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Archive for November 16th, 2011

Last year my wife (Janet Street) designed a new toy: Easy Keepers – a bendable, eco-friendly toy horse. Last February we went to the international toy fair in NYC to check out other toys and to see if we could meet a manufacturer. What we found opened our eyes to the state of the toy manufacturing in the United States. It is pretty much non-existent. Over 97% of toys sold in the U.S. are made in China and usually in sweat-shop conditions.

We did not want to follow that route, but everyone has told us that in order to make a profit, the only option is to find an non-American manufacturer. This just seems wrong. And so we began talking with local the Small Business Association, outlining a business plan that would enable us to set up a small facility where we could make these toys locally. But what seems amazing is how difficult it is to get the local business community to get on board with this.

Unable to find adequate funding, we have set up shop in our home and our making them ourselves. Progress is slow but we are starting to find customers who are starting to make pre-orders so that we can create a manufacturing facility without a loan.

There is a growing community out there that has had enough of seeing our manufacturing jobs slip away. This trend will continue until all of us start to support the small shops that are springing up in communities across the country. We should not look to big business or the government to create jobs here. We need to do it ourselves.

Thanks

Dennis Caraher
Norhampton, ma

easykeepers.com

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