Company Profile: Jezebel Inc.
As you may have noticed, we have been featuring American companies as part of our drive to highlight some of the wonderful work being undertaken here on home soil.
In our next feature on American manufacturers, we got in contact with Jezebel, owner of Jezebel Inc., to ask what it means to manufacture all of her stained glass, lighting, and furnishing products by hand in the heart of New Mexico, USA.
Who is Jezebel?
Jezebel is the sole proprietor of a company of the same name, Jezebel Inc. The entity was founded in 1996 and is located in Madrid, New Mexico, where she designs and crafts unique glass and iron-forged lamps and chandeliers for customers around the world. She is an award-winning designer, who attended the Corcoran School of Fine Art and the Cleveland Institute of Fine Art (to name just a few), after graduating from Carnegie Mellon with a double major in sculpture and art.
In her own words, her work reflects “an organic blending of New Mexican earth-friendly forms with modern design.” Her unique glass-based products are sold internationally, and her products are listed with global retailers such as Amazon, Wayfair, and Lamps USA.
Here’s what she had to say when we caught up with the illustrious woman behind the brand.
Do You Manufacture Entirely in the US, or Are There Some Product Lines That Are Manufactured Elsewhere?
“Most of my products are made in the USA in my studio [located in Madrid, NM] from raw glass. A few items are imported from Mexico – our tin sconce line. Some of the hardware parts are purchased from vendors who most likely have them made in China.”
Why Manufacture in the US Instead of Abroad?
“I am a designer, and my business is too small, and my products too customized to be made overseas. Also, most of my raw materials are made in the USA by long-time glass manufacturers. Only one glass company recently left, and is now just across the border doing the Tijuana shuffle.”
What are Some of the Challenges You Have Faced by Choosing to Manufacture in the US?
“The prices of my raw materials are high, and my labor costs are also high. What’s more, the EPA is putting many of my suppliers out of business or costing them a lot of money for cleaning up their factories. I don’t mind, but they are not regulating the factories in China.”
“That makes it very unfair. I wish they would regulate all production facilities to the same standards for health and wages too. Instead they charge tariffs and only the government benefits. The factories [in China] are not forced to upgrade for health or employee wages. Tariffs do not equalize anything. A global equivalent of the EPA would equalize the playing field.”
What Are Some of the Benefits You Have Seen by Choosing to Manufacture in the US?
“I love what I do and what I create. I love making special high-quality things that make people happy.”
Are There Any Possible Side Effects That Manufacturing in a Place with Lower Standards Could Cause?
“Lower standards mean lower quality. For example, China asked UL [the global safety and certification company] for changes in the standards for how long light bulbs need to last. Very few people would know that those standards have lowered to increase the frequency of purchases.”
How Jezebel Proves That Ordering Cheap Products from Overseas is Damaging to the Environment
As Jezebel neatly described in her responses, the increasing shift toward outsourcing electronic manufacturing (such as for lighting products), is leading a charge toward inferior quality products that are damaging to the environment and to those that make them.
According to the EPA, upgrading one old light bulb in every American household to an Energy Star-rated equivalent would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9 billion pounds. That’s roughly the same emissions as 800,000 cars per year, perfectly illustrating the impact that poor-quality and old-technology bulbs are having on our environment. Worse yet, by buying cheap products that are manufactured in squalid conditions, online shoppers are unwittingly funding unethical factory practices such as exposing workers to mercury.
But all hope is not lost, you can help to make a difference by consciously choosing to support local manufacturers. By doing so, not only can you contribute to pumping money back into your own economy, but you can also put an end to your inadvertent contribution to the lowering of both factory welfare and product quality standards across the globe.
Support Your Own – Know Where Your Products Come from!
At BuyLocalized, our mission is simple. We aim to make it as easy for you as possible to buy local. Rather than having to carry out your own research to find out where products have been manufactured, our Chrome extension allows you to view precisely where the item was produced with just one click.
So if you want to make sure that you are supporting local, ethical, and environmentally-friendly businesses that you can trust, then make sure to install BuyLocalized to your web browser to make a more conscious shopping choice!