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 logan@allamericanclothing.com

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.

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:

Arianna Russel 2

Making it in America: Bodacious Cases

This Week On Making It In America.

The topic of American manufacturing gets bodacious with Arianna Russel of Bodacious Cases!

Please tell us a little about yourself.

I am a 26 year old who was born into the entrepreneurial life. My mother, Cheri Russell, went into labor during the Ozark Craft Fair (1987) on Friday, delivered me in the hallway at Cox South Saturday, then returned to the show on Sunday to work & to show her baby (me) off. I started my first business, Superior Auto Detailing out of the trunk of my Cavalier in 2005 while playing basketball full time, as a Junior in High School. By 2007 I had eight full-time workers.

I am the CEO, owner and inventor of Bodacious Cases, LLC. We are a cell phone case company that produces our products 100% made in America. We currently offer cases for the iPhone 4/4s, iPhone 5 and iPhone 5s. Plus we recently launched our camouflage line cases called "camBo." I believe it takes hard work, dedication, passion & sacrifice in order to succeed.

Can you tell us how Bodacious Cases was founded?

On the 4th of July I was at a family get together at my sister’s house and I was in the hot tub. It didn’t matter it was a Holiday or not, being a business owner I always have my phone on me. I didn’t carry my iPhone in a case at that time, so when I was by water I would put it in a ziploc baggie. This was before Apple or anyone offered the warranties that they do now, or the iCloud to back your phone up. I thought I lost my phone, so I was panicking because my phone has everything on it. It has my contacts, calendar, phone numbers, pictures, emails, everything! It’s like having my life in my pocket. My iPhone was exactly where I left it, but the next day I started researching for a case that was water-resistant, protective, durable, something that was sleek and thin, had a credit card slot on the back, something I could slide in and out of my pocket easily and something I could customize to match my outfit daily and a case that was made in America, so I made one. It took three years to the day to get it from idea to market of actually holding an American made iPhone case in my hand.

Why is American Manufacturing important to you?

American made is important to me for many reasons, one being that my father, Mike is a double Purple Heart Vietnam War Veteran & I feel I owe it to him, to all those who serve, protect & risk so much for our country. Being 100% made in America is a way to thank them for what they do. It is also important to me because I have nieces and nephews and if we keep manufacturing jobs overseas then when they get older they won’t have jobs. I feel manufacturing overseas is a great idea if as the owner I want to make a few extra bucks, but to me it’s about more than just money. Those few extra dollars kill jobs, which is the next generation and I do not want to see that happen. I would rather make less money and and create more American jobs.

Where did your passion for USA manufacturing begin?

My mother has always loved American flags. Growing up we always had flag t-shirts, flags hanging around the house and she’s just a wonderful American woman, so I guess I’ve always had it. As some people say “I get it from my momma.”

I have a picture of me, as a 4 year old, holding an american flag in my hair, clapping and saluting the soldiers as they came back from the Persian Gulf War on April 10, 1991. I’ve always been patriotic and loved soldiers. Anytime I see a soldier or a Veteran wearing a hat I have to shake their hand and tell them thank you for their service.

How have you expressed that passion away from Bodacious Cases?

Well that`s a hard question to answer because Bodacious cases is like 99.9% of my life, but that point .01% when I’m not working I try to spread the bodacious word about why its important to buy American made and how it affects our country when we send our products overseas. Anytime I can I try to explain to my nieces and nephews why I manufacturer “Bo”, who is our logo here in America. I love teaching them and telling them why I am doing what I’m doing, and why it is important to me and how it could affect them in the future.

What is next for Bodacious Cases?

Bodacious Cases has lots of bodacious plans. We are currently looking to expand our product line to other smartphones & tablets. We are trying to raise money so that we can expand quicker and create more jobs. We are looking for a loan, or the right investor to work with to expand Bodacious Cases more. My goal as the CEO and owner is to create 100 American jobs by Dec. 3, 2014. If I do not reach that goal this year, I plan to by 2015.

Your favorite quote?

I have a lot of favorite quotes, some that i’ve wrote, but my favorite is by Steve Jobs of Apple Inc.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.” -Steve Jobs

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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.

Thank you.

Thank you to The Made in America Movement, The Darke Journal, All American Clothing Co., and to all participants for your support.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in being interviewed on Making it in America, please send inquiries to Boomer Beam at logan@allamericanclothing.com

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.

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

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:

 
 
Amanda Watkins

Making it in America: Amanda Watkins

This Week On Making It In America.

This week, 'Making it in America' reaches a high note with country music artist Amanda Watkins! Amanda`s musical journey has led her to opportunities performing with the likes of Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley. She has also appeared on the hit television series "Hart of Dixie" and has performed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." In addition to her musical career, Amanda is a leading supporter of American made items...

Please tell us a about yourself.

I was born in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia spending my years between there and Florida. It took all of my first four years of life to realize the agenda for me was going to be singing, songwriting, cooking and eating great food and, as cliche as it may sound, expressing my love for America through each of those avenues. I come from a hard working, God loving, life-is-what-you-make-of-it, hard headed, hillbilly vegetarian, tight knit, music lovin' family. They inspire me to write songs about the working man, love and just simply getting by in this crazy life. Work hard, play hard and love hard. Straight up.

