Celebrities Help This Made in USA Company

Celebrities booming Made in USA company
Employees inside Randolph Engineering. Courtesy of ABC News

Celebrities from the silver to small screens alike are wearing these Made in USA sunglasses, and it’s helping sales as ABC News reports.

Robert Redford in 2001′s “Spy Game,” Tom Cruise in 2013′s “Oblivion,” Don Draper in “Mad Men,” all these men have one thing in common: wearing Made in USA Randolph Engineering sunglasses on the screen.

Although celebrities might make it a seeming Hollywood thing, Randolph sunglasses are made in the small town of Randolph, Massachusetts, population 32,000. Which is a bit larger then the 2,500-person town Manchester Wood resides in.

Regardless, like us, they’re rich in heritage as Peter Waszkiewicz, CEO stated. Waszkiewicz’s father invented the sunglasses in 1975, when 90 percent of the frames sold in the US were made in America. Waszkiewicz said now just 3 percent are made in the US (ABC News)… “In the ’80s, everything went overseas. … We stayed. … And we love it and we’re on the forefront of bringing optical manufacturing back to this country,” he said.

Today “RE” ships all over the world, while continuing to make it in America, and creating new jobs.

Ekene Ofodile, Senior Vice President of Sales told ABC News that “In Japan, in China, in Korea, made in the USA really matters.”

“The whole ‘made in the USA’ movement is growing,” Waszkiewicz said. “We’ve had 60 percent growth in our employees since 2009.”

Sales are up and company made dozens of new hires in the last year and a half.

“We’re committed to manufacturing here in the US. … I mean, when you have a pilot flying a multimillion-dollar jet, you can’t afford to have a screw fall out,” he said. “We’ve been making eyewear for 40 years. We’re all about quality. We’re well-known for our quality and are so confident, we’ll guarantee our frames for life.”

Read more on ABC News and watch the video above about this company helping keep the Made in USA movement alive.


Does Walmart ‘Made in the USA’ Work?

In an effort to win customers, Walmart pledged in a TV ad to buy $250 billion in US-made products over the next decade. But as many of us in the ‘Made in USA’ manufacturing industry know, finding quality, terribly low-cost goods is proving a challenge when the American workforce is fairly waged and environmental regulations are in place.

Walmart 'Made in USA'

The Christian Science Monitor reports Walmart has to grapple with a host of challenges, including a shallow pool of component suppliers, an inexperienced workforce, and other shortcomings that developed during the country’s long industrial decline.

“A lot of the tribal knowledge and skill sets are gone because the humans who used to do that work have either retired or died,” says H. Kim Kelley, the CEO of Hampton Products International, a privately held maker of locks, lighting and other household hardware. The Foothill Ranch, California-based company began selling products made in Asia to Walmart in the 1990s and is now supplying it with some U.S.-made products.

The Made in USA “reshoring” issue is so widespread that Walmart is making it the focus of a two-day summit it is hosting in August.

Walmart’s critics say the company bears some responsibility for the diminished capability of U.S. manufacturers. For years, its relentless insistence that suppliers cut costs prompted companies to shut domestic plants and shift production to low-wage countries.

Now, the retailer is asking companies to come back home – though they need little prompting. The forces pulling production back to the United States are powerful and real and include lower domestic energy prices, increasingly competitive wage rates, the benefits of greater automation, and a renewed appreciation for the value of being able to respond quickly to shifting U.S. customer demands. –The Christian Science Monitor

What do you think? Can Walmart and it’s suppliers can pull off a ‘Made in USA’ comeback? Join the discussion below!


The Art that’s Made in USA

Made in USA ArtPBS’ Frank Carlson spotlights a Made in USA exhibit showcasing and examining the evolution of American art… it’s vast, expansive, and multifaceted.

A Made in USA exhibit at Washington, D.C.’s Phillips Collection chronicles American artists and their evolution — “from romantic depictions in the 19th century, to dealing with urbanization and its discontents in the 20th, to abstract expressionism following World War II” (PBS).

Spanning a vast period — 1850 to 1970 — the show relies on the tastes of the museum’s founder, Duncan Phillips, who sought out works that he believed worth protecting, as its filter.

“Our founder spent his entire career, 50 years of collecting, really trying to identify American artists who were at the beginning of their careers, and assembling what he believed to be the very best American art,” says exhibit curator Susan Frank.

Through more than 200 works, the collection showcases artists from very different backgrounds and periods as they wrestled with and interpreted their sense of place in a vast and changing America, in settings both rural and urban.

The exhibit runs through August 31, 2014. (via PBS)

At Manchester Wood we’re always moved by American adeptness. Always changing, always growing, and yet there’s a nostalgia of an ideal. Through the Made in USA identity, the art of who we are, where we’ve come from, and where we’re headed to goes much further than a marketing tag… it’s the simple quest of a quality enriched dream in the land we call America.

Who are your favorite American artists? What does the story of America mean to you?