Over the years we have known that certain products such as St. Joseph House Selling Kits, cheep statues, fancy Advent Wreaths, Kneeling Santas and Nativity Sets are hot items and we could probably make a lot of money selling them.
Instead, we have forgone these easy profits and opted to sell better quality but higher priced statues, American made pewter and brass Advent Wreaths and just told people that we don't carry little kids toys and books.
Why would we bother? Why would we have sent back cases of the Revised Standard Concordance when we had pre-sold dozens of them and knew that we would easily sell out of this high-ticket item?
There's just one simple answer: All of these items are produced in China.
Ever since we started Aquinas and More we have had two unchanging policies.
- Don't sell anything that will undermine people's Faith.
- Don't support the persecution of Catholics and the state enforced destruction of unborn children in places like China.
We didn't come to the decision about China easily. There is so much inexpensive product that people want that only comes from there. We knew from the start that it would put us at a handicap when competing with other stores who would sell a statue for 70% of what we did. We decided that we would rather stand on principal than an easy buck and so we ended up with a long list of products that we will probably never be able to carry because they are only made in China:
- Pretty much anything made from porcelain or resin.
- Board books
- St. Joseph House Selling kits (we wouldn't sell these even if they were made in the USA for other reasons)
- A variety of hardback books. We had to send a gorgeous edition of The Gift of the Magi books to the publisher and also don't carry anything from Tomie de Paola much to my sadness
- Most Nativity sets
- Most Advent Wreaths
- Most Advent Calendars
- Yes, even the popular Kneeling Santa products
- "Swag" - most items that you can get branded with your logo like cups, pens, hats, shirts, etc. are all produced in China
So just how bad is it in China? Why would we bother asking vendors where stuff is made? Here are a few examples.
- This year China officially announced that the one-child-policy, the "We will force you to abort your children if you get pregnant more than once" is still the official government policy of the country.
- The government arrested a priest for refusing to celebrate Mass with a communist bishop.
- Chinese factories are substituting other dangerous metals in toys now that lead has been banned in the insane Consumer Protection Act here in the US.
- The Chinese will imprison you for printing Bibles.
- They have arrested priests and denied that they are in custody.
- We have also been told by one of our vendors who visited China that a factory owner told him that they would put whatever country of origin sticker he wanted on the products he bought from them! We know that some importers will take them up on this because this factory makes "Irish" gifts that have a "Made in Ireland" sticker on them.
All the effort it takes to forgo these items has actually led to a good result - we have found and support other manufacturers who still have beautiful items made in South America, Korea, Mexico and even the United States.
- Exclusive Treasures is run by a local Coloradoan and fellow parishioner. He sells crucifixes, jewelry and hand-painted oil paintings from South America.
- Bob Siemon Designs is an American company that produces Bible covers, jewelry and other gifts and makes everything, from the zippers on up to the stitches here in America.
- Sine Cera is an importer of statues, rosaries and jewelry from Korea.
These are just a few of the wonderful vendors we deal with who make a point to avoid Chinese imports.
So when you buy an Advent Wreath, Advent Calendars, a saint statue or a rosary from us, you can rest assured that your money isn't going to support a regime that forces 13 million abortions on its people every year.