Founder of Made in the Ozarks unveils new venture to take business plan across the continent

Thursday, April 8, 2004

GREEN FOREST ---- Jerry Lowery, founder of Made in the Ozarks, a business that reportedly raked in more than a million dollars a year, has launched a second venture ---- Made in America, Inc., which he says "has the potential to do $30 million in sales annually."

Lowery named former sheriff J.R. Ashlock general manager of the business and brought on board Wayne Little as warehouse manager and Jerry Oliger as field representative and trainer. Oliger has eight years experience with Made in the Ozarks.

Lowery said Made in America will buy out Made in the Ozarks and expand the product line. The business will be located in the Made in the Ozarks facility, situated four miles north of Green Forest, on Hwy. 103 North.

"We'll officially start April 12," said Ashlock, noting that he'll be hiring additional staff in the weeks and months ahead.

Made in the Ozarks, Lowery explained, marketed games, toys, puzzles, novelty and souvenir items that were handcrafted by mom-and-pop operations throughout the Ozarks.

The business grew tremendously after picking up the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store account, Lowery said, and some of the regular Made in the Ozarks business was put on the back burner.

Now, all of that is about to change with Lowery launching Made in America and expanding into Mexico and Canada.

"We're developing a catalogue and a Web site, Made In America Inc. com," he said. "We plan to do some acquisitions and add new product lines. I expect we'll be doing an average of $100 million in sales annually within the next 10 years."

In the meantime, he said Ashlock will be visiting the existing 35 mom-and-pop production sites and the warehouse in Bellefonte where all the puzzles are manufactured.

"We'll be starting out the same as we did with Made in the Ozarks," Lowery explained. "We'll be expanding into Canada and Mexico where we're already doing business, and expanding the product line, adding gift shop, retail store and furniture items.

"Made in the Ozarks began with nothing and became a multi-million-dollar business," he said. "We have the potential to do $100 million in annual sales with Made in America."

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