Monmade launched in 2017 as a dynamic directory for Pittsburgh’s maker ecosystem.

During its first years, Monmade celebrated the products and processes of these creative businesses through events and exhibitions. Most importantly, it helped connect artists, designers, makers and craftspeople to key developments, including the TRYP Hotel Lawrenceville, Glasshouse and Eighth & Penn.

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Temper and Grit’s Fold-Down Coat Racks at the TRYP Hotel Lawrenceville. Photo courtesy of Monmade.

Monmade continues its innovative support of the creative economy by deepening its utility to interior designers, architects, and developers — gatekeepers to the region’s projects. With over 100 makers featured, PG&H replaced Monmade as the umbrella brand for the maker ecosystem. PG&H created the space for Monmade to operate as a dedicated intermediary between design and development professionals and regional makers and artisan manufacturers.

“We’re driven by our mission of empowering creative businesses to contribute more actively to equitable economic growth,” observed Katie Schaible, Director of Monmade. “But now we’re better equipped to participate in projects and channel more opportunities to the creative economy.”

Today, Monmade offers direct procurement of responsibly handmade and manufactured design from western Pennsylvania. Equipped with a deep knowledge of the creative businesses it serves, Monmade helps design professionals purchase artisan and sustainable furnishings, fixtures and finishes for a range of projects.

Monmade’s refocusing began in 2019 at the opening of its fourth design exhibition, Clearly New, held at Pittsburgh Glass Center’s Hodge Gallery. Sponsored by the Green Building Alliance, Q Development, URA, Catalyst Connection, and others, Clearly New built on Monmade’s tradition of celebrating innovative and authentic design while increasing transparency on how regionally designed products are made and/or manufactured.

To enhance its triple bottom line impact, Monmade worked with the International Living Future Institute to certify selected fixtures through its Declare program. Declare, an ingredients label for products, allows makers and manufacturers of ecologically sound products to demonstrate leadership in the green building movement. Clearly New debuted products like KMJ Metalwork’s Cloud Panel and Temper and Grit’s Atlas Bench designed to shape greener, healthier environments through Declare, adding clarity to Monmade’s commitment to sustainability.

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KMJ Metalworks Cloud Panel Tear Sheet. Image courtesy of Monmade.

Since February, Monmade’s catalog blossomed to showcase a growing collection of distinctive products, like lighting and furniture to include detailed specifications and tear sheets. It reflects Monmade’s growing understanding that interior designers, architects, and developers alike expect a level of product specificity and sophistication for complex projects. Monmade also turns these industry insights into technical assistance programming for creative businesses looking to participate in development opportunities.

The success of Cleary New, along with ongoing upgrades to Monmade, inspired the team to pursue the next phase of evolution, a permanent showroom. Despite the uncertainty from the COVID-19 pandemic’s, Monmade still desired to push forward with opening a showroom but doubts about reception and use of the space hampered commitment to a location. That was until Module, a regional design-build company, approached Monmade to explore staging their latest mixed-income development in Pittsburgh’s Garfield neighborhood.

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Monmade’s Pop-up Showroom at Module. Image courtesy of Monmade.

Monmade saw this opportunity to introduce a temporary, pop-up showroom in the development’s model unit for right-sized, energy-efficient houses using prefab construction. Each Module home is built to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Home standards and features thermal protections, advanced heating and cooling systems, and Energy Star appliances to ensure lower energy bills, less impact on the environment, a more comfortable home.

“We’ve always admired the work that Monmade does. They were part of our very first demo unit back in 2017 and it’s very cool to have everything come full circle by collaborating with them in our show home on Black Street,” said Brian Guadio, Module’s Chief Executive Officer, “We think that Monmade holds a lot of the same values we do and we’re excited to begin our partnership.”

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Module’s Black Street Development. Rendering courtesy of Module.

Module’s model unit, located at 5352 Black Street, currently features a selection of Monmade’s products including Bones and All’s Modular Bench and Jowdy Studio’s Flare Pendants on display for homeowners and design professionals to experience and inquire about purchasing. Monmade looks forward to safely welcoming clients and partners to view a showcase of products that help tell the story of Pittsburgh’s creative economy. Appointments to see the Monmade’s Module Showroom can be made by contacting info@monmade.org.