This article orginally appeared on Sarasota Day (Aug. 27, 2013).
So as you may or may not know, I am in the marketing profession. From time to time, I am asked to help plan events. This happened most recently about three months ago and as I was in the midst of party planning hell creating invitations, approving logos, and ordering promotional items, the neon colored hats I ordered for the event were delivered onto my desk. I eagerly grabbed a pair of scissors to rip them open like a kid on Christmas morning, super excited to see this one item that was going to add fun and happiness to my boring grand opening event. But… my enthusiasm immediately turned to horror as I noticed in dread three little words printed in black and plastered on the rim of every single neon party hat. “Made in China.”
While this normally wouldn’t be a huge deal, (after all, isn’t everything made in China?) I knew my client, who is pretty particular about this sort of thing, would not be happy. In hindsight, I guess that’s what you get when ordering from a company called Oriental Trading.
Well instead of boring you with the minute and dreary details about how my team assembled to get rid of that pesky little foreign term on every single one of the 2000 hats we ordered, I would like to instead invite you to meet your neighbor, Molly Kraut, a veterinarian in Venice, FL.
A similar thing happened to her when she tried ordering some American flags.
Turned out that the flags she ordered were made in America, however the stands came from China.
Add that to years of frustration trying to find birthday gifts for her father-in-law who only wanted made in America gifts due to his concerns about unemployment and the decline of manufacturing.
“My father in law was always griping about giving the country’s power away by buying foreign-made things,” Kraut said. “But it was so hard to find anything to buy him that was made in the USA.”
That led to Molly opening US Mart in Venice this year.
“I was going to have a little store,” Kraut said. “Now I have 3,000 square feet.”