White House Display Has South Bend Flavor

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An Indiana-made product is part of this year's White House Christmas display. A large version of South Bend Woodworks' wooden train engine is part of the 2014 White House Holiday Tour.

December 3, 2014

South Bend Woodworks Blog Post

South Bend, Ind. -- South Bend Woodworks president Mike Lindburg received a delightful surprise over Thanksgiving weekend...a giant sized version of his company's child's wooden train engine was chosen to be part of the White House's 2014 Christmas decorations displays! This unexpected honor has Lindburg and the company's seven employees ecstatic and the year-old shop abuzz with excitement this Christmas Season.

South Bend Woodworks, a locally-based woodworking shop, handcrafts toys and heirloom-quality gift items, including officially licensed University of Notre Dame products. The company started productions in March 2013 and has sold items through the Notre Dame Bookstore since August 2013.

Lindburg was first contacted via email in September by Chicago-based an event and marketing firm, agency EA, about building a bigger version of the company's "South Bend Express" wooden train engine. The original version of the wooden rideable train engine is toddler sized (measures 10.75" x 6.875" x 18.5"). But agency EA wanted a much bigger version, possibly one an adult could ride on. Not knowing the true destination of the creation and liking a creative challenge, Lindburg and the shops' woodworkers accepted the challenge!

Just days ago, Lindburg learned from an agency EA representative that South Bend Woodwork's 4.5 ft. x 2 ft. red and black train engine would be part of this year's Christmas decorations at the White House! In a news conference this afternoon (Wednesday, Dec. 3, 1:30 p.m. EST), First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off the 2014 White House Holiday Tour Season announcing this year's theme of the holiday displays -- "A Children's Winter Wonderland."

South Bend Wood Works larger than life train will be part of the decorations in the East Garden Room. Pictures and a video tour of all the decorations will be available on the White House's website at this link: http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/inside-white-house/holidays-2014.

To add to the excitement, Lindburg and his wife Eileen Lindburg have been invited to attend a reception with President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama next Friday, Dec. 12. All of this is serendipitous for founder Mike Lindburg who started the company in 2012 with a mission to create jobs in the Michiana area. His idea … hire local craftspeople to build high-quality, safe and durable 100% American Made wooden toys and legacy gift items (read more about our company mission). To date the company employs seven employees and uses local contractors and vendors.

Products are mostly sold online through our website. Some items are also sold in gift shops around South Bend, like Just Goods and Explorations Toys, and also through the Notre Dame Bookstore and online catalog. South Bend families will have the opportunity to see a second version of the White House Christmas Train up close and personal. The "twin" of the White House Christmas Train will be on display at the former College Football Hall of Fame as part of DTSB's "Downtown for the Holidays" and will be available for families to pose for Christmas pictures. South Bend Woodworks is a proud sponsor of "Downtown for the Holidays," which kicks off Friday, Dec. 5 at 5:00 p.m. and runs through December.

Through its "Pop-Up Shop" location inside the Hall of Fame, people can purchase their own "South Bend Express" toddler-sized rideable train along with many other items that will be on sale. South Bend Woodworks one-of-a-kind wooden cutout Christmas ornaments will be also be available for kids to decorate and keep for FREE! - See more at: http://www.southbendwoodworks.com/blog/white-house-train/#sthash.QLLxTEPQ.dpuf

Source: South Bend Woodworks