Buy American

With Independence Day just around the corner, it’s an appropriate time to remind everyone to Buy American.  It is important to the nation’s economy and it’s particularly important to small businesses.  Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, interact with other small businesses and cross-promote when possible: each one helping one.  They are a fine example of the generosity that America possesses.  Here’s a personal example.  Casart recently selected Homebody DC  as the location for a photo shoot.  The staging was done by stylist Samina Vieth and the photographer was Yulia Mikhalchuk.   All are members of the DC design community.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms and employ just over half of all private sector employees. Small business have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the last 15 years and pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll… As a nation, we must support this. Recent reports indicate that if each American spent a dollar a day onU.S.made goods this alone would create almost 1 Million new jobs in a year.  When you go shopping for your daily groceries, clothing or home improvement tools, start locally, buy American and keep our jobs here. Even if it costs a couple extra dollars, supporting small businesses is the only way we can get our nation up and running again.

MISSION: SMALL BUSINESS

Casart coverings is currently participating in the Chase/Living Social national initiative to help small businesses.  Small businesses can submit their application to be considered to be one of 12 recipients of a $250,000 grant.  To be eligible for consideration, the business must first receive 250 votes via Facebook by June 30th.  We would certainly appreciate your support ofAlexandria based Casart coverings in our effort to get those 250 votes.  If you don’t have a Facebook account, please tell your friends about it, ask them to vote and tell their friends.  We’ve set our goal at 15 votes a day and we are encouraged that we will reach the 250 votes with the support of other businesses, friends and family.  Here’s what you do:

Click Mission: Small Business.  Go to Support on the right side. Login with your Facebook account. Search for Casart in the businesses (no city or state needed). Click vote and please share with your friends.

MADE IN AMERICA

Last year ABC News did a special about products that are made in America and how just increasing what we buy by 1- 2% can boost our economy.

The series took a family’s home and removed all the products that were not made in America. Surprisingly, this was the majority of what they owned. The challenge was to replace everything with items made inAmerica. The ABC team found most of the items here in the USA but they were hard to come by and had to be searched to be found. The only thing they couldn’t locate was a coffee maker. The family had to live without this. I don’t know if I could.

There are numerous web sites that list American made items and each week the Travel Channel visits a different city and features  American made products.

WHY BUY AMERICAN?

Americans Working lists these top  reasons why it’s important to buy American made products.

1. Jobs – Above all else, when you buy American you save or create AMERICAN JOBS! These are the jobs that are at the foundation of our economy, and have unfortunately been moving overseas, but by buying American you can help to reverse that trend.

2. Environmental – Many of the top countries where our goods come from have little or no regulations to protect
the environment, and the manufacturers have no regard for the earth and they pollute and abuse the soil, air, and the water. When you buy American you know there are regulations in place to protect the environment so our children can appreciate this beautiful country as much as we do.

3. Human Rights – The countries the United States import from often have nonexistent standards regular working conditions. Many of the factories producing US bound goods are worse than our prisons, and filled with children working extremely long days. No one wants to support that, and by buying American you know you aren’t we have regulations and agencies in this country to prevent those types of atrocities.

4. Democracy – Americans believe in and stand up for democracy whenever we can, and by choosing to buy American you are supporting the ideals of democracy.

5. Conservation – When buying products that are produced overseas built into the price is the cost of shipping that product all the way from that country to the United States, usually crossing the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean. This wastes an extremely large amount of petroleum and produces unnecessary emissions into the atmosphere.

6. Domino Effect – When you buy American that money stays in the United States. That money goes to pay the wage of many people that are directly or indirectly responsible for creating your product. Each of them in turn spends this money on goods (hopefully American made) and services, and the cycle continues. The more you buy American, the more the economy is stimulated, and the more jobs are created.  Plus, American workers pay taxes on wages earned in America.

7. MORE JOBS – For every manufacturing job there are FIVE additional jobs created. Do the math. Dollar for dollar it is a great investment in this amazing country!

It’s nice to know if my walls were bare and I wanted to decorate them that all phases of  Casart’s production are made in America, from the substrate’s manufacturing, the PSA(pressure sensitive adhesive, which is water-based), to the artistic creation and printing as well as the shipping. We’re doing our part to keep this economy going. These All-American, artistic stair risers can be found on our Architectural page.

