Miranda Bennett Studio was one of the very first local designers we fell in love with. This week we were putting together an instagram story of MBS items we love, when we recalled an image Miranda sent to us a couple of years ago, that we never even posted.
We interviewed Miranda and she had sent an image of a stunning rust powder that she had created out of the heartwood of an acacia tree. It was the exact same color of my old living room wall, a color that to me exudes warmth, confidence, sincerity and strength. What wonderful words to associate with the MBS line as well...
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: Although I love working in a team, pursuing my own vision has always felt most natural to me. I launched my line officially right out of college, and was inspired by both the product that I felt in my bones I had to make, and the process of structuring a business entity that would facilitate that.
MADE LOKAL: How did you come up with the name of your company?
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: Technically my parents came up with it ;-) I have flirted with using other names for my line, but having a namesake collection and really staking my name in my business just felt right.
MADE LOKAL: Where are you based...and why there?
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: I am now based in Austin, Texas (my home town). I was previously based in NYC for 12 years. I returned to Austin because I got to a point in my life where my values shifted towards establishing more of a work / life balance, and this just felt like the right place to manifest that. The community here has truly astonished me. I have never felt so supported in my endeavors as I do here.
MADE LOKAL: How did you obtain the courage/financing/time/etc needed to launch your company?
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: To be honest, courage and time have always been my primary assets. I have never had a backer or investors and have always been entirely on my own in the finance department. So growth is slow and resources are very thoughtfully spent. There is so much more of a culture of individuals seeking out hand made or locally produced items from lesser known makers now - connecting to the object / item itself rather than brand recognition. That has made a huge impact on the feasibility of this kind of endeavor.
MADE LOKAL: Was it a conscientious decision for you to produce in the USA, or did it just sort of happen?
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: My dream was to have all of my team under one roof, from production to design to sales. I never want to outsource my production to an anonymous, far away facility. Being close to the process is very important to me. Having strong relationship with the individuals helping to build and support my brand is also very important to me. Being native to the States, that means keeping production on domestic soil.
MADE LOKAL: What are the specific challenges that your company faces to keep things made locally?
MIRANDA BENNETT STUDIO: There is no manufacturing center to speak of in Austin. I try to purchase as much as I can from what does exist here to insure that those businesses and suppliers stick around. It is a real challenge though. I rely on a lot of my contacts from NYC and a network of suppliers from across the USA. We have really had to be full of care and resourceful in building our production processes for the studio in light of that.