Philly-made logo aims to expand city's brand

The Berley brothers, Eric (left) and Ryan, run Shane Confectionery, helping keep alive a storied part of the city's past. PHL Made volunteers hope to brand all fashion, food, music, and more made in the city.
The Berley brothers, Eric (left) and Ryan, run Shane Confectionery, helping keep alive a storied part of the city's past. PHL Made volunteers hope to brand all fashion, food, music, and more made in the city. (MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer)
Posted: August 19, 2013

Flashing a tiny label stitched to the inside of his checked shirt from Commonwealth Proper, a tailor on Spruce Street, Michael Cooper conveyed the gist of a just-launched movement to raise Philadelphia's economic and civic profile.

"Made in the City of Philadelphia," the label read.

If Cooper and the 14 others behind this initiative succeed, each item of fashion, food, music, technology, literature, and manufacturing created in Philadelphia will bear a common logo - a stylized gear superimposed with the words PHL Made. Beyond that, they hope sales of locally made products will soar, bringing high-flying job creation and civic pride, too.

"It's about branding the city as a city of doers," said Cooper, who works in marketing and business development at Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. (PIDC).

Danielle Cohn is vice president of marketing and communications at the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau. For PHL Made, she has been the "spark," cofounder Keith Leaphart, owner of Center City design and print company Replica, said at the campaign's launch party Wednesday night, where Cohn admitted being "a little obsessed about makers."

There's no more appropriate city for such an obsession, she said in an interview.

"To me, it's all about walking in the footsteps of Ben Franklin," Cohn said, describing Philadelphia as "a city born on innovation. We're still doing it. Just not enough people know about it.

"The stories just aren't being told yet," she said. "This is not necessarily somebody's job yet."

Yet being the operative word. PHL Made is a volunteer effort at this point, with support from the city, PIDC, and the Convention & Visitors Bureau.

In San Francisco, SFMade, Cohn's inspiration, is a three-year-old nonprofit with five employees, nearly 500 members, and an operating budget of about $1 million. Financing comes from the city, banks, local companies, member donations, program fees, and an annual fund-raiser, said senior director Janet Lees.

"Our logo is the biggest reason why companies want to join SFMade," Lees said, "so they can leverage the locally made brand."

The logo, with such recognizable structures as the Golden Gate Bridge, appears on garment labels, food packaging, trade-show banners, shipping containers, and in shop windows. A map features city stores that sell products made in San Francisco.

"It's incumbent on cities to educate consumers and let them know the companies that are making locally made products," said Lees, who was in Philadelphia this summer to advise PHL Made's leaders.

Critical to this, she told them, is getting "some really credible and respected local businesses involved from the get-go so others would want to follow."

Most of SFMade's brands are artisanal manufacturers. The Philadelphia effort aims to be broader, Cohn said.

"The movement here is about everything," she said. "We have an enormous story to tell."

The plan is to do that through a website, magazine, and television show, as well as shopping maps, conventions, pop-up stores, and tours. Organizers' goals are to bring the stories of Philadelphia "makers" to a larger audience, encourage more commercial and other support among those businesses, and create jobs.

Early reactions from businesses are positive.

"I think this will enhance our overall image as a place where creative/innovative people want to build businesses," Bob Moul, CEO of Artisan, a software developer specializing in mobile apps, wrote in an e-mail. "Artisan took its name from the artisans that used to work here in Old City, 'workshop of the world.' We say we are the digital equivalent."

With homemade ice cream and candy, brothers Ryan and Eric Berley are helping keep alive Philadelphia's storied confectionery past.

"Part of the passion of being in the business is being a storyteller," said Eric Berley, dressed in period clothing, his mustache waxed, as he led a reporter and photographer through the candymaking operation upstairs at Shane Confectionery, operated by the same family for 99 years from a building dating to the 1860s.

The Berleys bought Shane in 2010, six years after they opened Franklin Fountain in the same 100 block of Market Street.

The cash registers in Shane are from 1910. The antique, nickel-plated taffy hook and many of the 1,500 candy molds were made in Philadelphia, most by Thomas Mills Bros. and V. Clad & Sons.

"Philadelphia was the center of confectionery in the late 19th century," Eric Berley said. "Trying to restart, reinvent some of that spirit has been part of our mission."

PHL Made will be good for tourism, and for enhancing pride-in-craft for those working in made-in-Philly businesses, he said.

The city has committed $25,000, PIDC's Cooper said. For additional capital, PHL Made plans a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign in September.

At Wednesday's launch party, guests were urged to pledge what they could and to spread the word.

"This is the original start-up city," Alan Greenberger, deputy mayor for economic development, told them. "Tell everyone you know."


>Inquirer.com

The Berley brothers keep Shane Confectionery linked to its past. www.inquirer.com/shane


Contact Diane Mastrull at 215-854-2466, dmastrull@phillynews.com, or follow on Twitter @dmastrull.

comments powered by Disqus
|
|
|
|
|