Part deux: made in the USA
Published 12:00 am Friday, July 11, 2008
Caution, the following is the mother of all examples of product placement.
Like any other typical Monday, I opened the voicemail box on my phone and listened to the messages collected over the weekend.
Among the messages, I found one from a woman (who didn’t give her name) complimenting me on last week’s column, “Never made in the USA” about my never-ending search for a new dishware set made in this country.
The anonymous voice on the line first noted that she also tried to buy American made products (noting how tough it is to find an American made flag) and suggested Corelle as a brand of dishware I should check out.
She also said it would be great interest to her and others if I made a list of American made products.
So I decided to rise to the challenge and dig up brands that still bear that good ol’ “Made in the USA” stamp. To begin my search I went to my (and my co-worker Jennipher Dickens) favorite search engine Google and, well, Googled away, typing in “products made in the USA.”
Several web sites popped up, more than nine million to be exact, including GoUSAProducts.com and usstuff.com. However, one of the most detailed and complete indexes I found, with links and all, was Still Made in USA (www.stillmadeinusa.com).
On the site’s home page an array of categories are displayed, from American made apparel to home furnishings to children’s toys and baby gear. By simply clicking on one of the categories, a list of brand names and links to web sites are exhibited.
Probably one of the most interesting categories for parents, parents to be and grandparents alike is that of the children’s toys and baby gear; this past year there have been countless recalls concerning these products, which reportedly were laced with lead and other containments.
For getting the “bundle of joy” around town, American brands Cosco and Safety1st offer car seats and booster seats that are available at Kmart or the Safety1st web site.
Still Made in USA offers links to other American made baby products, including apparel, potty and bath and cribs.
As for keeping the kids entertained, Still Made recommends Zome Tool, a Denver, Colo. based company that offers colorful construction toys for tots.
The Louisville Slugger is still made in the U.S. as is Yackle Ball (the company is based out of Troutman, NC), an X-shape sports ball.
If you have a little “tot-ette,” she may enjoy a gift from Green Toys Inc., which boasts of tea sets and more. It’s also a good way to “go green” as these specially manufactured sets are made from recycled milk jugs. If you’re concerned about contaminants in the recycled plastic, the Green Toys Inc. web site states the toys are free of BPA and phthalates. These sets can be found on Amazon.com.
Greenleaf Dollhouses (based in Schenevus, NY) offers detailed dollhouse kits.
The Florida based Adoptable Kinders has handmade rag dolls with clothes and accessories.
While scanning over the web site’s list, the two categories that caught my attention were Apparel and Accessories. The categories break down styles of clothing of both men and women for all sizes. Under the Accessories section, links to boutiques that offer American made hand bags, including Cool Tote in Reno, NV and Alabama based Earthchic, yet another green company that offers hand bags made 100 percent from plastic bottles.
As for dishware, I’ve found some suitable candidates, including Fiestaware, colorful dishes made by a California based company.
While using the Still Made in USA web site, I noticed a handful of brands are “buyer beware,” as some companies make only a few of their items in America, though these products are clearly marked.
To the anonymous woman who called me, I’m sorry I can’t list everything made in the USA as room doesn’t allow it, but this web site is a good place to start your search and get ideas of where to purchase American made products.
And as for an American-made, American flag, my home state of New York offers one of the oldest companies in the nation that makes U.S. flags (since 1847). Check with Annin & Company (www.annin.com). Local stores like Wal-mart, Kmart, Staples, Sears Hardware and Office Max are among the outlets listed as offering Annin flags.
Amanda VanDerBroek is a Staff Writer for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. For comments and column suggestions email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (252) 332-7209.