Learn. Make. Sell. All about clutches.

On the current state of US manufacturing

On a subject that is of great interest to me, and one that will affect you, is manufacturing.

As a manufactured product, my metal purse frames, are subjected to the whims of the marketplace:  global and US manufacturing, daily market price fluctuations in metal prices, shipping costs …  Thank goodness I have very long, and good relationships with my various manufacturers.  The Production Managers and Owners work well with me to make my trademarked metal purse frames.

Here’s a sample of the recent headlines:

Slowing growth rate of US manufacturing ... hey, at least it's no longer shrinking!

One of the manufacturers that I work with is in the Midwest.  (For competitive and proprietary reasons,  I will not reveal the location or name.)  Last year, he had a staff of 100 employees working for him.  And this year?  35!

This is typical of what I hear.  So I’ve been working hard with US manufacturers who have existing tooling, people, technology and capabilities to make my metal purse frames.  Unlike China, which subsidizes their manufacturing, the US does not.  So it’s prohibitively expensive to manufacture things here when the retail price can be 3-5 times what foreign imports from China are selling it for.  That’s why I use companies that only need to make minimal investments in order to work with me.

It’s been a classic “Catch-22” in regard to US manufacturing.

*The US can make metal purse frames, but not for the cheap prices that China is selling them for.

*Sellers go to China and import them in.

*US manufacturers do not have the tooling (machines needed to make the purse frames) needed to make it.

*They would have to invest in making the tooling, which they recoup by charging higher for the purse frames.

*The end price is often 3-5 times higher than what China will sell them for.

*Sellers go back to China and import them in.

So how do you as consumers respond?  Are you willing to pay more?

Well, I know I’m preaching to the choir because all of you have paid more for my metal purse frames.  (I am the most expensive when you buy them one at a time, but I compete very well with the importers when you buy in larger quantities of 5 and up.)

Does buying from US-made products matter?  I know full well, and support, global manufacturing.  (What I don’t support is cheaply made, and cheap imports coming in and sold under the US banner, when I know they’re imports.)

And if I hadn’t said it often enough:  THANK YOU for trusting your handiwork, your sewing, your artistry, to my metal purse frames.

While I think my metal purse frames are great (and they are! 🙂 ) , they are simply that — frames. They frame your artwork, and for you to entrust your artwork to my frames, means a great deal to me!


October 23, 2010 - Posted by | WhileBabyNaps General Updates


  1. You go girl! keep the jobs here-I often wonder if anyone considers their children’s future (I know I do) job prospect as they continue to buy imported goods without looking around for domestic products. And its out there- we buy American over an import very often. We also learn to do without if imported is our only option.

    Comment by pompompurses | October 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Thank you for your support ladies! It’s not easy, but then nothing that is easy is worth doing… well, sometimes, but not in this case! 🙂 And not to leave other sections of the country out, so I thought I’d mention that my shipping materials (tissues, boxes, tape, etc…) are from a company in the West Coast. My poly bags that I have thousands of are from a manufacturer on the Eastern seaboard. The glue is imported from Germany, but it really is the best. I’d hate to have to give that up!


      Comment by Winn | November 9, 2010 | Reply

  2. I have purchased your frames in the past and will continue to do so. I admire your efforts to have the frames manufactured in the United States. We should all be encouraging “Made in the USA.” I do not object to items manufactuted in China, but if there is a choice, I prefer American made. I am willing to pay extra to support the local ecomony. We all understand that manufacturing has taken a hit. The only way to make if better is to buy items made in the USA! Jan Lorrain

    Comment by janlorrain | October 24, 2010 | Reply

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