As June is rapidly coming to a close (we can't believe it either), it's time to shed some light on the Fourth of July! In honor of this all-American holiday, we want to share more about Anne Cate's American-made manufacturing.
For those of you who do not know, every product is cut, sewn, and fulfilled in Cleveland, Ohio. Although we've always been American-made, we opened our own manufacturing studio in January of 2019 and have been growing fast ever since. Our studio is filled with industrial sewing machines (equipped with new technologies that backstitch and cut the thread automatically), sergers, industrial cutting tables, and lots of thread!
What does a Made in America business look like for a purse manufacturer?
We strive to create an affordable quality accessories for every customer. To do this, we have to source quality materials, while keeping our production time per product low.
We currently have a small production team that does every aspect from cutting, pinning, ironing, sewing, riveting wristlet straps, and so on! Every sewing day starts with reviewing our production schedule for the week to ensure we have the correct materials needed to fulfill the correct orders. We sew every product in batches to ensure consistency and productivity...but if we were to sew just one purse, depending on the style, it only takes about 7 minutes (that means one person can sew about 350 products per week)! Owner, Anne, can sew a product in 3 minutes (but she has 6000+ sewn under her belt by now). Some days are full of 8 hours straight of sewing, others are mixed with cutting purse linings or sewing straps. We listen to music and sometimes we'll even watch a movie while we produce. Every day is different and every day is full of hands on work.
What are some of our favorite tools?
There a so many little tools that we CANNOT survive without!
Our Gingher Scissors
: truly the best. Worth every penny. These scissors will last you forever; they are quality and cut through anything. They go for upwards of $40 (!!!) but Amazon sells the same exact pair for $15. Needless to say, we are the owners of MANY Gingher's here at the studio.
Our custom quilt rulers
: we were lucky to have had four rulers made custom to the sizes of our bags! This makes cutting MUCH faster and efficient. Now we can just line up our rotary cutter to the ruler and cut cut cut!
Our iron press
: What is typically used for pressing out pants and shirts in a fast way, we use to interface our wristlets! Every Eco-Canvas wristlet is interfaced with a fusible interfacing called Flex Foam. This foam is sturdy and gives the wristlets great structure and padding. With our iron press, we simply take the pre-cut interfacing and melt it right to the pre-cut wristlets. In 10 seconds, the iron press beeps and the fabric has been interfaced! It is a seamless process and allows the interfacing to be evenly adhered to each bag.
Lint Rollers, Spray Guns, and Doll Rods. These tools are crucial to production. We could not create without them! Because we are a production studio, you can image how much thread, lint, and dust in in the air. That mixed with a black and white product = MAJOR need for lint rollers. Every product is lint rolled before it is sent off to our customers! We use water spray guns when we are ironing the bags. Although most irons use steam, we prefer to spray direct water with a press cloth onto the product to ensure the product is as ironed out as as evenly as possible. It is faster than steam and more precise. And lastly: doll rods. We have about 10 little doll rods with a rounded, but pointed end (like a knitting needle) that we keep at every machine. We use these little wooden rods to press out every corner to ensure the bags have straight edges.
As The Fourth of July approaches, take pride in being American by remembering to support all local businesses! In a world where our products are increasingly manufactured all around the world, it's important to reconnect with our roots and be reminded of brands that produce and sell merchandise that is 100% made in the USA. When you buy American, you help to keep local businesses strong and support domestic growth at the same time. This year, when you're picking out your red, white, and blue for a BBQ, a festival, a party, or wherever the holiday may take you, make sure to add on a "Made in the USA" tag to your outfit!
Feel free to visit our studio space! The Cleveland based studio and showroom is open to all by appointment in the historic Matchworks building.
8500 Station Street Suite 375 Mentor OH 44060