A Message from the President: Calling for AMM Ambassadors

Dear Friends of the American Made Movement,

The American Made movement continues to grow as evidenced by American Made Matters’ membership growth to 280 in 43 states. We are making a difference and our work must continue. To expand our reach, we will need more American Made Matters ambassadors.

While U.S. unemployment numbers have dropped from 9.4% to 6.3% (manufacturing unemployment alone dropping from 12.6% to 5.3%) (1)  in the last 5 years (2) , we cannot become complacent in our awareness that American made matters and we need to continue to look at what we buy and choose American made when possible.

China may surpass the USA as the world’s largest economy this year according to the World Bank’s International Comparison Project (3). The USA has held the top spot for more than 140 years. The loss of the number one position after so many years is a testament to our lost wealth which relates directly to our diminished manufacturing base, huge trade deficits and dependence on China for so much of our goods.

Americans are buying more U.S. made products (4). More American and foreign companies are beginning production in the U.S. and companies are returning some or all of their manufacturing to the U.S. Yet many still struggle to compete.

American Made Matters has lost some members who have gone out of business and others have found it difficult to survive.

An economy without a strong manufacturing base will struggle to retain its wealth and to create jobs and opportunities for a better future.  Loss of manufacturing means loss of independence, increased product safety concerns, weaker local communities and more citizens in need. We cannot rely on our government for the solution.  We take control of our future with each purchase.

As we approach our fifth anniversary on July 4th, we want to expand our reach. Join us on November 19, 2014 as we make American Made Matters Day a national event to educate Americans that purchasing U.S. made products strengthens the American dream.

We are looking for ambassadors who can devote some time to find a venue in their community and show our new video which will tell the many reasons why American Made Matters.  These events will not only raise awareness, but become a celebration of the craftsmanship and ingenuity of American Made.  We look to create events to include not just education but also food, music and the opportunity to buy American product and support local crafts makers and producers. Schools, libraries, community centers, factories, stores and social gathering places will be ideal venues. We will provide the press release, AMM branded materials to give away and AMM education literature. Our ambassadors will receive an AMM t-shirt, ball cap and Shaw pen. Please become an American Made Matters ambassador and help us extend our reach and impact. We can make an even larger impact and stop plant closures and protect and create jobs and opportunities. We can make a difference!

Don Rongione
Founder and President
American Made Matters®

1. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Manufacturing Unemployment Rate) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNU04032232?data_tool=XGtable
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Unemployment Rate) http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000 ;
3. The World Bank’s International Comparison Project (ICP) http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/05/03/china-worlds-largest-economy_n_5255825.html ;
4. “Made in the USA: More Consumers Buying American” http://www.cnbc.com/id/100519468

Don Rongione

American Made Matters® and L&H Companies to Unveil “Home of American Made Matters” Sign

American Made Matters® prepares to celebrate its 5th anniversary with the unveiling of L&H Companies’ original “Home of American Made Matters” at the Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, PA.

American Made Matters® (AMM) was founded by Don Rongione in 2009. As CEO of Bollman Hat Company, Rongione experienced the tragic decline of American manufacturing first hand when loss of major customers to foreign competition forced him to lay off 100 U.S. manufacturing employees. It was this experience that led Rongione to create an organization dedicated to educating consumers on just how important American manufacturing is to our country. With the help of a handful of U.S. manufacturers, AMM was born.

L&H Companies joined the AMM movement in February of 2013. CEO, Chris Heinly says “We are proud to be a part of American Made Matters. Making and donating this sign is one way that our L&H employees demonstrated our pride.”

Since its inception in 2009, AMM has grown into an organization of over 270 members and sponsors in 43 states. Members are manufacturers who represent various industries from apparel and toys to steel fabrication and cleaning supplies. Sponsors include American made retailers, patriotic organizations, and service providers who support U.S. manufacturing and its impact on jobs, stronger communities, independence and security of the U.S. and product safety. Additionally, AMM is a resource for consumers looking to find American made goods as well as a resource for its members and sponsors to find suppliers and customers.

AMM had its inaugural American Made Matters Day on November 19, 2013. On this day, AMM is encouraging consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing. The Pennsylvania House of Representatives has recognized November 19 as American Made Matters Day. Plans are underway to make this year’s AMM Day a national event by reaching out to members across the country to hold events in various states throughout the U.S.

“We are at the forefront of a movement and gaining momentum. This sign outside America’s oldest hat factory will be a great symbol of the importance of manufacturing for America’s future” said Rongione. Rongione and Heinly will be unveiling the new sign stating “Home of American Made Matters” on May 28, 10:30am at 110 East Main Street, Adamstown PA.

About American Made Matters®: American Made Matters® was launched on July 4, 2009 by the Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat manufacturer. It is the only organization committed to promoting American-made goods that is run by manufacturers. For more information, visit http://www.americanmadematters.com/index.php, or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMadeMatters.

About L&H Companies: L&H Sign Company, Inc. has been a leading provider of quality architectural sign products for over 21 years. With approximately 63,500 square feet of manufacturing space at our headquarters in Reading, PA, they have the resources to create virtually anything from a simple merchant sign to the most complex way finding system, with ease. For more information, visit http://www.lhsigns.com/, or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pages/LH-Companies/359176690783671.

American Made Matters Memorial Day Promotion

We want to celebrate this Memorial Day with an American Made Matters® Memorial Day promotion!

Click here to view the details on the event and how you can win an American Made Matters® prize package!

