Made in America
Entrepreneurs started American businesses decades ago that are still going strong today. Longaberger Basket Company of Dresden, Ohio, for example, has been creating some of the country’s finest baskets since 1976.
From the foods we eat to the clothing we wear and the furnishings with which we decorate our homes, there is something special about the tag that announces “Made in America.”
Home décor retailers are making an effort to stock fine quality items consumers have asked for that are made by artists and craftsman throughout the United States. Shop owners are proud to carry solid wood furnishings that can be passed down for generations. U.S. furniture makers specializing in solid wood pieces produce furnishings of exceptional quality for the living room, bedroom, den or study.
CounterEvolution produces furniture designed from vintage bowling alley lanes. The company’s owner, Jim Malone, was inspired by the beauty of the rare heart pine found in defunct bowling alleys. Contemporary designs are handcrafted at the company’s Brooklyn, New York, studio from alley lanes that are reclaimed, restored and “as green as it gets.”
Manchester Wood in Granville, New York, has been producing handmade, solid wood furnishings for nearly 125 years. It is the owners’ goal to craft an heirloom that rivals any other in quality, and, like many other American business owners, they aim to employ locals and boost the economy. Manchester Wood manufactures its solid wood products from American-grown timber for many leading American retailers, including L.L. Bean, Pottery Barn, Plow and Hearth, IKEA, Orvis, Solutions, Eddie Bauer and Macy’s.
American artists, craftspeople and entrepreneurs are stepping up their creativity and providing distinctive art pieces that are modern, beautiful and add just the right centerpiece or accent to a room. Choose a decorative piece of blown glass made in America to set on top of that fine wood coffee table or pedestal stand. Blown glass creations are among the finest art available in cities including Seattle, Washington, and Louisville, Kentucky. Locals and travelers alike attend workshops, take classes and tour Louisville Glassworks, where they can create a beautiful vase, dish, bowl or even jewelry at prices from $12 to $135.
Seattle boasts the epicenter for glass blowing in America. American artists flock to the Pilchuck Glass School, founded in 1971 by glass artist Dale Chihuly and patrons Anne Hauberg and John Hauberg, to live on campus with other artisans and learn to perfect the art of glassblowing. From Christmas ornaments, vases and bowls to birdbaths and chandeliers, blown glass is beautiful, and each piece is a valuable, one-of-a-kind creation.
Metal from old barn rooftops or other buildings is being recycled, treated and painted to create original art for the home or business. Artists are turning the weathered metal into art pieces such as fun signs, ornate framing and picturesque wall hangings. Sculptor John Lopez of Lemmon, South Dakota, uses old farm equipment and scrap metal to create life-size sculptures with a Western American theme. His spectacular work depicts horses, buffalo, wild birds, cowboys and U.S. presidents.
American artists sell fine pieces that also include paintings, watercolors, pottery, stoneware and handmade goods in local stores and online. The individuality of each piece is what creates its intrinsic value. Lecy Campbell, the artist behind Drumboden Tiles in Johnson City, Tennessee, handcrafts each piece of tile from a ceramic mold, a time-honored yet labor-intensive process. The tiles are then dried, glazed by hand and fired to produce a non-toxic, lead free piece of ceramic art.
Leather goods manufacturer Schott NYC was founded by Irving and Jack Schott in a basement on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and celebrated its 100th birthday in 2013. Their leather jackets are known globally for their American-made quality. Will Leather Goods of Portland, Oregon, and J. W. Hulme Co., St. Paul, Minnesota, are dedicated to producing meticulously crafted items that will last a lifetime. Fox Creek Leather, Independence, Virginia, proudly affirms that their products are crafted in 15 states without sweatshop labor.
Entrepreneurs started American businesses decades ago that are still going strong today. Longaberger Basket Company of Dresden, Ohio, for example, has been creating some of the country’s finest baskets since 1976. The Homer Laughlin China Company, founded by brothers Homer and Shakespeare Laughlin in East Liverpool, Ohio, in 1871, flourished through two world wars, a revolution in technology, and competition from low-cost imports. Its best-known product today is Fiesta®, available in dinnerware, bakeware, accessories and even ornaments.
Alektra Runwear was “created for running women—by a woman who loves running.” Its founder, Angela Pewitt, wanted athletic wear that expressed her own mood on any given day and allowed the comfort she needed for her active lifestyle. Alektra’s running shorts are colorful, comfortable, contain a hidden waistband pocket, and, best of all, are constructed completely in the U.S.A.
The manufacturing industry has the largest multiplier effect of any segment of the American economy, with every dollar spent creating $1.48 in economic activity. For more information on products that are made in America, see madeinusachallenge.com to find a lengthy list of companies that make their products right here in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
Sources: alektrarunwear.com, drumbodentiles.com, foxcreekleather.com, johnlopezstudio.com, louisvilleglassworks.com, madeintheusachallenge.com, madeinwashington.com, manchesterwood.com, schottnyc.com and themadeinamericamovement.com.