A Letter From Our Founder

This Halloween is Made Trade’s one year anniversary! 🎃🎂

One year ago today we hit the “publish" button and pushed our little website out into the world not knowing how it would be received, who would buy from us, or what people would think about us. Would they love it? Hate it? Or worse, would they say nothing and do nothing? Turns out people loved what we had to share with them and trusted us to bring them incredible ethically elevated products. Who knew?! 

It wasn’t easy, (what business is?) but it sure has been a super fun, unbelievably challenging, best 12 months of my life. 12 months filled with a lot of change. A year ago we had just two employees, myself and my partner Andy (when he wasn’t working his full-time job during the day) and now, as I write this, we have a team of ten that wakes up every day and works to build a business as a force for good, and a sustainable company of the future. We started out with less than a thousand products from amazing small businesses around the world — now we carry almost 5,000. And just this week we had to buy a new computer because we could no longer run our company on my 2013 MacBook Pro (it couldn’t handle the tens of thousands of images we’ve shot over the past year and Photoshop wouldn’t stop crashing - real story)!

What hasn’t changed? Our matte pink Subaru Outback (aka The Made Trade Mobile) still turns heads on the streets of Portland, Oregon and we still hear from strangers and friends alike that they saw us in this neighborhood or going down that street. And for some reason, people still take photos with it. We still don’t know why — I guess because it’s super cute pink. ;)  

We didn’t get here alone. We’re a community-based company through and through. I am so proud of all the people, artisan groups, makers, entrepreneurs and supporters that have made this business a success over the last year. The folks that believed in us and placed an order after just finding us online for the first time. Our team members that work late into the night or early in the morning or just put in everything they got because they believe in what we’re doing. We’re lost without y’all. The now countless models, helping hands, and creatives we've partnered with to make some of the most beautiful brand photos I’ve ever seen. The customers that saw something wrong, or gave us critical feedback that helped us change our site or improve the customer service experience even just a little bit.

Starting a business is the single hardest thing I’ve ever done and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. We’re planning to be around for another year and then many, many more years after that. If you love what we’re doing then stick around — we’ve got a lot more incredible things coming in 2020. 

And finally thank YOU for following us on this journey, using your purchasing power to create positive change, and trusting us to bring you the world’s best sustainable, ethically made beautiful products. 

To many more years to come! 

Happy Halloween, 

Cayley

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