Made In China No Longer: Maryland Candlemaker Comes Home

Marylander Mei Xu used to make candles out of the basement of her Glen Burnie home. Now, nearly two decades later, her thriving nearly $90-million-a-year business has shifted jobs from China back to the good ole USA after rising labor rates made overseas manufacturing too expensive.

Not long after the president of Chesapeake Bay Candle moved her company out of her home, she moved its manufacturing to China to benefit from the low-cost labor. She ended up laying off a majority of her employees from 2,000 to 300, reports CBS News.

Increasing energy costs also forced her to rethink her business strategy. The advantage of shifting much of her operations overseas started to wane so she reshored some of those jobs.

Why not all of them? Her American workers tend to be at least 10 times more productive than her Chinese ones. That part of the process is automated now, thanks to American technology and innovation, also helps keep her costs down in the United States.

Other differences between her American and Chinese employees?

"My Chinese staff are more willing to do whatever it takes, but the American workers are more thoughtful. They will give me comments they will tell me what is working and what's not," Mei Xu told CBS News.

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