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Oowee® Products in Asheville Making A Difference

Article from “The Spectrum” | Vol. 31 No.2 | Summer 2015

The integration of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder into workplaces with typical peers enables them to build relationships outside their immediate families and circle of support and to develop a sense of greater connection to the community in which they live. Recently, one of the Autism Society of North Carolina’s longtime partners, Oowee Products in Asheville, successfully transitioned its employees with ASD to on-site workers, making an even bigger difference in their lives.

Gabriel Hargett founded Oowee in 2009 with a mission to produce quality goods that were responsibly manufactured and sustainable in the United States. Oowee makes beverage accessories out of wood,
metal, and leather that can be branded with companies’ logos or an image of choice.

By 2011, demand had picked up for the company’s first product, the leather pint-glass sleeve, and Hargett began looking for employees to help with production. He was strongly committed to providing employment for individuals who were differently abled and recognized that Oowee’s manufacturing process involved very structured tasks, making it a good employment opportunity for those individuals.

In the Autism Society of North Carolina, Hargett found a collaborative partner with a mutual mission to provide meaningful work opportunities to people who often have limited options. ASNC joined with Hargett in his efforts to ensure that the production systems that were created by the company were accessible and understandable to all employees he would hire, including those with ASD.

For a few years, Hargett contracted with several individuals with ASD to make the products off-site. These employees learned all facets of producing the leather beverage sleeves including sewing, sorting, matching, and branding the leather, as well as labeling, packaging, and tagging the finished products. Hargett was extremely pleased with the results of the work and was thrilled that his company was not only manufacturing in the USA, but was “doing it in a way that was providing job skills and employment opportunities for individuals in need.”As demand for Oowee’s products increased and the company continued to grow, ASNC and Hargett began to focus their mutual efforts on greater integration for his workers with ASD. Together, they set a goal of transitioning them from doing the work off-site, to the space in the Oowee warehouse with their typical peers.While the benefits of integration were the ultimate focus, there were initial concerns that the transition of all employees to the Oowee warehouse would be too difficult for some of the individuals with ASD or that the unique needs of its diverse employees would not be able to be met. But Hargett’s collaboration with ASNC to identify and make needed – and often minor – accommodations resulted in a highly successful transition. As of this spring, all employees are working within his warehouse, including four individuals with autism. The transition for these employees to a fully integrated work site is a wonderful example of how individuals with ASD can be valuable members of the workforce and greater community when others recognize and value the contributions that they are ready and able to make.

Oowee is continuously improving its work environment and processes to make production more efficient and easier for its employees. Hargett is also a strong advocate for a fair and livable wage for all of his employees.

“In my opinion, our employees on the spectrum do a better job completing the task asked of them than most other individuals,” Hargett said. “I enjoy working with our employees on the spectrum and the Autism Society and hope to continue to grow and employ more individuals with autism in the future.”

ASNC is extremely thankful for the partnership we have had with Oowee and the model they have provided for other employers. “Individuals with disabilities, including ASD, experience less turnover than non-disabled individuals, allow access to numerous tax incentives, and return anaverage of $28.69 for each dollar invested in accommodations,” said David Ingram, ASNC Employment Supports Director. “With individuals with disabilities and their networks representing a $3 trillion market segment, and 87% of customers preferring to patronize businesses hiring employees with disabilities, I’m excited to see businesses starting to understand, integrate their workforce more, and contact us seekingsupport in placing someone with ASD with their corporation.”

 

Top Quality Gifts for the Working Dad! Handmade in America!

Desk Tray Jacobean Fly Fishing

Dad lives in the office? Does he bring home the bacon? Always. Be. Closing? Show dad you mean it when you say thanks by picking from our awesome line up of tech products! Oowee Products is proud to offer a line of handmade tech products for that special workaholic in your life!

Luggage Tags with Compass Hot Foil StampOur work-minded products are great in any environment. Whether it’s a fancy doctor’s office or an old woodworking shop, Oowee’s Wooden Desk Caddy can keep productivity up, and keep the clutter down. Dad can store his phone, car keys, wallet, loose change- everything that he might need during a typical workday.

The dream continues! Does dad travel for business? Oowee has him covered with a great line of travel inspired leather products. Don’t let dad lose his luggage! Our custom luggage tags feature an insert for business cards, sturdy leather strap and buckle and like all of our products- are available for customization! Dad also needs one of Oowee’s leather portfolios. Made from the same high quality leather you’ve come to expect from us, this sharp portfolio is available in a simple, or deluxe version. The deluxe portfolio boasts features like inserts for legal pads and business cards, and keeps important items secure with double stitching and solid brass hardware.

leather wallets handmade by ooweeLast but not least, every papa out there needs a hand stitched leather wallet. Oowee’s line of slim design, everyday carry leather wallets are the perfect Father’s Day gift. These “front pocket” minimalist wallets are great for storing business cards, credit cards and wads of cash!

leather portfolio

Oowee Products – Employing Individuals with Autism

Oowee Products – Employing Individuals with Autism

Oowee and Bloom Community Helping people with IDD

Oowee and Bloom Community Helping people with IDD

american flag wide mouth leather mason jar sleeve

Happy Fourth of July!

