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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2012, 06:26 PM
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Leanne, I would love to see the footage of the manufacturing facilities in China for 31. Perhaps seeing it and having a link to the website will ease some of my concerns.

For what it is worth, I don't sell bags and have zero interest in selling bags. So I don't have a dog in this fight. I just support American made.

I realize that many products are made in China and you have to buy some chinese goods sometimes. I can respect a rep from a company that says "Yeah our stuff is made there, it does help keep our costs down." Or "Yes we have manufacturing in China now to deal with the high demand of production."

As a customer, I find the "rah rah!" about Chinese stuff to be irritating. Let's be honest about where things are made, sure, but don't try to act like it is GREAT for AMERICANS that stuff is made there. And don't try to pretend like it is doing some valiant act of service for the Chinese women by them working in that factory. Until I see footage and get a link to more info about the manufacturer, I call bull crap on that.

Also as a customer I really don't appreciate the talking down that you seem to be doing....the assumption that someone who really favors American made is ignorant of supply and demand laws.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:10 PM
Leanne McGarr's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherMama View Post
Leanne, I would love to see the footage of the manufacturing facilities in China for 31. Perhaps seeing it and having a link to the website will ease some of my concerns.

For what it is worth, I don't sell bags and have zero interest in selling bags. So I don't have a dog in this fight. I just support American made.

I realize that many products are made in China and you have to buy some chinese goods sometimes. I can respect a rep from a company that says "Yeah our stuff is made there, it does help keep our costs down." Or "Yes we have manufacturing in China now to deal with the high demand of production."

As a customer, I find the "rah rah!" about Chinese stuff to be irritating. Let's be honest about where things are made, sure, but don't try to act like it is GREAT for AMERICANS that stuff is made there. And don't try to pretend like it is doing some valiant act of service for the Chinese women by them working in that factory. Until I see footage and get a link to more info about the manufacturer, I call bull crap on that.

Also as a customer I really don't appreciate the talking down that you seem to be doing....the assumption that someone who really favors American made is ignorant of supply and demand laws.
I don't know that the footage that we were shown is available to post. They showed it to 8000 women though. I do know that the standards that we require for the workers are the same as we have in the US. This question has come up many times and our founder and CEO, Cindy Monroe, has actually addressed these. HEre are her responses.

At some point in your 31 journey, you will have someone ask you about where our products are made (China). What will you say if they don't like this?

1. Cindy's commented at conference that 31 sees China as a mission field and that God instructs us to take care of of ALL people...not just Americans.

2. Thirty-One provides more jobs in America than a lot of companies who actually have their products made in the US. We have 3 facilities in the US for embroidering and distribution, and if they were made in the US they would cost double to triple as much. We would sell less of the products as a result and then we would not be able to employ as many US workers. It's not just a company providing jobs, but a life change for a lot of people that they hire. Thirty One has added 2000 jobs here in America in the last 4 years. These are good paying jobs with benefits.

3. It's a mission field there and what an awesome opportunity to share the love of Christ with them w/o them even realizing it!

4. We are changing lives in more than just our country!

5. China is closed to missionaries, but our Christian company is there shining a light in a very dark place.

6.Our facility in China is giving those people a better life too. If you look at the tags on most clothes or find out where her appliances are made....chances are not in the US.

7. The business that makes our products in China is owned and operated by a Chinese Female....in a country where that is still very rare. They work under American-standards: heat/air, paid overtime, lunchroom, healthcare, 18 years of age, etc


As I said, I didn't mean to offend. And I agree that if we could turn back time and change some of the trade laws that would be better for America. But that time has past. So we must focus on working with the conditions as they are.

I don't think I am being Rah Rah about our items being made outside of America, but I am all Rah Rah about 31 and I have absolute faith that the conditions that our manufacturer has are what we have been told. I certainly do not expect to change the minds of those people whose opinion is very strong on American Made but I also want to voice my opinion as well.

For where I live, price is the most important factor for the success of my business. I think we all have a right to our opinions and voices. That is what makes America unique.

JMO
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2012, 07:44 PM
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Thank you for the information. If you find specific info about the manufacturer, I'd like to see it.

I think your CEO is a little, well full of hooey. Businesses move to China because it is dirt cheap to manufacture there. Not because it is a mission field. As a Christian, I find it offensive that someone is using their business in a way that gives them the fattest profit while claiming that they do it because that country needs Jesus. Sewing a bag together (even in a/c with a living wage) does not evangelize someone. *that* is the kind of rah-rah-ing that I'm talking about.
Say something honest like, "Well if we manufactured in the U.S. we'd charge more and we don't want to do that to you." But for the CEO to come out, and some of your posts, to come out and say that it is some great mission field, that is offensive to sensible people.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 03-27-2012, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeacherMama View Post
Thank you for the information. If you find specific info about the manufacturer, I'd like to see it.

