Monday, November 25, 2013

Made in the USA

It's no secret (or maybe it is) that my day job is at a domestic Christmas ornament designer and manufacturer. I think Christmas year-round. I also think a lot about products: where they come from, who is making them, how they're making them, and what they're putting into them. Every time someone buys an imported Christmas ornament, they are taking food right out of my baby's mouth. As such, I do my best to support other US manufacturers. This Christmas I am urging everyone to do the same, because let's face it, we need some help here.

Let's start with Christmas ornaments, and really, there's only one place to get them...

Gloria Duchin.
Gloria Duchin, Inc. is a thirty-four-year-old company based in Rhode Island. Fifteen feet from my desk is the factory, where I can walk out back and see the finishing touches applied to each ornament. When you call our company, your call does not go to India, it comes right here, to the front of the office. Chances are, you'll speak directly to me at some point. When you order an ornament from us, it usually ships out same day, because IT'S RIGHT HERE. Everything we sell is lead-free, cadmium-free, and made to last. No excuses that they're hard to find either, because our ornaments are sold in mass market retailers nationwide. So what are you waiting for? My baby is hungry.

Green Toys.
My son loves trucks, and when I saw these, I practically had a heart attack. Not only are these Green Toys made in the USA, they are MADE OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC. Good God. I can save American jobs and the Earth at the same time?? We already got my son the dump truck and he loves it. It was affordable, and so far, pretty durable. He has thrown it around quite a few times and it's still in one piece. If you have a child who loves trucks, he or she needs one of these.

I already buy a bazillion books anyway, so it feels good when I see the little line, "printed in the USA." Do you know what that means? My eight-dollar book purchase bought paper from a paper mill in Vermont that was then sent to a printer in New Jersey. They received the art files from a designer in New York, and then the books were shipped to a US book retailer, in a shipping carton made from more Vermont paper. Just make sure, when you are buying books, to check the copyright page for that "printed in the USA," line because not all of them are. In that case though, you can buy the digital copy that was usually written by an author from her basement in Cleveland.

More ideas
I hate double-doing work. It's a waste of time when someone else has already done it better and with more detail. This blog is great: USA Lovelist. They have stories, products suggestions, gift guides, and their own Amazon powered store featuring domestic products, a lot of them you already know and love.

And don't forget, this Saturday is Small Business Saturday, so buy your favorite USA-printed books from your local bookstore!

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