Our first annual American Made Matters Day is tomorrow, November 19th, and we’re making an impact already! Today we were featured on the front page of the Philadelphia Inquirer and we have no doubt Americans will be shopping for U.S. made goods tomorrow and throughout the holiday season. To read the online version of the article – click here!
To kick-off the holiday shopping season, American Made Matters has declared November 19, 2013 the first annual American Made Matters Day. On this day, American Made Matters is encouraging consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing.
We know that finding American made products can be difficult, but American Made Matters is making it easier. Check out the great sales and promotions our members are offering on November 19 and beyond, and join us in celebrating our first annual American Made Matters Day!
K’NEX - In honor of American Made Matters’ Day – ONE DAY SALE, Buy 1, get a second 1 FREE! Available on select K’NEX products. K’NEX bricks, rods and connectors are made in the U.S.A. Quantities limited while supplies last. See “1-Day Sale” on www.knex.com/Shop to find products! Happy shopping!
APPAREL & ACCESSORIES
City Charm – Use coupon code AMM1113 at checkout to receive 10% off your total order Nov. 19 thru Nov. 30. http://citycharmco.com/
Hats.com – 25% off at www.hats.com. Use coupon code AMMDAY at checkout to receive 25% off all made in USA hats and accessories on Nov. 19!
Andrew David – Use coupon code AMM at checkout to receive 50% off your order on Nov. 19. Excludes other promotions and gift certificates. www.shopandrewdavid.com
NoNetz – Use coupon code WE-LIKE-YOU at checkout to receive free shipping on Nov. 19. http://www.nonetz.com/
Dapper Classics – Use coupon code USA to receive 25% off your purchase on AMM Day, Nov. 19. http://www.dapperclassics.com/
J.W. Hulme Co. – Use coupon code COLNOV13 on Nov. 19 to receive $50 off a purchase of $400 or more at www.jwhulmeco.com or 1-800-442-8212. Offer good on orders placed by Nov. 30,2013. Not valid on previous purchases, exchanges, or returns. One-time use. One per customer. Can not be combined with other offers.
Head ‘n Home Handmade Hats – Receive 40% off all hats from all brands at http://www.headnhome.com/.
Ball and Buck – Use coupon code AMMDAY15 at checkout to receive 15% off all online orders placed on Nov. 19. Plus receive FREE shipping! Visit http://ballandbuck.com
Bullet Blues – Use coupon code BB20 at checkout to receive 20% off any item on the site. 19. http://www.bulletbluesca.com/
Maven Fly – Use coupon code AMM20 at checkout to receive 20% off all sales on Nov. 19. http://www.mavenfly.com
Jack and Mary Designs – Use coupon code AMMDAY2013 at checkout to receive 15% off and free shipping. http://www.jackandmarydesigns.com/
Ribbed Tee – Use coupon code 24for48 and receive 24% off for 48 hours! Valid 11/19-11/20. Not valid on Classic Fit line or Clearance/Sale items. Shipping not included. http://ribbedtee.com/
Tres-Femmes – Use coupon code AMM1119 at checkout and receive 15% off any online purchase on Nov. 19. www.tre-femmes.com
Loggerhead Apparel – Use coupon code AMM25 at checkout to receive 25% off all purchases made on Nov. 19! www.loggerheadapparel.com
Todd Shelton USA – Use coupon code AMM at checkout and receive 25% off your order on Nov. 19! http://toddshelton.com/
Sounder Goods – Use coupon code AMM at checkout on Nov. 19 to receive 25% off your total purchase. www.soundergoods.com
Black and Denim- Black and Denim- Use coupon code AMMBND at checkout to receive 20% off all orders placed on Nov. 19. Visit http://black-denim-apparel-company.myshopify.com/
Bodacious Cases- Bodacious Cases- Use coupon code AMMDay at checkout to receive 25% off all orders! Visit http://bodaciouscases.com/
Twisted Cow – Use coupon code AMM at checkout and receive 15% off your total order on Nov. 19. http://www.twisted-cow.com
