“I’ve built my professional life on reviving, exploring, and teaching traditions handed down for generations. I created the American Made Summit in part to celebrate time-honored methods and techniques that were in danger of being forgotten, and becoming obsolete. But the technological advances of recent years have allowed me to be creative in ways that were until now unimaginable.”
Martha Stewart: the woman, the myth, the legend. Love her or hate her, she’s here to stay and she always seems to have something to say.
The housewares (and jailbird) celebrity’s latest opinion is on 3D printing.
The verdict? …She LOVES it.
Following the 2014 American Made Summit this past weekend, hosted in New York City November 7-8, Stewart wrote an opinion article for CNN Money detailing her new-found appreciation for 3D printing. Stewart’s American Made Summit, now in its third year, honors “makers, small-business owners, and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of crafts, design, food, and style.” The four categories ultimately boil down to 10 top award winners, though many finalists are recognized for their impressive submissions.
Among the finalists this year in the Style category was Name That Cookie, run by Alex and Jackie Kaufman (with Mocha the dog as the resident taste tester). Name That Cookie specializes in 3D printed, customized cookie cutters intended for making dog treats.
Name That Cookie wasn’t the Kaufmans’ first attempt at their own business; they started out, in fact, making jewelry. They quickly learned, though, that that line of business wasn’t for them and changed gears.
“Before starting Name That Cookie, we were jewelry designers focusing on innovative and creative technology,” they explain on their finalist page. “With the popularity of 3D printing, we purchased a printer to incorporate into our jewelry designs. We quickly learned the shortcomings of the technology for jewelry production, and were left with a very expensive piece of equipment. During a brainstorming session, we saw ways that some people were using the 3D printers to create cookie cutters, and we knew that we could do better, and go into the pet category which had not been done before. We produced out first custom bone cutter with the name Mocha. We used it to make some pet treats, and knew right away it was a winner.”
Name That Cookie now runs their three 3D printers almost ’round-the-clock to keep up with orders, including those coming in via their Etsy site. The quick turnaround of 3D printing allowed for the pair to switch gears rapidly; in the past, business owners switching over from making jewelry to creating custom pet treats would have needed to completely revamp their entire technological base. With 3D printers, however, the Kaufmans simply needed to redesign, which they could do in almost no time, and they were up and running. The team’s MakerBot 3D printers are rarely quiet these days.
Martha Stewart praised the ingenuity of the Name That Cookie team in switching gears, keeping the focus on the benefits of 3D printing: “For the first time, within the artisan and crafting community, we’re seeing a merging of time-honored, heritage methods and the cutting-edge tools of high technology like 3-D printers.”
At this year’s American Made Summit, HP and MakerBot were among the tech giants present, highlighting the growing importance of tech’s place in the entrepreneurial spirit these days. Companies like Name That Cookie will surely continue to benefit from easy-to-use 3D printing technology to literally turn their dreams to reality.
What do you think? Do you agree with Martha Stewart about 3D printing’s place in artisan communities? Let us know your thoughts in the Martha Stewart 3D Printing forum thread on 3DPB.com.