USA! USA! Jingle all the Way!

 

Woo hoo!! 

Its that time of year!

When we feel all goose bumpy and charitable, and closer than ever to our families and friends.

When we also feel stressed,  pressured, and torn between finding the best deals and finding the best gifts!

This year, more than ever... adding to the pile of emotions and decisions we are processing, is the growing awareness and commitment to buying Made in the USA products-- including from the good folks running smaller, more obscure businesses straight from  "The Heartland ".  You know...those businesses sprinkled all over the country with great products, low budgets, and dreams!  

Dreams that come in all sizes! 

To some- growing a small company into a successful enterprise that can support many other dreams is the end goal.   To others making enough money to take care of themselves/ their families, fund vacations, medical bills or college tuitions is plenty to dream about.   Others just have a great idea that they want to share with the world. For many, its all of the above!

These worker bees (like us!) are up early, up late- and working weekends in their shops, their offices, their basements/ kitchens/ garages,  small factories and even their cars, (no texting while driving, people!).

No matter where we work from or what stage of growth we are in, we all have one thing in common though-  we are all trying to bring our versions of the perfect holiday gifts to your door. To your loved ones!

And though there are many great products that are manufactured in many different countries, to us perfect starts with being made right here in our home country.
We believe that supporting our local affiliates, providing jobs for our community, and manufacturing our products with personal care and attention to quality and overhead, allows us to bring you the best possible product at a reasonable cost- with an acceptable profit for us.   

Of course, we have a lot of other reasons we believe OUR product is a perfect holiday gift, but today this blog is not about just us-
----its about the leagues of businesses- from small to big- who are committed to bringing you quality products made by your neighbors, your friends and your families- right here in the USA . 

There is so much involved in bringing a business to life in the US- to creating successes that will help us feed our families and nurture our communities.
Supply costs. Packaging and shipping costs.Taxes. Legal costs for filing and protecting trademarks and copyrighted designs. Possibly fighting infringements, patent pirates, and cheap copycats. Wages, energy and real estate- all cost more in the US.  Government regulations are tougher. And then the fees, fees and more fees!  
Advertising and marketing is a cost that most small businesses can't even consider because its very expensive... and often hit or miss.
(Yay for social networking- a time suck yes, but its free and connects us to our customers in a way no ad will - ever! )
 

In the end, most small or new businesses are just barely making ends meet, or worse- losing money - as they try to create success. 

But they persist.

Its the passion and dedication to one's craft, or belief in one's product, that drives most of these businesses to continue! 
And despite the numbers, you'd be surprised at how many give a percentage of their marginal sales to local, regional and national nonprofits, or donate product to local causes, schools and fundraisers. 

(I am proud to say that since 2009, Mouthman has donated hundreds of our shirts to Parents of Autistic Children and K.I.D.S (Kids in Distressed Situations)  Kids Are 1st, UNC Bears Athletic department (to support scholarship fundraising),  Relay for Life , and many elementary schools, sick kids and Secret Santa requests.  As well, a portion of sales go to Critter Pass Ranch and  Make a Wish foundation

So while you are challenging yourself to find the best Black Friday deals, or challenging yourself to create the most magical holiday for your family- please remember the incredible challenges these companies have to endure every day of the year to compete for a piece of the American Dream, and challenge yourself to at least spending a portion of your holiday budget on Made in the USA products.  Bonus good juju for safe, eco responsible and ethically made!  

To get started, 
click here to see our list of some wonderful and unique things we love.  Feel free to add your comments,  favorite products or links to other great lists!  Check out places like Etsy or just google what you're looking for but add "made in the USA" to your search term and see what pops up!  In other words, make your list if you have to, set your budget if you need to... then at least try to see if you can find those or comparable USA made products first. 

When you do that,  know that you are doing good for someone...and how wonderful that makes you feel too!  And isn't that what having a magical holiday is all about?

Here at Mouthman I have accepted the challenge and vow to spend most , if not all,  of my holiday spend on locally sourced, innovative and wonderful gifts made right here in my home country.
      *Cue "Star Spangled Banner"!  No wait ... "Jingle Bells'!......hmmm..

Okay, new challenge!
Someone please write a "Jingle in the USA!" song!  

 

Happy Christmas , Merry Hanukkah and have a Joyful Kwanzaa too! 

Best wishes to you all!

 ~Suzsanna

General Manager

PS: Hope you all have Mouthman shirts to send a hug and a chomp or to hug yourselves with!  
If not, heres a code to help you save some of your holiday dough- MADEUSA20. That will get you 20% off your entire order of 100 bucks or more!

Good through Cyber Monday. USA orders only.  

You can also accept your Shop USA challenge with one of favorite supporters right here!  

American Made Holiday Gift Guide

Go ahead...make my day!

When I arrive at work at 8:30 am, I usually hang up my purse, glance at the phone to see if the little  orange 'messages waiting' light is blinking, ( it usually is..)  then turn on lights, my computer, and finally myself  by brewing a nice little espresso from the Kuerig for my daily latte. 