Made in America Expo – You still have time to reserve a booth at the Fort Worth, TX Made in American Expo taking place in May, 2014. Receive 19% off of all Expo services when you reserve your spot on Nov. 19! Click here for more information: http://madeintheusaexpo.com/american-made-matters-special-promotion
White Starfish – Use coupon code BUYUSA at checkout and save 15% off your entire order on Nov. 19! www.thewhitestarfish.com
Independence LED – Use coupon code AmericanMadeMatters at checkout to replace 400 Watt Metal Halide High Bays with 116 Watt or 174 Watt LED Fixtures at dramatically discounted wholesale prices. 20% Discounted cost starts at $295, and the annual savings is often over $200 per fixture per year. Plus REBATES are available to bring the payback to under 1 Year. www.IndependenceLED.com
CPA – Use coupon code USAProspers for 20% off all orders placed Nov. 18- Nov. 20. https://www.cpabuyamerican.com/
Christmas Forest – On Nov. 19 the Stars & Stripes holiday wreath will be on sale for $36 including free ground shipping to 48 states. http://www.christmasforest.com/christmas-wreaths/stars-and-stripes
Metal Shop CT – On Nov. 19 all Metal Shop Bottle Opener Products will be 5% to $10 off and engraving will be free for our Brass Cigar Stand. No coupon code necessary. http://metalshopct.com/
Footmate Systems – In support of American Made Matters Day, Gordon Brush will offer 19% off of the sale of all Footmate® System products purchased on November 19, 2013, from the Footmate website, www.footmate.com, with a minimum order of $39.95. Use promo code NOV19.
Tough Traveler – On AMM Day receive a FREE Tough Traveler Pencil Pouch with any purchase, online or in store! Visit http://www.toughtraveler.com/
Polar Bottle – On AMM Day all American themed Polar Bottles will be half off! Use promo code AMM13. Limit four per order. Visit http://www.polarbottle.com/
High Sierra Showerheads – Use coupon code NIRVANA to receive 12.5% off the purchase price for an online order of one or two high efficiency shower heads or high efficiency handheld showers from our website (handheld not available with hose and holder). www.highsierrashowerheads.com
NoCargo – Receive free shipping on orders over $100 – no coupon code needed! http://www.shopnocargo.com/
OHSAY USA – Use coupon code AMMDAY and receive FREE SHIPPING on Nov. 19. http://www.ohsayusa.com
Carlisle Machine Works – 20% off classes at the School of Glass Art. http://carlislemachine.com/
Jon Fontane, owner of Metal Shop CT, an AMM member company, has a mission this Veteran’s Day. That mission is simple, that none of our soldiers past or present feels forgotten. All too often, veterans with PTSD or other life altering injuries feel like they’re alone in their battles and statistics show that 22 veterans commit suicide each day. Jon Fontane and American Made Matters want to bring that number to zero.
Organizations like Wounded Warrior Project, The 296 Project and Warrior Canine Connection are making sure that none of our soldiers feels forgotten or alone in their struggles. Their mission is to foster a successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members who can regain control of their lives and become contributing members of society.
Warrior Canine Connection is a unique charity that uses puppies to rehabilitate soldiers with PTSD. “Training a service dog for a fellow Veteran provides a valuable opportunity for a Warrior suffering from psychological injuries to reintegrate into civilian life. As part of his or her training, Warriors have the responsibility to teach the dogs that the world is a safe place. Through that process, they must convince themselves of the same.”
You can help us support our wounded warriors and all of America’s fighting men and woman today and throughout the year by shopping some great made in USA brands that donate a portion of their sales to veteran’s charities. Check out the list below to support the organization of your choice!
Salute American Vodka - www.saluteamerican.com
Donation – $1 of every bottle. 365 days a year!
