Show Preview - April 2014

Making It In The U.S.
By Wanda Jankowski

Offerings from established suppliers that make all or a portion of their products in the U.S. are paired with closeups on four up-and-coming small businesses

Faribault Woolen Mill The Broad Stripe is inspired by designs in Faribault Woolen Mill’s archives. Machine washable and dryable, it is made with 100 percent Merino wool in a year-round weight and includes a whipstitched hem. It is offered in twin, queen and king sizes in India ink, terracotta and camel.
Pendleton Woolen Mills From the Thomas Kay Collection, the Mission Mill Blanket Robe is a tribute to one of the original Oregon mills established by Thomas L. Kay, Pendleton’s pioneering founder. The mill turned out the first bolt of worsted wool west of the Mississippi. The old mill is now a part of the historic Mission Mill Museum in Salem, OR. The Victorian colors and composition of the design are a nod to Thomas L. Kay’s English ancestry. The 64- by 80-inch blanket is made with 82 percent wool and 18 percent cotton.
 

Closer Look: Eric and Christopher

Eric Fausnacht, co-founder, shares his thoughts.

• What makes your product line distinctive?

“The business started a little less than two years ago when [Christopher Kline and I] met at an art show. Chris was putting together another art show called ‘Push, Pull, Print’, which encouraged artists to go out of their comfort zones and do something they’ve never done before.

“We started collaborating on some ideas, and I have always been a fan of farm animals and, as a full-time artist, have painted them for a long time. We started taking more photos of farm animals, and using Chris’ expertise in screen printing, started screen printing the images onto pillows and tote bags.

“The draw that many people have to our product line is the photo of the animal and the look in its eyes. It’s just something that draws you in and is so realistic and pretty adorable.”

• What portion is made in the U.S.?

“All of our pillows are hand sewn and silk screened in Perkasie, PA. Our tote bags and canvases are silk screened in Pennsylvania as well.”

• How large is your company?

“Our company currently employs three full-time people, one part-time person, and several family members who have donated their time in helping the business get off to a running start!”

• What are the advantages of having products made in the U.S.?

“We are both Bucks County artists and Chris has owned his own silk screening business for 20 years. The support we’ve both received from the local community in those facets throughout the years has really influenced us in staying local. It not only helps the local economy, but our customers value this aspect of our business as well.

“There’s something unique and a strong sense of pride we take in having an American owned/American operated business. This also doesn’t limit us from doing business overseas. We have customers in several countries, but we will continue to operate in the U.S. in the near and distant future.”

 
Anali Exquisite Needlework The Roma Collection includes 100 percent Italian cotton terry towels adorned with an embroidered clean, sophisticated design. The terry comes from Italy in large bolts of yardage and is then embroidered and cut by Anali with the option of binding with a variety of tape colors. This process allows the embroidery to go the full width of the towel. Each towel is specially made to order, insuring quality control and enabling customers to select the embroidery and thread colors.
Home Source International The company’s cut-and-sew manufacturing plant in Marianna, FL, employs dozens of local workers. Contract bedding as well as the Shiner brand of furniture and lighting have shipped from the plant. Home Source’s Micro Cotton towels are still manufactured overseas.
Pacific Coast Home Furnishings If your customers are in the market for luxury sheets with intricate lace trim, check out Pacific Coast Home Furnishings made-in-the-U.S. 350- to 600-thread-count sheet sets in Italian or Egyptian cotton sateen in neutral colors of white and cream. Shown is the Wonderland design. The company also offers made-in-U.S. luxury lace towels.
Avanti Linens Interlace by Avanti Linens is a jacquard towel traditionally textured with a delicate silky sheen that features a wide border of a floral grid design. It is offered in granite, ivory, linen and mineral.

Closer Look: In2Green

Stefanie Zeldin, co-founder, shares her thoughts.

• What makes your products distinctive?

“Several things: eco-materials with unique colorations that come from blended color rather than package-dyed colors; commitment to quality and U.S. manufacturing; an appreciation for interior and exterior design…people love to take our throws from inside to outdoors as so many of the designs are nature inspired and have appeal for the destination home and resort market; the crisp hip, modern and original designs, and the durable, washable constructions.”

• What portion is made in the U.S.?

“All our knitting and finishing is done in the U.S. and many of our yarns are spun in the U.S. from eco-materials. Specifically, our yarns are a blend of approximately 75 percent recycled cotton (from reclaimed post-industrial fabric clippings) and approximately 25 percent recycled polyester (much of which is also recycled from post-industrial fiber clippings or post consumer soda bottles).

“The colorations have a depth of color only achievable from blended rather than package-dyed colors. Recycled cotton has a lower environmental footprint, since no new cotton is needed to be grown, irrigated or chemically treated and there are no new dyes added. The color comes from the color of the t-shirt clipping.”

• How large is your company?

“We are a small Yonkers, NY-based (women-owned and operated) company. Our supply chain is located between Georgia and Connecticut.”

• What are the advantages of having products made in the U.S.?

“We enjoy quick product development and sampling. We can also make small quantities for stores, resorts and private label customers who want to communicate unique design messages. We see ourselves as part of a budding ‘maker’ economy growing in the U.S., meaning that we are able to set new design and color trends as well as collaborate with customers to respond to their design initiatives. The real advantage is that our stores know that WE MADE IT—we designed it, made it, controlled the quality, packaged it and brought it to them.”

Closer Look: Ox Bow Decor

Laurie Grossman, owner, shares her thoughts.

• What makes your product line distinctive?

“Our designs are unique interpretations of vintage images with a fresh twist to them and every pillow comes with a decorative information tag with history and folklore about the pillow image.”

• What portion is made in the U.S.?

“Our pillow line is entirely designed, printed and manufactured in the U.S. Our linen is imported because it is not currently made in the U.S., but our Sunbrella® fabric for outdoor use is manufactured in the U.S.”

• How large is your company?

“We employ three people in Weston, MA.”

• What are the advantages of having products made in the U.S.?

“Primarily, the lower cost of manufacturing, the quick turn-around in production and the quality. Additionally, we are happy to support the U.S. economy in employing people in this country.”

Closer Look: MKC Photography

Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes, owner/creator, shares her thoughts.

• What makes your product line distinctive?

“Every design is my original artwork and my housewares are truly functional pieces of art. I love creating interesting, beautiful items that draw you in and make you smile.”

• What portion is made in the U.S.?

“The products are 100 percent made in the U.S. Since I hand-make all my items, I only purchase raw materials (fabric, pillow inserts, etc.) that are made in the USA.”
• How large is your company?

“My studio is located in Elkins Park, PA (one mile outside the city limits of Philadelphia) and my company is very small—it’s just me! My children are now old enough to help tote boxes down the stairs to be mailed, but since they work for cookies, they probably don’t really count as employees.”

• What are the advantages of having products made in the U.S.?

“I consider the major advantage to be the fact that I’m supporting other American companies. I’m thrilled to be in a position to do that, and I find that this is equally important to my buyers, most of whom own brick-and-mortar shops that focus on American-made items. I also love that when dealing with fairly local companies, my supplies reach me very quickly, which in turn helps me keep my customers happy.”


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