planning guidance to outline next steps, and connections to workforce development agencies to build staff. The Craft Business Accelerator supports MONMADE producers as they navigate uncharted waters of maker entrepreneurship. It helps consumers have confidence that the producers they work with are ready to do business.

MONMADE and the Craft Business Accelerator are made possible with generous support from the Hillman Family Foundations.

Additional support for the Craft Business Accelerator comes from the Richard King Mellon Foundation.

"The prospect of Pittsburgh growing a nationally renowned craft manufacturing sector is exciting. MONMADE supports a vibrant community of 21st century businesses and brands that sell globally and grow locally."

Adam Kenney

Director of the Craft Business Accelerator

Adam Kenney

Adam Kenney

Director of the Craft Business Accelerator

Adam directs MONMADE and the Craft Business Accelerator with the diverse skills needed to connect the demand and supply side of the maker economy. As a skilled glassmaker with 20 years of experience, he connects strongly with MONMADE producers. After earning a Master of Arts Management (MAM) degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Adam served in leadership positions for regional arts and cultural institutions. Before starting the Craft Business Accelerator, he served as Bridgeway’s Director of Communications where he shaped and shared the CDFI’s stories of opportunity and renewal. His role anchors the Craft Business Accelerator’s activities to Bridgeway’s 27 year history of economic impact and community development.

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Julia Reynolds

Julia Reynolds

Consultant | Producer Relations & Content Development

Julia supports and grows the producer network while creating MONMADE’s beautiful content. As the former operator of the The Shop in East Liberty and the current owner of the online boutique Everything Ren, she brings a buyer’s perspective to her work for MONMADE. Julia holds a Masters of Arts Management (MAM) degree from Carnegie Mellon University and couples this training with her retail experience to make MONMADE a useful and attractive tool for producers, developers, designers, and consumers.

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Nisha Blackwell

Nisha Blackwell

Consultant | Outreach & Producer-in-Residence

Nisha, Founder and CEO of Knotzland Bowties, works as an outreach consultant and MONMADE’s first Producer-in-Residence. Her community service experiences with AmeriCorps, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse, GTECH, and Strong Women Strong Girls reflect her leadership capabilities and passion for people. Nisha combines her engagement skills with her role as a producer on the MONMADE platform. She focuses on up-and-coming creative entrepreneurs in traditionally marginalized communities. Her role is to identify and support these entrepreneurs with the tools offered by MONMADE and the Craft Business Accelerator.

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Robert Burack

Robert Burack

Consultant | Emerging Opportunities

Robert identifies emerging opportunities and shapes inventive partnerships that support MONMADE producers and the regional maker ecosystem. On the team since the Craft Business Accelerator’s inception, he works with diverse stakeholders to strengthen Pittsburgh manufacturing. Robert is also a Director at Brocade Studio – a research, strategy, and design consultancy – and maintains an appointment at Harvard’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.

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Ryan Gayman

Ryan Gayman

Consultant | Strategic Sales

Ryan leads buyer relations for MONMADE by identifying and cultivating prospective clients from across the nation. His expertise in building impact-driven businesses and social movements is based on more than 5 years leading sales strategies for international nonprofits, universities, and government. He is the Principal of CitizenCity, a Pittsburgh-based agency focused on social impact based. He holds a degree in Urban Studies and Anthropology from the University of Pittsburgh. Ryan applies his experiences transforming networks into social movements, and putting Pittsburgh’s craft products into the hands of a wide range of retailers and consumers.

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Benjamin Utter

Benjamin Utter

Consultant | Strategic Sales

Ben leads MONMADE’s sales efforts by connecting buyers with producers. He facilitates collaborations that help both groups meet their project and financial goals. With experience supporting startups and small businesses, Ben brings a business development and sales perspective to MONMADE. As a Principal of CitizenCity, a Pittsburgh-based agency focused on social impact, Ben works with businesses and nonprofits to support their development and impact. He earned a Master of International Law and Economics degree from the World Trade Institute at the University of Bern, and Master of International Law and Human Rights from the United Nations Mandated University for Peace.

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