We choose the best Catholic artisans on today's market. Each gift is unique and handcrafted by the owner/artisan or someone in his/her small family-owned business. We do not sell anything mass-produced from overseas.
Catholic To The Max
This family business has its roots at Franciscan University of Steubenville, where a T.O.R. Friar named Fr. Sam Tiesi and his woodshop created the first San Damiano Crosses made in the United States.
After giving many years of their lives in ministry rescuing the unborn, Mark and Gretchen Nelson settled down to raise a family in Steubenville, Ohio. A former employee of Fr. Sam, Mark purchased the woodshop in 1994 and created “Nelson Woodcraft,” a framed art and church furniture business.
Through the promotion of Mother Angelica, EWTN, Leaflet Missal Company, and Fr. Benedict Groschel, Nelson Woodcraft soon became a nationwide vendor to Catholic bookstores, churches, shrines and apostolates.
In 2003, Catholictothemax.com was launched with the goal of providing dynamic evangelization tools directly to the faithful public. With a small line of Catholic t-shirts and Catholic Posters, Mark Nelson and his family adopted the words of Pope John Paul the Great as a company mission statement:
“Do not be afraid to go out on the streets and into public places, like the first Apostles who preached Christ and the Good News of salvation in the squares of cities, towns and villages. This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel. It is the time to preach it from the rooftops.”
Today, Catholic to the Max has grown to include Catholic framed art, Catholic gifts, Catholic Prayer Cards, and more. The line is constantly changing, expanding, and adapting to rapidly meet the needs of the New Evangelization.
Their ministry is entrusted to the patronage of St. Maximilian Kolbe. They model their lives and their work after St. Max’s fervent faith, innovative evangelization methods and tools, and ultimate sacrifice for the Kingdom of God.
Founded in 1900, Bliss Manufacturing Co., Inc., is a family owned and operated company specializing in manufacturing of religious jewelry. Under the leadership of Frank Bliss, third generation owner, Bliss Manufacturing has grown to be the industry leader in supplying its family of retailers with American made products.
Located in Pawtucket Rhode Island, Bliss Manufacturing employs 50 highly skilled workers who take great pride in delivering quality products in the most efficient method.
Their product lines include more than 100,000 SKUs including religious medals, hand made Rosaries, Rosary Bracelets, Wall Crosses, Key Chains, Visor Clips and Neck Chain. We specialize in Sterling Silver, Gold Filled and 14 and 18 Karat jewelry, but can manufacture items using Aluminum, Silver Filled, Pewter, Brass, Silver Plate and Gold Plate finishes.
They are known for their unique finishes, their personalization of their products (specialized engraving), drop shipping along with international shipping. Their medals are hand engraved and come with a lifetime guarantee. They strive to make every product perfect and are extremely proud of what they do. All of their products are made in America and they do business with local suppliers.
Throughout the processes, workers take an active roll in quality control and are encouraged to find more efficient methods while always improving quality.
San Francis Imports
A Story of Hard Work, Integrity, and Focus
By Karen Walker (CMN Trade Journal Vol. 6) If Tirso George, Founder of San Francis Imports, can’t do business on a hand-shake basis, then he’s not interested. Not that there aren’t formal contracts to sign, but he counts integrity in a relationship as the key to good business, especially in the Catholic religious goods market. His three sons, Tirso, Jr., Carlos and Oscar, who contribute to in the business, feel the same way; which means a smooth transition if George, Sr. decides to retire one day.
Raw Determination & A Clear Focus on the Goal
There’s a reason for George, Sr.’s handshake approach to business. He fled Fidel Castro’s communist Cuba more than 30 years ago with his wife, Matilde, and their children, ultimately settling in San Francisco. He soon began working two full-time jobs to support his family. With the help of Matilde, George launched a side business selling religious goods door-to-door from the trunk of his car. This was the beginning of San Francis Imports.