Charities – Work Vessels for Veterans, Farmer Veteran Coalition, Purple Heart Homes, Birdies for the Brave, Homes for our Troops and Honor Flight of Greater St. Louis
October 21, 2013
Fee Resolution Names ‘American Made Matters Day’ in Pennsylvania
Works in cooperation with Adamstown business leader to promote
‘Buy American’ mission
HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania House of Representatives, today, passed a resolution naming Nov. 19, 2013, as “American Made Matters Day” in Pennsylvania. The resolution was sponsored by Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Manheim).
“I’m pleased to work in cooperation with a well-known local small business to promote their mission to educate consumers that buying U.S.-made products helps to strengthen the American dream,” Fee said. “My resolution helps to officially mark Pennsylvania’s legislative record to remember the importance of buying American.”
Fee has been working in cooperation with Adamstown-based Bollman Hat Company to help promote the American Made Matters mission organization, which is headed by Bollman Hat Company president Don Rongione.
Fee’s resolution, House Resolution 477, names “American Made Matters Day” in an effort to encourage consumers to buy at least one American-made product that day, as well as encourage the purchase of American-made products in the upcoming holiday season.
“The strength of America’s small businesses depends on the willingness of consumers to buy products that are produced and promoted here,” Fee said. “I’m happy to get behind the work of Don Rongione and other small business leaders to promote buying American.”
Fee invited Rongione to the Capitol to be introduced during today’s House session. The video of the introduction can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/KOptT_MhD8E.
Fee’s resolution was passed unanimously.
# # #
CAPTION: Rep. Mindy Fee (R-Manheim) welcomed Adamstown businessman Don Rongione to the Pennsylvania Capitol today to be recognized during the House session. Pictured from left: Rep. Fee; Don Rongione, president of Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown; Rachel Highley, a Bollman Hat Company employee; and Rep. Kate Harper (R-Montgomery County), who is a college classmate of Rongione.
ADAMSTOWN, Pa. – Don Rongione, keynote speaker at The Rodon Group’s Manufacturing Day event on October 4, 2013, announced that the first annual American Made Matters Day® will be held on November 19th. Rongione is the president and founder of American Made Matters®, an organization dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of buying American-made products. The Rodon Group, a subsidiary of K’NEX Brands, L.P and one of the largest family-owned and operated injection molders in the United States (U.S.), is a Gold Member of American Made Matters®.
Manufacturing Day is an annual showcase of the innovations in the manufacturing industry. Its purpose is to celebrate the achievements of American manufacturers and to educate members of the community on the types of skilled labor that are required in the industry. As keynote speaker of The Rodon Group’s event, Rongione spoke of the importance of the American manufacturing industry in helping to keep the American Dream alive. Rongione, who also has ties to manufacturing as the president and CEO of the Bollman Hat Company, established American Made Matters® after the painful experience of having to layoff 100 employees due to competition from foreign production.
On November 19th, American Made Matters® is encouraging consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing. Additionally, the event will kick-off a movement encouraging Americans to buy products made in America throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season.
“We are very proud to announce American Made Matters Day®,” Rongione said. “I founded American Made Matters® four years ago, and am thrilled with the progress we have made. Our hope is that American Made Matters Day® will get people thinking and checking their tags and making a concerted effort to find American made products when they shop. We have tremendous spending power and consumers need to realize that we don’t need the government to change our economy – we can do that by making simple changes to the way we purchase our food, our clothing and the products we use everyday.” American Made Matters® recently passed another landmark as it reached the 200-member mark in September.
Camille Dager or Madeleine Tardif
Harris, Baio & McCullough for American Made Matters (215) 440-9800
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.
- Margaret Mead
This is not an easy time to be an American: the economy struggles to regain stability, and nearly 23 million of us remain unemployed. In particular, our manufacturing sector continues to suffer, with 5.1 million fewer U.S. manufacturing jobs now than in 2001.
