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Thursday, December 31, 2009

We all have plenty to be thankful for considering 2009's economic woes and our long time button manufacturer, National Die selling out their family business. And as many of you know, Nancy and I were in a serious car accident while visiting customers on October 20th. So lets take a minute to reflect why we should be thankful for these events.

Economic conditions were a factor for our Industry, but as it turned out, they delayed our year more than minimized it. Orders were down, but not near as bad as anticipated. For most of us, 2009 was still a success while many other industries suffered!

The loss of National Die & Button Mould as our partner for buttons was without doubt the most difficult obstacle we have faced for quite some time. Their problems began mid season due to the late start and took us all by surprise. However, the way we all pitched in together by sharing our inventory and talents, helped see us through our delima which was truly unique to our Industry and highlighted the strength of our personal relationships. We can all be proud of our choice to serve the better good of Band and insuring the strong future of our Industry. We are all now stronger for it.

As some of you already know, Albest Metal Stamping purchased National Die and plan to continue supporting and supplying the Band Uniform Industry through Heartland Trim Inc. just as before. Everything will remain the same with a few minor exceptions we will discuss when appropriate. We plan on maintaining strong and competitive pricing as well as shortening turnaround time on your orders. We will continue to develop new products when needed. And we at Heartland, will continue to diversify our inventory to better serve your overall needs.

Regarding Nancy and I's auto accident in October, I will just tell the story this one time so we all don't have to continually hear it. We had made our last visit of the day with our friend John Wagner of Bayly Corp. and headed south to Tallahassee, Florida I-10. We were on I-10 headed west when traffic stopped. A driver of a large uniform truck approached the rear of the stopped line and had fallen asleep. His vehicle ran into a couple of cars and then veered out into the median still heading west. After they had passed us they made a big u-turn in the median and headed back east finally turning north back into west bound traffic. He came straight into the side of our car pushing in the doors and center post while crushing the top. Nancy was not hurt but I was sandwiched in the wreckage and had to be cut out with the "jaws of life". Neither Nancy or I had any cuts or abrasions, however, I had/have the following injuries: broken traverse bone of the spine, broken and separated left scapula, all left ribs front and back broken, some right ribs broken, bruised left lung, herniated intestine, plus misc. internal muscle tears and unknown pain sources. I am gradually healing and want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your kindness and understanding during our time of need.

Before too long we will be in our 2010 season, and based on our customers sample requests it should be a banner year! Some of the new products we plan on having for you have been delayed due to our down time, but should still arrive in time for the bulk of your season. Those products are: Band Hat ornaments, Band Hat Visor Bands, and Shoulder Box Cords in primary solid colors.

Another new product available this season which will be really "HOT" is our "Challenge Coin" program. Everyone will want this item for recognition and revenue source!

We are all looking forward to 2010 with excitement and promise, may God be with us all!

Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
Bob Howard
Thu, December 31, 2009 | link          Comments

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