We’ve updated our list of Made-in-USA belts. Check it out here.
Over the last few years we have really come to appreciate the comfort of wool and especially merino wool. Gone are the days when a wool garment meant an uncomfortable scratchy feel against your body. Today’s soft, high quality, lightweight wool fibers can be used in base layers, single-layers and even all-weather garments. Yes, you can wear wool all year!That’s the message put out by Duckworth, a source-verified wool company based in Montana, which uses 100% Helle Rambouillet merino wool. The company claims that the elevation and natural conditions where the sheep are raised helps create a very unique wool fiber.Duckworth garments are 100% Made in USA. The sheep are from Montana and the wool is shipped to the Carolinas for spinning, knitting and sewing.
The concept of EDC or “Every-Day-Carry” products has come into the American consciousness in a big way over the last few years. The term refers to small convenience gadgets that can be easily carried in a pocket, on a keychain or clipped to a backpack. They can be found at many online retailers and a good number are American- made.This pair of screwdrivers from Kaufmann Mercantile, one flat-head, one Phillips, are designed to fit right in with an existing key-chain. Think of the convenience of tightening hinges, unscrewing light fixtures and more, whenever and wherever the need arises.
The company also offers three types of EDC style LED flashlights, in brass, steel, and aluminum.Originally commissioned by the U.S. Military, this 2-inch pry bar is made from hardened steel and designed to fit on your keychain. Use it to pop paint can lids, pry out old nails and a million-and-one other tasks.This tough little pen is made of stainless steel and has a pressurized ink cartridge so it can write upside down.The Vvego Boot Blade, which is stored on your boot laces, is made from aircraft quality steel and acts as both a key chain and handy blade.The Leatherman Tread is a men’s bracelet that has 25 tools built into it. The unique selling point for the Tread is that you should be able to wear it through an airport security check point, where the standard Multitool was restricted. Leatherman has told us that the tool will has some parts that are fabricated overseas but the finishing and assembly is done at their Portland, OR facility.
The Virginia based Machine-Era Co has a multi-tool made from a solid piece of titanium. It is machined in their facility using a combination of equipment from the 40’s, 50’s and today. Here’s a closer look: featuring 5 tools (Phillips and flathead screwdrivers, pry wedge, bottle opener and one inch rule), this is a device that will take care of most of your everyday needs.
It can be tough to buy American-made on a budget, but there’s always an imaginative gift to be found if you look hard enough. Here are some ideas under $20.This 4-piece cocktail shaker made from a canning jar will put a smile on Dad’s face, especially if you fill it with something delicious. $11.99
Highland Plaid Accessory Tray – Dad will enjoy emptying his pockets into this personalized, dresser-top tray. $19
Another wonderful gift is Porter’s Moisturizing Lotion, which has been soothing the skin of hard-working guys for generations. $19 Dad can relive his childhood with one of these balsa-wood airplanes from Tait design. $18 (For some reason, this retailer is directing all clicks to a page featuring their newest offerings. Just go to the upper right corner and type “Tait” in the search box.)You know his Mom hates it when she can tell what Dad had for lunch by looking at his beard. This handy pack of beard wipes could save their romance. (As mentioned above, this retailer is directing all clicks to a page featuring their newest offerings. Just go to the upper right corner and type “Beard Paw” in the search box.)
Come next winter, your Dad will be so grateful you got him this Zippo Hand Warmer. He can slip it in his pocket whenever he heads outdoors. $19.95If your Dad has a sense of humor about fashion, he might enjoy wearing this unusual wood pocket square to his next event. $19.99
We heard that Brothers Artisan Oil, a family business that has been making strides in the all-natural men’s grooming products market, had moved into a new, very interesting space. So, we decided to stop in for a visit.
We met them in Roxbury, MA at a place called the Market at Casablanc, a venue for artists, makers, designers and prospective buyers to interact. They have a bright and airy space on the second floor, which is populated by various makers, and there’s a large art gallery one flight up.
That’s Baxter Shea, above left, and his brother Owen Shea, right, with Owen’s wife Marie Shea in the middle. (We couldn’t help but notice that Owen does his work wearing an American-Made apron from Sturdy Brothers.)
We first met the brothers Shea at an American Field Pop-up Market in Brooklyn two years ago. (above) We had no idea they were complete newcomers – it was their first show launching the line of beard and facial oils now called Brothers Artisan Oil. Turns out they were still struggling with a name for the business right up until the show.
They say they wondered if they should go to their first trade show – in Brooklyn – with their original name: Boston Brothers Oils. Or would that chase away every Yankee-loving attendee from their booth? Was it possible that the New York/Boston rivalry extended to the names of grooming products and, if so, might that prevent a successful launch of their business? They finally settled on the name of Brothers Artisan Oil and it stuck.
We bought some of their beard oil that day and Paul has been using it ever since.
The line consists of beard/face oils in three scents and a hair and beard pomade. The products are simple and all natural with no fillers. They are also rich in vitamin E which does a man’s skin good. The scents are great and the product offering continues to grow. The company recently started selling hand-carved wood combs and curio pouches – both American-made – to help complete the grooming experience (above).
Paul: “I have been using their product for nearly two years now and really like how it makes my skin and “respectable scruff” (in Brothers Artisan Oil parlance) feel. I just tried their pomade for the first time and while I’m still experimenting with the proper amount, I appreciate just how easily I can style my hair.
Kathy: “He looks and smells great.”Orange and grapefruit scented beard oil along with beard and hair pomade.
There is a great story behind how the business started. In short, the brothers’ mom had a stroke (she has made a remarkable recovery) and, as a sign of solidarity during her recuperation, the brothers grew beards. Those beards needed some taming and – well, you can read about that part of the story in an excellent blog post at EMMH.
We were very happy to hear that, with the success of the company, Marie has now been able to join Owen as a full time employee and Baxter hopes to follow soon after. We’ve met a lot of people who only do their American-Made projects on the side, so, to see how the company has grown in such a short time is really inspiring.
If you are ever in the area, stop by and see the Sheas at 169 Norfolk Ave in Roxbury MA., along with the other tenants building their American businesses. Meanwhile, give their products a try.
Paul and Kathy