Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let's Bring Manufacturing Back to the U.S.

Thursday, April 15, 2010
Recently, I checked out a shop, @Home Furniture, in downtown Rochester, MI, to look at doll beds for my niece. I ended up spending about an hour talking to the store owners about their inventory of furniture, accessories, toys and other items, all made in the U.S. They told me about their workshop behind the store, where they make much of the furniture they carry. The doll furniture is made by them and a laid off auto worker and is absolutely beautiful.

The conversation turned to their frustration over the lack of jobs and loss of industry in the U.S. and what they’re doing to fight back. When they opened their shop, they visited other stores on Main Street, and their first comment was always “Show me what you have that’s made in the U.S.” In most cases, there was little or no domestic inventory. So they explained that they would be referring their customers, who value products made in the U.S., to the stores in town that carry non-imported items. And they absolutely refuse to buy the imported stuff themselves. As a result, several stores have increased their inventories of domestic products.

They also talked about how most large companies have moved their production to China or India. For example, much of the furniture on the market now is made in China. And before upholstered pieces can be shipped here, they’re sprayed with insecticides to kill any bugs that might be in the upholstery. So I wonder if 20 years from now, we’ll be seeing an increase in cancers, potentially from chemicals on imported sofas and chairs.

Anyway, if you’re in the market for high-quality furniture, hand-made hardwood toys, like trains and doll furniture, or decorative accessories for your home, you owe it to yourself to check this place out. @Home Furniture is located at 434 S. Main Street in Rochester, MI, and everything they carry is made here. The phone number is 248-608-8483.

Although I’m aware that most items we buy come from China, I’m definitely going to start paying more attention to things made here. And I, too, will say: “Show me what you have that’s made in the U.S.” If more people did this, maybe we could eventually bring some manufacturing back home.


LisaLisa said...

I agree that all of our products mostly comes from China. I wish the US would take the time to offer the business owners a good deal with pricing. I'm sorry to say i too have been seeking to find a company in China to help me get my invention ready because the US cost entirely to much for the material. I think if the US would meet the needs of the business owners at least half way then i don't think others would outsources to China! We really need jobs here in the US. Wishing you a wonderful day!

Editing4U said...

And I agree with you that it's prohibitive to make products in the U.S. We've become so used to high wages and great benefits that we've priced ourselves out of the market. We need to find some middle ground, accepting a little less in pay and benefits in order to bring some manufacturing back. China will eventually experience some of the same problems we have, and their costs will rise, like they did in Japan. In the meantime, though, we're dealing with poor quality in many cases and sometimes dangerous products. If we could find a way to compromise, it would help You have a great day, too!

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