I experienced these challenges firsthand when we were forced to layoff 100 employees from the Bollman Hat Company, America’s oldest hat maker, due to competition from foreign production. It was a heart-wrenching experience, and I vowed to never let it happen again. This led me to establish American Made Matters®, which launched on July 4, 2009.
American Made Matters® is an organization dedicated to educating consumers that buying American-made products strengthens the American Dream. It is comprised of American manufacturing companies and allows its logo to be used on products for which at least 50 percent of the cost (labor, materials and overhead) is incurred in the U.S. and its final assembly or transformation also takes place in the U.S. American Made Matters® has doubled its membership in the past year, recently welcoming its 200th member.
American Made Matters® has declared November 19th, 2013 the first annual American Made Matters® Day. On November 19th, we are asking you, consumers, to buy at least one American-made product to show your support for American manufacturing. We are also hoping this event will kick-off a movement encouraging Americans to buy products made in America throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season.
With the multitude of problems facing our country and the world, it is easy to feel helpless. However, we all have the power to make a difference—we have the ability to bring back the American economy, to decrease the unemployment rate, to help the environment, and to provide opportunities for our children and grandchildren. We have the ability to do all of this, and all it takes is one small action: buying more goods that are made in the U.S. In fact, spending just five percent more on American-made goods could create an additional one million jobs in the U.S.
Is it really that simple? Yes. For every $1 spent on American-made goods, an additional $1.35 is invested in the U.S. economy. For every one manufacturing job, another three jobs are created. If $64 of the $700 the average American family spends on holiday gifts is spent on American-made goods, 200,000 jobs could be added to the U.S. economy.
Need additional incentives? Buying American-made goods minimizes the pollution from transporting goods long distances and ensures that the goods were manufactured in adherence to U.S. environmental standards. Further, selecting goods that were manufactured in the U.S. supports America’s standards for safe working conditions, reasonable wages, and labor laws. Higher demand for American goods creates American jobs, and more business for American companies allows them to provide greater benefits and healthcare options for employees, placing a lesser burden on our taxpayers.
These are the facts. Now imagine the possibilities. Americans are still the world’s largest consumers—the power to make a difference really is in our hands. We hope you will join us in our cause.
Don Rongione, President and Founder of American Made Matters®
ADAMSTOWN, P.A. – American Made Matters®, an organization dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of buying American-made products, reached the 200-member mark this past week. The latest members—including Dickies 1922, Rethink Robotics and Jensen Apparel—join a group of manufacturing companies committed to making goods in the United States (U.S.) Member companies are located across the U.S. and manufacture everything from apparel and home goods to toys and machinery.
“We have doubled our membership in the past year,” said Don Rongione, president and founder of American Made Matters®. “This is a testament to the strength of the American-made movement, and we are excited to be at the forefront.” Companies can become members of American Made Matters® by paying just $99 a year, which gives them permission to use the American Made Matters® logo on products for which at least 50 percent of the product’s cost (labor, materials and overhead) is incurred in the U.S., and the final assembly takes place in the U.S.
American Made Matters® provides social media attention for its members and brand exposure at various trade shows. This past weekend, American Made Matters® was a sponsor and attendee of the American Field Pop-Up Market in Boston, an annual event featuring American craftsman and fashion brands like Ball and Buck, the trade show’s founding company and American Made Matters® member. “It is our goal for American Made Matters® to become a center for consumers trying to find American-made goods,” said Rongione. “By promoting our member companies, we are making it easier for consumers to buy American.”
American Made Matters® has recently declared November 19th as American Made Matters Day. On this day, American Made Matters® is encouraging consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing. Additionally, the event will kick-off a movement encouraging Americans to buy products made in America throughout the holiday shopping season.
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. It has 200 member companies in a variety of industries. For more information, visit http://www.americanmadematters.com/index.php, or like them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmericanMadeMatters.
