FILE: The Bollman Hat Company Factory

Making it in America: Bollman Hats

This Week On Making It In America

We tip our hats off to American manufacturing with Don Rongione, President & CEO of the Bollman Hat Company and Founder of American Made Matters.

Can you please tell us about the Bollman Hat Company?

Founded in 1868 in Adamstown, PA, Bollman Hat Company is America’s oldest hat maker. Bollman has continually made wool felt hats for 146 years. During its first hundred years, Bollman added hat manufacturing capabilities to produce a hat from raw wool to finished product. We added fur felt and straw hats to our manufacturing capability during the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Today, Bollman has the best collection of hat brands in the headwear industry, including Bailey, Betmar, Country Gentleman, Helen Kaminski, Kangol and Pantropic. We became the first employee-owned headwear company when we adopted our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) in 1985. Our employee-owners are proud to cover the world with unparalleled products that provide protection, comfort and style to millions throughout the world. We have nearly 300 people located on four continents and distribute products in 77 countries. Our products can be found worldwide in specialty stores, department stores, major and regional chain stores, and prominent catalog and e-commerce retailers. Throughout its incredible history, Bollman has been a primary supplier of private label headwear to the world’s leading brands and retailers covering fashion, outdoor apparel, uniform, formal wear and sports markets. Bollman owns hats.com, where consumers can browse and buy our products.

When did you first join the company? How did your role progress?

I started at Bollman as Controller in 1982. I have been blessed to serve in several positions within the company including Vice President of Administration, Sr. Vice President of Manufacturing, Executive Vice President and COO and finally President and CEO in 2002.

Why is making it in America significant at Bollman Hat Company?

Bollman is America’s oldest hat maker and will soon celebrate 150 years of U.S. hat making. I experienced the tragic decline of American manufacturing first hand when loss of major customers to foreign competition forced us to lay off more than 100 U.S. manufacturing employees. It was this experience that led me to found American Made Matters (AMM), an organization dedicated to educating consumers on just how important American manufacturing is to our country. Today AMM has close to 300 members in 43 states. Bollman is the home of American Made Matters.

What challenges has the Bollman Hat Company overcome throughout history in order to continue making it in America?

For our first ninety years, the hat industry flourished as wearing a hat was part of the daily uniform. The company always sought to develop new products and new markets. The loyalty and commitment of our people has been a hallmark of our famous company. We have 13 employee-owners during our history who worked for our company for 50 or more years of services. In 1985, we started our Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) making all of our employees owners of the company. Manufacturing in the USA continues to be a challenge for many companies with high labor-content products. However we are dedicated to keeping the jobs for our employee-owners here in the U.S.A. as well as being good stewards of our heritage.

How have you expressed a passion for American manufacturing outside from your business?

I continuously reach out to businesses to join the American Made Matters movement as well as personally purchase products from our own American Made Matters members. Today I am wearing 100% American made from my hat to my socks and shoes!

About the segments: ‘Making it in America’ is a place where individuals who are passionate about work in America can collectively share ideas, insights, and experiences relative to American manufacturing. Participants will be asked to share the ways in which they are ‘making it in America’ within their respective fields & present ways that we too, can help make a difference with work in America.

Past Guests

KNEX CEO Michael Araten.
Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH).
Channellock VP of Sales & Marketing Ryan DeArment.
Makers Row - founding team Matthew Burnett, Tanya Menendez, Scott Weiner.
Made in the USA: The 30 Day Journey Producer/Filmmaker Josh Miller.
Quabaug CEO & Owner Kevin Donahue
Tervis - Rogan Donelly
Tito`s Vodka - Owner Tito Beverige
Country Music Artist Amanda Watkins
Annin Flagmakers - Marketing Manager Dale Coots
All American Clothing Co. President BJ Nickol

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in being interviewed on Making it in America, please send inquiries to Boomer Beam at [email protected]

About the Host:

Boomer Beam is a next generation writer, spokesman, advocate, & marketing professional. His career began in 2011, when he attended his mother`s 25th class reunion, who graduated from high school in 1986. She couldn’t go because she and his father had just moved. So Beam, who was studying Communication Studies at Wittenberg University at the time, went in her place. The rest is a humble beginning... Read more

Brought to you by All American Clothing Co.

