josh miller

Step Out of Line America

My name is Josh Miller, I’m a blue-collar worker during the day and an independent filmmaker at night. My passion lies with the “Made in America” movement. Many of you know me as the “Made in USA Guy” and are aware of my documentary film, Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey. All American Clothing Co. has kindly invited me to provide a blog post each month to their website, which I gladly accepted. I’ve got plenty on my mind to share, so here goes the first post.

I travel a decent distance to and from work every day, which gives me quite some time to think about the future. Every morning my mind drifts to thoughts of how my wife and I are going to survive fiscally. We live paycheck to paycheck like most Americans in the new American economy. I glance at my wife’s belly (a little over eight months pregnant), and I’m scared to death and excited at the same time. The scared to death part reaches deep into our parental instinct to ensure we pass on our genes to a new generation and leave that generation better off than ours. I’m also excited to see a combination of myself and my wife’s personality and attributes rolled up into another human being, you find it so hard to believe that the creation of another human being is possible. Protection mode kicks in and you feel like doing less talking and more doing.

This extra energy I’ve felt over the past several months has helped me push myself looking for new opportunities. However, I’ve questioned the very thing we all pursue, the American Dream. First, I think we must define what that means present day. I followed what the education system and society told me to do. Pick out what area you want to study when you’re young, pick a major, and know what it is you want to do with your life. I went through that whole process and fell in line. The only thing that saved me from crushing college debt was the fact that I was a pretty good baseball player, All-American if I may add. I don’t speak much about my accomplishments, but working my butt off since I was a little boy playing America’s game, I thought I would give myself a little shout out. Anyways, I went on and received a Master’s Degree, and I’m now creeping in on 30 years old, I still do what I can just to get by, even thinking about taking on additional side jobs. There is nothing wrong with falling in line, we all have to do it (face realities) at some point in our lives, there is no shame in that, but we have to understand that life is a big chess game and you have to decide when to make your move. My vision of the American Dream requires breaking the mold and playing that game. We must face the reality that momentum is certainly not on the side of the American worker at the moment and is not in favor of the American entrepreneur unless you’re willing to manufacture overseas.

Globalization has opened up America to new markets, but globalization has also crippled American manufacturing because Congress and the White House decided that “making things” isn’t a priority to this country a long time ago. I hear the political rhetoric about “Made in America” all the time during election season, it’s a great crowd pleaser, but at the end of the day is just an empty promise. It may not be in my lifetime, but one day the American people will figure out that they are the butt of a big economic joke. We have spent trillions protecting our physical security as a nation (rightfully so), but at some point we’re going to have to make a stand on our economic security or suffer the consequences. One-way trade agreements continue to erode the middle class and in the long run it will destroy American companies. How can you expect a consumer economy to survive that can’t even put food on the table for their families? We’ve forgotten what built our nation. The unemployment rate has improved, but I’m not convinced that the America of old has returned. I’m disturbed with both sides of the aisle right now, and yes both sides should rightfully accept the blame. I screened my documentary film in Washington DC, not one Congressional leader or Congressional aide showed up for the screening. The first step to solving a problem is admitting that you have one, and I don’t think we’re ready to accept that we’ve fallen behind and are no longer leading the way in this world. I think it’s time we admit that America is at an economic crossroad and a battle for identity.

For the first time in my lifetime, I see America looking to what the rest of the world is doing, but I say our founders didn’t fight and die for our independence just to watch us become like the rest of the world only a couple centuries later. We must get that pride back. The problem is we must decide what type of country we want to be. I think over time we (Americans) have just accepted the status quo and hoped things would get better. Somehow, the issues with our country should solve themselves, right? We don’t vote, we don’t question/challenge, and we don’t seem to care much about anything except for what the next hit TV reality show will be or what the next iPhone or Samsung Galaxy smartphone will look like. I don’t say this to be offensive, I say this as a wakeup call in which I’m including myself.

