Traverse City Couple Invited to White House for Made in America Showcase

It’s not every day you get an email from the President of the United States.

But this week, a local couple got the invite of a lifetime, a chance to go to the White House, and President Trump needed an RSVP.

The president’s team reached out to Brian and Karen Hansz of Traverse City for the president’s Made in America day.

The yearly showcase features 50 American businesses that specialize in American made products.

Brian and Karen used to work for the Alaska Rug Company when they lived in Kodiak, Alaska. White House staffers reached out to the owners of the business, but they couldn’t make the trip down to D.C., so they asked the Hansz’s to represent the company at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We were like, ‘you’re kidding, right?’” said Karen Hansz. “It’s not every day a person like us, retired people in Traverse City, out of the blue get to go to the White House, and then gets to be within smiling distance of the president.”

The couple got to display the products inside the White House and even sat front row when President Trump made a speech to welcome the business owners into his home.

The President signed an executive order that mandates the federal government to buy more American made products. The bill also ordered the Made in the USA stickered items be sourced from 75% American supply.

His orders aim to support more businesses like the Alaska Rug Company.

The brand makes home goods, candle holders, rugs, place mats, door mats, and more from old fishing line.

Since it started nine years ago, the company has saved almost 800 miles of commercial fishing that’s normally discarded in landfills and unfortunately, the ocean.

When the Hansz’s lived in Alaska, part of their job was to find old fishing line and bring it back to the company to make into product.

Since their visit to the White House the Alaska Rug Company has seen a 450% increase in web traffic.

If you want to check out the handmade goods from the company visit