American made matters

All American Clothing Co. Joins American Made Matters

The mission of American Made Matters is to educate consumers that buying US-made products strengthens the American Dream. The American Made Matters organization is made up of over 260 member companies in 42 states and growing.

The latest member to join the organization is All American Clothing Co., whose mission is to support USA families and jobs by producing high-quality clothing made in USA at an affordable price. By keeping production in the USA, the American made jeans manufacturer provides jobs and a tax base that supports our communities.

All American Clothing Co. is proud to continue our mission alongside manufacturers in the American Made Matters organization who represent many different industries and we hope that our USA made clothing company can help spread the message that American made really matters!

"We care about our country and the people in it; if we were only in it for money we would move our production overseas. We will NOT trade USA jobs for foreign profits." - BJ Nickol, President & Co-Founder All American Clothing Co.

All American Clothing Co.

judge tractor pulling

All American Clothing Co. Sponsors Judge Pulling Team

All American Clothing (Arcanum, OH) sponsors Judge Pulling Team (Ansonia, OH) in the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Circuit with team pants made in USA.

The Judge Pulling Team is part of the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League, the premiere tractor pulling series in the United States. The team is made up of the Barga family who has both a family and winning tradition of tractor pulling experience. The Judge Pulling Team was started by Ron Barga, who has 50 + years of tractor pulling experience. He has now passed down the tradition to his six sons.

The All American Clothing Co. is proud to supply USA made items and materials to the Barga family and their Judge Pulling Team. We have a great appreciation for folks who put a large amount of time, effort, and hard work into something they compete & enjoy doing. Especially if it ends up making a lot of noise!

The highly popular Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League tours the country showcasing the most extreme vehicles and the most talented pulling drivers in the world. Featuring eight different vehicle classes from four engine, 5000+ horsepower tractors, to flame throwing jet turbine powered semi-trucks, it is a uniquely American competition that highlights the combination of sheer horsepower and driver skill.

We would like to thank Judge Pulling Team for allowing us to experience a part of their lifestyle during the Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League this year. Good luck boys!

Visit Judge Pulling Team.

Visit Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League.

Lucas Oil Pro Pulling Season Begins

Judge Pulling Team Off to Rough Start, Long Season Ahead

Rainy weather led to challenging track conditions as the Judge Pulling Team took a ninth and sixth place finish respectively in a Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League event at the TS Outlaw Pull held in Franklin, KY.

With a lengthy season ahead, the team remains confident about producing better results and moving up in the point standings in 2014.

"Judge Pulling Team had a rough start to the 2014 season. Track conditions were not ideal and we had trouble navigating our tractor down the track. With a ninth and sixth place finish, we have a lot of ground to make up. It is a long season and we are confident that The iON Judge can make some headway into the top 5. We need to put together some good passes at the next three hooks." - Darrick Barga , The Judge Pulling Team

While the team is confident they will make up some ground in the points standings, it will not be an easy task.

"The e3 spark plug modified class is very competitive. There are a lot of tough tractors and drivers, anyone can win on any night. We are excited for the next Lucas Oil Champions Tour event at Wilmington and would like to thank team sponsors iON camera, E3 Sparkplugs, All American Clothing, and Ag Protect 1," Barga said.

The Judge Pulling Team currently holds 8th place in the points standings. They resume competition at the Clinton County Fairgrounds in Wilmington, OH Saturday June 14th.

Visit Judge Pulling Team.

Visit Lucas Oil Pro Pulling League.

big package new new new

The Big Package

Some things can only be handled in All American Jeans...

What is a Gusset?

Okay, we get asked this question ALOT.

I was recently asked the ‘what is a gusset?’ question by my father in law and let me tell you, it was so difficult to explain cleanly that I eventually resorted to pointing at my crotch in my All American Jeans and said ‘That is a gusset! It gives you more room and comfort!’ If you were not there for the show, I apologize. You will have to receive the proper definiton here.