Company Name & Location:
Yamie Chess Ltd. Las Vegas, Nevada
Number of US based employees:
10+ AND our partners at EPI Printers, Inc (where Yamie Chess is domestically manufactured in Michigan) who employ over 400 people + in Michigan and Indiana. Yamie Chess works with a U.S. chess champion and math /science advisors who come from the following universities: Princeton, MIT, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, Vanderbilt, University of Louisville, University of Arizona and Caltech.
Years in Business:
(Incorporated in Nevada in November 2012.) We are officially launching for K-8 math education simultaneously at the American International Toy Fair in New York City on 16th February 2014 and the NSSEA Ed EXPO in Dallas, TX in March 2014.
Principal line of business:
K-8 educational math learning aids and educational animation for STEM learning. Yamie Chess Ltd’s goal is to get K-8 students across America equipped for math learning through classic chess, so that by age 13, most elementary and middle schoolers will have a realistic prospect of a math related career at college, i.e. math, physics, chemistry, computer science or engineering.
Social Media information:
Pre-launch website: https://www.yamiechess.com (Official website is launching in October/November 2013)
Why does American Made Matter to you?
Yamie Chess Ltd is an American business; and as corporate citizens we feel a strong responsibility and commitment to the community. The democracy and freedom of our way of life as Americans depends in a very real way on a thriving economy and investment in our country’s resources and the next generation of companies following our lead to invest in America on every level. Keeping jobs at home, domestic manufacturing and the passion and hard work of the people who make up the backbone of our country – the unsung heroes who go to work every day and build America from the grassroots – this is what makes America great – their participation in our society of which we all share the benefits is what makes our way of life possible. It is a no brainer that Yamie Chess MUST be manufactured in America – we love America too much and although it has been challenging, we have found a way to profitably manufacture domestically by partnering with EPI Printers Inc, an ISO 9001:2008 manufacturer in Michigan who has been in business since 1959: http://www.epiinc.com/about-epi.aspx
What values drive your business decisions?
Education, innovation and the exciting possibility of getting a generation of kids across America into math, and taking up math careers. Yamie Chess is an investment in education. If Yamie Chess can succeed on our educational mission over the next 10 years and make the class of 2025 the most employable students to ever graduate the American public school system, we stand the chance of raising U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $1 trillion dollars in income per year, evidenced by figures released in Harvard University’s Kennedy School report of August 2011, “Globally Challenged: Are U. S. Students Ready to Compete?
Has your company won any awards recently?
Yes, Yamie Chess Ltd’s first debut animation, King Tigermore In Strawberry Fields, which is shown on our pre-launch website (https://www.yamiechess.com), designed purely to introduce our cartoon chess characters to children, has won the Canada International Film Festival’s Royal Reel Award in Animation, won the Honolulu Film Award’s Aloha Accolade in animation and won official selection to over 50+ major US film festivals including the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD, Coca-Cola’s Beverly Hills Film Festival, Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s Gasparilla Film Festival in Tampa, and the 22nd Arizona International Film Festival which is a grant recipient of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscars!) and sponsored by the University of Arizona and NBC Comcast. Yamie Chess was one of only 4 children’s productions to win selection to the Utah Arts Festival in Salt Lake City (Fear No Film Kids Age 3 and Up) sponsored by Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, Budweiser, Chrysler and Verizon. The full list of the international and national awards (including judges’ panel statements) will be published on the Yamie Chess website at https://www.yamiechess.com/animation in the next 2 months when our official website launches.
What advice would you give to a start-up business that plans to manufacture/source/etc. in the USA?
We don’t like giving advice because we don’t want to be seen as telling anyone what to do (especially as we haven’t launched yet!) however, a suggestion we’ve found agreement on with other start-ups looking to move forward with U.S. manufacturing is to do tons of research like Yamie Chess has done and be broad thinking in looking for an established and reputable American manufacturing partner to team up with, even if you have to look to other states, and even if what you’re looking to produce isn’t your intended partner’s core business.
