Manufacturing in the USA

It used to be a pretty common way to make a living.  Come up with a product, start a little shop sell some stuff, then expand into catalogs, maybe buy some cheap ads, then a few stores. and you can hire some people etc...  The used to be a lot more small businesses making special things.  At the stores there were buyers who were experts on the newest thing.  It was exciting to go to the stores and talk to "the guy" and see the new stuff. 

That was then... The stores now get most of their stock from distributors and don't even own their inventory.  Buyers are obsolete and their unique and helpful expertise is squandered.  Products sold in these stores must now survive a double markup.  This means that a $30 retail item must be made profitably somewhere for about $12.  Usually by people who are paid far too little for their efforts. 

The options now are really not all bad, despite the changes.  A manufacturer can sell online directly to customers and deliver a value comparable to Imported products, but on a smaller scale with better service and quality.  Youtube, Facebook and relevant chatrooms offer visibility that was previously unaffordable and location is almost irrelevant.  Many businesses are thriving on this model.  We'll see how it goes...