Makers Row is the only name you need to know to get in the domestic manufacturing game


 

MakersRow

I have written about Maker’s row in the past.  Ever since I learned about the folks at Maker’s Row a couple of years ago, I have followed their progress closely.  So I was very happy to see the firm and one of its founders, Matthew Burnett, get some great press recently.  If you want to start making a product in the U.S. but don’t know where to start, Maker’s row should be your first stop.

Let’s say you have an idea for a very cool overnight bag.  You pay the Maker’s row measly $20 a month subscription fee and in return you get access to their digital catalog of over 6,000 U.S. manufacturers. For each of those manufacturers you get contact info, reviews, photos and videos showcasing the manufacturer’s capabilities.

I subscribe to the Maker’s row daily update program, and the amount of work they put in creating content and resources that are useful for budding domestic manufacturers is staggering.  For example, in just the last few weeks they have published great articles on the difference between sales and marketing, jumpstarting an apparel brand, and manufacturing 101.  If you want to start manufacturing a consumer product in the U.S., you would be nuts to embark on that quest without partnering with Maker’s row.

So if you are a budding American manufacturer who longs to have your American product made by members of your extended American family, Maker’s row should be your first stop.  For a pittance a month, you can partner with the force in the Made in America movement at work today.  So contact Maker’s row today!  What are you waiting for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Marriott’s bold move


towels

Every once in a while, an American firm makes a statement about their support for American manufacturing and American workers.  Such a statement was recently made by Marriott, the iconic American hotel company.  Marriott recently announced that it would be supplying its American hotels with towels made by Standard Textile here in the U.S. Annually, Marriott will be buying 2.6 million bath towels and 4.9 million hand towels made in America, with American cotton, by members of our extended American family. In order to meet this demand, Standard Textile is adding 150 manufacturing jobs at its production facilities in the States.  And according to Abha Bhattarai of The Washington Post, this move will not cost Marriott a dime more than it is paying now.

While Marriott’s decision to support American jobs by buying American made products is huge, it should be just the beginning.  What if all the hotel chains in the U.S. made a similar commitment?  Think how many more manufacturing jobs would be created for members of our extended American family?  So come on Sheraton!  Get with the program Westin!  Don’t be a slacker Hyatt!  If all the other American hotel chains had the commitment to support American workers that Marriott has, lots of Americans, now out of work, would be employed.

The best way to support Marriott’s American made initiative is simple; if you are planning a trip somewhere and need a hotel to stay at during your visit, I got one word for you: Marriott!  If you are traveling on business and the travel planner at your firm books you at a hotel other than Marriott, mention Marriott’s bold program to support American manufacturing and American workers to the hotel’s general manager.  Who knows, you could play a role in that hotel chain getting on board with Marriott’s bold vision to support American workers.  What a deal!

Posted in american made, bathroom, Made in America, made in usa, Reshoring | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Not that kinda rug!


 

toupee

My colleague Don Woodworth was doing some decorating in his office the other day and one of the new bits of decor he added was a new area rug.  I asked Don where his new rug was made and he proudly told me it was made by members of our extended American family at Mohawk Industries.  I was intrigued, so I spent a bit of time looking into Mohawk and am I glad I did!

Mohawk Industries is located in Georgia and has a long illustrious history.  According to Wikipedia, William Shuttleworth and his four sons began making carpet in New York State in 1875 and adopted the Mohawk Carpet Mills name in 1920.  Today the firm makes carpet and rugs, ceramic tile, natural stone and hardwood flooring, and laminate flooring. Mohawk has several lines to choose from.

Mohawk’s American Rug Craftsman line of rugs are made in two communities in North Georgia:  Sugar Valley and Calhoun.  As an aside, North Georgia looks like a beautiful part of our country to visit.

Persimmon-Valley-Twilight-e

There are hundreds of rugs to choose from in Mohawk’s American Rug Craftsman line, but my three favorites are the Checkered Past in Walnut,

Checkered Past

the Emerson,

Emerson

and the Western Prairie.

western prairie

Mohawk Home offers rugs for any room in and outside your house.  Rugs for your front porch,

front door mat

rugs for your entryway,

entryway

rugs for your living room,

living room rug

 

rugs for your bathroom,

bath mat

and even rugs for your deck.

outdoor deck rug

 

Karastan rugs and carpets are made by Mohawk in Eden, North Carolina.  If you have never seen Karastan before, you are in for a very pleasant surprise.  Karastan is as good as it gets and Karastan products are all made by members of our extended American family.  A few of my favorite Karastan rugs are the Southwood Croissant rectangle,

southwood Croissant

the Oxford Navy,

oxford navy

and the Anastasia Robin’s Egg.

