JACKSON, Miss. -
Visit any clothing store or electronics dealer and the overwhelming majority of products they sell are not made in America. A Jackson couple is out to change that.
Bill and Liz Brister have launched website, AmericanStation.com, to convince shoppers to buy American."Twenty or 30 years ago, almost everything we bought was made in the U.S. Now, very little is made in the U.S.," Bill Brister said.
The family obsession began a couple of years ago when the Bristers pledged to only buy Christmas presents that were made in America. "Literally, with my full-time job, I'm up at 3 a.m. trying to find products. It took a lot of work and a lot of time," Liz Brister said. "We would ask the sales people, 'Where's an American-made shirt?' And they would look at you like you were crazy. Nobody has ever asked them that," Bill Brister said.
As frustrated patriotic consumers, they decided to launch their own website late last year. American Station features dozens of companies selling goods that display the "Made in America" label.
"We actually have a story about each company -- where they're made, how they're made. A little bit about the company's history," Liz Brister said.
"And now companies are contacting us saying, 'We would like to be included on your website,'" Bill Brister said.
Bill Brister, a finance professor at Millsaps College, said American manufacturing was decimated by rising oil prices in the 1970s and the Japanese electronics boom of the 70s and 80s.
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This is also great information we need to promote as well. Buying American is exactly what we should be doing. My wife laughs at me when I go shopping with her because the first thing I look for on a product is if the product is made in America. If it isn’t, I don’t want it.
China, Mexico, and all of these other countries out there give the U.S. their cheap and extremely poorly made products, yet the consumer buys it just because it’s cheap. Yeah, it looks like you save money in the beginning, however, give it a little bit and when it is broken, you’ll be buying it all over again. Why not just buy American, put the money back into OUR POCKETS and actually get something that will last a long time.
As Americans, we put pride into what we make because that’s who we are. We strive to do everything better, no matter what the task may be. I’m glad this couple is taking a stand, but it will take all of us to pitch in as well to make a difference.