Who We Are
The people behind Michigan-Made.com are Michigan natives who have lived their entire lives in Michigan and raised their families here. Despite the current economic slump, we know that our state and the people in it have many awesome strengths that can help put us back on top. We invite other Michigan entrepreneurs to join us in our mutual quest to achieve real and lasting success.
Born, Raised, Living and STAYING in Michigan
We three sisters who operate Michigan-Made.com were all born and have lived our entire lives in East Central Michigan. With close family ties – including 7 children, 10 grandchildren, and assorted husbands and ex-husbands – also firmly planted in Mid-Michigan, we know we’re here to stay.
Which is why we launched michigan-made.com. . . .we know there are thousands, probably millions, of Michiganders just like us. We love our homes, love our families, and love our state. Despite the economic challenges Michigan faces, we’re committed to celebrating all that is GOOD about Michigan, and encouraging others to share its bounty, too.
Firmly believing that you can “do well while doing good,” our business is to promote and market other Michigan business people – people who are gifted, talented, hard-working. People who produce outstanding goods and merchandise, made right here in Michigan. People who run their own “cottage industries
“. . . .in many cases literally working right out of their own homes.
The Heinrich Girls. . . Our History
We three sisters are among five siblings born and raised on a cash-crop farm in Arenac County. We come from a long line of hard-working, industrious people. . . both of our grandparents on our father’s side immigrated to the U.S. as Germans from Russia, coming to the New Country to earn their livelihoods as sugar beet farmers. After working in others’ fields for a time, it wasn’t long before our grandparents were able to buy their own farm, which prospered and supported a family of six children. The four girls all went to college; the two boys chose to follow in Grandpa’s footsteps and become farmers themselves.
On our Mother’s side, there’s an even longer Michigan legacy. Her forebears were among the early English and French explorers of the region. One ancestor, a physician, married a Native American girl from a Michigan tribe; unfortunately, she couldn’t adapt to “White Man’s” culture, and left her doctor husband to return to her family of origin.
Like our many previous generations, our own generation, too, had the advantage and privilege of growing up in an environment that valued the land, and the natural bounty that the land could produce. We three sisters actually didn’t work in the fields too much. . .automation and large-scale farm equipment meant that a lot more acres could be successfully farmed with a lot fewer people. But we helped plant and harvest a garden and put up canned goods. We shared the household chores. We had lots of fresh air and space to roam, and the safety and security of good neighbors in our rural community.
Without any formal lessons, but with lots of practical application, we learned the value of hard work and ingenuity. We stayed close to all of our extended family – aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. – with annual reunions on both sides of the family and lots of socializing in between. We celebrated all of the traditional holidays with joyous family gatherings. We were baptized and confirmed in our parents’ and grandparents’ Lutheran church, and received a well-grounded foundation in religious faith and the constancy of the Golden Rule: Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You.
On Our Own
With four years separating each of us, we naturally each took a little different path, when it came time to strike out on our own.
Eldest sister Rejeana went to college, eventually earning her B.S. from Central Michigan University. Early on as a student, she was introduced to the fascinating field of public relations and marketing communications, which she chose as her career path. With some 30 years’ experience in P.R. and marketing positions in higher education, health care, and the arts, Rejeana’s work has earned over 30 prestigious awards on the national, state and local levels.
Rejeana has been happily married for almost 25 years, and has a wonderful step-son and step-daughter, as well as two delightful step-grandchildren who call her “Princess Jeana.” After living for a few years in a suburban community with postage-stamp-size yards, Rejeana and her husband returned to their rural roots, and for the past 23 years have enjoyed their own acre-plus, which is bounded on two sides by wide open fields and a broad expanse of green crops and blue sky. Her husband is an antique car nut, with a 24′ x 30′ detached “car barn” specially built to house and work on his “toys.” Rejeana’s hobbies are gardening, reading, and tending to her humungous orange cat.
Middle sister Debi married her high school sweetheart within two months of graduation, and year and a half later their son was born. He and Daughter #1 each now have two children of their own, while Daughter #2 is in college. They and their extended family have lived in Arenac County their entire lives. Gramma Debi has lots of “hands-on” with her four grandchildren, frequently babysitting for them while their parents are working or taking college classes. When she’s not chasing after grandchildren or her shih tzu puppy, Debi likes to spend time in her flower garden or in the backyard swimming pool.
After working for a few years for other contractors, Debi’s husband started his own construction business, with Debi serving as corporate President and Treasurer. Highly respected in the region, Robinson Builders has constructed and remodeled hundreds of homes and small commercial buildings state wide. Debi’s strong business background includes several years in the banking industry.
Little sister Kathy attended Delta College in Bay City, Michigan, and worked for a telephone company while raising "family number one" – three children, two boys and one girl. After divorce and remarriage, Kathy resigned her full-time job to be a stay-at-home Mom for her youngest, fourth child. But, with lots of academic and other training, as well as a passion and real knack for it, she quickly became involved in her own home-based computer business. She is part owner of LVS Online
, an on-line school which teaches computer and other classes, and has her own website design company, kmclark.com
Thankfully, her computer work allows lots of flexibility. . . wherever there’s a computer and internet connection, she can go to work! That’s important because within a six-month time frame, she became “Grammy” to three brand-new grandchildren, and she rarely refuses an opportunity to baby-sit. Along with her first granddaughter and a step-grandson, they consume much of her time, attention and love. Being able to telecommute from anywhere in the world is also a real plus when she accompanies her husband on long-distance road trips in his work as a trucking owner/operator. When she’s at home (and not at the computer), you’ll find her working on her flower garden, or maybe just sitting on the deck eating chocolate and watching the geese flock to her huge backyard pond.
Beyond Michigan’s Borders
We may be Michigan born and bred, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen the world. Each of us, through our professional lives or leisure travel, has been to many states as well as abroad.
We’ve visited both coasts. . . .and found the best to be the U.S.’s “longest coastline” – right her in Michigan, with the Great Lakes bounding our shores.
We’ve visited the western mountain states. . . and found the lush greenery of Michigan preferable to their rocks and gritty dust.
We’ve spent lots of time in Florida and the Deep South. . . and know that Michigan’s cooler summers are definitely the place to be.
We’ve toured the deserts and oil country of the Southwest, and can’t imagine staying in a place where there isn’t lots and lots of water.
We’ve been to many big cities, and thoroughly enjoy what they have to offer, but realize we can find great cultural events, shopping, hotels and restaurants right here in our home state, too.
People all over the U.S. are wonderful. . . we’ve delighted in the grand hospitality of Tennesseans, the cosmopolitan worldliness of Chicagoans, the diversity of Californians, the exotic and dauntless spirit of New Orlineans. But Michigan is home. . . .and always will be.
Coming Together for Michigan-Made.com
Despite being quite busy enough with family and other obligations, Kathy, Debi and Rejeana couldn’t quash their entrepreneurial tendencies. Each has long been actively seeking new and exciting opportunities for new ventures.
In the January 2008, after considerable brainstorming and discussion, the logic of a web based business featuring Michigan made products emerged. The distinct talents of each of the sister partners merge in a great synergy and compatibility: Debi has the necessary business and accounting background; Kathy has outstanding computer capabilities; and Rejeana has excellent marketing and public relations experience.
We believe we have identified a unique niche in the Michigan market economy, one that will grow and serve many business people who are striving for successful livelihoods here in our home state. We invite everyone who has a quality product, produced here in Michigan, to join us in our venture of Michigan-Made.com
. Let’s all prosper together!