It’s that time of year again!

school bus

As a child, the last week of August was always rather depressing.  Sure I wasn’t in school, but I would be soon.  I would go through the motions of enjoying my last week of whatever camp I was attending, but my heart just wasn’t in it.  I knew what was just around the corner.  But before I marched off to school like the brave young members of our extended American family pictured above, there was a depressing outing to be endured.  The school supply shopping excursion.  You remember them.  Being asked by your mum whether you wanted blue or black ink pens.  Like I cared.  And there was always a lot of other products to be purchased.  Notebooks.  Dividers. Binders. Labels.  The list went on and on.

Thankfully, those trips are a thing of the past for me, but my son Benjamin is still is in the market for such things since he is a sophomore in college.  So we will be buying school supplies for him in the next few weeks, but we are making sure that the aforementioned products we are buying him will be providing jobs to members of their extended American family.  I urge you to do the same.  And it couldn’t be easier.  All you have to know to send you kiddo back to school with American made school supplies, whatever his or her age, is one word.  Guided.

Guided makes lots of products that any student of any age would need to shine at school.  All of their products are made from recycled materials.  And they are made in Kent, Washington, a small city to the south of my big city of Seattle.  Guided has three levels of binders, but their original binder is fine for students.

rebinder original binder

If your child is enamored with say, unicorns, you can order custom Guided Rebinder binders with a badass unicorn on them that would allow your child’s binders to declare, “Yeah, my owner loves unicorns, and she is not ashamed to declare said allegiance on her binders!  Ya got a problem with that?”

goth unicorn

After you have the goth unicorn binders in hand, you are going to need dividers and divider labels of course.  Guided has you covered there as well, though I might forego the custom goth unicorn design on the dividers.


When it comes to notebooks, Guided has many options to offer.  Field trip in November to some swamp to observe salamander mating rituals?  How about the Guided Rite in the Rain All Weather Universal Field Book?

rite in the rain notebook

A series of trips to dusty old museums on the schedule?  I suggest Guided’s ReWrite 8″ x 10″ Recycled Notebooks (3 Pack).

rewrite 3 pack

So if you want to equip yourself or your kiddo with school supplies made by members of our extended American family from recycled materials, you need look no farther than Guided.  So get shopping!!!!

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May I introduce….


Pleased to Meet You

It is great when I find new people making things in America, new people writing about things made in America and new people selling things made in America.  So I wanted to let you know about a bunch of people who fall into one of those three categories.

People making things in America

Mohop shoes:  Wacky sandals made by members of our extended American family.

Amflag: Every flag you could want, all made in Memphis!

Gustin Men’s wear:  Nice clothing made in the city by the bay.

Blue Delta Jeans

Moore Boxers:  Free shipping, nice!

People writing about things made in America

Made & Worn

USA Made On Sale:  If you are looking for goods made by members of our extended American family at a bargain price, this is the blog for you.

Firecracker:  A really great website to visit.

We Shop American:

People selling things made in America

USA with Love

50 Roots

Totally USA Made

Oh Say USA

American Station

American Made Everything

Please check out all these wonderful people.  We can help rebuild the American middle class by buying products made by members of our extended American family.

Now get shopping!

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How timely!


I have done a few posts on watches made by members of our extended American family in the past, but I came across a great American watch post by Sarah Mazzone of Made in the USA challenge I would urge to you consult if you are in need of a new timepiece!

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Celebrate your local makers!


The folks pictured above work at Seattle’s best bike shop, R&E Cycles.  Dan Towle has owned Rodriguez Bicycles (R+E Cycles) since 1993.  Dan and his crew have been making amazing bikes on the “Ave” in Seattle for decades.  I thought of Dan today when I read a nice blog post from the New York Times about three fellas from New York City who created a very slick ecommerce site called MadeClose which features about 100 products made by members of our extended American family, mostly in New York.  At least one of MadeClose’s featured products is made in Seattle; Ample make very cool furniture and lamps in my home town.

ample table

I am going to reach out to the MadeClose trio and see if I can help them set up a Seattle outpost.  Recently, I have approached the people at King 5 television here in Seattle with the idea of doing a “Made in Seattle” episode of New Day Northwest.  I already have reached out to three Seattle manufacturers, including Dan at R&E, and hope that King 5 will let us show the people of Seattle the amazing products being made in our beautiful, vibrant city.  I will keep you posted on whether my “Made in Seattle” 15 minutes of fame comes to pass.

