While I purchase many items online, I still do buy things at physical retail stores. I usually seek out smaller local stores first, versus big box or chain outlets.
For example, I always go to my local True Value hardware store first when I need hardware, yard stuff, etc. I’ve met the owner and have spoken to him many times. The employees are always friendly, polite, and helpful. They have a good selection — and often I’m able to find Made in US items, such as Kenny curtain rods.
Founded in 1914 and still a family-owned private company, Kenny Manufacturing Company manufactures window hardware, bath products, and storage organizers — all in Warwick, RI.
But if I don’t see something I need, I ask. For example, I needed one of those lawn seeder things to reseed my lawn after the turkeys destroyed it. (Chicken wire and stakes were on the list as well.) The young man worked with me and showed me this seeder — Made in the US by Chapin Manufacturing. He even did a search on his phone to make sure it was manufactured here!
Based in Batavia, New York, Chapin Manufacturing is a US corporation that employs American workers in its factories. According to the website, the company is actively part of, and contributes to the local communities where they manufacture. The vast majority of Chapin products are made in the USA with global materials.
The hose in the background was made by Green Thumb. It was made in the US, but the company makes lots of items in China, too.
Another time, I was in a local store looking for cleaning supplies for a mechanical item. I asked for help and the sales guy began pulling items off the shelf. “Err, do you have anything made in the US?” I asked.
He turned and looked at me — “Really? Nothing is made here anymore.”
“Please check,” I asked. He did, and began reading labels. “Hey,” he said, “These are made here — and this one supports veterans. Will that work?” “You bet!” I replied. “Thank you!”
I’ve had other people say, “I’m really glad you asked. I like buying made in USA too,” and then we begin talking. I always tell them about this blog. 🙂
What if Made in USA isn’t available?
If it’s something I need, but not urgently, I come back home and search online to see what’s available. For example, I needed ear protection. The products in the shop were all made in China — but I found Pro Ears, made by Altus Brands in Grawn, Michigan. (Even the guy at the shop was impressed when I showed him my find.)
Another time, I needed a new rake. I couldn’t find one made here at the hardware store, but after some online searching, I found Bully Tools in Steubenville, OH. They make a fantastic rake and other tools right here in US. I LOVE my Bully Tools rake — best one I’ve ever owned.
Moral: Always ask!
The more all of us ask for products made in the USA, the more stores will stock them. And the more stores ask distributors or manufacturers for them, the more we keep jobs here in the US.
Have a story you want to share? Please do in the comments, thank you!
Links to company websites
Kenny Manufacturing Company — www.kenney.com/
Chapin Manufacturing — chapinmfg.com/pages/chapin-history
Pro-Shot Products — www.proshotproducts.com
Pro Ears — https://proears.com/
Bully Tools — https://bullytools.com — They offer a military discount.
I’m not paid nor asked to write about Made in the USA products. The above links are not affiliate links. I buy a product and use it. If I like it, I write about it and tell everyone I know about it.
I do this because my mission is to keep manufacturing jobs stateside. This mission is my way of giving back. We like to think our “small” choices won’t make a difference. They do.