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Meet Wilson and Willy’s: American Made

I’m always excited when I find a new (or new–to-me) company making clothing here in the USA. Wilson and Willy’s is the latest of these companies. In addition to their own brand of men’s pants, shirts, and outerwear, they also carry a well-curated selection of other American items from companies like Oak Street Boot Makers, PF Flyers,Duluth Pack, Faribault Woolen Mills, and more.

Here are some of our favorite items:Waxed Anorak in Tobasco.
The Raglan Trench Coat is made from Faribault Woolen Mills Military blankets in NYCThe Waxed Rambler Coat features a mid-weight, wind- and water-resistant 8 oz Martexin waxed-canvas and is lined with moleskin.

Manufactured by Hackwith Design House with material from Faribault Woolen Mills, the Madeline jacket is 100% wool.The Melbourne Pajama dress is made from 100% cotton and made in L.A. by Maison Du Soir.The flannel boxy tee is beautifully shaped.The Stephen Kenn Foot Soldier Sofa is made in CA. and features material from Faribault Woolen Mills.

For those in the area, Wilson and Willy’s has a brick and mortar store in Minneapolis, MN.



Hard Work and Hand-Crafted Cookware in Virginia

When I landed on the web site of Blanc Creatives, there were three things that immediately caught my attention: First were the beautiful photos of hand-crafted cookware. Second, the inspiring blacksmithing shots – having taken some basic blacksmithing classes, I could really appreciate the kind of work these people were doing.

Third, was the collage of shots from their Charlottesville, VA, workshop. It gave me the feeling that the group was putting heart and soul into everything they made.
The carbon steel skillet above comes in 3 sizes, 8″, 10″ and 12″ and is pre-seasoned. It will work in the oven, on the gas range or on a ceramic cook-top.
The roaster is the biggest piece made by the company. It measures 10″ across the bottom and 13″ from lip to lip and features two loop handles. I love the slight irregularities in the metal surface; they show that someone really handcrafted the piece.Blanc Creatives also features other items like this walnut charcuterie paddle and spreader.

According to the company’s bio there are ten people currently working at the forge and you really get the sense that this is hard labor.  Accordingly, they have set up a page where, even if you are unable to purchase anything, you can send them a cold beer for one of those hot nights working with fire. Fifteen bucks donated here gives the whole crew a round.



10 Gifts for His Man Cave: Made in USA

I have two favorite places in the house. The garage, where my bicycles are stored (and soon my first motorcycle) and my man cave. Lucky for me that my wife has no interest in either space but I do have to admit that she has chosen some of my favorite items for the room.

If you want to buy a man a gift for his man cave, try to choose items that have meaning, evoke a memory or provoke a smile. These are the kinds of things I like:mancaveEvery mancave needs a sign to help set the boundaries. The sign above seems to me to be a gentle suggestion to loved ones to respect my space, but there are other options here.wrrmnhcrsi_tobacco_sandalwood_candle_1_originalBelieve it or not, guys, candles today don’t have to be all sweet and flowery.  The Sydney Hale candle above features scents of Tobacco and Sandalwood. The best part is, once the candle burns out, you can use the glass for drinking.

photo_gallery_eames_lounge_chair_ottoman_2Every man cave needs a statement piece of furniture and in my case it is an Eames Lounge Chair and Ottoman. It might take years to afford it (it did for me), but if you have some cash, it’s on sale right now and it will last for life.

BarrelTrayRecycled and repurposed items like this tray made from a wine barrel, look great in a guy’s space. You can get this and other  items from Top Shelf Barrel Furniture.stcxiial3w_the_original_bell_jar_table_lamp_1_originalThe lighting in a mancave typically needs to be low level to evoke a mood. Wiith LED’s you can get a wide range of lighting options and rarely have to change a bulb. We just featured Southern Lights Electric a few weeks ago and feel it would be a great addition to a man cave.FlagI don’t know why but it was very important for me to have an American Flag in my space, When not in use I typically drape it over my chair. I especially like the embroidered cotton flags from American Flag.quservyipu_the_max_multipurpose_axe_kit_4_originalI don’t know why but when I am not working outside my axe always seems to end up leaning against my mancave wall. The Max Multi Purpose Axe Kit above even features a number of attachments that convert your axe to a shovel, pick axe or rake.sxwurdvakd_soapstone_whiskey_glass_6_originalI am not a big drinker but I do like having a unique collection on hand for the times I want to have a whiskey, hard cider or martini, shaken not stirred. The soapstone whiskey glass above is made by American Stoneware.81pw1ubuozl-_sl1500_While my wife doesn’t typically come down into my space, the dog is always welcome and I want her to have a comfortable bed for her to stretch out in. This bed from Majestic Pet is machine washable.BlueprintArtWhether your personal taste is Dogs Playing Poker or Steve McQueen from The Great Escape, the walls of your space need something to liven them up. Click these links to browse large collections of patent-type prints and blueprint-type prints.aechangetrayFinally, I need a valet for my change, keys and other miscellaneous stuff. I like the classic style of the Allen Edmonds design above and you can find it and others in a recent post here.

Outfit your space your way and enjoy!






Southern Lights Electric: Made in USA

Southern Lights Electric is the combined effort of husband and wife team Adam and Jamie Gatchel out of Nashville Tennessee. Having worked in the lighting industry myself, I can appreciate when someone designs something a little different, particularly with a household item we all tend to take for granted.imageI like the way they combine different woods, classic style filament bulbs, spun aluminum housings and old-school cloth-covered cords. The designers, in my opinion, show a very broad understanding of what lighting can do in your home or business as a decorative item as well as functional lighting.

Here is a small sampling of what is available:h6a2rnbh0r_the_decker_clamp_on_desk_lamp_0_originalThe Decker is a clamp-on desk lamp.

stcxiial3w_the_original_bell_jar_table_lamp_1_originalThe Bell Jar Table Lamp features an Edison-style filament bulb.zxopm5cszn_the_modern_desk_lamp_1_originalThe Modern Desk Lamp features a Baltic birchwood base.1408899180156The Industrial Wall Sconce would look great against an exposed  brick wall.

When you order, please check the terms as many of these items are custom made and are not returnable.