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On the road

Manlius natives prepare to share their handmade goods on a trip across America

Blaine Vossler and Mackenzie Edgerton are traveling across America to share their story and sell products from their company, The Local Branch, for the next year. Vossler and Edgerton first met as eighth-graders at Eagle Hill Middle School and have been dating since 12th grade at Fayetteville-Manlius High School.

Blaine Vossler and Mackenzie Edgerton are traveling across America to share their story and sell products from their company, The Local Branch, for the next year. Vossler and Edgerton first met as eighth-graders at Eagle Hill Middle School and have been dating since 12th grade at Fayetteville-Manlius High School. Submitted photo

— “We want to make retail a little more personal and provide products to people that have stories and that are handmade,” Vossler said. “And I think that’s something that was a really big part of both Native American culture and American history. People would make things that were high quality, and you’d know the people who made the things you had and the stories behind them. [That’s the] broader message that we’re trying to weave into our brand.”

The next logical step for Edgerton and Vossler was to take The Local Branch to the next level and begin concentrating on it full-time. A combination of factors led to their decision to take their business on the road, including the rising cost of living in San Francisco, their love of travel and exploration and the desire to get to know their customers on a personal level.

And Edgerton said she’s excited to collect different objects at thrift shops and craft fairs and use them as both an inspiration for new items to offer through The Local Branch and to re-sell to people in different parts of the country.

“We found these really cool old shoes when we were in Texas so we sold those and tagged them [to say] that we got them in Texas [while selling in California], and we want do that across the country – find old relics and antiques and begin to weave them into our line and share whatever story we know about it,” said Edgerton. “I think that will add a new layer to our brand.”

They hope to take the idea of sharing each product’s story even farther by adding digital content on their blog, where customers can see exactly where the item was made and under what circumstances.

“For example, if we tag a bunch of items in Northern California, you’ll be able to go onto our blog and we’ll have a video that explains what we were doing in Northern California, when and where we were making it, what campsite we stopped at. So there will be a full story behind each batch,” said Edgerton.

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