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March 25, 2015

Despite Foreign Competition, MAK Grills Keeps the Fire Burning

Bob and Kerrie Tucker make it no secret that their company, MAK Grills, doesn’t sell the cheapest grill on the market. But even with so many lower-cost options available to consumers, MAK Grills continues to thrive, selling products as fast as they can make them. If you asked them how this is possible, they might reply, “You get what you pay for.”

Photo credit: makgrills.com

Photo credit: makgrills.com

The husband and wife team is proud of why their grills cost more. The majority of each grill’s 158 separate parts is made in their precision metal shop. They have chosen not to cut costs by outsourcing their manufacturing overseas, and in turn are able to preserve their 35 employees’ jobs while offering them a fair wage.

MAK manufactures high-quality wood-pellet grills, which offer the authentic barbecue flavor of real wood with the convenience of automatic lighting and fuel feed. Grills are available with high-tech features, even enabling users to program a cooking strategy, using temperature sensors inserted into the meat to relay information.

Many MAK components are made in the U.S. from quality materials like stainless steel, so they’ll last without rusting out after a few years outside. In fact, the only parts that aren’t domestically sourced are a few components for the circuit board, because any American companies that might have manufactured those parts have become victims of overseas competitors.

Thanks for what you do, Bob and Kerrie. You can come over for dinner any time.

March 18, 2015

Hardwick Clothes: Proudly American Made Since 1880

Providing customers with high-quality American-made products they can wear with pride. That’s the mission statement of Hardwick Clothes Inc., America’s oldest maker of tailored clothing. Now in its 135th year, the company has weathered “factory fires, economic recessions, two world wars, inflation and leisure suits,” – all by dedication to producing the highest-quality product.

Photo credit: hardwick.com

Photo credit: hardwick.com

C.L. Hardwick founded Hardwick Clothes in Cleveland, Tennessee, in 1880, where it remains today. Innovation brought Hardwick quick success, found by developing a fabric woven from wool and cotton called “jean cloth,” used to produce Hardwick’s vastly popular Dollar Pants.

The company bounced back from multiple factory fires with new machinery and expanded operations. During the Great Depression, Hardwick survived by reducing its costs, moving sewing operations into workers’ homes. During the 1940s, the company contributed to America’s war effort by producing the uniforms worn by the military. Upgrading to a nearby expanded facility with modernized manufacturing equipment in the 1970s helped Hardwick compete with the increasing supply of cheap, offshore clothing.

Hardwick continues to thrive today, expanding its base of department stores and specialty retailers. Its reputation for quality has landed Hardwick Clothes contracts with the U.S. military, as well as Major League Baseball umpires.

We are proud to recognize Hardwick Clothes for exemplifying our values of Born, Made and Stayed in America.

March 10, 2015

Re Made Claims the Throne of American Master Plunger

When Peter Smith-Buchanan left his rural home more than 15 years ago to work as a designer in New York City, he began to feel disconnected from his roots. The third-generation farmer who grew up working with his hands suddenly found himself spending most of his days in front of a computer.

Getting back to basics meant finding a common thing to do uncommonly well. It meant finding something to design and build with his own two hands. And what better symbol of functionality, simplicity, rugged design and the American tradition of hard work than the toilet plunger?

Photo credit remadeco.org.

Photo credit remadeco.org.

Smith-Buchanan’s business, the Re Made Company, has elevated the toilet plunger to an art form. His white pine-handled plungers could almost be displayed on the living room mantle instead of next to the toilet. Each plunger is handmade in the United States, using only the highest-quality domestic materials, and promises a lifetime of dependable operation.

Smith-Buchanan hopes his products empower people to reconnect with their roots, work with their hands and embark on a lifetime of fulfilling projects and lasting experiences.

Here’s to taking that plunge. Learn more at remadeco.org.