For example, Yamie Chess is in Nevada, and we found EPI Printers (who are based in Michigan and Indiana) because they handle the entire offset printing workload of the University of Michigan’s academic faculty (they didn’t make educational math products before!) – so we reached out to our midwest colleagues, and they liked what we were doing, and together we agreed to partner to produce Yamie Chess’s range of math learning aids that will launch in six months time at New York Toy Fair 2014. With EPI Printers Inc’s help, Yamie Chess will supplement math and science education across America through classic chess, being useful for not just for classroom work in school, but also America’s homeschooling community.
How are you using the AMM logo on products, website or marketing materials?
Used on the official website, first math learning aid product, press releases, marketing materials at Toy Fair, National Education Association in Denver, National Science Teachers Association in Boston, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in New Orleans, San Diego Comic Con, Ed Expo in Dallas, American Specialty Toy Retailing Association in Phoenix, Arizona, National Association for the Education of Young Children in Atlanta.
What are the benefits for your company of manufacturing in the USA?
When we compare the ease of doing business in America and the technical excellence of U.S. craftsmanship with product engineering against the HUGE costs of importing, international shipping and the serious risks, dangers and legal complexities of dealing with Far Eastern countries like China and Taiwan (particularly in the educational toy industry where child safety is a massive concern), before we even get round to the patriotic aspects which are substantial, it makes no economic sense for a new U.S. small business like Yamie Chess Ltd to be dealing with outside the USA from a manufacturing standpoint.
How do you balance US and foreign manufacturing for your company?
- 98% of materials for Yamie Chess are sourced from heartland America, with our ISO-9001:2008 certified American manufacturing partner, EPI Printers Inc. Yamie Chess is physically manufactured in Battle Creek, Michigan, in an FSC® Chain-of-custody (CoC) certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (EPI is under the organizational brand “EPI Marketing Services” (FSC License Code: FSC-C022187), and EPI operates a number of ecologically friendly practices.
- All Yamie Chess®’s chipboard is made from at least 40% recycled material, so Yamie Chess®’s educational chessboard, box and packaging is green and from sourced entirely on American soil!
- The Yamie Chess® K-8 math comic only uses officially FSC® certified paper and print production from American forests.
- All scrap paper created during Yamie Chess®’s manufacturing is recycled inside America.
- All scrap plastic created during Yamie Chess®’s manufacturing is recycled inside America.
- Yamie Chess® uses vegetable-based American inks.
- Our American manufacturing partner, EPI Printer Inc’s FSC® Chain-of-Custody (CoC) certificate is based on the company being able to account for and track all wood fibers that are used in the different production stages of the Yamie Chess® manufacturing process from the forest to the mill, to the paper and finally to the finished Yamie Chess® sets made in Battle Creek, Michigan.
- In terms of fair labor practices, both Yamie Chess Ltd and our partners EPI Printers Inc’s employees are fairly compensated, full-time employees who have complete family health care available.
Do you have any future expansion plans?
Yes, as well as bringing out the rest in the K-8 math series of physical learning aids that are Made in America for supplementary math and STEM education; Yamie Chess will also be doing an animation series for K-8 math education, as well as doing video math games and mobile apps based on our classic chess characters (who all correspond to the classic chessmen on the board) – Yamie Chess’s education work aims to raise standards and improve learning outcomes for math education in the classroom, supporting STEM learning with math hinged on a classic chess framework. Yamie Chess will also be launching an after-school club program for supplementary math education that will run in U.S. elementary and middle schools.
American Made Matters Day: A Call-to-Action for American Consumers
ADAMSTOWN, Pa., September 9, 2013 – American Made Matters®, an organization dedicated to educating consumers on the importance of buying American-made products, has declared November 19, 2013 the first annual American Made Matters® Day. On this day, American Made Matters® is encouraging consumers to buy at least one American-made product to show their support for American manufacturing. Additionally, the event will kick-off a movement encouraging Americans to buy products made in America throughout the upcoming holiday shopping season.