The answer to our problems? I wish I could take you step by step toward a future with a better outlook, but if we’re to do our republic any justice we must let our people make that decision as it was intended. We have the power and the influence to turn the tides in our favor again and still be able to take part in world affairs. I told you there was nothing wrong with falling in line, but honestly, the few times I felt I’ve made progress in my life was when I took a chance and jumped from the line. I remember when people smirked at me when I told them I was going to produce a documentary film without prior film experience. The same people that smirked at me, later presented me with ideas for new projects and wanted to get involved in my future endeavors. I don’t say that in spite or with sarcasm, it has just helped me develop two certainties in life: (1) success changes minds and (2) at some point in your life breaking out of that line gives you fresh air and new perspectives which may lead to future success. Just a note, success is never guaranteed. Life is full of calculated risks, but you’re smarter and more adaptable than you give yourself credit for.

With that said, I’m prepared to jump out of line and make a move on the chess board in 2015 and decide whether I’ll make a run for Congress in the next election cycle in my home state of West Virginia. My option is the 2nd Congressional District of West Virginia.

I could go my whole life talking to you about “Made in America” and blogging about securing America’s economic future, or I could put my words into action and find out how important YOU think these issues are to our future. America must be what WE wish it to become or we’ll become what the rest of the world wants us to be.

“I have always thought the actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.” – John Locke

You can check out our website and documentary film at http://www.usa30days.com/


did we say say

22 Reasons To Buy American

Do you check the label before you purchase a product? Buying products made in America is really a good (and cool!) thing.

Here are 22 reasons why.

1.) Better quality.
2.) Finer customer service.
3.) Supporting U.S. manufacturing jobs reduces the unemployment rate.
4.) It also expands the tax base to pay for benefits.
5.) Shorter delivery time.
6.) It supports companies that support other American companies within their supply chain.
7.) Product safety.
8.) You can meet the people behind the brand.
9.) It creates a better standard of living for America`s future generations.
10.) No child and slave labor. Over 75 countries still support both.
11.) Buying American supports healthy working conditions.
12.) If each American spent just $64 on American made items, it will generate 200,000 new jobs.
13.) Boost the local economy. The workers you support pay dollars at their local stores, keeping jobs in their community.
14.) American manufacturers have guidelines in place to help cut down on pollution for a safer and cleaner environment.
15.) Industries like the made in America clothing industry have lost 85% of it` s labor force.
16.) China recently surpassed the United States as the world`s largest economy.
17.) America is losing half a million jobs to China every year.
18.) Many imported products are from countries that are non-friendly to the United States or democracy.
19.) The United States has a trade imbalance that is more than 7 times larger than any other nation on earth has.
20.) Purchasing American made products makes a difference with each purchase. It is actually fun to find American made products. Check those labels!
21.) Buying products that are made in America is a matter of pride!
22.) Did we say that buying American keeps jobs in the USA?

All American Clothing Co. is proud to be an American made clothing company.

 

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Carhartt Cold 5

A Made In America Winter:

It`s Time To Layer Up!

As temperatures begin to drop, dressing up in layers remains a great way to stay warm so we have put a list of our 7 favorite USA made clothing items to help!

7 Great Items To Cozy Up In

1. All American Hoodie: A proper choice for a made in America winter. This American made sweatshirt is soft, roomy, and made to last.

2. 40 Below: Need we say more? This USA made sock is very thick and comfortable. It is made to keep feet exceptionally warm. The 40 Below sock can be used to lounge around in, or to withstand extreme cold temperatures for those who work outside during the winter.

3. All American Beanie: A made in the USA beanie that is just as soft as the All American Hoodie. Keep those ears warm with this fan favorite.

4. All American Jeans: A made in America jean that features a thick, soft, warm, fabric that is made to keep you warm & last! And they can be traced back to the American farmers who grew the cotton.

