Hats off to the USA!


Ok, so I love hats, but my wife thought I looked a little silly the first time I put on my Harris Tweed Ivy Cap from Hats in the Belfry

I don’t know if I look any less silly now or if she’s just getting used to it, but I’ve been happily wearing it all winter without comment (Hmm, wonder how she’d react to a fedora…).

The following four companies all make men’s hats in the US and the styles cover a full range. So whether you’re a gentlemen out for a Sunday drive, a guy who admires the Rat Pack and their Fedoras, or an aspiring cowboy, here are a few places you should check out.

Shown: Belfry Paine Murino Wool Fedora (left) and Belfry Tammany Wool Lined Derby Hat.

Shown: Heritage Pauly (left) and The Doctor.

Bollman Hat Co.
Has multiple brands including the Country Gentleman line, shown above.  Check out a video about their deep American roots.

And of course, there’s Stetson, the storied maker of American western hats. Check out their video here:


Yes, Virginia, There IS a Mrs. Meyer

If you haven’t tried Mrs. Meyer’s wonderful plant and flower scented cleaning products, you’re missing out on a great alternative to harsh chemical cleaners. The inspiration behind the product line is a real person, 81-year-old Thelma Meyer, an Iowa mother of nine (yes, I said NINE).

There are 88 “Made in USA” products on the Mrs. Meyer’s web site, including hand soaps, glass cleaner, dryer sheets, room fresheners and more. With scents like honeysuckle, geranium, lavender, orange spice, and lemon verbena, no wonder the company’s mantra is “Smells like a garden, Cleans like the Dickens.”


Jersey Artisan Distilling

I was very surprised recently to discover a two-year-old distillery in Fairfield, NJ. It’s called Jersey Artisan Distilling and it is the first New Jersey distillery opened since prohibition!

Their award-winning Busted Barrel Rum is now on the market – it’s made with molasses and is incredibly smooth. After a few visits to check things out I can tell you that they are busy working on a vodka that’s triple distilled and charcoal filtered. Can’t wait.

Meanwhile, you can sample their spirits during the afternoon sessions at the Big Brew Festival on February 15, 2014 at the Morristown, NJ Armory.

Here’s a news report from NJTV.


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