Another Cool Kickstarter Project: A Book of Hands

As I was searching around the Kickstarter site I came across this book proposal by Christian Wilson from Boston MA called “Human by Trade.” I wanted to give the project its own post, because its funding date isn’t that far away and I think it’s a really great idea. Since we focus a lot on tradespeople, I’d hate to see a book that celebrates them go unpublished. 
The coffee table book is a photo journal of people across the country who use their hands to make a living and in many cases a craft. Whether you are a boat builder a brewer or a bicycle mechanic your hands are as important as any tool you will use and tell a great story all on their own. As it states on the web page: “Human by Trade” is a photojournalistic exploration of tradespeople and a detailed look at the experience and legacy their hands reveal. Below are the worn and stained hands of a silversmith.

Human by Trade

In Brief: USA-Made Alternatives to Fruit of the Loom

Fruit of the Loom has decided to close a factory in Jamestown, Kentucky and lay off 600 people in a county that only has about 8,000 workers. The work is being moved to Honduras. The company believes this will help them to make more money – but that will only be true if you keep buying their products. Here are ten alternatives:

Flint and Tinder
American Apparel
Duluth Trading
BGreen Organic Apparel
Union House
Hanky Panky
Wickers moisture-wicking underwear

Eight Exceptional Leather Objects: Made in USA

We’ve updated our list of “exceptional leather objects” just in time for gift-giving. All Made in the USA.
Kaufman Mercantile Leather Tool Box
Skytop Trading Classic Leather Pullman
Cicada Leather Company Leather Growler Carrier
Billy Kirk Leather Mechanics Belt
Bison Leather Paddle Strop and Razor Case
Mister Freedom Trooper Boots
Mr. Freedom Campus Jacket
Kenton Sorenson Dopp Kit Trio

And I don’t want to forget Kenton Sorenson whose wallet I mentioned in a previous post is just breaking in beautifully. KS now offers this complete Dopp Kit (above), Shaving Brush Roll and Safety Razor Sheath.


Are we Unleashing the Second American Century?

Very interesting: Joel Kurtzman, author of Unleashing the Second American Century, says not to worry about these 5 myths:
Myth #1: America is broke
Myth #2: High unemployment rates are here to stay
Myth #3: China is ascending while America is declining
Myth #4: America is a spent power
Myth #5: America doesn’t make anything anymore
Check out the video from the Daily Ticker:

We Love Kickstarter’s Made-in-USA Projects!

If you have not discovered Kickstarter, do yourself a favor and give it a look. It’s a groundbreaking web site where creative people pitch their projects and raise funds from ordinary people like you and me. Many of the products being pitched on Kickstarter are USA-made. 
We have personally backed 3 projects on Kickstarter. By pre-ordering and pre-paying for products that are still in the planning phase, we helped give fledgling manufacturers the funds to produce their products. 
There is a whole world out there of people making products in the USA, embodying the American spirit of design and manufacturing, even if it’s on a small scale. Here are some projects now seeking funding.
Flint and Tinder Denim on Demand

Above, you can get USA made jeans, made to order, with custom hardware, leather patch, denim material and of course style.

Compass Rose Apparel Flanel Shirt
Ok, so winter is past but there is never a better time to find a beautiful flannel shirt made in the USA.
Bicycle Multi Tool Fix it Sticks
There are a lot of Bicycle multi-tools out there but here is a pretty cool one from a cyclist in Appleton, WI.
The Tiletto Letter Opener 

The Tiletto letter opener also features a few key tools.

Vital Backpack by Vital Bags

Vital Bags offers this beautiful bag of Wool felted wool and leather.

Bottle Opener from Truss Design

The sleek minimalistic design of the bottle opener from Truss Design

The Floyd Leg.
The Floyd Leg has already been successfully funded but we thought this was just a cool way to made a table with reclaimed wood and steel legs made in the USA
Harding Academy Pottery Fund Raiser

In addition to innovative products, Kickstarter campaigns fund many worthy causes. The Harding Academy in Memphis launched a Kickstarter campaign to earn enough money to purchase a kiln for the art program

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