A gusset is a diamond shaped piece of denim sewn into the crotch of our USA Made jeans. This eliminates 4 seams coming together in one place. We sew this ‘gusset’to help disperse stress around the crotch area to create a more comfortable fit and provide freedom of movement. Blue collar workers such as a roofers, plumbers, and farmers typically enjoy the extra space our gusset provides. When having to crouch down and work on your knees, a gusset keeps you out of a pinch.

When it comes to our American made jeans it is all about COMFORT! Don’t believe us?? Try a pair….If you aren’t 100% satisfied you can return your jeans within 90 days for a refund or exchange.

All American Clothing Co.

Logan

Jeans featuring a gusset:

Rufus Mccooter Banner Title

The Legendary Legend Of Rufus McCooter

Tucked in the rural forests of Darke County, Ohio is the historic Bear`s Mill, where buhr stone ground flours & meals are produced. Built in 1849 by Gabriel Baer, Bear`s Mill is one of the few operating water powered mills left in Ohio today. The site and it`s water rights were granted to Major George Adams by President James Monroe in 1824.

The 'jeanius squad' from All American Clothing Co. visited Bear`s Mill recently for a tour with Master Miller Terry Clark. He shared with us many legendary stories that we will be featuring on All American Life.

None were more legendary than ‘The Legendary Legend of Rufus McCooter…’

Rufus McCooter has been described as an unusual being that roams Bear`s Mill causing mischief with his pranks. He has been heard stepping through the building, shutting doors, and dropping objects. To date, nobody has seen Rufus McCooter.

While many are skeptical of McCooter`s existence, scientists have visited the Bear`s Mill property to track his whereabouts. According to Master Miller Terry Clark, paranormal scientists have spent the night to produce evidence of mysterious activity taking place at Bear`s Mill throughout the evening hours.

Current Master Miller Terry Clark theorizes that McCooter`s existence originates from a previous master miller at Bear`s Mill. According to Clark, when working the mill alone he sometimes forgets to shut the main door. When he does, McCooter will sometimes shut it aggressively for him as if he done something wrong.

Clark also tells us that he, himself will play pranks on visitors of the mill and say it was Rufus McCooter, leaving this legendary tale up for your own interpretation.

Whether it is Terry himself or a spiritual being, the legendary tale of Rufus McCooter is one we`ll never forget!

___________________________________________________________________

About Bear`s Mill:

Terry and Julie Clark acquired the Bear’s Mill property in 1978 and ran it independently for over twenty years. The Clarks came naturally as caretakers of Bear’s Mill. Terry, having a fascination for old buildings and their workings was immediately drawn to the mill, and Julie, a potter, found the natural rustic setting of the mill and property appealing to her artistic senses.

In 1999, the Clarks started a non-profit organization to keep the historic mill open for the public to enjoy. But, in October 2013 Bear’s Mill and the surrounding property was purchased by The Friends of Bear’s Mill non-profit organization through funding received from a Clean Ohio Fund Grant administered by the Ohio Public Works Commission. Additional funds were provided by the Darke County Soil and Water District in return for a conservation easement guaranteeing the property would remain undeveloped and environmentally preserved. Further support was also provided by previous Mill owners Terry & Julie Clark. The Friends of Bear’s Mill are responsible for management, fiscal responsibility and operations, as well as maintenance of the 35 acres of woodlands, dams and levees on the Mill property. The Friends of Bear’s Mill now governs it with a goal is to keep the mill preserved and open for touring & educational purposes.

Visit the Bear`s Mill website today to help preserve its history!

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thank you for experiencing the All American Life!

Amanda Watkins In Jeans

All American Life: Amanda Watkins

Amanda Watkins joins us on All American Life this week. Here`s what she had to say about recording her upcoming country music album.

I can't believe I'm here.

I'm standing in the historic RCA Studio B in Nashville, TN. The same RCA Studio B where music icons such as Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, the Everly Borthers and two of my all time favorites, Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, recorded their own albums. There are so many emotions running through my head and I can't help but feel like I'm spinning.

I brought my American Flag today to hang from the top of the balcony where Elvis used to make his band stand and watch him do Karate down on the main floor. Yes... that's true.

The flag is from my great uncle’s funeral. He served our Country in WWII.

I've decided to wear only American made clothing today. My All American Clothing Company jeans are fitting right in with the sentiment of my record. It's an American Made record.

