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As Black Friday Nears Remember to Shop American!!

November 17, 2011

You may be like me right now.  Sitting there saying to yourself, “I should really get started on my Christmas or Hanukkah shopping”.  But if you’re anything else like me you may also be saying, “I would like to support as much American business as possible while doing it!”.  And that is where the difficulty creeps in.  I could sit on a high horse and say you should make every purchase American made but that would be completely unrealistic not only for you but also me.  I’ve had some real life changes that have limited my income in the last few months and I’ve definitely realized how difficult it is to not only buy gifts for the holidays but also ones that don’t strain the pocketbook and aren’t made in China.  I have to admit whenever I see those words, “Made in China”, I cringe and unless there are no other options within reason I put the item back.  But what do you do when you have kids that have their hearts set on specific items and you don’t want Santa to let them down?  I think that is where you may need to make an exception and to offset your foreign-made buy for your children, you will then need to find a way to give American-made gifts to the other individuals in your circle.  With them you typically have a bit more wiggle room.

For example, I’m sure in your office or place of business there may be some sort of gift exchange happening in the coming weeks.  Lets say you have a limit of $20.  I think a convenient way to support the American economy is to either buy a gift card from a locally owned eatery or coffee shop or how about a unique gift made here in the USA by local artists.  It doesn’t matter where you live in the country.  With great websites such as Etsy.com you can find one of a kind items in the comfort of your own home that will surely bring a smile to your friends’, family or co-worker’s face and will allow you to rest easy knowing you’re helping a fellow American.

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’m not out to buy the run of the mill American made items that I tend to find elsewhere.  Such as overalls and hunting gear.  I want to find items that are young, trendy and fun.  No matter if you’re a 20-year-old, a 35-year-old hipster or simply young at heart, we too would like to make a difference with American purchases but it seems that our shopping needs are often times forgotten. Many of the items I showcase tend to lean more towards the girly side (sorry guys!) but as in this post I also find a few items for the boys.  Like the magnets below!

Check out http://www.etsy.com/shop/saturndesigns for examples of one-of-a-kind decorative tiles, coasters, and magnets for every type of personality.  I  know the person that runs this Etsy site and she makes all of her items by hand with recycled materials in the Mid-West.

Another great American company with ideal products for holiday purchases is Juice Beauty.  Not only are their products “Made in the USA”  but this organic skin care line makes all attempts to source their ingredients from the West Coast!  I’ve had the chance to buy a gift set of theirs and it is a phenomenal deal for the ingredient-conscious consumer.  Their products smell great and will have the females in your life radiating in no time.  Check out the Organics to Go kit for only $29.  This is the one that I purchased and I also highly recommend the SPF 8 Lip Moisturizers because they make great stocking stuffers!

The last company that I highly recommend this season is Taylor Guitars.  Taylor Guitars has been celebrated and endorsed by musicians such as Jason Mraz (one of my all-time favorites!) and Taylor Swift.  This is not a gift for a coworker but more for a teenage son or daughter or even your spouse.  If you’re looking for something that will be the talk under the Christmas tree while supporting an American company then this is a winner.  Taylor Guitars has its main factory in El Cajon, CA.  A few of their guitars are manufactured just south of the border but from my understanding only the Baby, Big Baby and 100-200 series are made in Mexico.  They have an extensive line of other guitars both acoustic and electric, made in the USA and this company is also known for keeping music alive in schools in its local community.  Hundreds of Americans are employed at their El Cajon headquarters and that is why I think this holiday season you should give the gift of music.  What better way to support the jobs of American workers with an added bonus of supporting our youth!  Their guitars are distributed around the world and can be purchased at music stores everywhere.  You can find your local dealer at www.taylorguitars.com/dealers/.  And, if you’re in the area you can even drop in for a factory tour.

Now that I’ve armed you with some great gift ideas from USA companies, it’s time to get this shopping season under way! Happy Thanksgiving…Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

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