This love of music has blessed me with a pretty wonderful life thus far. Touring, meeting incredible people who share this love of singing and writing and being able to express myself through song. From singing "Jonah In The Belly Of A Whale" in church at the age of five to standing on hallowed ground at The Ryman Auditorium to a full house, I feel like the luckiest girl on earth.

Performing live with some incredible Country artists has been my deal thus far. Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley are but a few whose careers I greatly admire and each for their own reason. I grew up never being able to get enough Waylon, Willie and George. There is a sense of freedom and at the same time a sense of responsibility that I can honestly say I love assuming in life. Music has taken me on a wild journey and I keep going. For the love of God and for the love of music.

Why is making it in America important to you?

There are so many reasons American made is important to me. The obvious reason is for helping to create jobs domestically and, in turn, hopefully bettering our economy for this generation and generations to come. When buying American made products, we can be more knowledgeable and confident about where and how the products are made and under what conditions. There are a variety of unknown situations overseas that we often can’t be privy to in terms of working conditions and standards. Supporting American manufacturers and domestic workers is truly important to me because we are also much of the time supporting safe working conditions and fair wages. It’s important to set that standard.

In what ways have you made it in America?

I am a recording artist and touring musician. I have traveled across the USA from the coal fields to Washington state singing "workin man" songs and bringing attention to the American made movement. My most recent single, "Whole Damn Train,” typifies and epitomized this topic. I have spent a good part of my life waiting on tables at Baby Blues BBQ in Venice, CA where I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting people from every walk of life... from the trucker stopping in before his long haul back across the States to the all-American visual artist selling their work in galleries and on street corners. I had the privilege to work for Rick and Danny, the owners and creators of Baby Blues, and see their American Dream come true - all because they worked hard enough.

How have you and/or your company expressed a passion for manufacturing in USA throughout history?

I only purchase American-made products for my Amanda Watkins merchandise to sell at shows and online. I also advertise that what I am selling is 100% made in the USA .

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

I have two… "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America". I love this because I think it's so easy to harp on how negative things are but it’s harder to stand up and do something about it or to be positive about how good we have it. Perspective is a powerful thing.

“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." It’s another reminder that it truly takes only one person. We have the power to change anything we want to change all we have to do is believe it can happen.

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

Thank you.

Thank you to The Made in America Movement, The Darke Journal, All American Clothing Co., and to all participants for your support.

If you, or someone you know, would be interested in being interviewed on Making it in America, please send inquiries to Boomer Beam at logan@allamericanclothing.com

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.

Check out the All American Showroom! Click on the image for more information...

NEW! Summer Hours: All American Showroom

We are proud to call the village of Arcanum, OH our home. Arcanum is where our headquarters & All American Showroom is located.

It is also where we began in 2002 after Lawson Nickol decided to resign as sales manager for a previous USA made blue jeans manufacturer when it`s production was outsourced to Mexico. Here, along with his son BJ & family - a USA made jean manufacturer & clothing retailer of their own began - the All American Clothing Co.

Note: If you`d like to visit at a different time, please give us a call at 888.937.8009 to schedule a date with us. We are always open to support American workers!

All American Showroom Address:

1 Pop Rite Rd. Arcanum, OH 45304.

Springtime is approaching. Get ready with our selection of USA made shorts, jeans, tees, & more! Sales found on our website will match up accordingly with sales in the showroom.

All American Clothing Co.

NEW! Summer Showroom Hours.

Mondays: 12 noon - 2:00 PM Est.
Wednesdays: 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Est.
Fridays: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Est.

*NOTE: We are also open by appointment. To set up a time, please call our customer service department at 888-937.8009.

Thank you!

 
All American Jeans on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer...

ABC World News Traces Made in America Jeans Back to the Farmer Who Grew the Cotton.

ABC World News Traces Made in America Jeans Back to the Farmer Who Grew the Cotton.

David Muir and the ABC World News made in America team are at it again with their made in America Christmas segments as thousands of Americans have already said they are in & ready to buy American made gifts. It`s the Christmas season & just one thing could help create thousands of new jobs right here at home as ABC World News reports that $64 spent on a USA Made item by each American can create over 200,000 new jobs and wish American workers a merry Christmas.

Clothing is just one theme with Christmas gifts each and every year, but did you know that 98% of the world`s clothing is NOT made in America? ABC World News reports that just 2% of the world`s clothing is made in America.

The All American Clothing Co. is part of that 2%. The USA made blue jean manufacturer is one of the few remaining USA made clothing companies left in America today. All American Clothing Co. was recently featured on the “Made in America” segment with ABC World News with Diane Sawyer (Dec. 6) as David Muir traced a pair of jeans back to the American farmer who grew the cotton with All American Clothing`s Traceability Technology.

About All American Clothing Co:

Founded in 2002 by Lawson & BJ Nickol due to a previous employer`s decision to outsource jeans and jobs to Mexico, the father and son team started the All American Clothing Co – A USA made jean company of their own that vows to never trade USA jobs for foreign profits. The father son duo and their All American Clothing Co. has been featured on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CNN Living, Huffington Post, Fox Business, CNBC, Sirius XM, Forbes, Inc., and many more.

About Traceability Technology:

Traceability is all about the truth of where jeans come from. It offers some recognition to the hard working Americans who are involved in making jeans. All American Clothing Co. is the first jean company in the world that gives it`s consumers the opportunity to trace a pair of jeans back to the American farmers who grew the cotton used in their jean. The system supports over 12,000 American farmers & workers across the country.