I think your CEO is a little, well full of hooey. Businesses move to China because it is dirt cheap to manufacture there. Not because it is a mission field. As a Christian, I find it offensive that someone is using their business in a way that gives them the fattest profit while claiming that they do it because that country needs Jesus. Sewing a bag together (even in a/c with a living wage) does not evangelize someone. *that* is the kind of rah-rah-ing that I'm talking about.
Say something honest like, "Well if we manufactured in the U.S. we'd charge more and we don't want to do that to you." But for the CEO to come out, and some of your posts, to come out and say that it is some great mission field, that is offensive to sensible people.
You know, I am not going to argue with you over this. I have tried to be as accommodating for differing opinions as I can. I do not care that you feel it is hooey quite frankly. There are many differing opinions on what is Christian and what is not. As I have said, the great thing about America is that we can have differing opinions and no opinion is more valuable than the next.

My time is best spent focusing on my business. Have a good day.
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2012, 03:27 AM
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If you don't view providing good paying jobs as missionary, you might want to investigate the work and philosophy of the Christian charity World Vision. What LeAnn is saying seems very much aligned with how they minister to people in third world countries.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2012, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by liz.jewels View Post
How long has Madison handbags been around? How do their sales compare to a company like 31?

I ask because many companies start off as US-based manufacturers and eventually grow large enough that it makes financial sense to consider overseas manufacturing plants.

It's also unfair to assume all Chinese manufacturers have poor labor practices. Some companies are focused on fair trade, paying a living wage, and ensuring safe labor practices. The fact that some US companies employ workers helps raise the standards for other companies in the same region.

You may disagree with what the laws of economics say about supply and demand, but it is much more complex than a single-minded "buy USA" philosophy allows. I deal with economics every day in my day job so I'm familiar with both the theory and application.
Liz,

We are actually just celebrating our 7th year in operation! I really don't know our figures in terms of sales (or 31's for that matter) but we are a smaller company. Last year alone our business has quadrupled and we're opening our 2nd production facility in a few short months. While, you're right that no one can predict what happens in the future, I do know that our company is extremely committed to keeping our products environmentally friendly and American Made. It's something we take great pride in.

I agree with you 100% about economic theory. It is extremely complex. I had actually written an entire paragraph about that in my original response but decided I didn't really think discussing politics was entirely relevant to my point so I deleted it. It drives me nuts when someone acts as if they could instantly solve the economic crisis "if only...". If the answer was as simple as some people make it out to be, there would be no reason to even have a discussion. We'd know what was best for our country and we'd spring to action. I don't pretend to know the answer to such a complex issue and so, I won't discuss that any further.

What I'm ultimately saying is that, for me, my decision to support locally made and Made in the US products is based on far more than just economics. Humanitarian, environmental, and political values (regarding China) come into play.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 03-28-2012, 07:29 PM
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I am somewhat familiar with World Vision, Liz. Another really good charity that I like is Samaritan's Purse. One of my all time favorites!

To me, the difference is that WV is not producing a product and selling it as a for-profit company and still claiming they are ministering to the people.

A company, be it 31 or Chick Fil A, owned by a Christian but run for a profit is okay, but to me it isn't okay to act like your for-profit BUSINESS is also some missionary endeavor.

JMO, you are free to disagree.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 03-29-2012, 04:16 AM
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WV believes in giving people a hand up, not a handout, so a company that employs people who would not otherwise be employed in their region in good conditions with a living wage would be doing things consistent with WV's philosophy. That's the point I was making.

Companies seeking to make a profit can still do so in a mission-minded way. They could make MORE profits if they didn't operate this way but choose to operate differently.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:14 PM
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Default China? Italy? Germany?

Wow, a politically correct discussion----regarding where your handbag is made.
Ladies, check your keyboard and the computer you're using. Are those parts and every component, or even the whole she-bang made in the US?

Of course not.

End of rant--at the end of the day, ladies, the sale of these products are supporting the needs of American women by the thousands. Putting food on the table, paying the mortgage, and keeping many women off the dole. I don't care where it's made if it's made of quality and supports the needs and promotes financial opportunity for American women.

You'd be shocked as to where your bags are really made, if you think it's on American soil, I'd say, about 10% "could be" - But chances are, your handbag, even the 600.00 ones, are made outside the US. And yes, I have done my research

Last edited by alongcamepolly; 05-12-2012 at 08:15 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 05-12-2012, 08:32 PM
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Why are you bringing up a post that's been dead for six weeks?
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