Here at Designsensory, we’re dedicated to our craft—and to our city. Knoxville has become a major hub for the maker community, with talented craftspeople in every corner of the city. When we hit our 15th anniversary and began exploring opportunities to reinvest in our community, we sat down with members of the City of Knoxville Mayor's Maker Council and its Maker City Summit leadership and knew that we were on the right track.

We’re proud to support the Maker City Summit, a gathering of Knoxville’s talented makers. Assisting in the organization's work has been incredibly rewarding for our team, and we look forward to sharing some of that work with you all in the future. Our creative director Joseph Nother will also take the stage to discuss how independent makers can build their own brand. For more details about the event, check out the release below or visit makeknox.com, and we hope to see you there! 

Knoxville’s craftspeople, artisans and small-scale manufacturers will gather Tuesday, Sept. 19, for the Maker City Summit 2017 at Mill and Mine downtown. The daylong conference will offer seminars and panel discussions centered on ways to grow small businesses. Attendees also will have opportunities to meet one-on-one with experts in marketing, branding, accounting and other fields relevant to entrepreneurs.

“Knoxville has always been a city of makers of arts and crafts and industry,” said Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero. “We make everything from smart transportation technology to bread and beer and a lot of music. It’s great to have the Maker City Summit to celebrate and energize our maker culture!”

The summit is the successor to last September’s gatherings on entrepreneurship and Etsy businesses.

“Last year’s event brought together nearly 400 crafters, artists, developers, small-scale manufacturers, city officials and entrepreneurs for a day of dialogue about how to create a stronger maker community,” said Jim Biggs, executive director of the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center. “This year’s Maker City Summit looks to build on that success and help makers in our region build businesses, tap into resources and, most importantly, connect with each other to turn Knoxville into THE place to make in Tennessee.”

The goals of the summit are to help creative entrepreneurs make an independent living doing what they love, connect with fellow small business people, and grow their personal brands and businesses. Workshop topics include how to set goals that stick, brand your business and product, achieve strategic and sustainable growth, drive traffic and use social media.

An array of experts in marketing and social media, as well as successful local entrepreneurs, will lead the discussions. They include social media guru and author Mark Schaefer, real estate consultant Ilana Preuss of Recast City, online coach Steph Crowder of Fizzle.co, and Isabella Diaz of Etsy.

Registration is $35, which includes lunch and a t-shirt. Participants also may sign up in advance for free 15-minute consultations with summit experts.

The summit is presented by the City of Knoxville Mayor’s Maker Council in partnership with the Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, Launch TN, Etsy, Fizzle and Nation of Makers. It is sponsored by Pilot Flying J.

A complete schedule of programs, plus more on presenters and the Maker City initiative may be found at makeknox.com.


Event photos provided by Shawn Poynter Photography. See more at shawnpoynter.com.