This is Mary, who has been buying American for three decades.
Here is a story about a woman, Mary, who has been buying American for the last 30 years. I met Mary online when she commented on one of my postings. I enjoyed her story so much I thought I would share it with you. Here is Mary’s story, in her own words:
I am a 30-year-long consumer of made in U.S.A. products, so I pretty much took the Buy American Challenge three decades ago. I don’t buy a pen unless it’s made in U.S.A. I’m also an American manufacturer and the web person for a consumer directory of domestic products. As such, I whole-heartedly support buying American.
As a consumer and business owner, I consider not only the price of a product, but the cost to own that product. I often spend less on domestic products than their imported counterparts. I usually spend about the same on a domestic product as the import is priced. Occasionally, I spend more for a domestic product than I would for an imported version.
My buying habits were established before I ever took over the family business. Many commercial products remain made in U.S.A. because business demands quality. Businesses know that low quality products come with a higher cost to own. The product will more often need repair, lack dependability, and soon require replacement.
Somehow though, ordinary consumers have been sold the notion that they should disregard quality and value in favor of a supposedly “low price.” It actually seems quite frivolous and somewhat extravagant to me to consider that some people spend their money repeatedly while I spend my money only once. If business demands and receives made in U.S.A. products, there’s no reason for consumers not to make the same demand in the marketplace.
Even though my home is filled with made in U.S.A. furniture, furnishings, appliances, apparel, etc., there are exceptions. There is Champagne from France in my home, a piece of Waterford crystal, and bananas come to mind.
Some of these items are what one would call “cheat items” on the Buy American Challenge.
For all my involvement and dedication to U.S. manufacturing, I most certainly support sound, fair and balanced trade of both raw materials and finished goods.
We have manufacturers that utilize raw materials found in other countries. One such example is bamboo, which is manufactured in the U.S. into flooring and clothing. Our chocolate producers often use cocoa bean which is found in other countries. As fussy as I am, I certainly don’t mind purchasing a U.S.-made chocolate made with foreign-grown cocoa beans.
Consumers also deserve choices and selection in the marketplace, especially fine products from foreign producers with an expertise.
The words “Made in U.S.A.” were always a source of pride to me but the word “imported” has changed significantly in my lifetime.
As a child in the 1960′s, just about everything was made in the U.S.A. It was actually something special and unusual, “fancy” even, when something was imported. When a woman in the neighborhood purchased an imported set of china from England, word of the purchase spread throughout the neighborhood. “Oh, that china must be beautiful.” “I wonder how much it cost.” “Did her husband get a raise?”
Today, the word imported most often denotes junk. Unlike my childhood, the U.S. trades today not for the finest products from around the world, but for sub-standard products that realize the largest profit margins.
I have no doubt that anyone taking the Buy American Challenge will be forming a habit that will last their lifetime. I would not have continued to buy made in U.S.A. products for three decades without benefit. I’ve simply found no downside to all my purchases. I am a brand loyal shopper but that ceases whenever production moves abroad. This results in discovering new domestic brands which somehow exceed my expectations. There is nothing like a satisfied consumer – that’s me, for the past 30 years.
Thank you for sharing your story, Mary.
If you have a buy American story to tell, please share it with us. I hope this “My Buy American Story” can be a regular feature on this blog.
Until next time, here’s to doing what we can to support our country by buying American.
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