Consumer patriotism is at an all time high, manufacturing jobs are on the rise and the Census Bureau reports U.S. exports have increased about 20 percent. Buying American employs Americans, so next time you're in the market for a few things for your home, take some cues from chef and cookbook author Kathleen Daeleman as she dishes up the season's hottest home-grown housewares.
Homer Laughlin: Fiesta Dinnerware
The 1950s saw a large increase in imported dinnerware produced in countries with very low labor costs. The competition took its toll on American potteries and many didn’t survive. The Homer Laughlin China Company, the maker of Fiesta Dinnerware, reinvented itself to focus more on restaurant grade china and survived. Today they employ more than 700 people in a mile-long factory located in the tiny town of Newell, West Virginia. Known for their generosity, community support and outreach, it’s not uncommon to see three generations of family members working at the factory.
About Fiesta Dinnerware: Fiesta Dinnerware has been made in America for more than 75 years, is lead free, offers a 5-year chip replacement warranty and comes in 15 different colors (homerlaughlin.com. $4.99 and up).
The last standing American flatware manufacturer, and the only flatware made in the USA! Founded in 2005, Liberty Flatware in Sherill, N.Y. uses 18-10 stainless steel, also made in the USA. Five star quality, with a nice heavy hand feel, Liberty Flatware knives are made with hollow handle construction using the same manufacturing process as for fine sterling (libertytabletop.com, 20 piece sets $99.95).
Handcrafted kitchen utensils made using renewable wood from the Michigan Glacial Hardwood region, an area world-renowned for producing the finest hardwood lumber. Michigan's forests are managed, harvested and regenerated to maintain their status as premier forest land, making Michigan hardwoods a truly renewable resource. All products finished with food safe mineral oil(loonhardwoods.com, $5 and up).
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These are modern housewares with vintage flair — a dash of the 1950’s and a splash of nature in every design. ArtGoodies tea towels, aprons and pillows are handmade and hand printed by Lisa Price in her Grand Rapids, Mich. home studio using organic cotton and vintage fabrics (artgoodiesonline.com, $8 and up).
Mainstreet Revolution and Overstock.com
Overstock.com created Main Street Revolution in June 2010, with economic recovery in mind. Main Street Revolution allows smaller, U.S. based companies and minority-owned businesses the opportunity to offer their products to a mass audience and garner exposure in the national market place. All pet-pampering products featured in today's segment are "Made In the USA" by small U.S. based companies. A few standout items:
- From Ruff Stuff USA, Certified organic Kosher catnip sachets (set of 4, $13.69)
- From Bone Bons Organic Dog Treats, 100 percent organic doggie chocolate hearts ($7.99)
- From Foppers Pet Treat Bakery, dog bone treats (pack of 20, $32.99)
- Fabric pet beds from Mozaic ($89.99-$109.99)
A lifestyle collection for pets and people who care about good design. California-made and eco-friendly, Kittypods are conversation pieces in the home. Supa Plush beds are made of organic cotton sherpa and hemp canvas, prewashed for a relaxed beachy-chic look with removable covers. Partially recycled, industrial grade and constructed with super dense cardboard, habitats and scratchdecks are handmade and built to last longer (kittypod.com, from $26).
Since 1900, Stickley has been handcrafting some of America’s finest solid wood furniture in New York State. A few standout items:
- Ellis Rocker —Harvey Ellis rocker originally designed by Gustav Stickley in 1901 ($799, oak or cherry)
- Bracket clock — crafted from solid oak, and a great gift item ($236)
- The Stickley collector’s edition cabinet — this collector’s edition cabinet, with its intricate inlay of Mother of Pearl, along with pear, maple and magnolia wood on its door, is being manufactured only in 2012 ($999, oak or cherry)
Eco-friendly products for the home including a full line of kitchen products, tableware and storage containers using 100 percent recycled plastic that are BPA free and made in the USA. They're everyday products that are good for people and the planet (preserveproducts.com, $2.99 and up).
The vast majority of Method's green cleaning supplies are made in America (only 4 of their over 200 products are not).This line of people and pet-friendly cleaning supplies is also packaged in 100 percent recycled plastic (most of which is sourced in the U.S.), and specially formulated to put the hurt on dirt without harming a hair on you or your loved ones’ head (methodhome.com, $3.99 and up).
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