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What does “Made in America” mean to me

3 April, 2009 (18:10) | Community

In a recent response from a customer, they made a comment suggesting that our products were coming from China.  I don’t know where they got that idea, but it gave me pause to think that I have not been as diligent as I could be in informing, especially new customers to Golden Artist Colors, that all our products are produced in the U.S., at the same site as our original barn and in Upstate, New York, near Syracuse and Utica. I especially love the fact that our factory is located in this beautiful rural environment in a community of over 700 folks. 

I love manufacturing!  I love the idea, that has been counter to where this country has been going for the last few decades, that we could make the best products in the world and continue to compete with the best in the world.  I couldn’t be more proud that our products are represented now in over 63 countries around the globe. 

Recently a good friend of mine has developed a program to support “Made in America” and we’ve been asked to apply to all of our shipments out of our factory a large sticker with our Flag with the large made in America logo.  I was asked to support this effort, helping to make the statement to our much larger community of the arts.   In such a small community as ours, I truly embrace buying local.  I want the local fruit stand, stationary store, diner or newspaper to continue to thrive in our community.  But in thinking of the place within the creative community that Golden Artist Colors occupies, I hesitated to support this initiative.  I love this country and want it to succeed and prosper.  But  we have been given, by the incredible luck of our birth, the opportunity to be in a country that has given us all the skills, talent, creativity and encouragement to compete on a world stage.   I would much rather succeed because of our commitment to all our customers for quality products and services. 

I am proud when our product sits next to other foreign manufacturers that we also respect for producing quality products and services.  Some of these manufacturers have been serving the arts community for literally hundreds of years.  It is the measure of our success and a source of tremendous pride, that our Made in America product is considered to be amongst the world leaders in quality.

For us being a part of the Arts Community is also recognizing a much more global community.  Creative artists around the world are tied in an incredible web of support and inspiration that continues to grow tighter and tighter as our world view continues to shrink.  We are grateful to have been invited in to participate with this incredible diverse community.  It is this diversity that creates the continual renewal of inspiration and of the value of exchange across borders.  We are all made the more secure and all the richer, when we recognize that values that bind us together are much more profound than those that seek to separate us.

I am very proud to put on every label on every product we make, “Made in America”.  I am even more proud when our country is committed to sharing its responsibilities to a global community and planet.  It is often from the arts that we transcend differences and borders and reach a greater understanding of one another.  We are grateful when our materials can play even a minor role in these efforts of… Made with care, on the Planet.




Comment from Matthew Ramada
Time: April 3, 2009, 7:02 pm

Well stated, integrity in every word. Having visited your factory personally and seen the care and pride of your employees (as well as being able to compare that experience to having worked in a few factories myself) I can say without contention that I am proud to be a consumer of your product. I think the quality and inventiveness of your line speak for themselves and I hope to see a continued trend of more of the same in the future. I also think it’s wise to be respectful of, rather than act pretentious towards, the efforts and histories of the foreign communities who are just as affected by our actions as we are by theirs, and I think this post touches decisively on that topic. Glad to see you’re still posting after all those months of silence!

Comment from Diane Roeder
Time: April 4, 2009, 4:16 pm

I too am glad to see a new post. Also glad that your products are made in America; gladder yet that they’re made here in the Northeast!

My background is fiber but more and more I’m giving in to the desire to play with paint and paper and combine it with my fiber stuff.


Comment from Kathleen Sauerbrei
Time: April 5, 2009, 10:18 pm

Hi Mark, I was so pleased to read your above Post.
While I am Canadian, I do believe that our economy (both Canadian & American)is a direct result of the big box stores using unfair labour practices in other countries.
I shop at Canadian stores (art supplies included) and if I see that a paint and or any other art product is very much cheaper, I ask why! If no answer is forthcoming, I refuse to purchase it.
Integrity is the cornerstone of the North American Peoples.
If paying a bit more for anything helps our economy and enriches our life style, then so be it!
I was/am attracted to your company because it has a superior product, is known world wide, and is run by people that believe in their customer and supports their customer service base.
All too often this is not the case.

Comment from Rick Hayhoe
Time: April 8, 2009, 8:52 pm

I’m an American living and working in Japan. It is a source of pride to me that in Japan Golden artists’ colors and products are sold as, and considered by most artists to be, top of the line. I have confidence that they will remain so.

Comment from Ramesh
Time: April 11, 2009, 5:36 pm

Several times, in past 1 year, I have restrained from sending you guys an email, thanking for manufacturing inside USA and thus maintaining hold on the *quality*. I am glad you are discussing this subject.

As a consumer, I am abhorred at the durability products in general; and I am literally scared to buy anything because products are being tested under *best case scenario* and exception is your products. Having been engineer in US corporations for 15 years, I have seen how, having the team local helps quality and accelarates refinement.

