A Sign of the Times

Jack and Friends in Galesburg, IL offers a cool selection of retro-style metal signs at very reasonable prices. Owner Barabara Wangelid started the company as a part-time business selling locally and on ebay. Today, it’s a  full time family business manufacturing in the USA.

Like the designs? Right now there’s a 25% off coupon on the main page – for custom signs only. All you have to do is like Jack and Friends on Facebook, follow on Pinterest or sign up for their newsletter. Expires February 23, 2014.

Give American a Try: Trench Coats

Coat by Burberry (left) $2,395. Coat by American Trench $725.

I became aware of American Trench when we visited the American Made Matters event in Boston last September. While I wasn’t in the market for a trench coat at the time, I did check out the samples on display and thought the workmanship and style were great. BTW, they make a really great pair of socks and a good-looking scarf too.

Bluelace Project: The Made-in-America Movement’s “Yellow Ribbon”

Speaking of laces, check out The Bluelace Project, launched by American manufacturer Flint and Tinder. The folks there decided that there should be a symbol for those who want to raise awareness about “Made in America,” much like there is a pink ribbon for those who want to raise awareness of breast cancer. Blue shoe laces have become their calling card, manufactured by Sole Choice, a 102-year-old company in Portsmouth,
Ohio. See their story below.

Kathy ordered 4 pair of Bluelaces for me so there is no question I will be sporting them shortly. To get yours, go here.


Lifetime Laces

Like socks, laces are a great way to make a little style statement in the day-to-day grind and, luckily, you can still find laces made in the USA.
I don’t know about you, but I find it really annoying when you’re getting ready for the day, putting on your favorite pair of shoes, giving the laces a firm tug and having one of them break in your hand. But now there’s a company that has an answer.

I recently checked out boot laces (shown above) from a company called Castle Brook which feature paracord material and a lifetime warrantee!  The paracord is made in North Carolina and North Dakota and then cut to length in the Castle Brook shop. They come in a range of colors and lengths, are shipped to you in a burlap bag and  are just tough-as-nails.

Benjos (above) is another lace maker with the full range of dress shoe, sneaker and boot laces made in the USA. Check out how a search for red shoe laces was the inspiration for this company.

Both firms offer how to guides on imaginative ways to lace your shoes or boots.

Here are a few other manufacturers worth checking out:
KG’s Boot Guard
Old Kooks


One couple's search for a Made-in-USA lifestyle