Rogers shop B LaRue goes all American
A Rogers gift shop owner is on a mission to help America get back to work. Instead of talking about it or telling politicians to do something about it, Beth Cook, owner of B LaRue, is making major changes in how she does business.
B LaRue, a popular gift store that is now located in the Village on the Creeks in Rogers, offers an eclectic selection of gift items and already supports local vendors by selling wares from Arkansas artisans.
Soon, nothing in the shop will be made outside the United States. Cook is getting rid of all merchandise that is not both manufactured and assembled entirely in the United States and will now only sell gift items that fit that category. The “Chinese Scavenger Hunt” is a sale on all items Made in China, which are marked with a red sticker.
The idea is that if more American stores sell items that are both manufactured (the parts) and assembled in the United States, that it will create jobs, she said.
“My mission here is, by purchasing American-made products, to enable some company to be able to afford a job for someone. Even if one person can get hired somewhere because of this, I’ve accomplished my mission,” she said. “This way, we can get America back to work.”
The idea of buying only American-made products is far from new, but it’s receiving a renewed focus from consumers and business owners across the country. Cook is in the process of joining an organization called Made in the USA Foundation, which is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting products manufactured and assembled in the USA.
Word of the new endeavor is being received with rave reviews from the shop’s existing customers on Facebook, in person and via email.
“I’ve been bombarded with emails from people realizing what we’re doing and people in the store are saying it’s awesome,” Cook said. “People are trying to buy American made but it’s been difficult because practically everything on the shelves in stores was made in China.”
Cook was concerned that she would have trouble replacing some of the products lines that she will now no longer carry because they were made out of the country. Her recent trip to market in Atlanta gave her new hope that there is already a good assortment of American-made gift items available.
“They had a whole section dedicated to ‘made in America’ items,” she said. “People are becoming very conscious of trying to buy American-made products.”
Editor’s note: This article is from a press release provided by Jamie Smith, one of our writers. She wrote it as part of her business, Jamie’s Notebook. All of the images are by Nicole from Capture Me Photography. Like her on facebook too!
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