Anastasia Robin's Egg

I strongly encourage you to read the American Rug Craftsman story, learn more about the history of Karastan and watch some very nice videos about Mohawk and Karastan. Another reason I really recommend Mohawk products is their amazing commitment to reducing their footprint on the American environment by producing ecologically savvy products through their GreenWorks initiative.  Mohawks’s exclusive Everstrand fiber is the only 100 percent post-consumer recycled material rug fiber in the industry and Mohawk’s exclusive Smartstrand fiber is made with DuPont Sorona, a renewable sourced polymer made with actual corn.  Mohawk also offer doormats created from recycled post-consumer tires and rug pads made of recycled content.

Mohawk is playing a huge role in using “waste products” that absent Mohawk’s efforts would end up in your local land fill.  Did you know one out of every five PET plastic bottles recycled in the United States is recycled by Mohawk?  That’s over 3 billion bottles annually that are used to create Mohawk’s recycled fibers, like Everstrand.  Annually Mohawk Home recycles over 30 million pounds of rubber tires, one of the largest and most hazardous types of post-consumer waste, and gives them new life as doormats.

doormat 2

Mohawk’s durable doormats have an innovative scraping surface that cleans shoes while hiding dirt in recessed channels.  The slip-resistant surface repels water, which is great for traction in all-weather conditions.  Given the deluges of rain we routinely suffer here in Seattle, I plan on purchasing a new Mohawk doormat pronto!

Mohawk is an amazing American manufacturing firm providing employment for hundreds of members of our extended American family working in Georgia.  Buying Mohawk rugs is a win-win-win proposition.  First, you are going to get the most well made stylish rug on the market.  Second, your purchase of Mohawk rugs will provide employment to members of our extended American family working in Georgia.  And finally, by buying Mohawk rugs you will help ensure that our Country’s environment is kept ship-shape.  What a deal!

Now get shopping for some Mohawk rugs!

traditional-rugs

Posted in american made, Made in America, made in usa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Time to pack your American bag!


Ernest Alexander 
98 Thompson Location, soho
Full Release_FR

If you are in the market for some new leather luggage made by members of our extended American family, do I have a sale for you!  Ernest Alexander, the labor of love of Ernest Alexander Sabine, is having an amazing New Years sale with some items up to 70% off!  My favorite American made Ernest Alexander beauties on sale is the Perry Gym Duffel,

ea perry gym duffel

 

 

If you want to take advantage of the sale on the American made Perry Gym duffel, don’t dilly dally; the sale ends on January 4th and during the sale you can take advantage of free ground shipping.

Now get shopping!

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Scoutmob delivers the goods!


type shy

I recently came upon an amazing website that features hundreds of American makers making all sorts of great stuff.  Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Scoutmob‘s purpose is to introduce Americans like you and me to small scale independent American makers.  They feature crafted goods for men and women, for the kitchen, for the home, jewelry, gifts, you name it.  One of the coolest features of the Scoutmob website is their “Find local makers” interactive map.  By hovering over your state, you can discover which makers are featured on Scoutmob.  I get a daily Scoutmob email that provides me with loads of  products I need from local makers. Here are just three from my home state of Washington.

Kimberline Co.

Kimberlin Co.

When I first learned what was involved in creating Kimberlin rings, I was aghast. Cutting up perfectly good spoons!  I think that is still a crime in England, Land of Tea.  But when I saw how cool Kimberlin rings are, I was on board.

Buds-Ridges-Spoon-Ring-kimberlin-1423594508

Stumpdust

stumpdust

Stumpdust is the business Andy Chapman has created in Duvall, Washington.  Andy makes all sorts of amazing wood creations using his trusty lathe.  All of the wood Andy uses in his business is locally sourced and recycled. The wood is either harvested from Andy’s property in Duvall or within a 100 mile radius of his property.  My favorite Stumpdust products on Scoutmob are Andy’s Salvaged Wood Honey Dipper, very reasonably priced at $10,

Salvaged-Wood-Honey-Dipper-stumpdust-1435345232

and his Salvaged Wood Bottle Stopper Set, a steal at $20.

Salvaged-Wood-Bottle-Stopper-stumpdust-1435345229

And if you want to learn to turn wood, you can visit Duvall and Andy will teach you how to do it!

