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The inspiration for New Hampshire Made, originally known as New Hampshire Stories, Inc., came from a very basic business need – the need for small producers of New Hampshire products and services to pool their resources and work collaboratively to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and expand their marketing and selling opportunities.
1995 A task force began meeting to uncover the perceived “identity” of New Hampshire and how to capture this essence so we could convey that message to the public who were looking for “added value.” This volunteer task force was comprised of both large and small business owners, marketing consultants, service providers, and representatives from the State of New Hampshire’s Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, Department of Resource and Economic Development, Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Division of Travel & Tourism.
1997 New Hampshire Stories, Inc., was established as the non-profit membership organization that would “tell the story” of New Hampshire’s people, products and services. The first Executive Director was hired and the New Hampshire Stories program introduced its original logo and theme, “We Have A Story to Tell.”
1998 New Hampshire Stories published the New Hampshire Products & Services Directory and held its first annual conference for approximately 250 members.
1999 The first retail store, exclusively selling members’ products called The New Hampshire Store, opened at I-95’s northbound rest area in Hampton, NH, adjacent to the NH State Liquor Outlet. This ideal location was made possible thanks to a valued partnership with the New Hampshire Liquor Commission who had space available adjacent to their building.
2000 www.nhmade.com web site was launched and in 2001 the organization’s second retail store opened on I-95 southbound, utilizing the same New Hampshire Liquor Commission arrangement.
2002 The organization had more than 500 members and New Hampshire Stories realized its original “We Have A Story To Tell” campaign needed a more direct approach. At its annual conference that year, the “New Hampshire’s Own, A Product of Yankee Pride” logo system and tagline was officially introduced.
2004 To more clearly signal the organization’s mission, the name was changed from New Hampshire Stories, Inc., to New Hampshire Made or NH Made. In just two years the organization grew to more 700 members as new marketing programs were rapidly introduced. A new publication, new retail store signs and a host of promotional items with the “NH’s Own” logo began appearing throughout the state.
2006 nhmade.com was completely redesigned to enhance the consumer’s ability to locate and purchase New Hampshire Made products and services. Other organizations began to partner with New Hampshire Made in a variety of programs and events. Like-minded organizations became “standing committees” within the organization, including the New Hampshire Farmers’ Market Association and the New Hampshire Farm to Restaurant Connection.
2012 In celebration of its past, present and future, NH MADE held its 15th Anniversary Celebration Dinner for partners, supporters, friends and members of the organization!
2014 The organization completely rebuilt and re-launched nhmade.com, featuring easy to find member profiles with interactive maps; direct access to NH-based businesses who provide corporate gifts, fundraising ideas and wedding favors, all with a local flair; a consumer-focused, user-friendly online store; and strong integrations with all social media platforms.
2014 NH Made entered into an agreement with Granite State Hospitality to distribute NH Made member products for the company’s new Common Man Roadside convenience stores at the newly-reopened Hooksett Northbound and Southbound Welcome & Information Centers on I-93.
NH Made is an example of what can be accomplished in New Hampshire when individual producers and service providers join with a variety of organizations, associations, and government agencies to help raise the awareness and appreciation for the quality, variety and availability of what is right here in New Hampshire. Similar programs like this in other states are usually funded by state government but, in New Hampshire, this has successfully been done through a co-operative public/private partnership – and it’s working!