It’s that time of year again!

Backyard BBQ’s, baseball games, lake trips, etc. Time for long lazy summer days- for some lucky folks! July is a time to reflect on the first half of the year, ease back and sip on an ice cold beverage in the warm sunshine. Think about where you’re going, where you’ve been. Time to cut the grass and get the yard looking good for that Independence Day party.

 

Oowee Products has released a few specialty logos to help get you in the mood for America’s birthday!! We celebrate it year round, but once a year is just fine too! Who doesn’t love drinking sweet tea? Out of a mason jar?? With a custom leather sleeve??? All this luxury could be yours for the taking. Just visit our webstore, or give us a call and we’ll set you up. We’re offering free shipping and 15% off site-wide! Jump on a great deal while you can.

‘MERICA!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

Father’s Day is Just Around the Corner

Dads are important to us. We wouldn’t be here without them!

At Oowee Products, we’ve launched a new line of beverage sleeves that any dad will be sure to enjoy. Is he a Rad Dad? Does he enjoy an ice cold craft beer or refreshing cocktail at the end of the day? A custom, hand-made leather pint glass sleeve will keep his beverage of choice insulated. This conversation starting piece will have Dad looking good and feeling good. Matching rocks glass sleeves will ensure Dad can cheers in style. Our high quality sleeves are great insulators, and are a sustainable, forward-thinking product that will last for years and years. Dad doesn’t want another tie or more golf balls for Father’s Day. Get him something he can use every day.

Father’s Day is an important time to show your old man how much hereally means to you. Pick from one of our stock logos, or customize it with a name or nick name! We’ve picked our favorite Dad themed logos, now all you have to do is pick yours! Make dads proud again!

 

 

 

Sales and Business Development Job Opportunity

Oowee Products — Is a rapidly growing, small business that is seeking a Sales/ Business Development Representative. This is an in-house position working out of our North Asheville office.

We will be reviewing and responding to all applications after 2-15-17.

Job Description

Position: Sales/Business development representative
Hours: Full-time 30-35 hours per week with some week and weekend and overnight travel.
Compensation: Hourly plus commission
Requirements: 2 years of sales and marketing experience. Must have a good attitude and strong understanding of how to establish new business relationships.
Responsibilities: To be an integral & dependable part of Oowee Products interactive sales and marketing team. Managing and maintaining wholesale accounts and identifying new business opportunities. Must be organized and comfortable with reaching out to new clients as well as maintaining established accounts. Previous experience with customer relations management software a plus. Tracking, assessment and continuous modification of all communication efforts based on level of success, engagement and outcomes are important aspects of this position. Ability to multitask and work around interruptions is imperative.

Skills & Knowledge Required:
o Must enjoy drinking craft beer and have interest in the beer and beverage industry.
o Good attitude and positive outlook
o Proficient at implementing and managing marketing strategy
o Use of CRM ( customer relations management software )
o Must understand and have experience with the sales process
o Digital asset management
o Social media development engagement on Facebook , Instagram, Twitter and Blog pages
o Adobe Creative Suite — Photoshop and Illustrator ( not required but a plus )

Goals:
o Propel growth of Oowee Products.
o Expand wholesale distribution of our products
o Assist in the development of new markets
o Help facilitate trade show and festival marketing
o Increase philanthropy and awareness regarding how we manufacture our products with the Autism Spectrum Community .

Office Environment: We have a positive and casual work environment.

For more detailed information about Oowee, our products, partners and values, please have a look at our website https://www.ooweeproducts.com/

If you think you could contribute something positive to help our growing company, send us your resume and a brief cover letter explaining why you would be the perfect new Oowee team member!
We will be reviewing and responding to all applications after 2-15-17.
email: ooweeproducts @ Gmail.com
www.ooweeproducts.com

Thanks,
Gabriel Hargett

Pendleton Directors’ Reserve 20 Year Aged – Custom Label Manufacturing

Finished Penleton Label Presentation (Photo by Erickson Design, Co.)

Oowee Products is the proud manufacturer of the 2017 Pendleton Whiskey Directors’ Reserve leather bottle label. We worked with Hood River Distilling and Erickson Design to create these custom bottle wraps. The original label design was handcrafted by third-generation saddle maker Randy Severe.

Pendleton Label Front Detailed (Photo by Erickson Design, Co.)

Stitching Pattern Detail (Photo by Erickson Design, Co.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact Oowee Products for more information about our custom leather label / bottle wrap manufacturing.

Contact Gabriel at OoweeProducts (at) gmail.com

Pendleton Whisky – Directors’ Reserve from Corey Adams on Vimeo.

 

Labor Day Sale

Group on a Mountain off the cutIn honor of Labor Day, we are taking the day off. That means there is an extra day of discounts! Order online this weekend and take advantage of our sale. This weekend only, you will receive 15% off plus free shipping.

Start shopping for the holidays, or accessorize you house or next event. We have an Oowee that is just waiting for you.