Made in Nevada
What does it mean to be Made in Nevada? For business owners, both large and small, it means participation in a statewide collective that connects, promotes and supports businesses that call the Battle Born State home.
While most "made in" programs are run through state economic development offices or tourism entities, Made in Nevada, Nevada's official statewide collective with businesses represented throughout the state, is housed in the College of Business.
In 2015, the program, which was at risk of shutting down, moved out of the Nevada Governor's Office and into the College of Business as part of the Nevada Small Business Development Center. Under the leadership of College of Business Dean Greg Mosier and Nevada SBDC Director Sam Males, the program was given the resources needed to best help its clients flourish.
"It's a natural fit for the program to live under the umbrella of the Nevada SBDC and the College of Business," Karen Coe, Made in Nevada project manager, said. "We're able to offer clients a variety of business resources - everything from support with marketing and advertising to legal advice, website support, networking and legislative affairs."
Males added that Made in Nevada is the only program of its kind that is run under the umbrella of a Small Business Development Center. SBDCs provide assistance to small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs throughout the United States and its territories.
"What these businesses want most is to network, market themselves and become a part of the community," Males said. "That makes Made in Nevada and the Nevada SBDC the perfect fit."
Made in Nevada clients cover a broad range of industries, including apparel and clothing, food and beverage, crafts and home goods, manufacturing, agriculture, arts and music, Native American-owned and more.
"I believe our clients really reflect the diversity in our state," Anthony Ciaramella, Made in Nevada project coordinator, said. "When looking at the breakdown, we have a 60/40 split of female- to male-owned businesses as well."
One of those female-owned businesses is The Beekeeper, run by Heather Angeloff in Carson City. Angeloff is in the business of making and selling custom bee boxes, sold to beekeepers across the country. In addition to a physical store location in the state's capital, Angeloff sells merchandise online and writes a blog informing others in her industry. Angeloff, who moved to Nevada from Alaska about a year ago, looked up the state program shortly after she arrived.
"At first, the largest driver behind wanting to join was because of the connotations Made in Nevada offers about buying in the U.S.," Angeloff said. "Since I joined, it's been wonderful. Adding the Made in Nevada seal to my bee boxes has everyone asking me about the product. It's been great for business. I look forward to developing more products that have the Made in Nevada logo."
In addition to smaller niche businesses like The Beekeeper, Made in Nevada proudly represents some national products as well. Joe Dutra, president and chief executive officer of Kimmie Candy, has been a member of Made in Nevada since 2005, when he first moved to Reno from Sacramento.
"My main reason for joining was because I thought the program would give me contacts that I could work with to get my business off the ground," Dutra said. "Now, all these years later, it continues to be a program we enjoy participating in as it's a great way to give back to new businesses in the state. I highly recommend people looking for experience and advice about exporting, importing, shipping and logistics in the state to join Made in Nevada. It becomes a background and facilitator when you first launch a business in Nevada."
In 2016, Kimmie Candy received the President's "E" Award, an award created by Executive Order of the President of the United States, to recognize persons, firms or organizations which contribute significantly to the effort to increase United States exports. The award preceded a 2017 visit to the White House where Dutra and his team proudly featured the Made in Nevada label on their products.
"Made in Nevada quickly became part of who we are," Dutra said.
According to Coe, Made in Nevada is not just a marketing tool for businesses but is also an entrepreneurial and networking opportunity.
"We're really passionate about connecting Nevada businesses," she said. "We provide connections for other businesses, surrounding communities, customers, tourists, lawmakers and regional resources."
Pasquale Iovinella joined Made in Nevada a year and a half ago to better connect his business, Pasquale Iovinella Handmade Neckties, to the community.
"Through the Made in Nevada partnership, I am able to get out and participate more in community events," Iovinella said. "It's important my business helps strengthen the community and the economy in Nevada. For me, being Made in Nevada means creating a strong connection between local businesses. Made in Nevada gives us the opportunity to partner and help each other."
Staying true to its mission to connect, promote and support businesses, the cost to join Made in Nevada is minimal. Silver memberships start at just $199 a year. Businesses unsure if they would like to join can become Friends of Made in Nevada at no cost, which allows them to receive the monthly newsletter and invitations to quarterly networking events.
To learn more about Made in Nevada and see a complete list of partner organizations, visit madeinnevada.org.