5. All American Tee Shirt: What to wear underneath those layers? How about a made in the USA tee shirt! This tee is available in an array of colors. Also available in printed tee styles.

6. Made in America Carhartt Jacket: Keeps you warm like no other. We recommend for warmth and comfort.

7. Boots made in America: You can still find boots made in the USA! We offer both soft and steel toe boots that are as tough (and good looking) as you are!

Special mention to Sullivan Glove Co. for making gloves in the USA since 1941.

Stay warm out there. Stay made in America!

All American Clothing Co.

Who`s ready to create new jobs this year?

An All American New Year`s Resolution

Our New Year`s Resolution pertains to the same passion and hard work that motivated Lawson Nickol to start All American Clothing Co. in 2002. A decade later, we still have the same motivation to bring ‘American Made’ back from its roots. We have been on a mission to create American jobs for our current and future generations.  So far, we have been successful. We will continue to strive for success carrying the same motivation, hard work, and passion that this company was built upon. We are looking forward in what the future holds, especially in this upcoming year. We have many plans in store for you and cannot wait to release the many new ways and opportunities for you to help us create new jobs.  With that being said, let`s make this year another one to remember!

Thank you for an All American year!

All American Clothing Co.

 

new years 2015 resolution

Santa Delivers Photo

Santa Delivers A Very `Merican Christmas

We have received some never before seen footage of jolly Saint Nick delivering made in America Christmas gifts ranging from Knex toys, to a personalized photo from Diane Sawyer, a Henry Rifle case, Zippo lighters, Tervis tumblers, traceable tees from All American Clothing Co, the movie 'Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey' and more… all made in America. Santa is even wearing made in America jeans from All American Clothing Co.

Santa must have received the message that if each American spent just $66 on made in America gifts this holiday season, it would generate over 200,000 new jobs.

As you can see, Santa is IN to support made in America this Christmas!

Are you?


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Natalie 1

Empowerment Through Employment

If you ask what she thinks of her job, Natalie Davis would say, “I really enjoy it.” Natalie was recently hired by All American Clothing Company in Arcanum where she works in the warehouse supporting order fulfillment. Natalie’s job provides a variety of tasks in a team environment.

In October 2011, Natalie began her journey with the Community First Department (CF) of the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities. The CF department assists individuals with learning job skills, applying for jobs, and on-the-job training. Natalie successfully learned how to write a resume, gather references, and interview. She applied and interviewed for jobs with the CF department’s assistance and now holds two part-time jobs.

When the opportunity to interview at All American Clothing Company occurred, Natalie was excited and nervous. Natalie applied what she had learned through her CF experiences and was offered the position. Lawson Nickol, co-owner of All American Clothing Company, shared, “We’re happy to have the ability to give someone an opportunity and a chance.”

Natalie expresses that she enjoys the people she works with and the tasks she performs. According to Logan Beam, Director of Marketing and Communication, from All American Clothing Company, “In an age where approximately 98 percent of all clothing worn by Americans is produced overseas… All American Clothing Co. is one of the only clothing companies in the country to manufacture all of its products within the United States, using exclusively American raw materials. The cotton in a pair of All American Jeans is grown in the United States. The denim is woven here as well. The buttons and zippers are made here, too. And despite the fact that American labor is significantly more expensive than foreign labor, All American Clothing Co. manufactures all of its apparel in the United States with a mission to support American workers.” Natalie is proudly one of the American workers sending American-made clothing to doorsteps.

When asked what Natalie brings to the work place her supervisor, Kim Burns, explained, “Natalie brings diversity to our work place. Most of us take life skills for granted, and until you are blessed with the opportunity to work with an individual who has a disability, you can’t truly understand how much they want success as much as anyone does.”

