Mindful Shopping: Incorporating American Made Criteria into Gift Giving

American Made Gift

I have a very special wedding gift to buy for a very special niece and her husband-to-be.   Like her aunt, my niece is a North Carolina gal through and through but she resides far, far away.  She misses home and home misses her.  So I’ve decided that whatever I give her will be something that reminds her of home.  It will also be something that is made in America–probably right here in North Carolina.

I vowed to myself that I would enjoy, not stress over, the hunt for this all-important gift.  I will appreciate, not mourn, the fact that I have narrowed my choices to something made in America.  I’ve bought enough stuff in my life to know that too many options only complicate the purchase process anyway leading me to over think any decision I make.

Of course, I want my niece to love whatever I get her but, American made or not, there are no guarantees.  At the very least I want her to appreciate the thought and the love behind the gift and to leave her with something that has enough quality and character that neither she nor whomever she “re-gifts” it to would ever think of tossing it into a landfill.

Out of the Mall, Into the Web
No doubt this search will take me out of the department stores and onto the internet.  There are a couple of places I know I will check out, including Handmade in America, a non-profit organization promoting craft and culture for community and economic development in western North Carolina.   The website is a great starting point, as it lists dozens of artists and galleries located throughout Western North Carolina.  It is a beautifully designed site and a fantastic resource for handmade items – including high-end décor items.  I will probably also spend some time looking on the American Made Product Shop which markets a variety of American made home décor and furnishings.

American Made Giftspiration
I know my heartfelt decision find an American made gift for my niece isn’t going to save our environment or our economy, but it might inspire someone else to seek out an American made gift for someone they love.  Besides, as ABC News reported earlier this year, American consumers need only spend an extra $3.33 on goods made in the U.S.A. to create almost 10,000 new jobs in this country.

Now, there are people out there who love to make clever little statements like “American made does not equal American paid,” arguing some Americans won’t pay a premium for anything made in the US.  I hear and read these arguments (which really aren’t even arguments) all the time.  They used to frustrate me.  Now I just roll my eyes and think, “Ah–yet another person who has gotten really good at stating the obvious.”  Beyond that, they don’t really bring much the table when it comes to rebuilding the American economy.  And until they can come up with something a bit more original and a bit more helpful, I’d just as soon they keep their clever (albeit useless) quips to themselves.  I haven’t the time to listen.

I’ve got some shopping to do.

2 Responses »

  1. Perfect and beyond buying gifts, we also found ourselves recycling things this holiday season. A nephew needed a car so we passed one along to him; we sold a condo and paid to ship the furniture to a niece getting married in January. Not sure we would have done these a few years ago without today’s focus on green.


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