The Touchstone Center for Crafts, where the symposium will be held. Photo courtesy of Bridgeway Capital.

Since launching in the spring of 2017, Monmade has hosted dozens of events connecting Pittsburgh crafters and makers with the local support to transform their art into sustainable businesses.

For their first annual DC2 symposium later this month, they’re taking that local knowledge and expanding it with national input.

On May 25, Bridgeway Capital’s Craft Business Accelerator and Monmade will host the DC2 symposium at Touchstone Center for Crafts, just south of Ohiopyle. The day-long event will feature lectures and Q&As with creative entrepreneurs from across the country.

The goal? To explore the intersection of design, craft and commerce — hence the name, DC2.

“After three years of serving regional makers, we truly understand many of their top obstacles to success,” said Katie Johnson, a coordinator for the event. “We wanted to bring in fresh perspectives from makers in other cities on how they make it work.”

Featured speakers include:

— Brenna Lane, co-founder of Detroit Denim Co., which assembles and sells domestically sourced jeans in the heart of the Motor City.

— Suann Song, the owner of Appointed, a maker of sustainably produced stationery and desktop products sourced locally in Washington, D.C.

— Nick Moen, the founder of The Bright Angle, a collaborative design studio based in Asheville, North Carolina.

The symposium will also feature a panel on ways local crafts can be incorporated into new real estate and architecture projects. Panelists include Director of the Office of Public Art Sallyann Kluz, Principal and Director of Design at Rothschild Doyno Collaborative Mike Gwin and Perkins Eastman Interior Designer Jane Hallinan.

“Small-batch manufacturers can be found all over the U.S., but so many of us are so busy with the day-to-day demands of our businesses that we remain unaware of others who are solving the same problems,” said Lane. “The opportunity provided by DC2 to connect with other makers and share experiences is transformational.”

To learn more about the event and register, check out the website.

Bill O'Toole

Bill O'Toole was a full-time reporter for NEXTpittsburgh until October, 2019. He previously reported in Myanmar.