Made in America by Women Entrepreneurs

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Supporting local business is important for our communities. Supporting our nation’s business is important so we can fortify our country, supply jobs and support fair labor practices. Today, many more companies are sporting the Made in America tag.

The Made in America Movement is “the unified voice of American companies.” This non-partisan organization was established by Margarita Mendoza in 2010 to encourage the return of more jobs to America; it currently represents 20,000 American-sourced companies. MAM encourages individuals to get involved, use their buying power to create change and participate in their grass-roots campaign to support local businesses, American manufacturers, entrepreneurs and artisans.

Creativity, business savvy and recognition of a need are typically the driving factors for women entrepreneurs and artisans. It’s also not unusual for some to build an online community around their products. Mod Cloth is an online clothing store, a member of MAM, that was founded in a college dorm room by high school sweethearts Susan Gregg Koger and Eric Koger. They’re inspired by feedback from their customers, and their vintage-style women’s clothing is definitely worth taking a step back in time.

Smith and Cult’s unique, graphically inclined website alone makes it worth a visit. The product of interest is their colorful nail polish. The woman behind the company, Dineh Mohajer, is the trendsetter who mixed a batch of blue nail polish in her bathroom to establish her first business, Hard Candy, in 1995. Smith & Cult, her newest effort, “represents the duality we all inhabit throughout our lives and our individual expression of beauty, which reflect who we’ve been, are and aspire to become.” Find their newest looks at upscale retailers and salons.

The founder of Jouer Cosmetics, Christina Zilber, has a passion for beauty, wellbeing and life that shines through her products. Christina “obsesses over creating cosmetic formulations that are also good for your skin, stocks her drawer with peachy-pink lip gloss, and believes that every woman can look and feel beautiful with a healthy dose of self-acceptance and the right arsenal of beauty tools.”

To find cosmetics that are good for your skin, turn to Ecco Bella. Since 1992, Ecco Bella has been dedicated to providing natural, plant-based and cruelty-free products. Founder and CEO, Sally Malanga began this company motivated by her “disgust with the use of animals for product testing, and with respect for the wonder of nature.” Ecco Bella uses plant-based ingredients from ethical suppliers and no microbeads.

Creatives Lisa Albaladejo and Kika Levy, college friends, started Digibuddha in 2011 on Etsy with baby shower, bridal shower and invitation designs, and the company has expanded over the years to include gold foil art prints and mugs. The design and print office is located in Hatboro, Pennsylvania, and personal attention is given to each individual order; nothing is templated.

If you need to take a break from the stressful world and unwind, step onto Hugger Mugger’s yoga mat and feel the difference. This company was founded in 1986 by Sarah Chambers when she attended a yoga workshop and saw the need for yoga props. The original mat was sticky, preventing students from accidentally sliding during postures. Their mission is “to provide innovative and technically superior products for the practice of yoga and the enjoyment of its lifestyle.”
Nina B Roze’s yoga pants will complement your yoga mat, and they are designed and manufactured in Los Angeles, California. Armed with a degree from Otis College of Art & Design, Nina Berenboym created collections that were sold at major retailers until she struck out on her own. Her athleisure styles are inspired by whimsical and bold prints and mesh paneling to create a slimming and superb fit, and a special compression jersey wicks away moisture and keeps you cool during all low- and high-impact fitness activities.

American artists and artisan crafters in all media, from oils and watercolor to clay and fine metals, can be found in every community across the country. The artists’ colony of Eureka Springs, Arkansas, is home to more than 400 working artists represented in the small but thriving city and beyond. Mosaic artist Fran Carlin studied in Ravenna, Italy, and crafts glass, mirrored glass and millefiori into functional mirror frames and unique boxes. Feather artist Gwen Bennett purchases naturally colored feathers, including those molted from parrots and peacocks, and then washes, sorts, steams, pairs and assembles them into stunning masks. She notes, “Vibrant natural color, sensual shape and texture make feathers an exciting design fiber in masks conveying transformation and power.”

Keep your eye out for these and other businesses that demonstrate the value of American-made products. You may also find items that are made in your community, and by purchasing them, you can accomplish the mission of strengthening your local economy as well! ■

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