Some updates

13 Mar

I got an email from Mary, a reader who shares my passion of buying American made products. She represents a website called FindUSMade.com, which is a directory of all-things American made. They also have a blog with some great content as well.

One of the more interesting finds Mary shared with me was this:

There is silverware manufactured in the U.S. We manufacture sterling flatware in the U.S. but also nice stainless. In our Glass & Drinkware department you will find Liberty Tabletop. http://www.libertytabletop.com/

Awesome! I actually know someone looking for a set of silverware, so this is perfect timing.

Mary went on to share some interesting information about athletic footware:

There are three good options for athletic footwear. I’ve worn New Balance shoes for years. SAS recently expanded their line and now manufacture athletic footwear. These options appear at the top of our Footwear/Headwear department. http://www.findusmade.com/Mall/Footwear.htm

SAS makes athletic shoes in the USA? Who knew?!

Anyway, be sure to check out their website for other products.

More research

10 Feb

The other day I posed a question on Yahoo Answers asking “Where are some good online stores to find made in USA products?”

I didn’t get as many answers as I expected, but there were a couple that were actually informative.

The first answer that came in was a guy promoting his own online “made in usa” store, which you can see for yourself here. It’s got a variety of stuff for sale… shoes, toys, backpacks… the site layout could use some work, but it’s a new site and there’s promises to add more stuff in the future. Could be a good one to keep an eye on.

The most interesting answer though was in the form of a link to a blog called By America For America which really has some quality articles and links to companies that sell American-made goods. It’s up to date and informative, I’ll be checking back there in the future.

Anyway, I’m still looking to answers to the question: Where are some good online stores to find made in USA products?

If you have any ideas, please post in the comments.

– Joe

US manufactures more than China?

3 Feb

Here’s an article I didn’t expect to see. According to this AP article, the US manufactures more than China.

How is this possible? Seems like everything you buy says “Made in China” on it.

But the article argues that the USA manufactures more — in terms of price — than other countries. And they claim that we manufacture more than we used to, with fewer people.

So this sort of makes sense. With better technology we can do more with less. And American-made goods tend to be products with higher profit margins than China-made goods. For example, clothing and electronics are rarely made in USA. But with items where quality matters, the manufacturing is still often American.

While this is good news, it doesn’t explain the ever-growing trade deficit. In these tough times, it’s not time to give up on buying American again.

Got any tips? Send them to me!

31 Jan

Just a quick update, I’m doing research on a couple topics right now for future posts on this blog. If you have any tips or suggestions on the following, please please PLEASE either post them in the comments or e-mail me at joeofamerica@gmail.com.

Topics for future posts:

  • American-made athletic shoes
  • Cameras made in USA (or other electronics, for that matter)
  • Online stores that only sell American-made products

Reader participation is what makes blogging fun. So fire away.

Thanks,
– Joe

Online directories of American-made products

29 Jan

In all my recent Googling, I found a few online product directories that list companies that make some or all of their products in the US.

I’ve linked to all the product directories I found just in case you’re interested in taking a look.

  • Americans Working has a lot of categories, and the information seems largely up to date. This is a great resource.
  • Made in USA.org probably has more links than any other site I checked out, but it’s so badly organized that I couldn’t find much of interest.
  • US Stuff is a very barebones site. Kinda ugly to look at, confusing, and a lot of it is out of date. I found a few good links through here, but it’s like finding a needle in a haystack. Not recommended.
  • Find US Made is a dizzying large array of links. It’s pretty well organized, and they have a Union Made section as well. Recommended.
  • Locate American is a search-based site, rather than a simple directory. It’s sort of unique in that way. There’s a LOT of companies listed here though so it can be overwhelming depending on what you’re looking for.
  • Still Made in USA is one of my favorites, everything is nicely categorized and seems to be updated regularly. Recommended.

At some point in the future I’ll look into some of the online stores that specialize in American-made products.

Are there cameras made in USA?

25 Jan

My old little Casio camera finally bit the dust. I’m looking to buy a new digital camera, but have had ZERO luck finding a digital camera made in America!

I’m even willing to settle for assembled in USA, because I’d bet not all the parts for a digital camera are even available from American companies.

So dear readers, any suggestions? Please?

FYI, my daughter got her new “Scout” backpack from Duluth Pack in the mail and she loves it. It’s a little big for her, but she’ll grow into it. Very high quality manufacturing, it’s not cheap and plastic-y like the backpacks they sell at Costco and Wal Mart.

Backparts: part 2

20 Jan

Important note, see update below. Thanks!

This one is a follow-up to my initial entry on American-made backpacks. I had a reader named Anna e-mail me with a suggestion for American-made backpacks. This is important because:

  • There’s more brands making stuff in the US that I haven’t heard of
  • I have readers?

The brand is called Rickshaw and they make their backpacks, messenger bags, etc. in San Francisco.

What makes Rickshaw cool, aside from being made in USA, is that they have a lot of custom options — custom fabrics, sizes, colors, etc. and you can order everything online.

What’s not to like? Well, backpacks cost $180. Expensive, but loyal reader Anna insisted that they’re worth every penny. I’m considering purchasing one for myself… we shall see.

– Joe

UPDATE: Did some more research on Rickshaw. Turns out, Rickshaw bags are assembled in USA from parts made in China! On the one hand, that’s better than being made entirely in China, but on the other, I wish the whole thing were simply made here. But I do have to give them credit for being honest about this on their website.