Studio Manufact

Manufact glasses

If you want to get some very cool glasses, look no further than the glasses made by Studio Manufact available on Scoutmob.  Sean O’Neill is glassblower who runs Studio Manufact.  O’Neill received his B.F.A. in glass from the A.C.C. at Tennessee Tech University in 2005 and was an artist in residence at Northlands Creative Glass Centre in Lybster, Scotland and our very famous Pilchuck Glass School in Stanwood, WA. Sean’s Green Upcup Recycled Glass tumblers are available on Scoutmob.

green-upcup-recycled-glass-tumblers-set-of-3-1389800814

Sean’s amazing stacking Demi Bowls are available on his website.

Stack

So I urge you to check out Scoutmob and all the amazing members of our extended American family that are making useful and beautiful products.

Now get shopping!

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Santa might be stopping by!


Germany Christmas Markets - Dresden via GCM-ORG-UKWith Christmas less than two weeks away, the gift buying imperative is upon us.  This year I have decided to try to purchase Christmas gifts which are produced by individual American makers.  A great place to find such gifts are the myriad of holiday markets in America. The Germans are also big fans of Christmas markets and have been for more than a few years. The Striezelmarkt pictured above has been held in the northern German city of Dresden since 1434.

Next weekend I plan on attending the Renegade Craft Fair at Magnuson Park’s Hangar 30.  More than 175 local makers will be hawking their wares.  If you attend you can do more than buy handmade gifts; you can participate in hands-on workshops and gorge yourself on tasty treats from local vendors. What’s not to like?

I couldn’t wait for the Renegade Craft Fair, so last weekend I attended the Urban Craft Uprising at Seattle Center.  There were a ton of great gifts on offer from lots of makers from Portland and Seattle.  I plan on doing a load of posts on all the makers I met last weekend, but I wanted to let you know about the two firms I discovered that simply have to be on your gift buying list for this year.

great & small

Great & Small

Great & Small is a firm from Portland, Oregon that makes simply amazing handmade, hand painted, utterly original works of art depicting various members of the animal kingdom.

panda

I got myself a narwhale at the Urban Craft Uprising.

narwhale

These Great & Small guys really have a sense of humor.  Don’t believe me? Well check out their KISS Panda Band series featuring Gene Simmons Panda,

Gene Simmons panda

Paul Stanley Panda,

Paul Standley Panda

and Peter Criss Panda.

Peter Criss Panda

You can almost hear the strains of “Rock and Roll All Nite” just looking at these pandas!   Great & Small will be in attendance at the Crafty Wonderland in Portland, Dec 13-15.

careful it bites

Careful It Bites

If you are looking for really whimsical stuffed animals, look no further than Careful It Bites.  Kelice Penney is the amazing seamstress that sews the delightful collection of Careful It Bites animals in Seattle.  My favorites of Kelice’s creations are her Woolly Yetis,

woolly-yeti-3

her Catballs,

catballs-scene-1

and her hilarious Flasher Bat.

flasher-bat-1

So rather than shopping at the mall this year for gifts made God knows where, with God knows what, by God knows who, buy gifts made by your neighbors in Seattle, Portland or wherever else in this wonderful country you happen to live.  By purchasing gifts made by members of our extended American family, we can put money back into our communities and be able to give unique wonderful presents in the bargain.

Now get shopping!

 

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The Festive Period is officially underway!


presents pictures

If you live in England, the “Festive Period” is generally thought of as the period of time between Christmas and New Years.  But I tend to think of the entire month of December as the Festive Period and my Festive Period got underway last week with the Gray Magazine Holiday party at Design Within Reach, a wonderful furniture firm in Seattle where I live.  By the way, Design Within Reach is currently having a great sale on the iconic Herman Miller Chair; the Herman Miller Chair Company has been making its chairs in Zeeland, Michigan for over a century.  I got invited to the Gray party because I have done a few guest posts on their blog in the past.  Gray put on a delicious spread of nosh and while at the party I met a host of wonderful makers making great stuff for the home: Nick of Urban Hardwoods, Ross of Surface Theory, David of Seattle Stair and Design and Tammy of Savvy Cabinetry by Design.  Over the next few weeks, I will be featuring each of these firms on this blog or on the blog associated with my Homerica website, “Stories of Home“.  And beginning tomorrow, look for a series of posts suggesting great presents for Christmas made by members of our extended American family.

 

Posted in american made, Furniture, Made in America, made in usa, Seattle, Washington State Products, Website | Leave a comment