Here are just some of the Patriotic Casart Design which along with all our wall coverings are Made in America!

We are proud to be        

Ashley Spencer & Casart Coverings Crew

 

Feature Image Photo courtesy of Patrick Hoesly 

Casart Coverings Finds Inspiration From Maya Romanoff Wallcoverings. Where does your Small Business find inspiration?

After attending a wonderful lecture by Joyce Romanoff, President of Maya Romanoff handmade wallcoverings in March, I am now even more appreciative of their exceptional wallcovering now that I am more familiar with their process and their work ethics. I’ve been admiring this company’s products since I first saw their three dimensional Beadazzled™ wallcovering back in the late 80′s, when I attended one of the Design Houses at the Washington DC Design Center. They have since expanded this line to include Bauble, Geode, Leaf, Leaf Rain, Bijou and Marquetry. In fact, any image or photo can be “bedazzled” with hand applying glass beads over the surface. It’s quite stunning and looks like a beautiful, beaded ball gown.   

Maya Romanoff Bedazzled™ wallcovering

 Bedazzled wallpaper from Design House 2008

Joyce mentioned that their big break came when The Limited used their wallcoverings on columns on many of their flagship stores throughout the country. This helped bring broad public awareness regarding to the unique quality of Maya Romanoff wallcovering because they worked so organically well with the interiors while still making an impact.

All of their wallcoverings are handmade in some way — by fabrication and or applying a decorative finish. We watched one of the Maya Romanoff artisans show us a step-by-step demonstration of two different treatments. Many of the Maya Romanoff workers have been with the company for generations and the business is family run. I was surprised how similar the techniques were to what I and other decorative painters use for wall treatments. The difference is everyone has their own “special” ingredients for their paint wash and the substrates may be different. In this case, the finish, not unlike a brushed-on, sponged-off treatment with highlights, was applied over a clay-coated, crumpled, vinyl wallpaper.

 

The final result glistens. It looks wet but dries quickly with the clay treatment. It is installed flat but the crinkles and pockets of pooled pigment give the impression of a marble-like appearance

The second finish was applied over hand applied wood veneer panels, tiled as wallcovering, which almost seemed too beautiful to retouch.

This beautiful wallpaper can also be installed as ceiling tiles and with that little extra glint of crystal. Get the super glue. Yes, Swarovski crystals can be applied.

Maya Romanoff has quite a progressive history — having been around since 1969, when Maya, the company’s founder, reproduced his tie dyes as wallcovering. He is quite a successful hippie. Since then, they have led the way for producing the largest amount of handmade wallcovering, which requires a  traditional and professionally installation. They also have helped to employ and bring work to help several impoverished countries’ economies and have been given a lifetime humanitarian achievement award for their efforts.

Besides admiring their gorgeous wallcoverings and this company’s ethics, I can completely resonate with their philosophy:

  • They encourage creativity and risk taking while remaining true to business guiding principals.
  • With wall décor trends becoming more luxurious for residential and hospitality, they want their wallcoverings to have fine attention to detail without taking over a room but becoming organic with its surroundings and beautifully blend in.
  • They encourage their artisan creations to have the spontaneity and energy of a work of art.
  • They promote hand painted vinyl and realize wallcovering is not just for walls anymore and can be used on a multitude of surfaces.
  • Wallcoverings can be “green” with sustainable materials, longevity, and low VOC. Many of their wallcoverings will long outlive paint.
  • Their goal is to put the handcrafted back into value and balance handcrafted techniques with machine and technological production.

My fascination and admiration continues and even more so, after sadly learning that Maya now has advanced stage Parkinson’s Disease, so many of their charitable efforts go toward this funding. Take a look at the Maya Romanoff website; they continue to be a source of inspiration.

Although Casart Coverings does not have or could not afford to have this type of handcrafted production, we have designs that have been originally handcrafted. Our wallcovering materials, however, are not handmade and require machines and technology but the two do marry to create our final product. And of course, our wallcovering is removable and reusable and like Maya Romanoff’s can also be customized. We like this personalization part of our business. It keeps us close with our customers and helps us make an even more exceptional product to suit their needs. At present, we are really the only reusable wallcovering company offering such extensive custom services.

— Ashley Spencer