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Wednesday, January 26, 2022

US-based toy maker takes left-wing action by halting global supply chains

Global shipping logistics resembles a troubled crow’s nest these days, with home-operated toy makers happily producing and distributing goods, tangle-free. In addition, many are expanding their facilities and increasing the level of production. Meanwhile, toy companies with foreign production arrangements grapple with delays and rising costs, which could affect the number of foreign-made gifts under trees in homes across the country this year.

Large and small scale producers alike are involved in the trend of manufacturing toys. Towards the higher end of the scale, Cr-Z-Art, which is operated by LaRose Industries, is increasing its number of products that are made within US borders. Cray-Z-Art currently has the largest pencil factory in the US, and the New Jersey-based company operates over one million square feet of business in Florida and Tennessee.

Its latest manufacturing facility is located in Jacksonville, Florida, and will help meet the growing demand for its products. Cr-Z-Art produces toys, craft kits, and art and school supplies, including Softie Dough, Cr-Z-Slimy, Cr-Z-Loom, and The Real Cotton Candy Maker.

Cra-Z-Art President Lawrence Rosen said in a press release regarding the new 315,000 square foot plant in Jacksonville, Florida, “Cray-Z-Art is very excited to expand and open another great, new production operation. Is.” , “In response to our rapid growth, this second feature will allow us to substantially increase capacity and bring our products to market more effectively and efficiently for consumers to enjoy.”

In the global manufacturing landscape, living closer to home is in line with the company’s broader goals. “We are once again increasing our production of quality goods that are made right here in the USA, which will ultimately contribute to the local economy in the Jacksonville area and beyond,” Rosen said.

Smaller players are also jumping on the domestic manufacturing ladder.

In 2006, Sheila Duncan, president of Larkin Ltd. in Marblehead, Massachusetts, saw a portrait of her niece, who was then 12, made after the loss of multiple familial cancers. The drawing served as an inspiration for what would eventually become Trouble the Dog, a plush children’s character used for rest and therapy. When she was ready to move into the production phase, Duncan ordered approximately 1,500 plush versions of Trouble the Dog from a foreign manufacturer. After the first order, she experienced many difficulties in overseas operations.

“It was difficult to communicate,” she recalled in a conversation with The Epoch Times, because the e-mails would be sent in different time zones and the content used in subsequent orders from Trouble the Dog was not the same. first round.

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Duncan decided to explore US-based alternatives. The path to domestic production was not easy, as some manufacturers were not interested in working with a smaller company and larger toy companies would usually order smaller quantities than requested. Costs were also high in the United States, but Duncan persisted and eventually came into contact with the American Bear factory in Phoenix, Arizona.

“The owner of American Beer Factory spent time with me on the phone, and together we figured out a way to accomplish this goal,” Duncan said. “The benefit is being able to pick up the phone and speak live.”

The ease of communication created a world different for Duncan, and today, every part is sourced domestically except for the silver material for the particular dog.

Duncan said, “We are proud to be made in America and glad to learn that Trouble the Dog is bringing comfort to so many children during this difficult time.”

One of these children, Darius Noonan, received Trouble the Dog while spending time in foster care. She was later adopted, and now she is on a mission to pass this comfort toy to other children.

For the Sprout Design Lab, which turns children’s artwork and handwriting into custom jewelry, production speed is perhaps the biggest highlight of operating in the United States. The company was founded by a small team of female engineers in Charleston, South Carolina.

“We began operations in October 2020 and have placed all aspects of our business – design, fabrication, assembly and shipping – in the USA,” Jed Brown, founder of Sprout Design Lab, told The Epoch Times. “Many jewelry companies estimate 8 to 10 weeks for a custom piece, but our average turnaround time is two weeks.”

Operating locally allows the company to avoid shipping delays, cargo issues and holdups at customs that are often associated with overseas production. “Living in the US allows us to constantly monitor the quality of our products,” Brown explained.

“Each custom piece is inspected multiple times by our team before it is shipped. Operating overseas will not allow us to do this ongoing inspection and could potentially lead to quality lapses and a negative customer experience.

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Rachel Hartman is a freelance writer with a background in business and finance. His work has been featured in national and international publications for more than 10 years. She lives in Miami and travels frequently.


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