The venerable New York Times has recently told us what we’ve known for years: it is possible to compete with low-cost Chinese paint brush manufacturers and survive. According to the Times story, U.S. brush makers have survived by adopting one of two strategies: 1) keep producing high quality paint brushes using time-tested methods or 2) innovate.
We’re sorry the Times didn’t talk with us for the story because we believe it isn’t an either/or proposition. We’re doing both - producing hand-made paint brushes using
traditional methods (and yes, in some cases age-old equipment as the Times notes) and we are innovating. For example, the new tapered polyester filaments appearing in high-end brushes were developed first in our factory. Our Crest, Zenith and Bellringer brushes all contain the new filaments. And our entire Parts Brush Division came from innovations we made in brush making.
In an ironic postscript to the story, we received an email from Australia at the same time we saw the Times story. An Australian wrote to us to explain why he made the unusual effort to purchase paint brushes through our website at www.PaintBrushCorp.com:
“By the way, if you are wondering why I would be ordering these brushes all the way from the USA it's because I cannot find any quality brushes locally. Not even any Australian online local paint supply shops have the same quality as I could find in USA shops.”
Considering that China is relatively close neighbor to Australia and a strong trading partner, we’re pleased to learn that when it comes to quality, we’re still ahead.