Many people told me I could make neat-os for a third the price in China, Thailand or India.  I seem to have more contacts to overseas production than local production.  It certainly would make neat-os, like other products more affordable, then more people would buy them. If more people buy them, then they would stop using plastic baggies, then there would be less landfill and on and on. Win, win, win—right?  Maybe…however, there are bigger things at play here.

With the national unemployment rate at 9.1%, providing jobs to Americans is a good thing.  I also like knowing the people I work with, what they look like, who they are; my sewer just became a grandfather for the first time!

As our production has grown, grandpa has hired additional employees– how awesome is that!

Secondly, being able to physically oversee production is key. I drive to the factory in 20 minutes so I can check on things anytime.  I want to see the production facilities, touch the bags, shake hands with the silk screener, smell the dyes, know the whole process intimately.  Skype can only take you so far.

But, it’s not just about control.  It’s about relationships; relationships with customers, with employees, with vendors.  I have met so many cool, interesting, and hard working people through neat-os! When I tell people I am sourcing all my materials in the US they start opening up and sharing their similar stories.

Not to mention, it did seem a little hypocritical to make a green product that was shipped all the way across the Pacific Ocean.  So the next time you buy products made in America, realize you are doing so much more than lowering your carbon footprint!