When starting a new product-based business, a major roadblock you'll likely hit is figuring how to bring your product to life for the first time. Outside of your homemade prototypes, you've never had to deal with finding a manufacturer before! But your product, whatever it may be, is in demand, so it's time to rise to the occasion.
If supporting local manufacturing is your jam, the new online resource Colin is a promising start. When we first spoke with Colin co-founders Artin Yip and John Lempka last year, they explained that they were in the initial phases of creating a platform to connect designers with local manufacturers in New York and beyond. Needless to say, we were excited by the idea, but we weren't fully sure how it would end up coming together. Last week, a little less than one year later, they reached back out to let us know Colin had launched and that we could give the beta a test drive.
Our editorial team isn't looking to manufacture anything at the moment (we are taking suggestions, though), but we're impressed with the wide variety of manufacturers already participating in the Colin community and how easy it was to get in touch with them.
Once you search for your keywords, click on a manufacturer and their profile will pop up. From there you have the option to browse through a few of their past projects and send a message if you're interested in working together or getting a quote. The simple UI gives you all the basic information you need to know before taking the next steps.
If you happen to be a designer seeking a local manufacturer or vice versa, Colin is an easy interface to use and seems like it would serve as a good starting point to your production research. If you'd like to test it out for yourself, Colin is offering the Core77 community an exclusive activation link that allows you to bypass the approval step and create an account instantly. And remember that Colin is not just for New Yorkers—the resource is seeking manufacturers outside of the NYC area as well.
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For US suppliers, there is a new directory for US manufacturing focusing on product developers. SourcingUSA.com its currently in its first gen, with a lot of new stuff launching soon. www.sourcingusa.com
It seems similar to Maker's Row (https://makersrow.com/) who's been around for a few
year now. First pass at Colin and couldn't find anything... I'm sure it's still early and they're actively recruiting manufacturers.
Oops. No results for Sheet metal were found
I typed in sheet metal, and no results
looks very much like Make Works here in Scotland,