Posts Tagged ‘shop local’

Remember this post about how I was going to make sure all my Christmas presents were USA-made this year? Let’s just say I started out strong and then, when I realized I only had 3 shopping days left, completely panicked and just started buying anything I could find that I thought the person would mildly like. That’s part of the fun, right?

Nevertheless, I thought I’d share some of my finds and my grand tally. Out of THIRTEEN gifts that Ryan and I purchased, EIGHT were Made in the USA and FOUR were purchased from locally-owned businesses. We also purchased FOUR additional gifts that were experiences or services, like tickets to a basketball game (for our dads) or getting Ryan’s car detailed for him. While these don’t exactly fit in with the “Made” in the USA theme, they certainly promote our local economy.

I purchased a good number of things from Etsy this year, like this adorable bracelet by junghwa that I picked out for my cousin Rachel. And while the artist isn’t local (she’s based out of Washington state), I love the idea that I’m supporting a small-business and hopefully giving someone the chance to make a living doing something she loves. And, how cute is the bracelet? I mean, c’mon!

That was easy, though. How about trying find something Made in the USA at Bed Bath & Beyond? My mom suggested I might get my dad some K-cups as a stocking stuffer because she was getting him a Keurig. And, she also recommended that Bed Bath and Beyond had a good selection of flavors. I approached the wall, literally wall, of options and started turning over boxes… Made in Canada, Made in China, etc.

Before long, though, I was able to find a few good options of K-cups that were Made in the USA, like Green Mountain Coffee’s Breakfast Blend. I have to say, I was most encouraged by this find. It gives me a little hope that shopping at big-box stores (that seem to value out-pricing their competitors more than anything else) and buying USA-made are not completely incompatible. Like I admitted in the first paragraph, I am definitely one of those people that, at times, panics and just throws anything into my cart, but if you take a little time on one trip to find a brand you like that’s Made in the USA, hopefully that can be the brand you blindly throw into your cart in your next shopping frenzy.

For the record, the only two gifts that I was able to buy both locally from a small-business and USA-made were a silver bracelet, that I bought and had engraved for our god-daughter Lacey, and a picture frame I had engraved for Ryan. Both were purchased from The Engraving Shop in Charlottesville.


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Ryan and I have been talking non-stop about american manufacturing after recently watching The Last Truck, a documentary about the closing of a GM auto plant in Morraine, OH. What can I say? I am my father’s daughter.

Living in Charlottesville, Ryan and I think about, talk about and probably buy locally more often than the average American. We live in small town with a lot of high-quality, family-owned businesses and we’re surrounded by farm country, which provides us with good, local food options. But this documentary opened our eyes and made us realize that we need to go one step further and not only buy local (supporting local shops) but also buy products that have been manufactured in America (which could be at a local shop or a big box store).

It’s rare that I pick up a piece of clothing, for instance, and look at where it’s made. I was surprised, then, after watching the documentary and inspecting my wardrobe, to pick up the level 99 jeans I’d recently bought at Bittersweet, a clothing boutique on the Downtown Mall, and find that they were made in the usa!

Doesn’t my ass look good here? JK, that’s not my ass.

I was pretty elated: supporting a local business- check; buying American-made products- check! level 99 is also available at Nordstrom and Anthropologie— who both also carry AG jeans which are made in the USA.

Ryan and I can’t afford to buy everything local/ USA starting today— we’d be the best dressed, most well fed Cvillians with no dinero— but we can make little steps and changes gradually. And, you know we won’t be throwing out our Chinese-assembled iphones anytime soon in protest!

Christmas is coming up and, like most families, Ryan and I will spend a nice chunk of our disposable income over the next two months. I’m going to challenge myself this year to make sure that all of my gifts are either purchased locally or made in the USA. Yikes! This could be tough, but I’m up for it! I hope I can share some of my good finds over the next few months. And, if you’re on my Christmas list, it looks like you’ll be having a very, merry American Christmas!

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