“There is nothing more powerful then an idea whose time has come” ~ Victor Hugo
When I was a kid every time I would visit my grandpa and grandma Roberts I would spend lots of time in my grandpa’s workshop and helping my grandma in the yard. They had lots of great quality tools that we used to build things. Some of these tools were passed down in the family and withstood the test of time. I remembered the great toys they had around the house and the ones we had at home. They were made of real metal or wood and they lasted for a long time. Over the years I was noticing that it was harder and harder to find these quality products. It seemed like things were being made of cheaper materials. I found this most noticeable in the toy industry when I would go to buy a gift for my children. I also noticed that the majority of toys that were filling the shelves were from other countries. As I watched the news I would listen to the stories of the factories overseas having poor working conditions and low pay for their workers. It now was clear how we were able to purchase these products so inexpensively. Why American factories were closing and people were losing jobs.
At the same time the feeling of quality, craftsmanship and the pride of buying local was quickly becoming a thing of the past. We were losing our edge! In the summer of 2008 I was looking for some clothes and all I was finding were ones made in other countries. I remembered a number of years earlier listening to the “Real America” segment on the Glenn Beck radio show where he talked about a company in Pennsylvania, Bill’s Khakis. He talked about the quality of the products and shared the story of the companies founder which stuck with me. I got together with my friends Cheryl and Ed Debono and we came up with the idea for a USA website. We brought in another friend Brittany Roberts to work on an early version of the website. During the month of October USA signs appeared everywhere in my experience. I realized how this significant it was and my path was becoming clearer.
In January of 2009 we would file and form USAmart, LLC. Between 2009 and 2015 many versions and concepts were tested and reworked. Web designers, friends and lots of people with many ideas came and went.
It felt like we were almost ready to launch and there would be an obstacle that held us back. During this time I came to learn to look at obstacles as opportunities. I also learned that when you have to push something upstream to get it done that somehow you are off track. When you are in the flow the right people, tools and finances are brought into your experience. Then as 2015 was drawing to a close, someone with an aligned vision and fresh insight would enter my life. With her background in graphics, photography and marketing she was able to connect me with the right designer to make this vision a reality. Her passion for quality products, seeing a clear vision and the shared belief of providing opportunities for people to turn their ideas into a reality helped shape the USAmart you’re experiencing today.
Thank you for joining us in our American made store! ~ Andrew Holland