Happy Birthday, America!
On a day like today, I can't help but be thankful for our country, for those who defend and protect it, and for the freedoms that come with being an American. I am thankful to worship as I want, to say what I want to say, and to have a voice in choosing the leadership of this country.
I am also thankful to own my own business. As a small business owner, I have for over 10 years been committed to making every item right here in the US. We have automated about 10% of our product line, but not overseas at all...all our automated production takes place in Idaho, Pennsylvania, and right here in Thomasville, Ga. 100% of our printing takes place here in Thomasville, too. Not China. I get calls every week, as well as emails, from companies wanting to 'help improve profitability' and 'increase production' and 'take our business global'. Oh, that all sounds great, but the answer always includes outsourcing production overseas.
I also read something this week from someone else in the scrapbooking industry...someone who tried producing part of their line in the US, but now has decided that it's not possible to stay in business if they don't produce the majority of their business overseas...that they love america and call it home, but that there is no way to be profitable with production here. Hmmm....maybe. Maybe it's hard. Maybe it's less profitable. But, for 10 years, it's been possible. Hard? Yes. Gut wrenching? Yes. Barely profitable? Yes. Impossible? NO!
It's so hard these days that I'm not sure how much longer I can do this. It's so hard that we live day to day. But, we live. I keep the faith that God put this dream in my heart, so He will provide each day for me and Keller. I believe my customers appreciate what we do. We are not perfect, but we strive to do our best. We are understaffed and overworked. We are underpaid, if paid at all. But, it's me. It's Keller. It's my mom. It's our friends. It's employees who are full time sometimes, part time other times. It's their kids and husbands pitching in. And, it's all based right here in America. It always will be. Or we won't BE at all.
As you celebrate this country today and those who gave & continue to give us our freedoms, please take the time to think about locally-owned & grown businesses like mine. When at all possible, please choose to support us. We do all we can to support our country.
...and Keller :)