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Made in Michigan: MasterTag nursery plant tags | News

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Made in Michigan: MasterTag nursery plant tags

MONTAGUE, Mich. (WZZM) -- If you buy flowers and plants every spring, you most likely have touched and read the product a Montague company makes.


's horticulture labels are found at garden centers around the U.S. and Canada. The company employs 140 workers at three Montague facilities.

"We start with a plastic sheet, we cut it, print on it and fabricate it into the different tags. All of the design work is done here so we are actually an ad agency on top of a printing and distribution company," explains owner Rick Hughes.

"You look out into the parking lot and see all of those cars and you know that means people are trying to pay for their homes, make a better life for their kids," said co-owner Holly Hughes.

MasterTag's labels are found stuck in the dirt of the potted plants you might purchase. The labels provide basic care instructions for plants and flowers. Labels also include QR codes that send customers to videos and garden design suggestions on the company's web site.

"It helps you distinguish what one plant is from another. It gives you some basic care information so you are successful," Rick explains. "As we have expanded… we are really a communications company trying to help the consumer be more successful with those plants, and in their garden."

Rick's grandfather Lou Schmidt started Master Products from the basement of a Montague hardware store. The company first found success making fishing bobbers. Then an area greenhouse owner sent the company in a new direction leading to today's products.

"A local farmer and greenhouse grower Harry Weesies said 'why don't you make me a tag out of plastic because these wooden ones are terrible, they rot and I cannot write on them with a grease pencil very well,'" Rick recalls.

MasterTag has a catalogue of 250,000 plants and flowers; six staff horticulturists write the care instructions. Hughes says everyone at MasterTag works to help customers better care for plants and flowers.

"We have such a terrific pool of people--our employees are awesome. They care about the customer, their company, and they care about each other. And that is just a terrific reason why we stay in Montague," Rick says.