OUR STORY & PHILOSOPHY
Heritage Clothespins, a home-based, family run company making high quality clothespins, was started in an effort to fill the void of quality clothespins available to consumers in the USA. For much of clothespin history, the US has had a supply of quality clothespin makers, but like many industries, it became more cost effective to move production to other countries. This has left us with clothespins that are cheap in price, but results in a product of poor quality made from inferior materials that fall apart quickly.
Casey Schillinger, who does the majority of the work in the shop, grew up in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in Walton, NY. While there, during warmer months, he came to appreciate the crisp, clean smell of clothes dried outside on the line.
Following high school, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Houghton College. After that, he moved to Bradford, PA where he earned his Master of Arts from Saint Bonaventure University. It was in Bradford that he met his lovely wife and learned to appreciate woodworking and hardwood lumber.
In 2010, Casey and Ashley relocated to the Houston area for jobs and to be closer to family.
Casey has a passion for creating things with his hands. Never in a hurry, he enjoys the pace of slow and steady work that marks a skilled craftsman. While reading The Deliberate Agrarian blog, written by Herrick Kimball, Casey saw the Classic American Clothespins Mr. Kimball makes and thought this would be an enjoyable outlet for his woodworking passion so in the summer of 2014, he began the process of setting up Heritage Clothespins.
Once our lumber is purchased, the process takes over 15 steps to make one of our Heritage clothespins. A table saw and shaper are the two work horses in our shop. Once the lumber has been milled and cut into pin halves, they are inspected and tumbled giving the pins a smooth feel. For finish, we use boiled linseed oil on some and Classic Clothespin Wax on others. We then assemble and package the pins.
Not only are our pins proudly Made in the USA, all of the stuff we make them out of is also from the US.
All our clothespins are made with quality hardwoods. The majority of our lumber comes from Masons Mill and Lumber. We used ash, which is strong and resilient, for the clothespins that can be utilized for clothes drying. The ash comes from Southern or lower Appalachian; Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, as it has a finer texture and machinability than it’s Northern counterpart. Southern Ash tends to run better for a more uniform white color with less of the brown heartwood, and typically has better widths and lengths due to a longer growing season. For the packs designed for non-cloth use, we choose walnut, cherry and oak as we find the grains on these woods to make beautiful clothespins.
In addition, we use only thick gauge, stainless steel springs that are made in New York state, which helps to hold the pins together and makes them last longer than the big box store clothespins.