8,418 Made in America Products — Holiday Gift Guide

pink flamingo lawn ornaments designed by don featherstone in 1957Once I started my little Made in America Holiday Gift Guide series, I quickly got connected to that piece of the blogosphere really into the subject — uncovering a motherlode of ways to tap into Made in USA products. Up first, though, is that perennial favorite and mid mod essential that I cover every year: Don Featherstone flamingos lawn ornaments. Made in the USA since they went on sale in 1958, the Featherstone flamingos (accept no substitute) may be found at local retailers, or you can buy them easily from Amazon:

Now you must admit, you’re curious how I am going to cover the other 8,417 products, aren’t you? Well, you’ll just have to click on through to see for yourself –>

made in america jacketSecond spotlight: Filson has been manufacturing and retailing outdoor clothing and accessories since 1897. It is based in Seattle, with a union workforce. Above: A woman’s wool cruiser. There’s also quite a large selection of outwear for men. Note, I spotted a few imported pieces. Filson gets snaps for identifying country of origin clearly on each item on the website. Prices are not cheap, but Filson seems to take great pride in their product — these are lifetime pieces. One of our readers, JKaye noted in my first Made in the USA story, about wool socks:

… I got my daughter a Filson women’s timber jacket last Christmas. She is a forester and actually wears it to work in, but it is so sharp that she also wears it out on the town (after picking the burrs off, of course). The quality is great and it will last forever. My husband has a Filson wool vest that he wears to work a lot in the winter because his office is so cold.

gainey circle planterUp third: When I wrote about the Made in America LaGardo Tackett planters still available from Vessel USA, several readers piped up, “Gainey!” Yes, Gainey Ceramics is another California company with ceramic planters with a true midcentury modern pedigree and still locally made — 100% US-made with 100% US materials. (Blanks for the production fiberglass pieces, Gainey informs me, come from overseas. Gainey says their circle planter, above, is their best selling ceramic planter. I know my DH would love one of these, or one of the lovely bird feeders — they sure are snappy.

So… how do you get to the other 8,415 Made in America products? Well, on Black Friday the website AmericanManufacturing.org posted a story showing the results from searching “Made  in USA” on several large retailers’ websites. The accuracy of this hunting method is totally dependent on how well these retailers “tag” each item in their online catalog. In any case, here are the results of AmericanManufacturing.org’s quick survey:

  • homer laughlin dinnerware made in the usaNordstrom — 5,465 products online Made in USA. I tried it — yup. Tip: You cannot search “made in usa” within categories, but, you can put the category in the search bar with “made in usa” to narrow your search. That is, search “made in usa womens” to get to those items.
  • Macy’s — 2,413 Made in USA products online. I just did the search got 2,408 – so I am going to use my number. Homer Laughlin dinnerware from Macys — sweet!
  • Sears — 500+ (their search function stops counting after this number) Made in USA products online. Warning: I found it very difficult to use this site. I am not confident all the products that come up via this method of search are really Made in USA — please read descriptions to verify…

Ummm, get the idea, you can try this at any website. Again, though, success pivots on their tags. Retailer-webmasters, get to it!

Ensuring trustworthy claims.
Moving on to my last resource for today, “Made In America Certified” is an organization that validates companies’ Made in America claims. It has 42 certified companies on its holiday gift list — companies that have completed the certification process. To be frank, most of these products aren’t what I’d call nifty gifties for the holidays, but this site gets on my list for its process — they are right: To truly trust that a product is Made in the USA, 3rd party verification is really smart. Made in America Certified also recognizes that there are different aspects of “Made in the USA” considering all pieces of the value chain. So, they have three different levels of certification — shown above.
According to Diane Sawyer’s continuing Made in America series on ABC-TV:
The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn’t even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs.

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Comments

  1. John says

    Hi Pam,

    Your Made in the USA is great especially at this time of year and during this recession with so many people unemployed. Another thing to consider is buying LOCAL. I work in a small downtown store in Northampton,MA and there is a strong BUY LOCAL credo. If people buy everything online or in big box chain stores downtown areas dry up and the vibrant downtown’s with shops and restaurants go away like so many cities already. (stepping off my soapbox)

    Thanks for all the great retro ideas you show us. I’m in the process of designing a pattern for my new kitchen floor and your website and links have been a great resource. I plan on using Marmoleum tiles.

    AtomicHipster

    • says

      I’m actually wearing my “Support Local” shirt today. I just have to be mindful when I have it on as to not stroll into Target or Lowes. Thankfully one of my good buddies owns a deli and the wife works at a local bakery on Saturdays, so I have no issues wearing it there.

      I read an article a while back, and my figures might be wrong, but if every American spent an extra $33 a year on US Made Goods, it would create 10,000 jobs nationally. maybe someone can do some fact checking on that for us.

  2. says

    We have that exact same set of Flamingos out front, except for Christmas time when we replace them with our light up Holiday Flamingos.

  3. patty says

    we have our snowmingos out, they are the white version. the pink ones come out in the springtime. thanks for posting this and all the great sources for us mcm collectors.happy holidays to all!

  4. Linda says

    There is the wonderful Heath Ceramics in Sausalito, California. Everything is still made locally and the design is beautiful. The company was founded in 1946 by ceramic artist Edith Heath. Their tiles and dinnerware are gorgeous.

  5. Gayle says

    Are there any pet items that are made in the US? Every time I look for a chew toy or sweater, they’re made in China! Please help!

  6. hannah says

    Thanks for the Made in America links, Pam! I bought my flamingo’s from the link above right after we closed on the house. Great quality and supporting an American original! And, I loved the story on the website too.

  7. says

    Pam thank you trying to keep jos in America. I am trying to do the same thing. I have created a website that promotes only American Made Archery Supplies. I am trying to give Americans an informed choice so that they can buy Ameirican made products that are of high quality at a competitive price. My ultimate goal is to keep Americans working in America. God Bless the USA!!!

  8. RetroSandie says

    Hi Pam~I think it’s wonderful that you have us all thinking about “Made in USA”. I know I’ve become more aware! I wanted to tell you of one of my favorite things that I discovered is proudly made in the USA: Whitman’s Sampler!! I recently got one for my birthday (I’ve loved Whitman’s since I was a kid!!) and there is a little card in the box that explains the Whitman’s Chocolatier Facilities and Distribution Centers.
    “American Made Inside and out – Our corporate office, four manufacturing plants and six distribution centers employ more than 2,500 workers in eight states. From Reno, NV to Ruther Glen, VA to Corsicana, TX our hard-working associates make this candy just for you. In addition to the chocolates, all of the Sampler box packaging is manufactured in the USA as well, leveraging the talents and products of nearly a dozen US-based companies. We partner with companies such as St. Louis Litho in St. Louis, MO, belmark inc in De Pere, WI and Caraustar in Austell, GA, to provide you with the highest quality American made product.”
    When I read this little card, I was so pleased to find one of my all-time favorites is made right here!!!
    So, who wouldn’t love a Whitman’s Sampler for Christmas???? 🙂

  9. Kerstin says

    I don’t know what it is about Sears/Kmart, their websites have always been notoriously bad and buggy.

    REI has a slick filter for Made in America, if you are looking for outdoorsy items. You can basically shop the site like normal, but you will only see Made in America products. If amazon had a filter like that, it would be awesome.

    If you want to see more Made in America products at the website you frequent, and want to make it easier to find them, I would suggest that everybody take two minutes to drop an e-mail to customer service every opportunity that they can at the sites that you shop at. Let them know that it is important to you as a customer!!

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