Have you ever noticed how many of the planters you see in the local garden centers are all starting to look alike? We have seen many of the same designs come back year after year and feel a little bored with it all.
On a daily basis we have over seas manufacturers contacting us to see if we are interested in purchasing their pots and planters. Unfortunately many of those products are the same style and finishes that we have been seeing for many years. Very few of these manufacturers are delving into styles that are unique and interesting. Because their methods of manufacturing and their labor costs are very inexpensive, the United States manufacturers can not compete and are almost non-existent.
Years ago we were searching for a US manufacturer that would be interested in working with us to make custom pottery. We could not find anyone interested. The labor and supplies it would take to make this type of pottery is to high and they felt they would not be competitive. It appears there is no market in the US for this type of industry.
Don't get me wrong. There are American manufacturers that we work with and their products are the best we have seen. We get concrete pots made for us whose workmanship is unbeatable and quality of product unsurpassed. We have metal custom made for us that are unusual in design and materials. This company has been around since 1901! Our Sandstone pottery is the most stunning we have ever seen and they have an exclusive on the Frank Lloyd Wright Collection that is outstanding in design. But, when it comes to terracotta clay pots and planters we still import out of the country. Italian, Chinese, Indonesian and Mexican make up the majority of what we import. Each method of manufacturing is different the quality differences are huge!
But, when it comes to finding an American manufacturer that makes clay or ceramic pottery, they just don't exist. The worse part of this industry is that the established manufacturers we are working with are NOT interested in doing custom work! So, where does that leave us? Not in the best position around. We try to carry as much inventory as possible but when you call us and we are out of a certain style or size, please be patient and try to understand. We are just as frustrated as you!