In September 2013, we went to the All-American Pop-up Market in Boston, organized by a group called American Field. There were over 50 vendors at the show with goods ranging from shoes to hats,leather goods and items for the home.
The market was held at a very cool building, The Historic SOWA Power Station in Boston, built in 1891 was the largest of its kind in the world. Today, it’s the site of shows, markets, festivals and even wedding receptions.
The folks from the Ball and Buck store in Boston brought along their barber and gave haircuts in the back of a pickup truck!
We watched an employee of L.L. Bean put together one of its signature tote bags. Yes, L.L. Bean still makes some items here in the US and they were on display.
We stopped by the Rancourt booth too. Not only did we get to watch them stitch a classic penny loafer, I ended up spending a good half hour using their custom design page to create a bunch of wish-list shoes for myself.
Buying American: It can be done! This Christmas I asked for gifts made in America. It’s not the easiest or the cheapest thing to do, but we felt good supporting American businesses: Here’s what I got:
–Felling Axe from Council Tool in Lake Waccamaw, NC
–Bacon-making kit from 7 West Charcuterie in Seattle
–Baseball Glove-scented soap from ManHands Soaps in Lincoln Nebraska
–Wool Shirt from Best Made Company in NYC.
– Cheese-making kit from Urban Cheesecrafters in Portland.
– Maple Mesquite BBQ sauce and Bloody Mary Ketchup from Williams Sonoma.
– Bison, beef and turkey grass-fed energy bars from Epic Bars in Austin TX.
– Leather gloves from Geier Glove Company in Centralia, Washington.
– Boubon barrel barbeque wood from Bourbon Barrel Foods in Louisville, Kentucky.
“Early in my career, I had two jobs where I had to be involved in the “transition” of American manufacturing facilities to Mexico. It bothered me, but at the time, I guess I saw the loss of American manufacturing as inevitable. I feel differently now. Not only have I begun to feel that the USA needs to revive its manufacturing, but I’ve been very excited by all the American companies, large and small, established or start-up, that are focusing on quality and craftsmanship, and giving us a better product than the importers.” Kathy: “I’ve always loved crafts, so I’ve been buying handmade jewelry, bags and other items from American artists for years. The quality, imagination and craftsmanship was so much better than the imported items at the mall. But now I want to support other types of American businesses and help create American jobs. I’ve been very saddened to see the lengths to which companies are willing to go to cut costs, whether it’s using child labor, having dangerous working conditions, or putting out unsafe products. I’ve decided I’m willing to pay more for a product that is well-made and safely-made in the USA.” So, the search for great America-made products is on! Join us and enjoy the ride.