His early customers were mainly from Spanish-speaking communities in San Jose, Fremont, Modesto and other locales near the San Francisco Bay Area, and he took pride in the trust they placed in him. A deeply religious man, George, Sr., believed it was important to offer inspirational religious gifts at very affordable prices. If a religious gift inspires a person, then Tirso George, Sr. wants the person to be able to afford it.
It is that simple, and a goal from which he has never wavered in 30 years. Combined with his strong work ethic, this goal is the cornerstone of San Francis Imports, Inc. “If you like the work hard, then this is the place to be,” says Joe Gamgene, General Marketing & Sales Director for the company. “We’re very committed to providing genuinely inspiring Catholic gift items at affordable prices, and we work hard to achieve that goal. Tirso George Sr. is a very ethical, hard-working person and his Catholic Faith is very important to him.” As George Sr.’s business grew, he gave up his other jobs. He also realized that Southern California harbored a larger Spanish-speaking population than Northern California and he relocated the company to Burbank.
Customer Service and the Latin Market
Although it began by primarily serving the Spanish-speaking community and all employees of the company are fluently bilingual, San Francis Imports, now serves a much wider clientele in the United States Canada, Latin America and elsewhere. Because of its long-time involvement with the Spanish-speaking market, the company understands this market segment particularly well. Five years ago, Gamgene observes, business did not give this market share much thought, but now it has become a regular aspect of most company portfolios.
He emphasizes that it is not comprised of only Mexicans but instead includes Cubans, Salvadorians, Spaniards, Puerto Ricans and many nationalities from Latin America. Catholic devotions in each of these cultures can vary widely. For example, Our Lady of Guadalupe is very close to the hearts of Mexicans, but Cubans will respond more enthusiastically to Our Lady of Charity (Caridad del Cobre) and The Divine child is revered in Puerto Rico.
Gamgene also notes that tastes change among different generations. The American-born children of Spanish-speaking Catholics tend to prefer English language products, whereas many parents and grandparents still prefer books and prayer in their native language.This is a new market to some Catholic retailers and some have been so appreciative of San Francis Imports’ consistent willingness to help them serve their customers that they have even called the company for help in translating what a Spanish-speaking customer wants.
“They’ll actually put the customer on the phone with us,” says Gamgene. “And of course, we’re glad to help!” We’ll do whatever it takes to help get inspirational gifts to the customer.”San Francis Imports offers retailer benefits. Gemgene lists highly competitive pricing at the top, followed by same day/next day shipping. “I deal with a lot of the major retailers,” explains Gamgene. “What I see repeatedly is that they are surprised by our pricing. We want to offer a better profit opportunity for the retailer and that puts a lot of pressure on us to work harder, better and to keep costs down.” The company also offers point-of-sale floor and countertop displays for holy cards, rosaries, and magnets, in addition to sales promotions and incentives and catalogues for various religious occasions.
Celebrating Our 80th Year !
Founded in 1927 by N.G. Basevi,and continuing the tradition with the Comincini Family, CROMO N.B.was the first to introduce color printing to what had been exclusively black and white reproductions. Throughout this time, CROMO N.B. has maintained its leading edge.
Today, CROMO N.B.Milan is recognized as the foremost publisher of Fine Religious Art. Cromo N.B. is home to the world's renowned top religious artists including - Simeone!Cromo today is the leading producer and designer for the world market for Greeting Cards and Religious Prints. In addition to the Religious Art line Cromo N.B. also posseses one of the biggest library of designs for Greeting Cards including humor, everyday, baptism, birth cards, communion, confirmation and wedding announcements.
Cromo N.B. was founded on 10th January 1927 from Giacomo Basevi, called Nino (that is why the letters N.B. in our name), who started to print those religious pictures that still today are the most important range of our production.
After his death in 1951, his son-in-law Gianfranco Comincini became the manager of the Company and he also introduced the production the greeting cards, for which now we are one of the most important Italian producers.