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After exploring some stand-out American-made shops in the Northeast, it’s time to see the Southern perspective! All across the South, companies are taking pride in producing high-quality goods right at home. So check out some of our favorite examples, and see which should be a part of your next local shopping trip.
Alabama: Alabama Chanin
A sustainable & handmade clothing line from Florence, Alabama.
After a stint in New York, Natalie Chanin returned to Alabama with big plans: Create a hand-stitched clothing line in her hometown, the former “T-Shirt Capital of the World.” Cut to 15 years later and Alabama Chanin is a beautiful example of what happens when you value traditional artistry and eco-friendly practices. Using only 100% organic cotton that’s sustainably sourced, the company employs American seamstresses to hand-stitch each piece. While the clothes can be pricy, you know you’re getting a high-quality investment, which is often compared to collecting art.
An online shop only selling state-made products in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Great name, even better concept: Arkie-ology is an online shop (and soon-to-be retail location) with plans to sell the best products the state has to offer. They’re the first store to sell exclusively Arkansas-made products, most of them handmade, and stress the importance of helping local craftsmen run their own businesses. From detailed pottery to handmade toys, they really celebrate local talent. We’re envisioning a new local favorite when the site officially launches on October 30th!
Delaware: Tumbleweed & Eddie’s
All-natural dog treats made with care on Fenwick Island, Delaware.
Your furry friends deserve the Golden Rule treatment: Feed them how you would want to be fed. All of Tumbleweed & Eddie’s dog treats are “human-grade,” meaning the ingredients are natural and without fillers, preservatives or other potentially harmful additives. Everything is locally sourced, and you can see the care and attention to detail behind each package. With flavors that include “Boardwalk Pizza” and “Crab Cake,” don’t be embarrassed if you mistake them for actual human-treats.
Florida: Black Coral Rum
Small-batch craft rum, made locally in North Venice, Florida.
Made from local sugar cane and other all-natural ingredients, Black Coral Rum is the perfect beachside drink. The family-owned distillery takes pride in overseeing every aspect of production, even going so far as to custom build all of the machinery themselves! The rum is smooth and uniquely spiced, with a flavor profile that’s getting a lot of attention and love from locals. And with $1 of every sale going directly to aid U.S. veterans in need, you can’t get much more American pride than that.
Georgia: Georgia Grinders
Handcrafted, small-batch nut butters made in Atlanta, Georgia.
Listen to your elders, kids. Georgia Grinders‘ founder Jamie Foster turned her grandfather’s original almond butter recipe into a range of healthy and delicious spreads. The only ingredients are the highest-quality non-GMO nuts available and some sea salt. Seriously, that’s it. No sugar, oil or other additives are included, and everything is slow-roasted to perfection. Since everything is handcrafted in small batches, you know you’re getting a product made with attention to detail. Supporting a local business while enjoying something good (and good for you) means everyone wins.
Kentucky: Louisville Stoneware
Handcrafted stoneware made in Louisville, Kentucky since 1815.
As one of the oldest companies in the United States with a history rooted in Southern culture, Louisville Stoneware is a testament to artistry and tradition. All of the products are made by local artists using regionally-sourced clay and techniques that date back hundreds of years. They offer a range of products, from traditional tablewares to customized snack platters for sports fans. Who’d have thought a 200-year-old company could still be leading the locally-made pack?
Louisiana: Tchoup Industries
Backpacks made from reclaimed & locally-sourced materials in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Tchoup Industries of New Orleans celebrates local culture and environmental-respsonsibility while producing very on-trend backpacks. Items like old boat sails or discarded curtains are often repurposed into the designs, which come with a lifetime warranty that speaks to the quality. If you’re ready to deviate from the standard waterproof model, there are always upgrades like ethical-fur detailing or custom-made weavings by Louisiana artists. Look good, shop local!
Maryland: Cotton Monster
Handmade stuffed “monsters” using upcycled materials in Baltimore, Maryland.
Here’s one for the kids! Baltimore native Jennifer Strunge turned her extensive art background into Cotton Monster, adorable handmade and upcycled stuffed “animals.” Most of the monsters are made from thrifted fabrics Jennifer cleans and reinvents, from sweatshirts to tiny fabric scraps. And despite having clientele that includes Johns Hopkins, everything is still lovingly handmade in her Baltimore studio on one sewing machine. So the next time your kiddos need a gift, grab them something environmentally-responsible (and super cute).
