Thursday, September 27, 2012
Made in America but Sold in China
There was an interesting article last week in the New York Times about a small plumbing company in Brooklyn that manufacturers high end plumbing fixtures and sells them to places like China. It's called "A Manufacturing About-Face: Made in America but sold in China."
This is something I really think we need more of. To me multi-national companies are more like sovereign nations than people. They stretch across vast areas of the globe, have their own rules, and ruling bodies. They belong to themselves only. And because they have a global back office to feed, they can only think in terms of immense sales. Nothing else would make sense for them.
This means there are opportunities for small local companies and I really wish people in the U.S. would take more advantage of this.
Speaking as a housewife, I'm constantly disheartened by trying to buy clothing made in China that is inexpensive, but doesn't wear or wash well. And is constantly in sizes that don't fit people of larger stature. I'm not a short or dainty woman. And I spend a lot of time in the rural Adirondacks sawing down tree saplings and hiking through deep snow or damp grass in my yard while walking my dogs. I need clothing that can take dirt and hot water. And I need shoes in a larger size that are able to stand up to the weather.
I get that big companies are interested in selling to the biggest markets. They're thinking of Europe, Asia, and big cities. They're not thinking about the rural U.S. in the north or the south, or women with size 10 EE feet. But there's a market here that's going begging. I don't know what it would take, but a small company in the U.S. could make good money off rural America because they wouldn't have a big global office to feed. And they'd sure have a ready-made customer in women like me.
That's a lesson that some indie publishers and Etsy store owners are learning. But it can be done on a larger scale too. I'm glad to see some are learning it.