ALIGN | Issue No. 23


We’re pleased Wednesday’s issue resonated with readers. Our poll indicated at least half of ALIGN readers made or fixed something with their hands within the past week. And in July, we found almost a full 70% of our readers believe “practical skills” are the most under-emphasized area in traditional public schools. It’s no surprise a do-it-yourself revival has been percolating, buttressed by ample time at home (for some) during the pandemic, and many buying or building new houses.

From the pilgrims to the frontiersmen, Americans have a well-earned reputation for creativity, industriousness, and self-reliance. Applying ourselves to acquiring and sharing skills are part of that proud legacy.

The Better Alternative

Council Tool manufactures hatchets, axes, yard tools, and more. Their tools are “proudly made in the USA since 1886” at their Lake Waccamaw factory in North Carolina, and Council Tool has been led by the same family for five generations.

To this day, they say they are guided by four values stipulated by the company’s founder in 1886: 

  1. Manufacture a quality product
  2. Offer value by being innovative and progressive
  3. Be straightforward and honest in your dealings
  4. Be a good corporate citizen

Many USA-based manufacturers emphasize the importance of cultivating a skilled and knowledgeable workforce to produce high-quality products. Council Tool writes, “The employees at Council Tool are hard-working Americans who take great pride in their work. Our employees have the skills, experience and dedication necessary to produce the quality and value you’re looking for.”

Council Tool has a rich history.

Source: Council Tool Website

Business Spotlight

The Makers Map” is an “all things home-related” DIY and crafting site started by Amber Strong from her backyard shed in Rincon, Georgia.

With simple how-to videos and step-by-step instructions, she’s inspired and instructed people of all ages and skill levels to be creative. Ranging from “Easy Home Updates” to “Dollar Tree DIYs,” her guides have been featured in publications such as Real Homes and Cottages & Bungalows. Vocal about her Christian faith and desire to cultivate a career where she could still  be close at hand to her children and grandchild, Amber has reached millions of women with her creativity and can-do spirit.

The Maker's Map projects are easy and inspiring.

Source: Makers Map Facebook


The Bigger Picture

As we noted earlier this week, applying ourselves to building or fixing can be a form of self-improvement. Our patience might be tested, or we might need to get comfortable with trial-and-error.

Home Depot saw skyrocketing interest in home improvement during the pandemic as people stuck at home embarked on DIY projects, and noticed a pattern among their customers. Their Chief information Officer noted

“We are seeing customers take on expanded projects throughout their homes that, in turn, create additional activity across the store. We are seeing their confidence grow after they complete their first DIY project—it may be a garden, it may be painting. With that confidence, we see them take on the next project that may grow in complexity, like installing ceiling fans or light fixtures.”

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