Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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June 19, 2012

Family promotes ‘Made in America’ buying

PRINCETON — DANVILLE, Ill. — When Tommera and Gary King take their three children to toy stores, they sometimes get strange looks from other shoppers.

These parents have taught their children to turn each toy upside down to verify that it’s been made in America before they will even consider purchasing it.

The Kings are part of the American Made Matters movement that’s growing in the nation, and they’ve tried hard to buy American products ever since their oldest son, Leo, was born eight years ago. Their other children are Gideon, 4, and Emersen, 2.

Tommera explained every item sold must indicate where it was manufactured. “Sometimes you have to really search to find where a product was made,” she added. “It’s usually on the sku tag, but sometimes you have to look closely.”

She said consumers cannot go strictly by the brands, because even though the packaging might read “Made in the U.S.A.,” the product itself may have been manufactured in another country.

“I feel we are a very patriotic family,” Gary said, “and we’re trying to do our part to keep America strong for our children.”

Since he’s been in the manufacturing business for 11 years, Gary knows that most companies deal with a host of sub-vendors on a regular basis.

Tommera said statistics show that if Americans took everything out of their homes that wasn’t made in the United States, many would be left with empty houses. She added that even with all their efforts to buy American, only about 50 percent of the items in their own home are completely made in the U.S.

“I definitely believe the quality is better in American-made products,” she said, “because so many other countries have the throwaway mentality. Here in the United States, we take pride in the quality of what we produce.”

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