American Made Matters® has declared November 19th American Made Matters Day not just because of the positive impact that American manufacturing has on jobs, but also because of its effect on local communities, the U.S. economy, product safety, the environment and the future of America. Don Rongione, president and founder of American Made Matters®, says he hopes that this day will help to further the organization’s mission of strengthening the American dream.
Rongione emphasizes the importance of American manufacturing to the economy: “Investing in a product that is made in America is investing in our country’s future,” he said, adding that it does not take a big investment to make a big difference. In fact, American Made Matters® has reported that spending just five percent more on U.S.-made goods could create an additional one million jobs in the U.S.
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that every $1 spent on American-made goods invests an additional $1.35 in the U.S. economy. Furthermore, according to the government’s Advanced Manufacturing Portal, one new manufacturing job creates 1.6 additional jobs in local service businesses. Jobs in high-tech manufacturing industries generate up to five local service jobs. This produces a ripple effect that leads to demand in other industries, such as technology, supply chain management and logistics.
“There are now more organizations dedicated to promoting American-made goods, making it easier than ever to identify nationally produced goods,” Rongione said. He added, “American Made Matters® alone has a list of nearly 200 member companies that use the American Made Matters® logo on at least some of their products.”
The Federal Trade Commission mandates that, in order to label a good as made in the U.S., all significant parts and processing that go into the product must be of U.S. origin. Additionally, the law requires that U.S. content must be disclosed on automobiles and textile, wool, and fur products. American Made Matters® has two criteria for allowing its member organizations to use its label on goods: at least 50 percent of the product’s cost (labor, materials and overhead) must be incurred in the U.S., and its final assembly or transformation must take place in the U.S. “When you’re shopping, take an extra second to look at tags and labels,” Rongione suggested. “You may be surprised to find out where the products you buy are coming from, and also how easy it is to replace them with something U.S.-made.”
American Made Matters® member companies cover a variety of industries, including accessories and apparel, home goods, toys, and health and beauty products. “Despite the loss of many manufacturing sites in the U.S., there is still incredible diversity in the types of products made here,” Rongione said. “People are increasingly aware of the importance of supporting American industries. American Made Matters® also has several partner organizations that are committed to increasing awareness of the American-made movement.”
American Made Matters® Day is perfectly timed to set a patriotic tone for the holiday shopping season. If Americans dedicated just a small portion of their holiday shopping budget to buying American-made goods, it could have a very positive impact on our economy. In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that the average American family spends $700 on holiday gifts; if just nine percent more of this was spent on American-made goods, 200,000 jobs could be added to the U.S. economy.
“It’s amazing that creating jobs can be as simple as looking at the country of origin tag on a product,” says Joy Petty, director of marketing, vacuums at Tacony Corporation, an American Made Matters® member company. “The power to strengthen the U.S. economy lies in millions of little decisions consumers make each day. By asking consumers to purchase one US-produced good on American Made Matters® Day, we’re hoping they will realize just how easy it is to do good for the economy.”
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. It has nearly 200 member companies in a variety of sectors. For more information, visit www.americanmadematters.com, or like them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AmericanMadeMatters.
Patriotism is tantamount at Gordon Brush Mfg. Co. Inc., a 62 year old manufacturer of over 15,000 American made brooms and brushes for industrial and commercial applications. Gordon Brush has made brushes for the United States Army to clean the main gun on the Abram’s tanks, saving the Department of Defense over $1.5 billion. The company has also made brushes that were used on the space shuttle, the lunar module, and brushes to clean the guidance system and guns on the Apache helicopter.
