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INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of manufacturers from across the country are gathered at the Indiana Convention Center to showcase their American-made products for the Made In America 2019 event. 

Connie Sylvester Founder & CEO of Mommy Armor USA shared her story of why she started her American made company.

“When I was 16-years-old I worked at Best Buy and I got yelled at by a man who came in to buy an American-made microwave,” said Sylvester. “He screamed at me because we didn’t have one.” 

She said after that encounter she made it her goal to have a company that was American made, and she stuck to that goal and now employs people all over the country. 

Her newest product is a ballistic book cover that will provide students with threat level IIIA personal protection against a school shooter. 

She came up with the idea after she dropped her son off at school on February 14th, 2018, and minutes later received a text alert that there was a school shooting. It wasn’t her son’s school, but Parkland in Brower County, Florida.

“I started to cry. I cried because I thought of the picture I had just taken and that 17 other mothers might have taken that same picture and it would have been the last time they ever saw their child.”

The book cover slips over a binder and can be easily carried two and from class.

Another company, Scars & Stripes Coffee, makes American products to support veterans. 

“We don’t sell a single product, bag, apparel, or anything else that doesn’t pay a veteran,” said Brian Gonzalez with Scars & Stripes Coffee.

The company roasts every bag in the US, and when someone buys a bag they’re buying from a Veteran.

“You look at these Vietnam Veterans or, you know, these older gentlemen that served our country, they love to sit around and have a cup of joe, and just tell us war stories.” 

Gonzalez says that’s why they chose coffee because it helps veterans bridge the gap between coming back and transitioning into everyday life. 

Similar to Scars & Stripes Coffee, Red Gold makes sure that everything they grow is grown and made in the United States.

“We’ve got family ownership that loves to partner with family farms across America,” said Senior Vice President of Red Gold, Tim Ingle. 

He says if they can grow it here, make it here, and have American workers instead of importing it than it makes production much more efficient.

“It’s great that we see the pride in being American made.” 

(Photo: Madyson McGill)