"People like what we've got," says Mark Andol, who founded the Made in America Store, in Elma, in 2010. He also says people like where it comes from: the United States.
Every single item sold at his stores, even the packaging, the tags, the thread - you name it - must be made in America or Andol won't carry it.
"We now have 6,500 products supported by 400 American manufacturers," Andol said. "And I sleep good with that."
Andol says he has helped a lot of entrepreneurs from Western New York get products off the ground, while also supporting large U.S. companies, which he can relate to as owner of General Welding and Fabricating, a local manufacturing company.
When he faced overseas challenges, he started the retail effort and now customers connect with him. "They know who I am and why I did it. I lost half my business to China directly in 07-08," he explains. "I made a statement for our country, soldier and American worker. And they respect that."
From sock and shoes to candy and cleaning goods, Andol strives to carry a wide variety. The store has everything from Made in America t-shirts to home décor and furniture. It's all for sale online at http://www.madeinamericastore.com/ or at his three retail locations: in Elma, the Eastern Hills Mall or McKinley Mall.
While Andol appreciates each sale, he knows he is making a difference and stirring a movement when a customer says thank you. "That's what keeps me going really," he said. "They feel they are making a difference creating a job or saving a job with a purchase here."