Knoxville Originals: Scruffy City to Maker City
When The Wall Street Journal called Knoxville “a scruffy little city” as a criticism for the city being chosen as the location for the 1982 World’s Fair, the moniker was taken as an insult. But Knoxville soon adopted the moniker and celebrated the little city in east Tennessee’s ability to bring in an event as big as the World’s Fair. “The Scruffy Little City Did It” emblazoned t-shirts and pins that were sold after the 1982 World’s Fair.
Knoxville still affectionately seeks to “Keep Knoxville Scruffy” as a recognition of where the city has been, but there is a new label that the city has been gaining nationwide recognition for lately (and it has nothing to do with football): Knoxville has rebranded itself as the Maker City.
The Maker City name reflects Knoxville’s strong culture of entrepreneurs and innovators, whether those makers are acting on a small, local scale or have expanded to have a nationwide presence. Etsy chose Knoxville to be one of the 13 cities to host one of their Maker City Summits in 2016 with the intention of supporting cities that were committed to entrepreneurship, sustainability, and responsible manufacturing where creative individuals and companies were thriving.
Felding Co. has been supported by the community in the Maker City as we have moved from a dream that owner Luke Lanzoni had to a brick and mortar reality. When we were collaborating with Ebbets Field Flannels and Oxford Pennant to create original Felding Co. products, Luke Lanzoni wanted to pay homage to the scruffy little city that has supported his dream of opening Felding Co. in Knoxville. The grey KNX block letters and black background on each of the products reflect Knoxville’s scruffiness, while the brands we chose to collaborate with - Ebbets Field Flannels out of Seattle, WA and Oxford Pennant out of Buffalo, NY - were makers in their own cities that shared Knoxville’s and Felding Co.’s commitment to quality products that are sustainably and responsibly made.
The KNX Ebbets Field Flannels Sweatshirt are proudly made in the USA from a soft large loop french terry fabric with sewn felt “KNX” lettering. The KNX Oxford Pennant Camp Flags are made in the USA with American materials, and feature wool felt backings and stitched “KNX” letters.
The KNX Sweatshirt and KNX Camp Flag can be found here.
And while you’re here, check out some of Felding Co.’s favorite makers in Knoxville:
Keep Knoxville Scruffy.