This Holiday Season, Try These American-Made Brands
This holiday season will have most of us scrambling to find the perfect gift for the special people in our lives. These companies might have quality American-made gifts that will satisfy you -- and them.
The Music Lover
If you're looking for a guitar, try a Collings out of Austin, Texas. Collings have been making guitars for the likes of Lyle Lovett and Joni Mitchell, as well as the casual musician, since 1989.
For the drummer in your life, look into Ludwig's Keystone Series. The Elkhart, Indiana, drum line is made under the same quality and structural standards of its Classic Maple and Legacy drums.
If you're in the market for concert and marching percussion instruments, consider Dynasty Band Instruments from Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Under the DEG Music products brand, Dynasty offers marching, concert and Bergerault instruments. "These instruments are all American-made, making Dynasty the only major company in the drum industry to manufacture ALL of our instruments domestically," the company says.
With bluegrass music undergoing a resurgence, a Deering Banjo from Spring Valley, California, might be what you're looking for. It has made more than 100,000 banjos for 39 years under the Deering, Vega, Tenbrooks and Goodtime banjo lines.
The Pinterest Addict
Those looking to inspire Pinterest boards with exquisite designs and interior decoration should see the mosaics from New Ravenna. Since 1992, the Exmore, Virginia, company has provided a second home of sorts to its workforce.
Seattle's Destination Lighting creates fixtures for in and out of the home. It offers a quick search of all its American-made products, as well as "nearly a century of brick and mortar experience."
With factories in Massachusetts and Connecticut, Country Curtains is proud to make "as many of our textile products as possible right here in the United States."
In Pawtucket, Rhode Island, you can find braided rugs courtesy of Colonial Mills, which has been in business since 1957.
At Harden in McConnellsville, New York, the fifth generation of Hardens oversees furniture production. Their use of nearby cherry and walnut wood earned them a feature on ABC News. Its website elaborates, "Contract case goods are produced using native-grown solid cherry grown on Harden woodlands, while local Harden craftspeople tailor all upholstery pieces using current market standards and processes."
The Kids (And Kids at Heart)
Whether you're shopping for a kid -- or someone with the spirit of one -- there are not many American options. Ohio-based Little Tikes and Step2 offer extensive lists of American-made products on their websites -- with Step2 indicating which products were made domestically and which came from a mix of imported parts.
For the budding engineers, eight building sets from K'Nex in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, might fill the bill.
For a slightly retro feel, the Smalley family in Wytopitlock, Maine has been crafting heirloom quality wooden toys, dollhouses and play sets for almost a quarter century as Elves & Angels.
Since 2009, Shinola has been helping bring industry back to the hard hit city of Detroit with nearby Wisconsin steel frames for its bicycles.
And when metal playgrounds were all the rage in backyards, South Dakota's Rainbow Play Systems brought wooden ones back -- including making one for the Obama daughters at the White House. Rainbow still has some inexpensive sets made in China -- be mindful when shopping.
Finding entirely made in America clothing brands can be hard. Many brands have production split between domestic and international production. Heated clothing from Stoneville, North Carolina's Gerbing might be the made in America purchase of the season. Recent ownership changes have brought most manufacturing back to North Carolina from China. Some gloves and styles are still produced in China as owners try to move all production back to the U.S.
Another company fighting to bring -- and keep -- production home is New York's Brooklyn Industries. "It's an incremental change," explains co-founder and CEO Lexy Funk.
Another company trying to keep work in the States is the often-controversial American Apparel. While its practices and founder Dov Charney have isolated fans in the past, the brand strives to employ and produce as many products in its Los Angeles factories. "Our team of sewers, shippers, cutters, dyers and creatives accounts for more than 7,500 employees at our LA-area factories alone," its website explains.
One brand making neckwear and accessories in New England is General Knot & Co., which collects fabrics from across the world for its creations. Founders Ann and Andrew Payne launched General Knot in 2010 after directing creative teams for brands like Ralph Lauren (RL) and Tommy Hilfiger.
For the eco-conscious fashionista there is Earth Creations out of Bessemer, Alabama. Its lines of sustainable fiber clothing came from co-founders Joy Maples and Martin Ledvina's experiences with Alabama clay that acted as an unintentional clothing dye. Most of their men's line is manufactured in Nicaragua, while women and children's products originate in the United States more often.
The Outdoorsy Friend
Since 1991, Chapman Skateboards of Deer Park, New York, has made custom and predesigned decks for themselves as well as Zoo York, Infamous, Traffic and small independent brands.
South Carolina's Confluence Outdoor operates eight brands of canoes and kayaks. In recent years, new management and owners have refocused the brand.
Darkfin Gloves of Knoxville, Tennessee, creates biodegradable natural latex rubber gloves that create 70 percent extra surface space for kayakers, divers and other aquatic enthusiasts.
RAMP Sports of Park City, Utah, excels at skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding and paddleboarding. Art, music and baseball fans should check out RAMP's American-made gear. Its artistic spirit is felt throughout its headquarters and designs.
Many snowshoes are produced in parts of the world that never see snow. Redfeather Snowshoes wants you to know its products are made where snow falls regularly (La Crosse, Wisconsin) by people who know snow firsthand. Redfeather is owned by ORC Industries, a nonprofit whose sole mission is to provide job opportunities for people with disabilities, so 75 percent of Redfeather employees have a physical or mental disability.