While researching some standout companies that sell American-made products, (and listening to a solid suggestion in the comments section) I realized that there are too many great examples to fit into one article. So we’re going to discover some more inventive companies from every state, starting with my own neck of the woods—the Northeast! From small-batch food to handmade clothing and eco-friendly toys, these businesses will make you proud to shop locally.
Connecticut: Luke’s Toy Factory
Eco-friendly toys made in Danbury, Connecticut
They say if you want something done right, do it yourself. Luke’s Toy Factory was founded on that concept, after toy recalls overseas prompted the owner to create his own eco-friendly versions. While the trucks are manufactured using modern technology, a lot of the appeal comes from their old-school look. The bright and customizable shapes are certainly a plus for kids, but the best part has to be the construction. Luke’s toys are made from a durable and sustainable “Wood Plastic Composite” that recycles waste byproducts of U.S. manufacturers. Your kids get cool toys, and you can help support the economy and environment. Play on!
Maine: Sea Bags
Totes and accessories made from recycled sails in Portland, Maine
When you think of Maine, there’s no doubt that sailing culture comes to mind. Sea Bags manage to celebrate that lifestyle while also helping the environment and local art community. They upcycle old sails into beautifully made one-of-a-kind totes, wallets and accessories that are handcrafted by local artisans. Their trade-in program even rewards customizers with free merchandise for their old sails, which encourages recycling within the local sailing community. And If you’re really into nautical culture, check out their selection of unique bags made from vintage sails! No better way to roll up to the marina than with something cool, customized and sustainable.
Tech accessories made from reclaimed fabric and bottles in Somerville, Massachusetts
Want to protect your tech with something that feels nice and reduces waste? Check out ReFleece: a sustainable company that makes tech gear from recycled PET fibers and clothing scraps using low-energy manufacturing. By partnering with clothing companies such as Patagonia, ReFleece is able to make use of excess materials or unsellable items that would otherwise be thrown away. Buy the cases for their lightweight and shock-absorbing functionality, and enjoy the added bonus of supporting a local company that helps the environment.
New Hampshire: Calef’s Country Store
A 146-year local shopping institution in Barrington, New Hampshire
While support for shopping locally has resurged in recent years, some people were always adding to the local economy. Specifically Calef’s Country Store, a gem that’s been sourcing and celebrating local products since 1869. Almost all of their products come from New England: from handmade maple syrup candies, to pickled veggies and small-batch jams that have been made by the same family since the 1940s. Why shop around when you can celebrate the best of your state at one stop?
New Jersey: Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Co.
Fair-trade & organic coffee mailed out same-day from Monmouth, New Jersey
Want to be able to skip your daily coffee run, and unwind with something fresh and delicious? Pour yourself a cup of high-quality, handmade goodness from New Jersey’s Booskerdoo Fresh Roasted Coffee Co. On the same day you place your order, Booskerdoo roasts the beans in-house and mails them out at the peak of freshness. All of the beans are farmed ethically and organically, with Booskerdoo making sure they partner with smaller farms that really benefit from their business. Whether you’re ordering refills or enjoying a surprise from the Coffee of the Month Club, you can sip easy knowing its all fair-trade (and tasty).
New York: General Knot & Co.
Upcycled neckties and accessories made from vintage fabrics in Bedford, New York
While digging around the “#shoplocal” section of Pinterest, I stumbled upon the creative minds behind General Knot & Co. and knew they’d be the perfect fit for our New York entry. Founded by two former designers with an eye for style and sustainability, the company reinvents vintage fabrics into classic (and creative) neckwear. Their network for rare and vintage fabrics is global, everything is carefully handmade in the U.S. and guaranteed to be unique. Shop though their awesome selection to help keep talented craftsmen in the country, while looking your best!
Pennsylvania: Breadspreads by Susan
100+ varieties of jams and spreads handmade by one family in Avelia, Pennsylvania
This family-owned operation is the perfect combination of hard work, being neighborly, and celebrating local produce. Breadspreads by Susan produces over a 100 varieties of jams, jellies, mustard, butter and marmalade made from the produce they’ve grown on their 130-acre farm. They pride themselves on being all-natural, and source extra produce or ingredients from neighboring farms in the community. Buying directly from Susan at the local farmer’s market or order online, either way enjoy a delicious guarantee: she personally helps make every single jar.
Rhode Island: Farmaesthetics
100% organic skin care line made in Portsmouth, Rhode Island
When it comes to your skin, you need to know what you’re dealing with. Rhode Island-based Farmaesthetics takes this seriously, using only organic and natural ingredients in their line. From her first jar sold at a farm stand in 1999, to an international customer base, owner Brenda Brock has stayed true to her roots. She’s still the only formulator and “kitchen chemist,” so every product has her guarantee of quality and consistency. From the herbs to the oils, every ingredient is sourced from American family farms. If you’re into a nationally-recognized beauty regimen that has stayed true to their promise of sustainability, check out Farmaesthetics!
Vermont: Crowley Cheese
True American cheese handmade using a 191-year-old recipe in Healdville, Vermont
Now if there’s one thing I love unconditionally, it’s cheese. While there are many notable cheesemakers in Vermont, Crowley Cheese has a significant historic presence to go with it’s delicious taste. Since most cheese recipes were brought into the U.S., Crowley’s produces one of the few true American cheeses, while also being recognized as the oldest continuously operating cheese factory in the country. It’s all-natural, and handmade using the original cheesemaking recipe and traditional methods. Whether you try a garlic block or roll home a wheel of mesquite, you’ll be enjoying some pure American tradition.
Washington D.C.: American Made Show
An expo celebrating the best American products, held in Washington, D.C.
Leave it to the nation’s capital to go all out with their American pride. The American Made Show displays handcrafted products that have been designed and made in the U.S. From home goods to your very own DIY kit, there’s a good chance you’ll leave the expo with several new favorites. You get to spend the day browsing through new and established American designers, and educate yourself on domestically-made brands you might not have known about. Mark your calendars for January 2016!
We hope you’re ready to start shopping locally in your state! Have any other favorite American-made businesses? Let us know in the comments!