Two St. Louisans Are Upgrading The Digital World Of American-Made With Mainland Revival
St. Louisans Sarah Riley and Rich Petty have turned their passion for American-made goods into an online boutique that puts quality and curation over fast fashion. Bringing together makers from coast-to-coast, Mainland Revival was born in early 2015 with the mission to provide a place where shoppers can purchase thoughtful products crafted by artisans in the Midwest and beyond.
What makes Mainland Revival stand out is its commitment to ship with Amazon-style speed without sacrificing boutique-level customer service and packaging. The curation of offerings—a responsibility that both Riley and Petty both share—is another main factor. “We focus on smaller makers, and we ‘fall in love’ with a product or maker before ordering so it’s very deliberate,” says Petty. “We each have our own aesthetics,” Riley adds. “Sometimes we really like what the product looks like and other times we are inspired by people’s stories. We love the idea of helping give an outlet to those small crafters that are creating something memorable right here in the U.S.”
The savviness of the modern shopper is something that Riley and Petty agreed was a big factor in the development of the e-commerce boutique. “Consumers are questioning the origin of their goods, the working conditions in which these goods are being produced and the longevity of the products,” says Riley. Both Riley and Petty have seen the effects of fast fashion first hand. As fashion industry vets in the product development field, they visited China where they toured factories in charge of making cheap, low-quality items, resulting in major negative environmental effects.
“We felt that there was a true void of quality heirloom products in the retail market—especially digitally,” explains Riley. “People are demanding American-made goods more now than ever.” A lot of these American makers, however, are working with little to no staff, low budgets and often no web presence, making possible business and company growth a challenge. “Having an outlet for these makers benefits both them and the customer,” says Petty. “We really have a hand in helping them get their brands in front of the conscious consumers who are eager to support American innovators and craftsmen.”
While shopping at Mainland Revival can be done 24/7, the team soon hopes to host more event series to engage the handmade community on a grassroots level even further. Follow along with the team and their Made-In-America mission on Facebook and on Instagram.