From the Bollman Hat Company website/press release on American Made Matters™…”At a time when saving American jobs is more important than ever and the economic recovery needs a boost, a growing group of American manufacturers have come together to form American Made Matters™. The mission of this newly-reinvented organization (formerly SaveAnAmericanJob™) is to stimulate American manufacturing by promoting a broader understanding of why purchasing American products is vital to our future, and enabling consumers to easily identify goods that are American made.”
This consortium has an interesting group of manufacturers on-board, and growing, including K’NEX, Todd Shelton, Andrew David, Riccar and more…see the full member list. Although American Made Matters does not abide by the “Made in the USA” Federal Trade Commision guidelines, because the standards of manufacturing for American Made Matters differs (50% of cost and production for American Made Matters vs. 100% of cost and production for all or virtually all for goods carrying “Made In USA” labels), the founder of the organization Don Rongione, CEO and President of the Bollman Hat Company, states that “… at least 50 percent of costs are incurred, and final assembly occurs in the U.S. You might not be able to say ‘Made in USA’, but you can say you produce in the U.S. and comply with the Save An American Job standard.” (Save An American Job or SAAJ was the original organization name, which has changed to American Made Matters).
What I found really exciting was that some of these manufacturers are licensees. Over $5 billion in royalty revenue was generated through intellectual property licensing in 2010 according to the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers’ Association. These numbers equate to 100s of billions of dollars in retail sales of consumer goods in 2010. Seeing licensed propeties seeking out manufacturers in the United States, to license, make and market product lines, is an additional opportunity for real economic growth for America. Bollman Hat Company just recently signed two licensing agreements with American entertainment icons – multi-platinum, 3-time Grammy Award-winning Def Jam recording artist Ne-Yo for his brand Francis Ellargo, which signifies the ultimate gentleman, and Trevor Brazile, America’s #1 All Around Cowboy under Brazile’s Relentless brand with Bollman’s Bailey Western hats.
“Hats have always been a part of who I am” said Ne-Yo,“ so head-wear was the obvious first product to launch under my brand. Offering the world’s best quality and American made matters to me, so connecting with America’s oldest and the world’s best hat maker was also an obvious choice.” (see the full press release here)
We will be keeping an eye on this trend!
Correction – American Made Matters requires 50% of cost and final assembly to take place here in the United States in order for a manufacturer to be a member of American Made Matters. We originally post that figure at 60%.