Friday, November 12, 2010

Handmade in America

I have always been a watcher. I watch everything, and it began at an early age. I remember thinking, at age 9, when the gov't reduced the amount of silver in our coins to almost nothing, that the money was almost worthless. From that point on the prices of things began to rise. I remember thinking, in high school, when Nixon took us off the gold standard, that since there was absolutely no standard for the printing of our money, that from that point on it was worth exactly what the gov't. would manipulate it to be. If they decided to print more of it, it would be worth less. If they decided to print less, it would be worth more. We were then under the whim of the gov't. To add to this, America makes almost nothing to sell to each other and to other countries, and what we do own is now micromanaged by the gov't. Those who produce handmade goods in the US experienced this in a big way this year as the hammering out of the new CPSIA regulations have been taking place. We had to fight to be able to produce anything for children at all without having to pay for outrageously expensive testing on all materials. My beef: if the offending materials come from outside the country, then why do we have to pay for it. Why not do the testing at the ports, and make the offending companies pay for it. Not feasible you say, I say it's more feasible than making every small business or crafter in this country pay to have it done every time a new batch of materials is purchased. After all, these companies make millions on sweatshop labor, and flood our market with cheap goods that become a lot more expensive because our sellers have to pay for the testing of their harmful products. I have to ask, if the price of children's products are going to sky rocket (and they will) as soon as, CPSIA is fully in effect, then why not spend the same money on a domestic handmade product. This country might even be allowed to produce again on a large scale.

I don't grieve over imports but, to have an economy that will thrive, you have to make something to sell. Since, we buy so much that comes from sweatshops, we are use to paying little for what we have. The only problem with that is that since we have little industry to make our money with, and the money we do make has been long spent by the gov't, their only answer is to print more causing us to spend more for everything. My answer to this is to buy made in America. Imports are not bad, but we must have some support for our own industry.

Since, I am not a person capable of starting a manufacturing plant in this country, my answer is to make what I can with my own two hands, and sell, or trade it to someone in this country or another. The point is that it was made in this country. I have always enjoyed using beautiful yarns made in other countries, and at times will continue to do so. But, I have made this decision: I will begin to buy yarns made in this country. Since there is only one place in this country that manufactures yarn, I will buy from them, or HANDMADE IN AMERICA by someone who spins.

There are many venues now to buy handmade. If you click on this blog title, it will take you to my shop. If I don't have anything you like, you can find almost anything on Etsy. And, just to list a few, there are Artfire, Zibbet, Cargoh, and more. You don't have to buy handmade (although it's almost all we have left), but buy American. I invite anyone who makes products in this country to post your business name and product in the comments section. If you are looking for made in America check out those who list their businesses in the comments. In the future, I am going to be blogging about made in America businesses. If you come across businesses handmade or otherwise list them in the comments. I will blog about some of them.


  1. Interesting & thought provoking blog post. I buy as many things second-hand as I can. While that is not an answer to the dilemma it is what I feel comfortable doing. It suits my style, too, because of the interesting variety of things at rummage sales, thrift stores, etc.

    Some think time = money. If so, then I am quite wealthy! ;-)

  2. And I have as well, Sarah. Buying second-hand doesn't subtract from the equation much because, most of what you buy second-hand is made somewhere else anyway, and the person you buy it from benefits not the factory it came from.

    I hear you about the amount of time put into it.

  3. Here is my first entry in the list of American made businesses: This is a great site that gives access to made in America businesses that sell almost anything you could want. Check it out if you are looking for American made products.

  4. For me, this thought provoking subject made a home in my brain 18 years ago when I lost my "full time" wholesale business to imported ornaments~ I was saddened when fellow artisans licensed their designs out to importers. I even remember when it was justified by great spin in their marketing.
    I am so happy that I can give my business to great crafters; along with having my raw materials cut by wonderful people living in the USA!
    Thanks so much for this great post!

  5. Nancy's beautiful hand-crafted ornaments made from materials crafted here in the US can be found here:

  6. Hi Dianne! Of course I remember--hard to forget a conversation about my uncle breaking somebody else's collarbone! I'm so glad you're interested in my blog. I used to blog with Xanga, but fell out of the habit a few years ago. But I'm eager now to use it to share the wonderful things God is doing in my life.

    It's neat how you have realistic ways to advocate American industry. I had about given up on the idea that Americans even want to make things anymore, but you're proving me wrong. Thanks!

  7. Hi, Jenny Beth! Yes, Americans do want to make things, a lot of them do. It has become so hard to do so, that many give up or go under. Those who can, flee the country where there are almost no regulations and dirt cheap labor.

    I'm so glad to hear from you again. How are things on the mission field?