Posted on October 07, 2012
You would think American factories would be clamoring for more work right now but, instead, they are telling would-be clients to get their products Made In China. At least that is what hundreds of American factories told a Michigan based start-up in their search for a factory to produce a small cloth sleeve since August of 2011.
Grand Haven, Michigan based start-up company, The Housebreaker, was seeking a simple, small mesh and flannel sleeve to be sewn. The sleeve would be used to hold a moisture sensor in place as part of a kit to help pet owners potty train their puppies. There are thousands of USA sewing manufacturers listed on hundreds of online contract manufacturing and sewing directories. However – none wanted to take on the project and would frequently suggest that The Housebreaker, Inc. find a manufacturer in China to make the item.
Deflated, The Housebreaker’s CEO, Rua Gordon, had just emailed three companies in China to request production samples when she happened upon Fairway Products website. The site claimed that they “Create Nearly Anything you Invent” and they were located in Hillsdale, Michigan – less than three hours away from The Housebreaker’s headquarters. The next day, phone conversations with Steve Firavich and Davie Cloyd of Fairway Products started a process that would evolve The Housebreaker’s Attachment sleeve to be made of an innovative tri-layer neoprene that is Velcro compatible and holds a perfect paw-shape even after repeat washings. Not only is Fairway Products American – they included excellent innovation consultation to improve the product and manufactured at a competitive price. Rua Gordon was able to drive to the factory to personally participate in the manufacture of The Housebreaker Attachment Sleeve’s first production run, tour the facility, meet the team, and be home for dinner.
Last week two samples came in the mail from China. They were poorly sewn and fell apart with normal handling.
About The Housebreaker, Inc.
The Housebreaker Kit is developed by Michigan start-up company, The Housebreaker, Inc. The Housebreaker Kit utilizes a wireless, wearable Wet-Sensor to trigger an alarm when pups attempt to pee inside. The technology utilized has been proven to be safe by the FDA, Canadian Medical Board, and European Medical Board and effective in trials. The company produces pet products to help pet owners with potty training their puppies and adult dogs.
In maintaining with their mission to support their community, The Housebreaker, Inc. gives 5% of proceeds to charity.