Monday, November 19, 2012

It's Busy Here in Necklace Town USA

Melindesign got an inquiry to do a little job for Nordstrom for an American designer, Kris Nations of Kris Nations Jewels from California. All American made. Sure! we said and as the supplies slowly trickled in pressing the deadline (December 1!)  closer and closer, I was getting concerned...Were we going to make the first third of this order by November 19th??

We did it! but missed by 36 pieces cause we didn't have the state label for the baggies on hand....Mr UPS man waited patiently while I tried to pack those last few hundred in the giant box. One of three giant boxes.

So that's the first third, more than 5,000 necklaces assembled in an unbelievable 10 days?? Bottled and packed in 3 days? How did we do it? I have some amazing assemblers that helped me last time we had a mountain of necklaces to assemble, 14,000+ in two and half months. ALL assembled in the United States of America, just like this order we are undertaking now.

I want to thank Donna, Pam E, Jill, Bill, Maggie, Stephanie, Liz, Brooke, Courtney, Rozmarin, Pam R, Margie, Maribeth. Some newbies that I found by putting a shout out on my town's Facebook page. A flood of emails came in and by the afternoon, I met a new crew of Jewelry Assembly Chicks, ready to help me get this made in the USA. I had my uber assemblers cranking out the necklaces, the bottlers, with their graceful & deft gloved hands working furiously, so careful NOT TO MARK the CARDS! And the baggie chicks, pure joy! Being able to help American designers keep their production here in the United States instead of outsourcing to China is super awesome supreme. You all helped achieve that this past week. 

Another shipment of 3,000 bottles are coming in tomorrow. Another 2,400 out by next Monday. But first, enjoy that all American holiday, the day we give thanks.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Hipsters? Nah! How local, #MadeintheUSA, artisan-focused entrepreneurs are reviving American manufacturing

Let's keep politics out of this. Everyone continue making their wares in the USA, quietly. Grow your business within your community. Rent in your home town, buy lunch at the cafe up the street, ship from your UPS store, buy some veggies at the local farm stand on the way home. But please, don't tell the politicians. We can make Made in America on our own. That's what artisan-focused entrepreneurs do. It's the pioneer spirit that has been lost in all this political noise. The freedom to do what makes you happy and making a living at it.

That was never "hipster" movement. Artists have always had to make do and there was always a market for quality, handmade products. Finally, Americans are waking up to the fact that buying American products made by Americans, is the way to bring back jobs to America.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Decline of the U.S. Garment Industry

It certainly would be nice if we had our own Free Trade Agreement: Duty free access to American products within the USA. What a novel idea! We do so much for worldwide economies: tax breaks, building factories, hiring villages to work them. Why can't we have the same system here? Encourage manufacturing & stimulate local economies. Encourage the purchase value of our dollar here.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cooperation with Georgia Institute of Technology for BMW

Josef Kerscher, head of the BMW plant in Spartanburg: “The Spartanburg plant is looking forward to exciting projects with Georgia Tech and hopes this collaboration will be highly successful on both sides.”

Cooperation will initially focus on research in the field of production. The partnership’s first concrete steps will include a number of post-graduate scholarships at the H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The BMW Group is currently restructuring its global university cooperation programme, targeting strategic partnerships with selected international colleges such as Georgia Tech. Current and future fields of research will form part of the cooperation – for instance, on the technology side: production, new drive technologies, materials and substances. Supply chain management will be a further area of research.

How cool is that??

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How Liamolly With the Help of Was Able to Get it #MadeinAmerica

On, all kinds of people asking for financing on all kinds of projects, from film projects to food producers, artists, and inventors. And all increments of donations. All kinds of projects across the USA. This particular story got my attention, Seema Sudan of Liamolly, had been producing sweaters in Asia and their demands went from 300 sweaters to 2,000 sweaters PER style. It put them out of business.

They put the word out on about needing financing to put a down payment on a knitting machine. They hit the mark and now she's in training to operate the system and they hope to be up & running by June. Getting all her sweaters #AmericanMade #MadeintheUSA. She's sending those who donated a small token of thanks of one of her handmade designs.

Here's more on Liamolly and her journey on

This program at would be good to seek out others who want their product made here in America an not have to go overseas. It's a way to help dollar by dollar to get their products #MadeinAmerica. Bypass the government, start small, slow and just do it on our own. Help support people with great ideas and initiative to make their product here in the USA....which is what the American spirit is all about. Starting an #AmericanMadeRevolution.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Manufacturing Job Program Helps Austin's Art District

Here's a fine example of vocational education helping people grow their community.

Manufacturing Job Program Helps Develop Austin's Art District

“These are high-demand jobs and high skilled kind of work,” said Amara Enyia, executive director of ACT. “This is part of a national effort to close the skills gap and link education to the economy.”

It's a short 44 week manufacturing credential program at

What a great idea! I love it and I hope more initiatives like this gets promoted in more cities across America. Austin already has a vibrant music scene, how cool will it be when they develop the arts district? This is just what we need. Artists and craft people start small businesses, stay in the community and help revitalize blighted areas. It's about time someone has taken notice and helped budding entrepreneurs establish themselves, tying education to the local economy. Imagine if they did this in every city?

Way to go Austin!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Paul Krugman: The Economic Crisis Will Permanently Scar New Graduates - 92Y Blog - 92nd Street Y - New York, NY

So again, is college worth it? Yes it's terribly wrong Paul Krugman, but how about going after the problem in the high schools, at freshman level. Going after the guidance counselors who advise kids to follow a path to financial debt. Not only will they scar their "entire work career" but they will live with their parents, who have also put their dreams on the line for precious promises that will evaporate as quickly as they throw that cap into the air at graduation time. These young people will go back to their childhood rooms (if they weren't foreclosed on) wallowing in depression that they're not going to get their piece of the cake. Not taking any job beneath them (I wanna be an executive! I will not even LEAVE the house for less than $100K a year) to help their parents foot the bills.

But what is the government going to do about it? Give these kids more than what their parents have given up to hand them everything they want? I don't think it's the government's job to provide every college educated person a job. You go to college voluntarily and pay for it. Why should the government pick up that tab? Or guarantee you a job? Why pay for these graduate degrees? Unless you are a doctor or rocket scientist (and we don't need them anymore), stop flushing more money down the toilet. The only institution that's winning are the universities and colleges, taking more money from people, putting them into more debt with empty promises and useless degrees. And they keep going! The masters, the doctorate, the Phd. Textbooks for hundreds of dollars a semester, room and board expenses. How long will it take for you to pay that off? Your college education is now more expensive than buying a house. And that's just wrong.

It's the new wild west people, a new America. Time to blaze your own trails. Find out what the future will need and gear training and education towards that. Why go to an expensive university for French history? Start finding out what future industries will need for trained professionals. So what if you take AP classes to get into an overpriced school? Can you flip a burger please?

Paul Krugman: The Economic Crisis Will Permanently Scar New Graduates - 92Y Blog - 92nd Street Y - New York, NY