From The Marketplace: Bannor Toys – Keeping American-Made Craftsmanship Alive

“We want them to understand that an actual family made their toys, not an assembly line.”

— Stacey Bannor, Bannor Toys

 

Toy Pic 1Soon after starting up an in-home daycare in central Iowa, Stacey Bannor realized having a good selection of reliable toys at her disposal was crucial for her business. Growing tired of dealing with constantly breaking toys and safety recalls from toy manufacturers, Stacey set out to put together a collection of durable, educational toys she could be proud to show off to prospective clients.

Stacey’s husband, Jesse, who worked in the home mortgage division of a large banking company, loved woodworking as a hobby. He started crafting toys for Stacey to use in her daycare, using beautiful maple, walnut and cherry hardwoods.

Jesse built baby rattles, wooden cars and trucks, building blocks and some floor toys. The toys became excellent additions to Stacey’s daycare collection, and the Bannors realized there might be others looking for these same types of quality, American-made toys. They decided to turn Jesse’s hobby into a toy-making business.

“Once we realized that there were others out there looking for the same things in a toy we knew we had a shot,” Stacey told The Marketplace.

Toy Pic 2

In a blog post earlier this year, Jesse wrote the following explanation for why he chose to accept the risk of quitting his job in order to start a family business:

“I used to have an office job. It was a pretty god job, the pay was ok, the hours were reliable and decent. Maybe it is because I’m a bit eccentric, maybe it is because I get bored – but it just didn’t feel natural to me to sit in a cubicle surrounded by 500 other cubicles. Not to say that is a bad thing, I also have family in mortgage and insurance and they are every bit as valuable as those of us who do labor or “hands on” work.  I just felt a calling to DO and to MAKE and that is why I ended up back in my woodshop.”

 

Toy Pic 3

The early days of their business were full of ups and downs for the Bannors, quite literally at times. Stacey recounted an experience to The Marketplace that took place right after they’d moved their workshop from their home to a 3,000-square foot warehouse with 20-foot ceilings. Jesse was there doing some electrical work by himself, when Stacey decided to head over to see how he was doing.

“I am so glad we walked down there this day,” Stacey said, because shortly after arriving, she heard Jesse screaming her name.

“So I run out to the workshop part and see him hanging from the rafters and the ladder slid halfway down the wall! After I got the ladder back up and he got down safely, we could not stop laughing about it, thank goodness he has good reflexes and didn’t fall down with the ladder!” she said, adding as small business owners they’re simply learning as they go.

Toy Pic 4

From the outset of their business, the Bannors understood they wouldn’t be the only people out there making American-made wooden toys. They decided early on they wouldn’t let their competition bother them. Stacey wrote the following in their company blog:

“We don’t compete with other wooden toy makers. We just don’t. It’s not who we are and we don’t think it’s a healthy focus for Bannor Toys. Every minute we spend worried about what someone else is doing is time we are not focused on where we are taking Bannor Toys! We aren’t the toy shop who brags about our products or uses fancy words to promote ourselves. We just don’t operate like that and it makes us tremendously uncomfortable. Jesse and I love what we do. We love our customers. We love being able to give back to our communities. We love that our toys make kids smile. We love to think outside the box and try new things. That’s it! (We also love to support other small American made businesses!)”

Toy Pic 5

As new shop owners at The Marketplace by TheBlaze, the Bannors add to the vibrancy and passion found only in the finest collection of small businesses

To learn more, visit Bannor Toys at The Marketplace by TheBlaze.

Glenn Beck has been warning since last summer that you would not recognize your country in a year. Well, it's not even summer yet, and he says he already doesn't recognize the country.

Do you recognize an America in which people are making more money off government unemployment benefits than they can make by working, inflation is ramping up, housing, supply and labor shortages are widespread, and the current administration gives cybercriminals from Russia a free pass after the biggest cyberattack on our nation's infrastructure to date?

On the radio program this week, Glenn pointed out that while businesses all over the nation are downsizing, one brand store is actually booming — and it says a lot about the state of the economy and what it means for our country's future.

Watch the video clip below to hear more from Glenn:

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The largest American gas pipeline shut down on Friday due to what experts told the media was the "most dramatic cyberattack on U.S. soil to date." Investigators are looking at a group believed to be based in Russia known as "DarkSide."

It's time our leaders in the White House take national security seriously because this isn't the first time enemies of the U.S. — namely Russia and China — have used the cyber world to attack our nation and weaken our infrastructure, Glenn Beck argued on the radio program. Between Russia, China, and Iran — which President Joe Biden is now trying to make another nuclear deal with — it looks like the "Axis powers" of a "digital World War III" are lining up

"The journalists seem to care about the price of gasoline for the first time. Is it because they actually care? Or is it because they're trying not to focus on the fact that this was an attack most likely from Russia? And it isn't the first cyberattack from Russia of the year ... maybe we should be paying attention, to Vladimir Putin," Glenn began.

"And by the way, the pipeline going down, that's not the only [cyberattack] happening now," he added later. "Thirty thousand U.S. victims, small businesses and local governments, were hacked by cyber espionage units backed by the Chinese government in January of this year."

"There is an 'Axis power.' It is Russia and China. And, by the way, who is also aligned with Russia and China? Iran. Wow, this is weird," Glenn surmised. "But don't worry about that. Just leave your dog tags on another table. Let's not talk about China. Let's not talk about who actually crashed the jugular of our oil pipelines. I don't want war. But I got news for you ... this Biden administration is doing the job for our enemies."

Watch the video below to hear more from Glenn:


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Canadian clinical psychologist, author, and cultural firebrand Jordan Peterson is no stranger to cancel culture. Ever since he was thrust into the culture war, he has faced one controversy after another, stirred up by the woke elites who hate him with a passion. But although they have tried to make him pay for speaking out so fearlessly against their message, he refuses to back down and he believes you should, too. He joined "The Glenn Beck Podcast" this week to explain why.

"There is a growth of the reluctant hero in all stories ... so many people think that they don't have what it takes, that they're not the hero," Glenn said to Peterson. "How do you get people to recognize and then have the courage to stand? You've taken a beating ... why is it worth it and how do you get there?"

"I think it's worth it because I believe the alternative is worse ... to stay silent when you have something to say," Peterson replied. "You don't know what it is within you that requires your voice, right, because you feel like 'I have something to say.' Where does that come from exactly, that feeling that you have something to say?

"Maybe you're disgruntled at work and you're choking on your own bile because the situation is not just in your estimation," he continued. "You're dying to say something, but you won't. Well, you'll die if you don't say it. Maybe it's a death by a thousand cuts. I don't like deferred punishment. I'd rather take it now and keep the future clean, which is why I encourage people to have the fights now, not to hide things in the fog for later. They grow and metastasize. It's better to confront what you need to confront when it's small and you have some possibility of victory."

Watch the video clip below to catch more of the conversation, or find the full podcast with Jordan Peterson here:

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Top officials at the Federal Reserve are doing what they can to sugar coat what's ahead for our economy, telling Americans we may hit a "transitory" period of inflation that will settle by 2022. But Bank of America is saying something different. The bank's latest earnings call commentary warned "at the very least" transitory hyperinflation is ahead.

Watch the video clip below to hear Glenn Beck explain what this means for prices and for our economy.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.