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Manufacture This

The blog of the Alliance for American Manufacturing

There's something American-made for everyone on your list.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

zkano

The Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) is excited to officially unveil the 2016 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide, which features an array of American-made ideas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. We hope you find this list helpful, and encourage you to share it with others using the share buttons on the left side of the page.

We received hundreds of great gift ideas this year from the Made in America movement. In making our selections, we tried to pick a variety of gifts that are also easy-to-purchase and at reasonable price points. If you don’t see your idea on the list, don’t worry — we’ll roll out additional picks on the blog throughout December.

Thank you for Keeping it Made in America this holiday season.

-Team AAM

Alabama: The New York Times dubbed zkano founder Gina Locklear the "Sock Queen of Alabama," and for good reason. The organic sock company is located in Fort Payne, which was known as the Sock Capital of the World until offshoring sent jobs overseas. Locklear drew on her family's own sock making history to launch zkano in 2008, proving you can still keep it Made in America. 

Alaska: When Robert and Anita Shane quit smoking in 2010, they found they needed a hobby. That hobby turned into the Alaska Rug Company, which sells doormats, throw rugs, bowls and other household decorations that are made out of old Alaskan fishing line and rope. 

Arizona: Heirloom quality wallets, belts, bracelets and other keepsakes from Ezra Arthur are “artifacts worth of discovery — from father to son, passed down from one generation to the next.” The company uses century-old equipment to make its goods at its facility in Phoenix’s warehouse district. 

Arkansas:

Ozark Beard Company

 Ozark Beard Company wants to change the way most people look at beardsmen, from "a bunch of lazy unkept dudes" to men proud to "REP THE BEARD!" OBC's beard oils are made from natural ingredients and designed to keep beards looking healthy. 

California: The husband and wife team of Dana and Melanie Harvey started their company, aptly named Harvey’swhile restoring a classic car. Dana came up with the idea of making a handbag for Melanie using the car's leftover seatbelts, and today the company sells a variety of fashionable accessories. 

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Clean up your dog’s, um, mess with Poop Bags, which are made from plant-based materials and are commercially compostable.

Blast from the past: Looking for a safe and eco-friendly gift for your little one? Green Toys made our 2013 guide and remain a great option for kids. 

Colorado: 

Vortic Watch Co.

Watches were regularly Made in America up until the mid-20th century, and many of those pieces are still ticking today. Enter the Vortic Watch Co., which salvages vintage pocket watches and transforms them into heirloom-quality pieces.

Connecticut: Comedian Jay Leno is a fan of toolmaker Chapman Manufacturing, which creates all of its products from American-made materials. The company’s Model 5575 56-piece Master Screwdriver Set makes a great gift.

Delaware: Hockessin's Creations Gallery offers unique American-made handcrafted gifts, furniture and more for home and office. Don't live in the First State? Check out the store's online catalog.

Florida: The Today Show, New York Magazine and Style network have all featured products from Abella Skin Care. Dr. Eliana Belmonte, who founded the company in 1999, recommends the ColorShade SPF 35 sunscreen, which offers broad spectrum protection, is paba-free and is available in four shades to compliment any skin type.

Georgia: Children's clothing manufacturer The Bailey Boys creates everything from T-shirts to heirloom-quality special occasion pieces at its 22,000-square-foot facility in Baxley. Find a retailer near you.

Hawaii: The Aloha State is well-known for surfing, and for 25 years, Kazuma has been manufacturing surfboards at its factory in Haiku. The company also takes custom online orders for those who can't make it to the island.

Idaho: Blacksmith Hoyt Buck wanted to find a way to temper steel to hold an edge longer. His approach helped create Buck Knives, which manufacturers its outdoor knives in the Gem State and is officially licensed by the Boy Scouts of America.

Illinois: 

Dearborn Denim

While most major denim manufacturing has moved overseas, Dearborn Denim makes its products at its workshop in Chicago, using cotton sourced from Texas. The jeans are affordable, too, priced at $45 a pair.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Still excited that the Chicago Cubs won the World Series? Check out the baseball bats sold by Ridgway-based Dinger Bats, recommended by Rep. John Shimkus and used by a slew of Major League players.   

Indiana: Looking for a custom case for your smartphone? Elkhart-based Carved creates elegant wood cases in a 100-year-old renovated dress factory. The company’s cases have been featured in publications like Esquire, Gizmodo and Cnet.

Iowa: Any new parent will tell you a baby monitor is a must-have for the nursery, but it can be tough to effectively mount one on the wall. Enter new dad Gerald Beranek, who created a handy monitor shelf called the VuSee to solve this problem. The VuSee led Beranek to start BeraTek Industries, which now makes a range of products.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: A reader calls the hand-made items created by Kaleidoscopes to You “absolutely brilliant.”

Kansas: Bob Werts launched Waxman Candles in 1969 after ordering a $5 hobby kit from a local community college. Based in Lawrence, the company also has a location in Chicago.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Simone Chickenbone makes eco-friendly health and beauty products like Chicken Poop Lip Junk, which can be found at retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Tractor Supply Company.   

Kentucky: 

Polly Singer

The Kentucky Derby is still months away, but get ready now by ordering a signature item from Polly Singer. The company also makes hats for brides, parties and gala events.

Louisiana: Artist Mignon Faget launched her namesake jewelry company to capture the spirit of her hometown of New Orleans, and her pieces often draw inspiration from the city's natural and architectural forms.