In recent years, however, Gordon Brush has been heavily impacted by the competition from foreign markets. Gordon’s Milwaukee Dustless brush line of janitorial cleaning tools and its health and wellness product, the FootMate® System, face the most intense pressure from lower priced foreign made products, in many distribution channels. Many end users are willing to sacrifice cost over quality, even though in the long run it ends up costing them more because they have to replace sub-standard product more frequently. Moreover, these lower quality products do not do the job for which they were intended, thus leaving a substandard work-product.
Even under these competitive threats, “the company has been steadfast in its philosophy and commitment to manufacturing in the United States,” said Ken Rakusin, president and CEO. “Manufacturing in California and Wisconsin is still a viable model, even if it brings with it some tough challenges. Gordon Brush prides itself on its American heritage dating back to 1897, when the first dustless brush was invented in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by the Milwaukee Dustless Brush Company, which was acquired in 2005,” further added Rakusin.
“Companies that have nothing to differentiate themselves on besides prices are the most vulnerable to the threat of lower priced foreign made products; that’s a no-win game. Gordon Brush chooses to compete on value-added,” said Rakusin. Offering premier products with superior customer service have enabled the company to grow and prosper in spite of the Chinese threat. “The Milwaukee Dustless motto: Innovative Products that Clean Better and Last Longer is a testament to this philosophy,” said Rakusin.
In addition to the Gordon and Milwaukee Dustless line of brushes, the company’s recently introduced the FootMate® System. The Podiatrist recommended FootMate® System makes optimal foot health easy. It is a complete foot care system for cleaning, soothing, stimulating, and massaging your feet every time you shower. The FootMate® System stands head-and-shoulders (or perhaps foot-and-heels) above competitors. The FootMate® brush has over 11,000 bristles and weighs over three pounds compared to the 1,000 bristle, few ounces weighing foreign competitor. “The FootMate System is a high quality American made product that will last and not crumble,” exclaimed Rakusin.
Gordon Brush never considered off-shore manufacturing to become more price competitive. Our American made products give us the ability to display our patriotism and pride and to create feelings of goodwill when our customers receive American-made items.
When considering off-shore manufacturing, the allure of international low-cost labor has to be balanced with loss of control, local customs challenges and costs. “Product reliability, and safety and compliance measures, less inventory/stock issues, and difficulties bringing a distinct company culture across the world, were all contributing factors against going off-shore,” according to Rakusin. In addition, the cost of shipping and the ability to offer same day shipping on most standard brushes was a major factor in keeping business here in the United States,” said Rakusin.
“In spite of all of these issues, I was determined to build and grow my business in the United States by re-investing profits into the purchase of millions of dollars in manufacturing equipment and machinery; pride in contributing to the American economy is near-and-dear to my heart,” further proclaimed Rakusin. “Moreover and perhaps most importantly,” added Rakusin, “are my valued, long-tenured, skilled employees. I have well over 100 employees, plus their families, for who I am responsible. I tell them that Gordon Brush is a great place to work and we are committed to enhancing their lives. Brush-making is an art; I would not have a business without these skilled artisans. I would be a hypocrite if I ignored that commitment for the purpose of improving my bottom line.”
It’s because of companies like Gordon Brush, American manufacturing is alive and some predict it might even be making a “comeback.” As a proud member of American Made Matters, Gordon Brush is spreading the word about the importance of American manufacturing, one foot at a time!
- Article courtesy of Alan M. Schechter
Gordon Brush Mfg. Co., Inc. is an ISO 9001:2008 certified and leading manufacturer of specialty, custom and standard brushes for industrial and consumer purposes. The company makes the FootMate System as well as over 15,000 other medical, industrial, janitorial, and electronic brushes at its 51,000 sq. ft. manufacturing facility in Commerce, California It stocks over 2,000 different brushes for same day shipment selling to a variety of industries including medical, electronics, manufacturing, military, aerospace, and pharmaceutical. Gordon Brush has been featured on the ION Network, Discovery Channel, Bloomberg News, and in the Los Angeles Times.