Another company that makes their products here in the states is Channel Craft. Channel Craft began as a one-man operation back in 1983 from the back of a step van / traveling wood shop, when president and founder Dean Helfer, Jr. drove from craft shows to folk festivals peddling his hand-crafted wooden products. He would arrive at a craft show the evening before and set up his traveling wood shop for the next morning ready to sand and sell his products that were finished right before the customer’s very eyes. The craft circuit opened new avenues and provided the necessary cash flow to put together a true manufacturing operation.
As the years went on, Dean and his crew settled in the small mining town of Ellsworth, Pennsylvania to set up a “permanent” shop to hand craft his goodies. Dean had rubbed elbows with many other U.S. toy and game manufacturers and had worked out distributor partnerships to sell their products along with the Channel Craft toys. These partnerships turned into lasting business and personal relationships that would begin to bring together the cohesive theme of “Authentic American Toys, Games and Puzzles made in the USA.”
Space constraints required Channel Craft to seek out a larger manufacturing facility if they wanted to continue producing the American Pastimes that had brought them this far. In 1991, Dean and Channel Craft settled into an old Army Corps of Engineers building south of Pittsburgh on the banks of the Monongahela River in Charleroi, PA. With upwards of 70 employees, Channel Craft was “Quality Crafting” toys, games and puzzles for thousands of museums, specialty toy and gift shops, mail-order catalog companies and department stores.
Each year, new products are tailor-made for each specialty toy and gift store, museum, park and attraction. You’ll never find Channel Craft products in the major discount stores or worldwide superstore chains.
Becky & Me Toys currently has jacks, marbles, marble mats, kazoos, nose flutes, dominoes, solitaire, wooden tops, and magic penny tops from this wonderful company. They are all quality crafted products perfectly sized for Easter baskets or for just plain fun!