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History of Makin's Brand®



 Bill Mangelsen, Inventor of Makin’s Clay®, Founder of Sino Harvest, Ltd.,
China Harvest, Makin’s Clay, Ltd and Co-Founder of Makin’s USA


Bill Mangelsen was born in 1943 in Grand Island, Nebraska and at the early age of 13 began working with his father whom he succeeded the business in 1970.  On May 4, 1961, Harold and Bernice Mangelsen, along with their sons; Bill, Tom, David and Harold, Jr., founded the inception of the company when they opened a Ben Franklin variety store at 3457 South 84th Street in Omaha, Nebraska.  This was the beginning of the Mangelsen influence in the arts and crafts industry.

Bill made his first buying trip to Hong Kong in 1971and visited China more frequently thereafter.  Bill moved to Hong Kong and set up a buying office for the Mangelsen family business in 1979 and his immediate family joined him in 1980.  Bill’s brothers, David and Hal, continued to operate the Mangelsen family store and warehouse businesses in Omaha.

Bill worked for more than a decade before perfecting the recipe for Makin’s Clay®.  Makin’s Clay® was introduced to the craft market in 2003.  In 2006, Bill and his daughter started Makin’s USA, an import business providing Makin’s Brand® products to distributors and retailers in the United States.

William Paul “Bill” Mangelsen, died in Hong Kong at the age of 64 on March 12, 2008 due to complications from pneumonia.  As an innovator, businessman and eventually an inventor and entrepreneur, Bill leaves a legacy that began at the family variety store when he was just 18.  Bill is considered by many of his colleagues in the industry as a pioneer of the China import business.

Bill’s surviving son; Michael Mangelsen and daughters; Annie Mangelsen and Jennifer Mangelsen are committed to fulfilling their father’s dreams for Makin’s Clay®.  With international headquarters in Hong Kong and domestic headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska and a team of wonderful people, Makin’s Brand® products are sold in more than forty-eight countries worldwide.
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