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month as a reminder that people who have disabilities have a desire to work. When Kim was asked what effect Natalie has had on her or her co-workers, she expressed, “Working with Natalie has brought awareness of the need for job opportunities for individuals with disabilities. It does take additional time and patience to train, but in the end if you have helped someone gain confidence and new job skills everyone who has been involved will have a sense of accomplishment.” Businesses interested in learning more and partnering with the Darke County Board of DD can contact Rodney Willis, Community First Director at 937-548-9057.


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twelve days of christmas

COMING SOON! Made in America Christmas Savings

Thank you for your interest in All American Clothing Co`s Very Merry 12 Days of Christmas.

While you anxiously await All American Clothing Co`s Very Merry 12 Days Of Christmas 2014 sale to take off on November 28, you can explore our newsletter for weekly specials and giveaways on a variety of your favorite American made clothing and accessories. We also have exclusive newsletter specials that are updated every other week.

All American Clothing Co. is your source for quality and affordable made in USA clothing products for all seasons. Shop our entire made in USA collection of jeans, shirts, outerwear, accessories, and more!

All American Clothing Co.

 

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habitat for humanity lawson

All American Clothing Co. Makes Habitat For Humanity Donation

Leading made in USA clothing company donates house hold items and building products to Habitat for Humanity of Miami County to help assist moderate to low-income individuals and families in need.

Arcanum, OH – All American Clothing Co. donated many items that will help provide a life-changing opportunity to purchase and own simple, quality, goods for their homes at an affordable price. Items included hardware items, desks, tables, wood panels, doors, and more.

All American Clothing Co. Founder Lawson Nickol is hopeful that the items will make a difference, “We had an opportunity to help make homes for American families in need. It is our passion to help people in order to make our country a better place. To us, it is considered a responsibility to help improve the communities around us."

About Habitat for Humanity:

Habitat for Humanity of Miami County, OH cultivates and educates first-time, moderate to low-income buyers within the Miami County area. Volunteers and staff work with potential homeowners to prepare them for long-term, sustainable success as homeowners with roughly six months of education and preparation. They partner with hired contractors, volunteers, and the future homeowners to build or rehab the homes for families in need. The organization defines “need” as someone earning 30-50% of the average median income (AMI) for the Miami County area. That equates to roughly a $18,050 annual income for a family of four at 30% AMI.

About All American Clothing Co:

All American Clothing Company is a success story of a small company in today`s economy. The entire company supports a “USA Made passion” as they strive to foster loyalty among customers. All American Clothing Company is conceivably a poster child for “small business success stories.” To find out more about the passion and the effort it takes to build a business in today`s economy go to http://www.allamericanclothing.com and read the tab “Our Story.” 888-937-8009.


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DYLAN SIEVERS

Making It In America: Bulldog Lighting

This Week On Making It In America

We shed some light on the importance of American manufacturing with Mr. Dylan Sievers of Bulldog Lighting

Please tell us a about yourself.

Well, I was born and raised in San Carlos, California in Northern California. My parents however are from San Francisco and Arkansas. So, I have some city and country influence. I have a sister who is two years older than me as well. I have always been into cars and trucks and enjoyed working on Jeeps or Dirt bikes with my dad as a kid. I was actually lucky enough to be a co-driver for a team racing in the Best in the Desert Series when I was 17 and a senior in high school. The team couldn’t afford the $2000 for LED Light Bars from the companies in the industry at the time so with the support and help of my family and their over 25 years of experience in the electrical industry, I started Bulldog Lighting.

Why is making it in America (manufacturing) important to you?

We first started Bulldog Lighting by designing our led light bar and having China manufacture it. As time went on, we decided to begin assembling the fixtures in the United States much like some of our competitors. Manufacturing here became important to us as we found that the overseas manufacturer was giving our ideas and designs to anyone who asked for them. We quickly determined that making it here was the only way to protect our designs and patents pending at the time. With the constant job losses that were being shown on the news as well as seeing them locally, it was obvious that we needed to help in any way that we could. Even if it was a small part at the time, we knew that every little bit helps.

