By Donna Thornton/News Editor
At Boomer’s All-American Barber and Spa, All-American is more a name, it’s a commitment for owners Ron and Teresa Dalton to buy only U.S. made products.
The couple have adhered to that commitment personally for about five years, Ron Dalton said, and when they made plans to open Boomer’s, they decided to carry on with that commitment as they renovated the building at 541 Broad Street in downtown Gadsden, furnished it and stocked it with products for sale to the public.
At Boomer’s – a barber shop and spa that brings a new level of customer service to shaves, haircuts, massages and other services – the Daltons strove to buy American from the flooring and drywall to the scissors and the barber pole in front of the store. Ron Dalton credited his wife Teresa with doing much of the searching and researching involved in making Boomer’s as American-made as possible. The Daltons hope more people take up their commitment, start looking more closely at the origin of their purchases and try to buy American when possible to support American manufacturers and help this country’s economy.
Ron said they have been about 90 percent successful in purchasing American-made products.
“We’re very proud of that,” he said. Doing so required that Teresa Dalton look past the label on many products. Some products are distributed by American companies, but made in other countries, or assembled here, from parts produced elsewhere.
It was not always easy, and sometimes it cost more to buy American, Ron said. But in addition to the satisfaction they couple felt in buying American, he said he’s been more pleased with the quality of products they have purchased. In other countries, Ron explained, the kind of quality controls and standards employed here do not exist.
“We especially try to avoid buying from China because of the geo-political implications,” Ron said.
For the barber pole outside Boomer’s, the Daltons invested about $600 to buy an American-made pole, when they could have bought one from China for $200.
From wood floors to coffee makers, barber chairs, tile, sheets, bar stools, hair dryers and styling tools, the Daltons researched origin of the products before making their purchases.
‘For customers at Boomer’s, that work has already been done: the products for sale, such as Aveda and Jack Black, are made in America.
“There is an undercurrent of people buying products made in the U.S.,” Ron said. Vendors told the Daltons a surprising number of buyers ask similar questions about products.
Ron said he wants to encourage the buying of U.S. made products. What’s more, he said, he and Teresa are willing to help.
Teresa has a library of resources about American made products and how to find them.
What if downtown Gadsden became a made in America zone, Ron asked, addressing a group of downtown merchants. “What if we all had a made in America section in our businesses?” he continued.
Manufacturing in America is making a come back, Ron said, and buying American can help that come back happen.