Bring It Home
U.S. manufacturing is making a comeback, and with high-quality products and fast delivery, it's beating out overseas competition.
Michael Jones started in business in 1998 as an importer-exporter, buying household goods from low-cost producing countries and bringing them to the U.S., where big-box retailers moved them. Jones then began designing products and having them manufactured in Asia for sale to mass merchandisers. His next move was starting his own manufacturing operation, a seemingly natural step on a logical continuum--except, rather than basing it in the low-cost overseas locations he knew so well, he opted to build his factory in the U.S.
"It happened naturally," says Jones, 37. "We wanted to have a little more control over our destiny." But anyone who has watched the long-continuing drop in U.S. manufacturing employment has to wonder whether he's crazy. He isn't. This year, Jones' 55-person company, Hartmann & Forbes, will do between $8 million and $9 million in sales of custom window coverings, manufactured in three factories in Tualatin, Oregon.
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