Alaska company featured in annual "Made in America" showcase at White House
President Trump looked at some items on display during the annual “Made in America Product Showcase” on Monday, including those from the Alaska Rug Company.
Brian and Karen Hansz were last-second guests when White House representatives could not contact the company’s owners.
"It was very hard for them to contact them," Brian Hansz said. "They're remote and off the grid."
The owners, Robert and Anita Shane live in Port Bailey, and finally saw the email that invited them, but could not go so they asked Brian and Karen Hansz to go in their place.
The Hanszes live in Michigan but had spent 20 years in Kodiak and became close friends with the company owners. They even worked for the Shanes for a brief time.
They arrived at the capitol Saturday and set up the Alaska Rug Company display the following day.
"It's repurposing commercial fishing gear that had basically been destined for the landfill, and they're making a great handmade, custom made American products out of a remote, off the grid location," Hansz said about the company founded in 2010.
Brian and Karen Hansz returned to the White House Monday and they found themselves in the front row and on stage with the president as he signed an executive order requiring "Made in America" products contain a higher percentage of domestic components, if they are to be used by the federal government.
Brian Hansz said President Trump also purchased a sign reading the White House’s address — 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — made by Robert and Anita Shane.
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