Please tell me about manufacturing firms in your neck of the woods that you would love to crow about.  Leave me a comment about your favorite consumer products that are made close to you.  I will do a post on as many as I can.  Remember, by buying the products that our American brothers and sisters are making, we are helping them to live the middle class dream that has always made America great.

So get shopping for American products!


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A few things in no particular order


Here are some “Made in America” stories, resources, and websites that I wanted to share with you.

Alabama Chanin

My always amazing sister Amanda is always on the look out for me for cool American made brands.  She sent me a link to a great video about Natalie Chanin and her clothing brand Alabama Chanin.  I urge you to watch the video, then go to Natalie’s website to check out her amazing clothing manufactured in Florence, Alabama

Buying American is getting easier!

There are a bunch of Made in America sites hitting the scene.  Some just promote American made goods: 50 Built, Made in America Co.,   Others are ecommerce sites like TotallyUSAMade.

The enemy is at the gates, but it may be ok

Foxconn, who makes most of Apple’s stuff in China, may soon be hiring members of our extended American family to build LCD tvs and display screens for Tesla cars.  Given the large size of bigger LCD tvs, Foxconn is said to be about to set factories on both coasts.  And Tesla and Foxconn have already decided to partner in order to allow Tesla to use Foxconn auto displays.


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This Built America


I came across a cool website recently that Ford put together.  It’s called This Built America, and it features stories about Americans making great products we all can buy to support members of our extended American family.

In the coming weeks on the blog, I will be featuring stories about Americans who have put their hopes and energy into creating products and stories about Americans who are making those products.  I have done a few posts like this in the past, but I will be providing a steady diet of American stories that I hope you will enjoy.

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Today is the first of the two World Cup semis, and I will be rooting whole heartedly for the Germans.  As you can see from the three stars on Bastian Schweinsteiger’s jersey, Die Mannschaft have won the World Cup three times (1954, 1974 and 1990).  My money is on them to win it all again this week after they dispatch Brazil this afternoon.  It would help if Schweini could slot home a goal or two.


Aside from producing amazing soccer players, German also makes amazing cars.  And some of the most amazing German cars are made by members of our extended American family in Greer, South Carolina.  All BMW X series cars are manufactured in Greer.  X3s, X5s and X6s are made in Greer and BMW just announced plans to invest $1 billion in the Greer plant and produce two new X series cars: the bigger X7 and the midsized X4.  This expansion will create 800 more jobs at the Greer plant, brining total employment to 8,800.  I like the sound of that.  800 new jobs for Americans who want the opportunity to work to support their families.

BMW has been making their SUVs in South Carolina for twenty years.  According to the article linked above, BMW workers at the Greer plant produced 300,000 X series vehicles last year, and after the expansion, they will make 450,000 vehicles a year by 2016.  By that time, Greer will be BMW’s largest plant anywhere on the globe.  More than 2.6 million X series vehicles have rolled off the Greer assembly line in the past two decades.  A University of South Carolina study found BMW and its suppliers are directly responsible for more than 30,000 jobs in the state, or more than 1 percent of South Carolina’s total workforce.

So do your part.  If you are in the market for an SUV, consider the X series vehicles.  Want something smaller?  The X3 is for you.


If you have more kiddos or dogs, the X5 is probably the car for you.


But if you want the coolest SUV on the road, splurge and get an X6.  Wow, that is a nice ride.


So no matter which X series BMW you buy, you will know two things.  First, you are getting an amazing vehicle.  Second, that vehicle was built by members of our extended American family working in Greer, South Carolina and their lives will be directly benefitted by your choice to buy an X series car.  So right after the game today, head out to your nearest BMW dealership and snap up an X series SUV of your choice.  And yes, as you drive it off the lot, you have my permission to open the window and scream:






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