Shanghai Tai LLC
Tell us about your business.My husband lost his job in a shutdown, and we moved to China for a new job. When I returned to the U.S., I had a lot of pearls. I learned how to string jewelry. I wanted to make round lampwork beads to go with my pearls, but somehow ended up taking a class in fusing glass instead. Then I found precious metal clay. It is made of microscopic bits of metal in clay form. After I fire it in my kiln, it is pure metal: gold, silver, copper or bronze. I create artisan jewelry, and sell at art shows and online. Many of my pieces are one of a kind. I am constantly working to improve my skills, my product and my display. My business is important because, in an age when so many products are produced overseas, I actually make a product that is produced in the USA. Once I told a Chinese man [regarding western salaries], yes, but you are getting all the jobs, and soon all the money! Recently, I exported an order to China. I may be small, but I contribute to the U.S. economy.
What makes your business stand out?I make my business unique. The pieces I make come from my experiences and the things that inspire me. A lot of my inspiration comes from the time I spent in the far east.
Mark Your Calendar
NominationsJune 3–Aug. 29, 2014
Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.
JudgingJune 23–Sept. 9, 2014
Judges will select finalists throughout this period.Meet the judges
Online VotingSept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014
Vote for your favorite American makers.See the finalists
Winners AnnouncedOct. 17, 2014
2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.See past Award Winners
American Made EventNov. 7–8, 2014
Join us for our annual event in New York City.Buy tickets now