Weave Got Maille in Ada credited in Inc Mag for better broadband a jobs!

Just what kind of impact can one super niche internet business have in a community? Well ask Ada. Inc. Magazine just credited Ada’s own Weave Got Maille for better broadband and more jobs. (We wrote about them in 2015 too.)

Weave Got Maille manufactures chain mail supplies – tiny rings. Founder Edie Ramstad thought she’d be making 1,000 a day – turns out she does 2-3 million a day! But it was the business that almost wasn’t or at least almost wasn’t in Ada. Inc reports on some issues…

Lack of machinery was just one problem facing Ramstad, who at one point almost gave up, thwarted by Ada’s sparse infrastructure. Founded in 2012, Weave Got Maille was the first nonagricultural manufacturer in this farm town of around 1,600 people, 45 miles northeast of Fargo. “You can’t be an internet business with a post office that closes at 2 o’clock and puts a limit on how much you send because the mail carrier doesn’t have a very big car,” Ramstad says.

And unfortunately success only magnified the issues…

But the demand strained a business that, back then, operated out of a building in the middle of a wheat field. Ada is a county seat; but a few years ago it had only dial-up internet. The local post office turned away Ramstad’s business because it couldn’t handle the volume. As she struggled alone with infrastructure constraints and new challenges, like managing a scaling workforce, she grew increasingly frustrated.

But it turned around after Ramstad attended 1 Million Cups event in Fargo. They she got inspired and networked in with people who were also inspired and inspiring. Some of those stepped in to help her get the better broadband she needed…

Someone from Kauffman reached out to North Dakota senator Heidi Heitkamp on Ramstad’s behalf; Heitkamp asked the U.S. postmaster general to intercede with the Ada branch to increase its hours. After hearing Ramstad address a later 1 Million Cups event, the mayor of Fargo advised the governor of Minnesota to bring fiber to Ada. “Three years ago, the kids here could not even do their homework online,” Ramstad says. “Now we have good internet.”

This entry was posted in economic development, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (blandinonbroadband.org), hosts a radio show on MN music (mostlyminnesota.com), supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota (elimstrongtowershelters.org) and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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