Comment from ramesh
Time: April 11, 2009, 5:48 pm

Comment from Mark
Time: April 13, 2009, 3:52 pm

I’ve never considered our company separate from the community we serve, make a living from, and most importantly the community that inspires us. Thanks for all your comments! Best, Mark

Comment from Melissa Leaym-Fernandez
Time: May 17, 2009, 9:22 pm

I love this post! As a painter I have a local man that make my stretchers for me. I try also to support my local economy. We do have a responsibility to keep our communities alive with support and invigorating creativity! CHeap is as Cheap does; I want the best for my clients and I want the best for my family. I know that I get what I pay for–If I can call a company and get a human on the phone immediately, while the prices and quality are a bit more in cost I will pay it for I know that my choice will help others in this country and provide me with a superior quality product, instead of a cheap, ill-made item that is removing jobs from our communities! Cheers!

Comment from densje
Time: July 24, 2009, 3:32 pm

Hi Mark, Thank you for making such a high quality product. Golden acrylics are far and away the best I’ve ever used. I have a question not exactly pertaining to Made in America, but related. I am Vice President of the Board of Directors of a small non-profit youth arts center in California and I was extremely pleased to find out about your seconds program. We have a number of projects going on at any given time and consume materials at a frightening rate. Unfortunately when we attempted to complete the form for the seconds program, it came back that you do not ship to California. Is this really a policy? I didn’t see it stated anywhere on the page, so at the very least if that is the case, it might make sense to post it. Any possibility of that policy changing? Thanks for your consideration. Sincerely, Jack Haye

Comment from Mark
Time: July 24, 2009, 4:49 pm

Jack, I am so sorry that we are unable to ship our “Seconds” paints to California. This has been a wonderful program, and for years we had sent thousands of dollars of “seconds” product to CA. With the passage of Prop 65, we would be at risk of circumventing the intent of the State Law. These products are all donated and Prop 65 would require that we resubmit all these products, (which have no different safety profile from all our other paints) to additional review by a toxicologist and additional labeling. As we have never charged for these products, we cannot justify the additional expense to ship to California. We continue to donate these products to art projects around the U.S and around the world. I think we will update the website to make sure it lists that we cannot ship these products to California. Thanks for the suggestion. Best, Mark

Comment from densje
Time: July 28, 2009, 11:54 am

Thank you for your quick and well-stated reply Mark. I can’t think of another instance in which a company leader is so responsive. It’s refreshing and really impressive! My organization will continue to look for other sources of paints for our upcoming projects. If you’re interested, you can find out about what we do here: All the best, Jack

Comment from Laree Hawkland
Time: March 2, 2010, 7:53 pm

“Made In America” says so much to the world – it’s an iconic phrase that has once again come to the surface of our society’s discussions. We have always been a proud manufacturing nation and as a country, should once again choose to highlight our capabilities in today’s economic times. I come from generations of Americans who do their best to buy from American companies that MAKE their products in America – for what are we but a nation of great inventors, artists, manufacturers and truly talented free thinkers? To keep our country’s greatness and self-sufficiency alive and thriving, we must be aware of and cultivate the immense opportunities and overcome the challenges we face as a country. “Made In America” is a phrase of which to be proud, and our generations to come should be encouraged to participate in our revitalization with the knowledge that each individual can and does make a difference in his/her choices. It’s a privilege to be able to buy American products knowing they are of the highest quality.

Comment from Sandi Fein
Time: March 21, 2010, 10:06 pm

Dear Mark,
We met approximately 10 years ago at Boca Raton Museum Florida Art School, Miles Laventhal was my art instructor. But, more importantly he introduced me to Golden Paints and Mediums. After numerous workshops where only your paints were used, I realized the superiority when I would go home and try to achieve the same affect and it just did not happen. I became a believer of your products 10 years ago and have remained a loyal follower ever since. I so love your promotional gifts with workshops, seminars etc. Recently I received a package of your Mix More Media! Everything I paint I take reference photos so I am anxious to learn about this new product. Thank you very much for your promotional literature it’s a wonderful reference. Sandi

Comment from Mitchell Schuller
Time: May 2, 2010, 4:56 pm

I can’t say enough how much I love Golden products. There is a certain feeling you get when you use a product made and packaged right here in the good ole U.S.A. I wish I could own every color. Eventually. I am so happy to be able to support and be loyal to a company that is loyal right back to it’s artist customers. Thanks so much for letting people know that the USA does make exceptional quality products. Golden is certainly a “Golden” American company.

Comment from Mark
Time: May 2, 2010, 8:10 pm

Mitchell, thanks for the comments! I haven’t been faithfully blogging for some time, and my team is on my case to get my act together and start up again. I think the events of this past month have been important enough to begin again and share with everyone. I did want you to know that as of April 5th, this year, Golden Artist Colors is just one of 4,000 other companies in the U.S. that is owned by its employees. It was a wonderful event to share this with all the staff. They are amazingly committed individuals. Thanks again for all your support. Best, Mark

Comment from john Fitzsimmons
Time: June 3, 2010, 6:54 pm

I think that Golden is a wonderful example of what a US manufacturing company can be. I think to many people have a negative view of manufacturing based on old movies or what ever, but we need it, the fruit stand everything else will not survive if we don’t manufacture stuff ourselves.

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