Yesterday afternoon, I had the pleasure of visiting one of Westchester's best home design stores, Maisonette, in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. Store owner Maria Churchill makes a valiant effort to stock her shelves with a handful of unique American brands, like the in2green throws you see above (made in Hastings, manufactured in New Jersey), in addition to those from overseas. But, she said the the tough sell is that "handmade in America" often means a heftier price-tag. "The truth is that when people come into the store to buy a gift, they're not looking to spend (a fortune)." It's understandable, especially given the economy, and especially when $15 can buy you, for example, a cute cake stand from a big box store. But if you stop to think about why that cake stand costs $15, it's because it's mass produced, and many countries have no minimum wage restrictions, or the minimum wage is outrageously low. Buying local means you're supporting your friends and neighbors and their friends and neighbors. It's more authentic, it's well made, it has more character, and it often lasts longer. One last, but important thing to remember: As more and more jobs are shipped overseas, and as manufacturing in the US decreases, this will directly effect future generations, who will be unable to find work if relevant jobs don't exist.
Here are some more lovely American-made finds at Maisonette.