All the instruments we are using today were made in the USA - my Gibson L200 guitar, Chris Powell’s Rogers drums and Brian Allen's Lakeland bass. It feels good to reflect on the hard work that has brought me to this day - the years put in, the sweat and many tears lets me know that I've earned this moment.

Nothing feels better than experiencing something that you feel like you've earned. Things like that last a lifetime. Like when something is hand made, from the heart, and the best quality workmanship and materials are put into it. Those things last forever. That's why I love everything American made and that's why I'm using as many American made instruments and gear as possible.

I’m building an American made record. It’s not made from plastic, but from what is unbreakable. It may take time to make and I will run into obstacles, but one thing rings clear throughout my journey, anything worth having is worth fighting for. And I have enough fight in me to last a lifetime.

 

So here I am. I’m thankful for the incredible support and love from my family and friends and thankful for all the hardships bared.

We are cutting a song today called “The Bible” and wanted to share the lyrics with you all.

Hope you enjoy!

Amanda

THE BIBLE

I am a farmer’s daughter
I spend my days in the fields I know
Hard hands just like my father
The sweat of the brow
Taught me how to grow

Every day we're steady like a train
That's heavy from the freight
Night rolls in
When the fields they cry we kneel to the sky

We pray for rain just for survival
With the will of a bullet and a Bible as a gun
You ain't seen hard til it gets harder
We're living off the land
Of the workin’ man
Til the floods come

These days the wind blows stronger
And all my mama does is weep
And I work for two now
Cause all my daddy does is sleep

Every day we're steady like a train
That's heavy from the freight
Night rolls in
When the fields they cry we kneel to the sky

We pray for rain just for survival
With the will of a bullet and a Bible as a gun
You ain't seen hard til it gets harder
We're living off the land
Of the workin man
Til the floods come

The day came when I bartered
Off my land
To another man
And I moved into a city
To live out the dreams
That my father planned

We pray for rain just for survival
With the will of a bullet and a Bible as a gun
You ain't seen hard til it gets harder
We're living off the land
Now my children know it’s the price we've paid just to carry his name

Wardrobe-AACCFan.jpg

Signs You Are An All American Addict: #1-5

Are you an All American Addict?

If so, check out our list!

Make sure you share any All American Addictions of your own in the comments below! We will be sure to add them to the list! It is our quest to reach over 100 signs of All American Addiction.

Sincerely,

All American Clothing Co.

 

READ > NEW! Summer Hours: All American Showroom.

Stay tuned for All American Addictions: #6-11!

Do You Have A Story For All American Life?

Please send your story to [email protected]

Buddy Bike New 4

Rebuilding the All American Way…

Our friend Buddy has been rebuilding his health and his bike the All American Way! We are glad to hear the great news of Buddy`s recovery. Please do not take it from us. Check out what Buddy had to say below!

Rebuilding The All American Way

“I got the bike put back together, finally put the front brake mount and caliper on yesterday. I had to custom make a bracket for the caliper since they don't make one for my bike.

It turns out the hospital I initially went to missed two fractures in my ankle and after working a couple of weeks and them not getting better I went to an orthopedist. I had severely bruised my Tallis (the bone that goes across the top if your foot) it was bad enough they were concerned about it becoming necrotic and it having to be replaced with a donor bone (Thank God that didn't happen). It ended up healing well and I had surgery to repair most of the ligaments and some cartilage/fracture of my ankle.

I was off work for 6 months with surgery and rehab. I now have a pin in my ankle that should dissolve over the next 18 months. That's allowing the cartilage and bone that had pulled away to reattach and heal fully.

I have the bike back together with the exception of the front fender. I have to figure out a way to mount a full fender on a springer front end. Springers usually don't have mounting brackets. I wanted to go for a updated old school look. I replaced the hydraulic front end with a springer front end, the original headlight was remounted with an adaptor that lifted it up and out. I manufactured a plate that allowed me to place the bars I wanted on the springer (springers have 5" centers for risers [mounts for the handlebars] and my bars required 3"centers). The bars are 16" pointed ape hangers on 4" risers. The wheels are 16" spoked wheels with 3/8" spokes and sealed rims to run without tubes. The air cleaner cover is off of a mid to late 50's Panhead. The Pipes are the old Vance and Hines Longshots with the dented heat covers removed and the pipes sealed and wrapped with header wrap. Placed new floorboards and highway bars. Jack Daniels derby and cam covers. The tombstone tail light is off of a late 40's Panhead. The Tank is the original tank that the dent was removed and repaired. Both fenders required replacement. The front is yet to be mounted but the back is a 4" stretched fender.

