HandMade in America (HIA) was formed to grow handmade economies through craft, cultural heritage and community assets.  HandMade in America believes in the power of the handmade object to transform both individuals and communities.  HIA also believes in building partnerships and economies in a culture that nourishes.  Our history reflects our commitment to ensuring asset-based community economic development in Western North Carolina.

HIA has an 18-year tradition for pioneering innovative ways to empower the people and communities of Western North Carolina to regain control of their destiny and preserve the heritage and cultural history of the region.  HIA has established itself as a national leader in the craft and creative economies movement through the following initiatives:

  • Published the Craft Heritage Trails Guidebook that directs cultural tourists to over 350 galleries, studios, and historic sites.
  • Partnered in the creation and launch of the Energy XChange and Green Energy Park at closed landfills, using methane gas to power the studios.
  • Established an online Craft Registry featuring over 1000 artists, galleries, and craft resources.
  • Hosted Creative Entrepreneurs Bootcamp for business and marketing training by national experts to Western North Carolina creative entrepreneurs.
  • Worked with teachers and children incorporating craft into academic learning in the classroom through our Craft Across Curriculum Program.
  • Connected craft artists and building industry professionals through the Craft, Architecture, and Design program.
  • Revitalized 13 small towns using the region’s cultural traditions to foster economic growth, beautification, and tourism through our Small Towns Revitalization Program.

As HIA prepares for its next twenty years of operation, we will continue to grow our core programs and create model programs that serve Western North Carolina and work for communities across the United States.

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