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Archive for December, 2011

My wife recently emailed me a link to this wallet company.  ALL-ETT is based in the San Diego area and fabricates and sells a wallet with the claim to fame of being “the world’s thinnest wallet”.  I have had a chance to review this wallet and am quite impressed with it.  It is indeed thin, despite being made of leather.  They achieve this thinness by making all the pockets and lining out of nylon material.  The wallet is also available in all-nylon.  They have different sizes and styles available.  Mine is the Inside ID style.  After having trialed it for a week, I am using it as my permanent wallet.  It is also  getting shown off to friends.  Aside from ALL-ETT, I can’t think of another wallet company that manufactures in the US.  There are certainly small craftsmen making wallets here.  I’m sure you can find some on Etsy.com  However,  here is a full-production wallet made right here, at a decent price.

American-made wallet

Made in USA Leather Wallet

Made in USA Wallet
If you are interested in the ALL-ETT, go to their website, http://all-ett.com.

Below is a Q&A with Adam Muscat, General Manager of ALL-ETT.  I like picking the brains of American manufacturers.  They are the ones making the decisions to fabricate here, abroad, or nowhere, so it’s vitally important for all of us to know how they think.

Q: Why did you decide to manufacture in the US?

A:We decided to bring our manufacturing back to the U.S.A. for a few reasons, the number one reason is the quality of our products. When we were
having things manufactured overseas it was more difficult for us to oversee
and manage the quality of our products, we now manufacture right here in San
Diego and are able to make smaller quantities and keep a closer eye on the
operation. The materials we source here are higher quality and the
workmanship is better. Another big reason is that we feel as business owners
that we have a responsibility to do our part in bringing the U.S. economy
back. The economy has been bad but if we are sending our jobs overseas and
complaining about the result it will never get us anywhere. Another great
thing about manufacturing here is that we are able to respond to our
customer’s needs much more efficiently than when doing things overseas. We
do make smaller margins on our products but we really feel that in the end
it is worth it.

Q: Do you manufacture in-house or by a third party?

A: We work closely with our sewers to be sure that our products are high
quality and consistent.

Q: How many people do you employ and is your business growing?
A: We employ about 12 people and our business has been growing at a rate of
about 25-30% for the last few years.

Q: Are you considering off-shoring?
A: We are not considering off-shoring. We love manufacturing in the U.S.A.

Q: If you had a wish list, what would be some things you would have government stop doing immediately to make your life easier?
A: My wish list for our government:

I would like for congress to actually get some work done. All you hear about
anymore is how each party blocks the other from doing anything and that
there is no compromising. I believe that an elected official’s job is to
compromise for the greater good of everybody but it seems like our elected
officials have forgotten that.

I would like to see tax holes corrected. I do not mind paying my share of
taxes, but when I hear about corporations making billions in profits, not
paying taxes and then getting subsidies while small business owners like
myself do our part it is extremely frustrating.

I would like to see people in government held accountable. We constantly
hear about scandals and shady deals but never hear about anybody getting
arrested. Even after the bubble burst not one person has been held
accountable and the people who were bailed out seem to be doing better than
ever.

Overall I would just like to see people in office who actually care about
taking care of the country rather than worrying about themselves or getting
reelected.

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I recently had an accident that totalled my beloved Ford Focus (I was really quite fond of that car).  My wife wanted to get a minivan and I would take her Mercury Mariner.  So we decided we were going to buy American.  We looked up which minivans are made in USA.  Guess which ones are?  Sadly, only Toyota, Honda and Nissan have American-made minivans.  When we went to the Toyota dealership, I was impressed that not only was the Sienna assembled in USA, a full 80% of the parts, including the engine and transmission are made in USA also.  I would much rather buy a car made mostly by American workers where the profits go abroad than buy a foreign-made car where the profits come to the US (I hope you’re listening, Ford & GM).  The percentage of profit from such big-ticket items is usually quite small, around 5-8% on average, so the lion’s share of the money stays in the US.  I wonder what percentage of each Apple ipad or iphone’s cost stays in the US and what part goes to China to make them?

So remember, when shopping, just because the company is an American company doesn’t at all mean that the product is made in USA.  Frequently, you will find foreign companies manufacturing in the US, while American companies are getting their products made abroad.  Or you may have an American company with a foreign-sounding name, so don’t discount those either.

So far, we love the Sienna.  It’s the 2012 XLE with the navigation system and other perks, so it’s quite luxurious.  It drives quite nimbly and the fuel efficiency is decent considering the size of the vehicle.

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