The last few days have been a bit rainy here in New Jersey and the forecast is calling for more. In the past, I didn’t worry much about the rain but our new dog loves a good, long walk – so I’ve been acutely aware of the weather every time I step out the door. This morning, as I grabbed one of the multiple, semi-mangled, imported umbrellas we have in the closet, I thought to myself, “This is the next item I’d like to find an American replacement for.”
Unfortunately, for only the second time since we started this blog, I’ve hit a brick wall. So far, I haven’t located an umbrella that I’m convinced is made – as opposed to assembled or printed – in the USA. The first time this happened, we were looking for an American iron and ended up buying a 40 year old, never-used GE model, which works great.
We are pursuing two leads. Both companies have used the phase “Made in USA,” but the low prices seem suspect. We will figure out the whole story shortly. Meanwhile, if any of our readers know of a company we missed, let us know.So, this got us to thinking about what to do in cases where an American-made item cannot be found. We decided that the next-best-thing is an item made in the UK or Canada. I like to think of the Brits and Canadians as brothers from another mother and, yes, I admit I love the way the British talk and dress. They are among our closest allies. If I had to buy something right now, I think I’d consider a super high quality, hand made umbrella from Fox Umbrellas Ltd or the Kaufmann Mercantile umbrella from a third-generation Canadian umbrella-maker. While not inexpensive these are handmade with maple handles and with proper care can last a lifetime. A representative from the company has said that he still has his grandfather’s umbrella and that a well-made “brolly” should outlive you. I love this idea and wish it were more common in America,
If it goes against your grain to buy an English umbrella, not to worry you can always opt for a hooded American-made raincoat (a future post we’re working on).