Kindy's making South Philadelphia a true 'tinsel town '

SOUTH PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- If there's tinsel adorning your Christmas tree this year, you might love to know that 80 percent of the world's tinsel is made in South Philadelphia.

It has been that way for more than 80 years with the world's tinsel trail leading right to Kindy's.

Four generations of the Kindermans have been creating Christmas memories for families all over the world since the early 1900s.

In fact, you might call South Philly the real 'tinseltown' because, as legend has it, the very first strands - all glittery aglow - were created here back in 1932.

"The icicle is the first tinsel that we manufactured," Judy Kinderman said.

Back then those icicles were made of lead and despite the fact that Britestar, their manufacturing line, had to switch to shiny PVC in the 1960s after lead was banned, the Kindermans say customers still ask for it.

"Because of the lead, they were able to hang delicately and beautifully on the tree and that was something that people loved," Judy Kinderman said.

She tells Action News late husband, Sandy, was the third generation of Kindermans, a real Mr. Christmas, you might say.

"His nickname was the 'Tinsel King.' He would come home from work during manufacturing season and the pieces of tinsel would be on his shoes and he would track them into the house," Judy Kinderman said.

On Wednesday, their son, Richard, was running that tinsel train at full steam with 2.8 million boxes going out this year alone.

"1,000, 2,000, and 3,000 count and they are still going on people's trees and giving memories to families all over the country," Richard Kinderman said.

The factory may look dark now, but that's because peak tinsel making season is the summer.

"Santa's elves are upstairs working in the hot summer to get everyone's tinsel out the door on time," Richard Kinderman said.

The family says the fact that it's still being produced here at home is precious and rare.

Kindy's is having its very first post-Christmas blowout sale this weekend, up to 90 percent off.
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