In what ways have you and/or your company made it in America?

Well, it hasn't been easy. But that is with anything, you have to put forth the effort in order to get a result, and if that isn't what you want then you keep pushing forward. Through all of the research that we have done in order to find exactly what we need to do in order to make it here in America it proved to be a much more difficult task than we had originally thought. Maybe that was why no one else in the industry had tried as hard as we did. It has taken almost 2 years to iron out the technical specifications, the logistics of where the factories are, and to perfect the parts that go into the actual finished fixture. You wouldn't believe the detail but it even came down to finding the right texture or type of powder coat that we were going to use. We have been certified by Made in USA Certified®, the nation’s leading 3rd party auditor for Made in USA Origin claims. We are very proud to have it all made here in America, all the way down to screws, pcb’s (printed circuit boards), housings, end caps, wire, lenses, and much more. Of course there are some components on the PCB that are not made here which include capacitors and resistors which are not even available from any U.S. source since they were never made here and have no inclination to ever be made here (or else we would use those!). Even the CREE LED starts here and is then sent overseas to get cut and packaged. It is then sent back on a reel, as are the other components and the final production of the PCB is done in Texas and California. According to the Federal Trade Commission standards, final and most transformation completed in the USA warrants a Made In USA badge. Since those components are the only pieces not made here, we are well above the standard.

What are the toughest challenges to make Bulldog-Lighting in the USA?

The toughest challenges we face is the misconception other companies imply that they are Made in USA but don't actually source all of their materials from within the states. Since we started Bulldog Lighting, the entire industry has seen an insurgence of imported LED Light bars which are lowering the value of the LED light bar as a product. We combat these challenges by providing the strongest and most durable light bar as well as making it right here in America. The garage sellers that import overseas light bars don’t pay a tax for labor, or a city or county tax or anything. We are working with various foundations to bring awareness to American Made Matters, Made in USA Foundation and more that support US Companies and manufacturing in America.

What is your favorite quote? How does it affect you in your efforts to support manufacturing in the USA?

A favorite quote of my mom’s is; Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like hard work. Thomas Edison. I think for me that quote simply means you have to work to succeed. Nothing is easy or everyone would be doing it. I used to work in my mom’s business, Coolballs®, she made antenna balls. I was 6 years old (lol, it wasn’t that kind of child labor. I had to have my homework done first. I loved it. It made me feel big.) I have always worked hard. My mom was the only mom who would give us summer homework! I would package Coolballs® in plastic bags, print them, or ship them out to customers. Bringing back manufacturing to the United States is important. We manufacture a high quality, American Made product. The United States fought for labor rights, fought to make this the country the land of opportunity, THE AMERICAN DREAM, but if we don’t manufacture anything anymore, what else will we do? We can't all be in the customer service industry, can we? Bulldog Lighting is affordable, because we are for the working man or woman. This quote means to me that opportunity isn't easy to grab but that it takes hard work in order to get the results that you want. Made In America doesn't have to cost you.


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Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey

Documentary Film Features All American Clothing Co.

Forever changed by witnessing the devastation in his hometown after an aluminum plant shuts down due to outsourcing, Josh Miller sets out on a 30 day journey across America to find out if “Made in the USA” really means anything anymore.

Throughout the journey Josh lives off of “Made in USA” products to the best of his ability, and speaks to the people in the heart of America (including the Founders of All American Clothing Co.) about the issues facing America today as the continued outsourcing of the manufacture of goods erodes the manufacturing backbone of the American economy, and the dreams of countless workers around the nation.

The All American Clothing Co. is proud to be a part of the film "Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey." As Josh Miller attempted to find if "made in USA" really meant anything anymore, he stopped by All American Clothing Co. headquarters and interviewed our Founders about the importance of American made. The interview is featured in the documentary film. It is one you will not want to miss!

Click here to rent the movie on iTunes for just $4.99.


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