My cousin has a paint booth and he painted it to my specs with Satin black over gloss black. All parts except the derby and cam covers are made in the USA. The Derby and Cam covers were gifts from family that were bought at the local, family owned motorcycle shop. I also rewired the front and rear ends with spools of wire, a solder gun and wire sleeves, no harnesses were purchased from overseas. I've left off some smaller parts because the list is quite long on what I had to replace/rebuild.

Luckily the frame was straight and the only thing I had to straighten was the fender struts which I did with a big hammer, a thick metal bar and a lot of elbow grease."

Buddy

Do You Have A Story For All American Life?

Please send your story to [email protected]

Welcome Spring

Welcome Spring In Style!

It has been a very long and cool winter as record setting temperatures dropped to sub-zero in many parts of the country.

Even today, it is still bitter in some states which means we are even more excited about the upcoming warm temperatures to come with the season of Spring. After all - Spring has officially sprung!

The weather will be warming up before you know it!

We are looking forward to the many outdoor activities one can enjoy in our American made clothing styles.

Here are 10 of our favorite USA made clothing styles for Spring…

For Her:

For Him:

 
 
AbrahamLincolnQuote.jpg

Happy Birthday Abe.

1809: On February 12th, Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. There he grew up in a poor family. They later moved to Indiana.

1824: At age 15, Abraham was called 'Abe' by his friends for the first time. As work for hire for neighbors, he labors with plowing & planting. Throughout his life, Abe only attended school in the fall & winter of 1824, but insisted on educating himself through reading as he borrowed as many books as he could.

1834:As an adult, Lincoln moved to Illinois where he became a postmaster, surveyor, shopkeeper, and a politician. He also represented the state legislature until he eventually became an attorney.

1842: Lincoln married Mary Todd. They together raised four sons.

1850s: Abe returned to politics at a time when the nation was becoming divided due to slavery. As a leader of the Republican Party, Lincoln was regarded as politically moderate even on the subject of slavery. He advocated the limitation of slavery to the states in which slavery had already existed.

1854: Lincoln described slavery as a minor issue in a letter.

1858: During a Senate race, Lincoln warned that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand.’ He did not win the seat to the Senate that year.

1860: Lincoln announced his candidacy for President. He reassured slaveholders that he favored abolition of slavery, but he had no intentions of ending slavery in the states where it already existed. His priority was saving the Union over freeing slaves.

Abraham Lincoln won the presidency by 400,000 popular votes and took the electoral college. His concessions to slaveholders led South Carolina & other states to remove themselves from the Union. This came soon after President Lincoln`s election.

1861: By February 1 of 1861, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Texas also seceded.

The Civil War had begun. As the war progressed, Lincoln moved closer to commit himself & the nation to abolish slavery.

1863: Lincoln signs the Emancipation Proclamation. The document freed slaves in the Confederate states. On November 19th, President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address at a ceremony dedicating the battlefield as a National Cemetery.

1865: Abraham Lincoln is re-elected as President, defeating Democrat George B. McClellan. He received 212 of 233 electoral votes & 55 percent of the popular vote. On April 9 of 1865, The Civil War ended as General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to General Ulysses S. Grant at the village of Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

Almost a week later on April 14th, Lincoln and his wife Mary went to see the play "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater. Around 10:13 P.M. during the third act of the play, John Wilkes Booth shot the President in the head. Doctors attend to the President in the theater and moved him to a house across the street. He never regained consciousness.

At 7:22 AM on April 15th, Lincoln passed away. He is laid to rest on May 4th at Oak Ridge Cemetery outside of Springfield, Illinois.

All American Clothing Co.

NEW! A.A. Lincolns

Like their Presidential namesake - our 16th style of American Made jeans represents a huge step forward.