Prizes include:

AMM t-shirt (S,M,L,XL,XXL)
Undershirt Pack from Ribbed Tee
STUCK Boxer Briefs from Ribbed Tee
Socks from Ribbed Tee
5 pairs of Socks
Red Jungle Bird Aloha Shirt from US Wings
Apparel from Bullet Blues
Aviator Sunglasses from US Wings
AMM Lapel Pin

K’Nex Big Value Toy Tub
Unbreakoball (Dog Toy)

Set of LED Spikes from Bulldog LED Lighting
Knife Sharpener w/ Leather Sheath from Tony’s Sharpener
Shaw Pen

Footmate System
Topricin Products

AMM Window Cling
Koozie from Ole Mason Jar
Coaster from Ole Mason Jar
Pint Sleeve from Ole Mason Jar
AMM Key Chain

AMM Baseball Cap
AMM LiteFelt Hat (Fedora, Cowboy, Trilby or Stingy Brim)
$25 Hats.com Gift Certificate
Gift Certificate for Watson’s Hat Shop
Da Nang Cap from US Wings


Memorial Day

American Made Matters featured in Be A Part Movement

We are thrilled to be featured in beapartmovement.org. A website that ”shares the stories of people and organizations who are doing their part to further the Buy American/Buy Local message and informs the public of how they can BE A PART of the movement as well.” 

Click the link below to view the article.


Ralph Lauren Creates USA Made Uniforms for the Olympics

We cheer on our USA team as we currently hold the most medals for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Our goal at American Made Matters for the Olympics was to provide resources to have the apparel for the athletes made in the USA. For the 2012 Summer Olympics, we sent a letter to Ralph Lauren after the public outcry regarding the uniforms being made overseas. This letter’s purpose was to offer our support for creating the apparel in the USA. We offered to provide Ralph Lauren with our members’ resources to coordinate all their designs in America. Here is the letter that we sent:

Dear Ralph Lauren,

We, the members of American Made Matters, feel strongly that our Olympians should be outfitted with American made apparel and accessories. We have over seventy* members who are still producing product in the U.S. and are proud to provide jobs in our communities and the highest quality product for our customers. We stand ready to work with your designers to produce any product needed to support our U.S. Olympic team including the outfit for the opening and closing ceremony.

We have members who can produce hats, shirts, jackets, bags, belts, pants, socks, and footwear. Our employees would be proud to know that their work would be supporting our athletes and on display for the world to see.

Please advise us on the next steps in working to create a 100% U.S. made outfit for our athletes.


Don Rongione
American Made Matters

While Ralph Lauren did not take us up on our offer, they did respond positively by having the opening and closing ceremony uniforms made in the USA. We are happy that Ralph Lauren made the decision to help grow the American economy by having these uniforms made in the States. Best of luck to the USA Team as they go for the gold and finish strong in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics!

Click the photo below to learn more about the USA made uniforms.

Olympic Uniform












*We now have over 250 members.

City of Schenectady, NY to Host Made in USA Event

American Made Matters is proud to announce a great American event, sponsored by our member, Tough Traveler and the City of Schenectady, NY.  The City, in conjunction with area stakeholders, will be hosting an important community event which includes the local debut of the “American Made Movie” followed by a panel discussion with influential state-wide and local economic development stakeholders. The panel discussion will be moderated by Jack Aernecke and will offer an opportunity for attendees to propose questions related  to the state of manufacturing in Schenectady and beyond.

American manufacturing employment has been on the decline for decades, unleashing a devastating effect on our local and national economies. Fortunately, people are making a difference by doing their part at a local level – supporting small businesses, buying from local craftsman instead of the big box stores, and purchasing Made in USA when possible. Americans can be inspired by individual and corporate efforts highlighted in the new critically acclaimed documentary, “American Made Movie.”

Proceeds from the event will benefit the Schenectady based YouthBuild program by providing a onetime scholarship for a program participant that plans on attending and enrolling in a Manufacturing Technology program at Schenectady County Community College.

For more information please contact Chad Putman at 518-225-0957 / chadputman1@yahoo.com

You can also follow the local, American Made Movement on Facebook at “American Made – Going Local”


Film screening:  6:30 pm

Panel Discussion:  8:00 pm

Rated G Film • Running Time:  82 min

Event Running Time:  Approximately 2.5 hours

Ticket Price:  $5



Click here to watch the trailer for “American Made Movie.” 

Interested in hosting a movie screening in your home town? Help us spread the word about the importance of American manufacturing and get involved in the movement. Contact Rachel Highley, AMM Marketing Director – rhighley@bollmanhats.com.

American Made Matters 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway

American Made Matters will be hosting its second annual 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway beginning December 12 and ending December 23.  Don’t miss out on your chance to win prizes from great Made in USA brands!

12 Days - FB

Prizes include the following:

$50 gift card for Hats.com, Bollman Hat Company Floppy Hat and Urban Cowboy Hat from the Heritage Collection, AMM Caps, Hats, Tees and Christmas Ornaments, 12 can case of Citrol Oil from Schaeffer Oil, Promise Monsters Smarshmallows, Black & Denim Betsy Ross Tee shirt, The Perfect Wallet by Ball and Buck, $25 gift card for Zentek Clothing, Greenbow Pillows from NuAngel, and a $25 gift card for Golden Mag Products.

Check out our Facebook page for a complete list of daily prizes!

Click here to enter to win! 

American Made Matters Featured in Lancaster New Era

An article featuring American Made Matters Day made the front page of the Lancaster New Era this Sunday. We are thrilled at the exposure American Made Matters Day has received and want to thank everyone for making our first annual event a huge success!

To read the online version of the article click here.


Photo depicts American Made Matters Founder Don Rongione who is the President and CEO of the Bollman Hat Company.