Loyal to the Soil: Founders of Bunky Boutique, Merzproject Architects, and Skymall Aim to Connect Arizona Business
"The economic impact of keeping dollars in Arizona has the trickle down effect of providing more money for our schools and for our libraries, for example," Johnson says.
The project also aims to educate Arizonans about the benefits of shopping locally.
"A lot of people are not aware of what exactly is made or purchased [in Arizona]," the founders wrote in a statement to Jackalope Ranch. "There is a disconnect. Loyal to the Soil shows that what people want or need might be closer than they think."
The project is still in development, but, when completed, local retailers and suppliers will be able to use the platform to connect and set up business partnerships.
www.loyaltothesoil.com Loyal to the Soil cofounders Rachel and Jim Malloy and Chris Nieto
Already, Loyal to the Soil has earned the support of Local First Arizona, a powerful force behind the local movement.
Kimber Lanning, founder and executive director of Local First Arizona, says Loyal to the Soil will bring recognition to Arizona's businesses and strengthen the state's economy.
"What Loyal to the Soil will do for the local movement is to educate consumers and build civic pride," Lanning says. "Their database will be a source for people to educate themselves about all the cool stuff being made in Arizona."
Lanning compares the Loyal to the Soil database to websites such as MadeinUSA.org and Americansworking.com, which provide searchable databases of products made in the U.S.. She says the popularity of these sites highlights the need for something similar at a state level: "The more we can enforce local sourcing, the stronger the Arizona economy will be."
The Loyal to the Soil team welcomes input from the public, especially from the local retailing and wholesaling community. Right now the founders are asking local retailers and wholesalers to fill out respective online surveys that will help it tailor the database to this community's needs. (Click here for the retailer survey and here for the wholesaler survey.)
On May 17, Loyal to the Soil will unveil its business to the public and potential investors during a demonstration day hosted by SEEDspot, the final step of the Venture Program.