You’ve probably seen it on window decals: “shop local” or “buy local” or “support local business.” When you see this, instinctively you think of restaurants or farmer’s markets. Perhaps small boutique-type stores or maybe an independently-owned gym. The last thing you’d think of when seeing this on a bumper sticker is how it might apply to manufacturing.
Yet, that is exactly how we’ve approached production of the Blackbird. As our world becomes more connected globally, it’s easy to lose the connection to your own community. We believe that’s a problem, and have made a commitment to go the other way. Every component on the machine, with only a few select exceptions, is produced within 10 miles of our headquarters in Vancouver, Washington. We have personal, face-to-face relationships with virtually all of our vendors.
Brett Sorenson at Element 13 does all the sheet metal work on the Blackbird. Sam Gagliano at Bent River Tech is our local machinist. Danny Kannard and the team at Continental Coating do the food grade coatings on our vibe system components.
Zoom calls and messaging apps are essential for business today. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still value in a handshake between business partners, or stopping by your vendor’s shop in person to see how progress is going on your order. Most of these relationships were established in the early garage-days of RollPros, but they still endure, and we’re very proud of that.