Alaska Rug Company brings creative, nautical-themed designs to the White House

Brian and Karen Hansz, friends of the owners of the Alaska Rug Company, show off the...
Brian and Karen Hansz, friends of the owners of the Alaska Rug Company, show off the specially-designed items at the White House on Monday. (Source: GrayDC)(GRAYDC)
Published: Jul. 16, 2019 at 6:07 AM AKDT
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The White House celebrated companies making products right here in the U.S.

President Donald Trump is hosting his third "Made in America" event at the White House today. The President and Vice President Mike Pence were there to take a look at the homegrown goods. Businesses hailing from all 50 states showed off their American-made products. The Alaska Rug Company is sharing their creative designs with the world.

The Alaska Rug Company's products, made out of recycled fishing gear, were on display inside the White House. The owners, Robert and Anita Shane, could not attend the event but sent representatives all the way from Alaska for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"They are super honored and excited to be here, represented at the White House," said Brian Hansz, friends of the couple.

The Alaska Rug Company launched nine years ago. The Hansz couple, who attended the White House event in the Shane's place, said the handcrafted, nautical items are eco-friendly.

"80 percent of their product is recycled fishing line woven into the products, and trivets and coasters and signs," said Brian Hansz.

The business started as a way for the Shane's to keep busy after quitting smoking, but the company took off. The Alaska Rug Company has recycled about 700 miles of commercial fishing reels so far.

"They've gotten the word out. Instead of going to the dump, the fishermen drop off the stuff right at Port Bailey," said Karen Hansz.

The shop ships to every continent except Antarctica. It is that American ingenuity that President Trump supports. He told the crowd Monday it is important to keep companies in the US and support the American workforce.

"You're also devoted to one of the greatest missions on Earth, making the best products from the best materials with the best workers anywhere in the world," said President Trump.

While the Alaska Rug Company is known around the world, their friends hope the 'Made in America' event will drum up even more business.

President Trump said the country saw the largest increase in manufacturing jobs in 20 years. He also touted the lowest unemployment rate under his leadership in more than 50 years.

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