Fresh, local honey made in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
Producing all-natural wildflower honey is a family affair for Beelicious. Owners Melanie and Keith Dale care so much about their integrating their community in the process that the often travel around the area educating local schoolchildren on the importance of bees. Their standard wildflower honey sounds delicious, but the varietal honey made from a single flower species offers a unique chance to enjoy the “flavors of the Deep South.” Raw wildflower honey, body lotions and all-natural candles are just some of the great sweet treats they offer, so definitely check them out.
North Carolina: High Cotton
Handmade 100% cotton bowties produced by locals in Raleigh, North Carolina.
“Our locally hand-cut and hand-sewn products support the revival of the North Carolina textile industry and the Southern tradition of the mannerly, warm, and approachable well-dressed gentleman.” In a region with deep roots in the cotton industry, High Cotton utilizes local talent to celebrate and bring back the once-standard look of a gentleman. Supporting local business while encouraging others to look their best is true Southern hospitality!
Oklahoma: Shawnee Milling Company
A 109-year family tradition of quality milled grains in Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Next up is a nationally-recognized company that still maintains its local roots and pride. Located in the middle of the wheat belt, Shawnee Milling Company has been producing a well-loved range of grain products since 1906, before Oklahoma was even recognized as a state. They source directly from local farms, ensuring quality and a strong relationship with their neighbors. You can plan full meals around their products, from cornmeal and pizza crust to biscuit and gravy mixes. Who’s hungry?
South Carolina: The Charleston Tea Plantation
America’s only tea garden that’s been growing since 1888 in Charleston, South Carolina.
While The Charleston Tea Plantation didn’t get an official start until the 1960’s, the tea buds grown today are direct descendants of ones planted in 1888. This historic leaf makes up the American Classic tea, the only one 100% grown in the States. They don’t use any pesticides, and byproduct from making the tea is reintroduced back into the soil. If you can make it to the island for a visit, be sure to take an informative factory tour, picnic under a 1,500-year-old oak tree and take a trolley ride with iced tea in hand.
Traditional Southern furniture with a modern twist, handcrafted in Lancassas, Tennessee.
Matt Alexander has turned his family’s 100-year-old dairy farm into an artisan workshop. HollerDesign is a handmade line of furniture and other objects that manage to blend Southern tradition with a more simplified, modern look. The entire creative process happens on the farm: the wood is sourced from dead trees, and the final product designed and hand-built with an environmentally-friendly finish. As they’ve said themselves, “it’s a sustainable, resourceful and roots-rooted process that echoes the soul of the South.”
One-of-a-kind custom-made boots sold in Austin, Texas.
These boots may be made in Guatemala, but this Austin-based store has kickstarted such positive global change that they had to be included. Teysha partners with artisans in Guatemala to design your custom-ordered shoes; it guarantees employment for talented craftsmen, while the customer gets something one-of-a-kind. They source nearby for all the materials, further contributing to boosting the local economy. Beyond that, a portion of every purchase goes into funding other programs that will bring positive change across the globe. We love seeing people being neighborly across the globe!
Virginia: Olli Salumeria
Artisanal and sustainably made salami from Mechanicsville, Virginia.
Meat lovers, this one’s for you. Olli Salumeria used a 160-year-old family recipe to create uniquely Virginian cured meats that would rival those in Italy. All of the pigs used are sourced from family-owned and sustainable farms, and raised ethically on vegetarian diets. The spices are hand-rubbed on, and the entire curing process is carefully maintained until it’s perfect. All of this ensures top quality and best practices and of course, really tasty food!
West Virginia: J.Q. Dickinson Salt-Works
Seventh-generation salt makers from Malden, West Virginia.
This company has almost 200 years of West Virginian history, starting in 1817 and revived in 2013 by seventh-generation descendants of the founders. J. Q. Dickinson Salt-Works harvest their small-batch salt all by hand, gathered from ancient ocean water hidden under the Appalachian Mountains. Using the tools seen above, salt makers scrape the salt in their sun houses, where they’re naturally dried under the sun. The purity of the “ocean” means that the salt is all-natural and free from any contaminants, with a unique taste. Here’s to hoping the tradition lives on!
Have any other favorite Southern companies that only sell American-made? Let us know in the comments! And we’re taking suggestions for our next installment in the Midwest!