KNOXVILLE — The "Maker City" movement is booming in Knoxville... but what does that mean?
We've all heard of Knoxville's nickname of the "Scruffy City"
For the past couple years, it's also been dubbed the "Maker City."
Local artisans are turning that title into a movement promoting local work in Knoxville.
Maranda Vandergriff is one of those artisans.
She owns a fashion and art business called Vagabondary.
She's also the Creative Director for Knoxville Entrepreneur Center, and is one of many people behind Knoxville's "Maker City" movement.
"So the Maker City is pretty much the community of all creatives and makers in the greater Knoxville area," said Vandergriff.
The name came from a title the website Etsy gave Knoxville back in 2016.
Knoxville is one of only a handful of cities in the world to receive Etsy's "Maker City" designation.
"As part of the qualification process to become an Etsy Maker City, we had to host a summit," said Vandergriff.
That summit brought together makers of every craft and trade to share ideas with seasoned and new artists.
The third annual summit is September 23.
It's something new entrepreneurs, like Logan Higgins and his wife Katherine, are looking forward to.
"Knowing that I draw and Katherine watercolors, we were like shoot, well why don't we start making some of our own pieces," said Higgins.
The couple started hand drawing and coloring Knoxville landmarks about six months ago.
They also draw and paint buildings in other nearby towns that they pass through on their travels.
The Higgins' small online business, called Jacks Avenue, took off so fast that both artists went part time at their other jobs to focus on creating.
"It's really a personal thing when someone sees our art and wants to buy a piece," said Higgins.
He said Knoxville's support of local makers helped his business grow.
"That's been not only encouraging because they love the pieces that we've made, but it's also just inspirational to see that love for local design," said Higgins.
Dozens of makers who share wide variety of skills can be found on the Maker City directory.
You can also see many artisans' work in person at the first ever Old City Market on September 8.