Today, when I noticed the light blinking on my phone,  for some reason I decided to listen to the one message before heading off to to the kitchen.

It was a customer. And she wasn't happy. 

Now I can tell you, I am normally a very nice person, but having a conversation with a frustrated customer before having that first cup of coffee could be, well...  a bit risky!  Potentially spirited and possibly regretful!
  But this woman's voice message seemed a little more urgent than the usual, so I knew I just had to call her back right away. She genuinely seemed frustrated and confused, yet, hopeful in her message -->"Hello, Mouthman?? ….Is it possible this is a good number, and that you can help me? I've called three times already! I'm really at my wits end! "  

Well, I don't like to leave people hanging at their wit's end if I can at all help it… so no coffee for me- instead, I just sat down, took a deep breath and dialed.

Sue W from Baltimore told me she recently bought our shirt for her grandson from a catalog.  When she discovered it was too small,  she called the company for an exchange to one size bigger.  They told her they didn't have any more sizes.  They told her her only option was to return the shirt. Since her grandson had already tried the shirt on ( and of course immediately went into giddy chomping mode ecstasy! ), she was horrified to learn that she was going to disappoint him - a lot!  The company didn't even bother to connect her to us- in fact telling her the shirts are no longer available. She was left in the dust..to fend for herself on her quest to find a replacement Mouthman shirt.

Now this lovely lady admits to having no relationship at all with the internet-  so she looked to the shirt for clues.  Bless her heart for believing that we DO still exist! She found our name on the tag, then triumphantly found our phone number through her yellow pages iPhone app.   She called early this morning with no idea that out here on the west coast there are many of us who are still sleeping at 6am and nowhere near our desks! (although once I actually fell asleep at my desk..but thats another fun story) 

I told her yes, of course we could help her! That we are the inventor/owner/manufacturer and yes proud sellers of our own beloved MouthMan shirts. 

And that no,  her grandson will absolutely not be left without HIS own beloved MouthMan shirt!  

And how sorry we are that she had to go through that letdown with the catalog seller...

And that some companies aren't all that great at referring a sale- even if it is to their own supplier and at the expense of a maintaining a positive relationship with their own customer. 

Needless to say, we had a wonderful conversation- we laughed and chatted like old/new friends.  I could tell she wanted to talk- and we enjoyed sharing stories about how Mouthman came to be,  our Journey connection, our families, our nationalities, and more. She shared her story of having Alopecia since childhood- having lost her hair as a teenager. She made fun of herself, yet all I could hear was how beautiful of a person she is. Not complaining just sharing and being gracious and extremely grateful for the time we were spending on the phone chatting it up. Her problem was solved by me insisting on sending her a free shirt in the size she needed for her grandson, on the premise that she please share the smaller shirt with another child. She got so excited to know she could do this, and immediately thought of giving it to her grandson's kindergarten class for their raffle- and promised to buy more shirts and tell everyone she knows to check us out.  She even offered to send a note to the catalog seller who wouldn't take the time to help her, to remind them that indeed we are still in business and they should be more helpful to their customers if they want them to order things out of their catalogs in the future. 

We hung up giggling, and promising to keep in touch as she told me how I absolutely made her day.

 

Well, Sue W from Baltimore, I know you probably cant read this, but  indeed you made mine too. And then some.

And in case I haven't said it enough to all of our friends and fans out there who ordering shirts,  sharing our story and rooting for our small company to succeed,  
You all make my day too. Every day. 

 

 

Now, time for my coffee! 

Suzsanna Kormos

General Manager/Brand Director. 

 

October 01, 2013 by Suzsanna Kormos

Welcome to our new website!


We're very excited to bring you our new and improved Mouthman website. It should be a lot easier and more fun for our customers to navigate around on. Especially on mobile devices. I've had a lot of fun building it and playing with it as I went along. I truly hope you guys enjoy shopping on it as I did making it.

As we approach the holiday season this year there are some very exciting new things going on. We are really looking forward to bringing you our new sweatshirts! Same great quality and the same amount of fun, just more of it on those chilly days and nights. Kids of all ages and sizes will be able to double layer their Mouthman products. You can never have too much fun right?

We are also making our first entry into the collegiate sports market. This is where I have always felt Mouthman has it's largest potential. I'll post more on this as it all starts to unfold in the near future. But this is exciting news indeed!

As always more new designs will be coming soon. In the last few months we've released the leopard, bigfoot and the lastest, the panda bear. We've got some really fun ideas for future designs. Be sure to check back often!

Special thanks to our diehard fans out there. Casual ones too! We really do appreciate your business! Your endless stories about how our shirts are worn and played with almost daily really touch our hearts! And sharing your priceless pictures is always appreciated! Be sure and click the facebook icon in the upper right corner and "like" us if you haven't already.

Many thanks to the wonderful people at Shopify for making my creation time short, easy and fun! Your tools are amazing! You guys ROCK!

Cheers,

Dave Williams
Mouthman Creative Director

August 19, 2013 by Dave Williams