Made In The USA: MTI Baths

 
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If you’ve ever been to Sugar Hill, Georgia, you’ve seen how it lives up to its name as a sweet place to live and work.

Located about an hour northwest of downtown Atlanta, it’s a bucolic residential community where the last thing you’d expect to find is a cutting-edge manufacturing plant. And, indeed, the MTI Baths compound is nestled so comfortably into its woodsy surroundings that you would be forgiven for driving past it without more than a passing glance.

Which almost happened when Jane Dagmi and I took a drive up to visit a couple of years ago during January AmericasMart. (“Wait, I think we just passed it”…[U-turn]…)

But we quickly learned that the peaceful exterior setting belied amazing things going on inside, where dedicated teams of specialists were turning out exquisitely crafted made-to-order bathtubs, sinks, and more.

These colors don’t run…they cycle! This vehicle was part of another very American tradition: a local  Soap Box Derby.

These colors don’t run…they cycle! This vehicle was part of another very American tradition: a local Soap Box Derby.

It’s easy for companies to say they’re like family, but we could really feel it here. Maybe because many actual families have worked together at MTI for years, or maybe because of this extraordinary story:

In 2001 when MTI’s founder J.C. Henry was compelled to sell the company due to deteriorating health, a group of his MTI employees pooled their 401k savings and refinanced their homes to purchase the company so they could carry it on.

How’s that for skin in the game?

MTI CEO Kathy Adams

MTI CEO Kathy Adams

But there’s more. In 1998, J.C. chose Katharine Adams to be his successor and CEO of MTI Baths. While this might not seem like a big deal today, you kids out there need to understand that, even as recently as 20 years ago, women CEOs were still rare, especially in product manufacturing. So that succession is a testament to both J.C. and Kathy Adams, who continues to run the MTI Baths to this day.

President and CCO Russell Adams last fall with MTI’s 2  Iconic Design awards

President and CCO Russell Adams last fall with MTI’s 2 Iconic Design awards

Still, stories are one thing, product is another. Fortunately, for MTI the proof is in the pudding. (Kids, that’s an archaic phrase that just means you should open the MTI catalog on Steelyard and check out their gorgeous collections.) There’s a reason MTI has won over 100 industry awards for product design and innovation.

But as sexy as MTI’s baths and sinks are, wait until you see how they’re made! Our factory tour highlight video has it all: Melted/molten/softened acrylic becomes a billowing sheet that magically settles into a tub form; a deep dive into manifold similes, not to mention the therapeutic zen of watching resin goo pour out of a tube…


If you prefer something more professional and tasteful, (and we can’t say we blame you) we highly recommend this:

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Interested in your own tour or a showroom drop-by? Contact Michael Kornowa at mkornowa@mtibaths.com for details.




*Below are the details that qualify MTI as a genuine Made In the USA manufacturer:

  • All MTI soaking tubs, shower bases and sinks, whether constructed of acrylic or Engineered Solid Stone®, are 100% “Made in the USA” in the MTI plant in Sugar Hill, Georgia using materials and packaging materials made in the USA.

  • 95% of the molds and tooling used in the manufacture of MTI tubs, sinks and shower bases are made at the Sugar Hill facility.

  • MTI Hydrotherapy Systems, including whirlpool systems, air baths and all combination systems are manufactured in the USA. 70% of the cost of these products is USA labor and USA-made materials. Approximately 30% of the total cost of these products is comprised of pumps and parts imported from other countries. These products all qualify under the FTC definitions.

  • MTI uses only 100% U.S.-certified legal, reclaimed, sustainable teak. A replacement tree is planted 20 years before a tree is harvested. The teak used in MTI products is imported from reputable suppliers bordering Burma (Myanmar); not from Burma. MTI suppliers observe all international laws regarding labor and conservation. All of the genuine teak used by MTI is harvested from reclaimed forests and is absolutely not endangering or depleting rain forests.

  • All MTI furniture is “Made in the USA”, Sugar Hill, Georgia using wood purchased from USA-owned companies. All woods are grown in the USA, with the exception of the teak.

  • MTI’s policy is to source products made in the USA, interviewing prospective vendors to learn how and where their products are sourced. Exceptions are made only when USA raw materials are either cost-prohibitive or are unavailable.

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Sandy HughesComment