Maine: Since 1912, L.L. Bean has made its beloved Original L.L. Bean Boot in the Pine Tree State. While the retailer doesn't make all of its products in Maine, its trademark boots, along with socks and a handful of other items, are still Maine-made.

Bonus gift idea: Stay warm this winter with scarves, jackets, pullovers and more from American Roots, which we profiled earlier this year.

Maryland: Carlos Santana, Dave Navarro and Neal Schon are among the artists who have partnered with Paul Reed Smith Guitars, which manufactures high-quality instruments at its factory in Stevensville. 

Massachusetts: Looking for a festive holiday card this season? Dalton-based Crane & Co. offers a range of elegant cards and stationary to celebrate the season (or any upcoming occasion).

Michigan: Ironwood-based Stormy Kromer is named after its founder George “Stormy” Kromer, a locomotive worker who lost his cap at work one day in 1903 and asked his wife, Ida, to stitch a new one. Soon, Stormy Kromer’s fellow engineers wanted a cap of their own, and the Kromers opened up their own store. Today, the company makes a variety of cold weather gear.

Minnesota: 

Oh Baby!

Boutique owner Mary Lauer designs, crafts and produces Oh Baby! Line of infant clothes in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Every item, from rompers to bibs and receiving blankets, is machine washable.

Bonus staff pick: AAM's Jennifer Drudge recommends Faribault Woolen Mill Co., which has been manufacturing blankets, throws, scarves and other accessories for nearly 150 years. The company uses century-old machinery in its "new" mill, which was built in 1892.

Mississippi: The four Woods brothers — Peter, Joseph, Arthur and Sandy — pooled their money in 1998 to open up a pottery on Fortune Avenue in Mound Bayou. Today, Peter’s Pottery sells bowls, candlesticks, tableware, vases and other specialty items.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Rep. Gregg Harper recommends the Mississippi Gift Company, which offers a range of Mississippi-made items.

Missouri: The bottle openers manufactured by Snake Bite Co. are among the classiest we’ve seen, including the Original Snake Bite, which is manufactured from American-made stainless steel, wrapped in leather and easily attaches to a key ring.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Kansas City’s Indigo Wild makes a variety of natural products, including Zum Bar Goat’s Milk Soap.

Montana: Missoula’s Rukavina Guitars makes custom electrics and lap steels, and also does repair work.  

Blast from the past: We included Red Oxx's award-winning Safari-Beanos Bag on our 2014 list, and it remains a great option if you are looking for a piece of durable carry-on luggage.  

Nebraska: Fresh garlic adds flavor to nearly any dish, but peeling it can be tough. Enter the JellyDish Garlic Peeler, a helpful kitchen gadget that simplifies the process  — and the skins stay in the dish, making cleanup easy, too.

Nevada: Carson City's Ribbed Tee specializes in men's undershirts that are designed to hold up in the wash, lay flat and not bunch around the waistline or arms. The company also sells other types of T-shirts and apparel. 

New Hampshire: 

Bailey Works

The original messenger bag produced by Bailey Works in 1993 is now a classic, but the Newmarket company also sells a range of professional and casual bags that are built to last.  

New Jersey: You can find Welch’s Fruit Snacks in most major grocery stores, but did you know the treats are manufactured in the Garden State by Promotion in Motion Inc.? The company also makes Sun-Maid raisins and other products.

New Mexico: Betty Tsosie created Tewa Tees to showcase Native American art from various tribes and regions throughout the United States. The company has created custom T-shirts and totes for a variety of organizations, including the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.

New York: Don’t forget about your four-legged friends this year! Milk-Bone manufactures its signature line of dog biscuits and other treats at its plant in Buffalo.

North Carolina: Golfers Nick Price and Vijay Singh are among the top players who have used clubs designed by Bobby Price, and his company Bobby Grace Putters offers a variety of products for the golfer in your life. 

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Whispering Willow sells sustainable, natural goods like bar soap, candles, hair care and moisturizers.

North Dakota: If you are seeking something truly unique, check out Buffalo Gals Mercantile, which sells truly one-of-a-kind items often repurposed from materials like vintage seed sacks. The Original SakHats are the company's trademark item, and no two are exactly the same.

Ohio: Looking for an engagement ring this year? White House Brothers makes Filigree-Designed rings that are designed to look old-fashioned and romantic — and are built to last.

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Vitamix made our 2014 guide, and Rep. Jim Renacci offers the popular line of blenders as his recommendation this year.

Oklahoma:

Ashton Kelly

Ashton Kelly Candles are billed as the strongest you will ever burn. They are hand poured, triple fragranced and use high grade wax.

Blast from the past: Denim is always in style — and Round House, which made our 2014 guide, is a go-to supplier for jeans and overalls for the entire family. Fun fact: The company launched in 1903, four years before Oklahoma became a state.

Oregon: Combine function and fashion with a tote from July Nine, which sells a variety of bags, totes and packs in vibrant colors.

Bonus stocking stuffer idea: Control all those electric appliance cords behind the TV with the Aunt Wanda from Goofy Products.

Pennsylvania: When most cookware manufacturing headed overseas, All-Clad continued to manufacture many of its products at its mill in Canonsburg, including its popular All-Clad Stainless line. 

Bonus staff pick: AAM’s Mark Musho recommends the kid-friendly products from Crayola, the company most famous for its crayons. Crayola began making slate school pencils at its mill in Easton in 1900, and premiered its first box of eight crayons in 1903.     

Rhode Island: Get a jumpstart on your New Year’s fitness resolution with an exercise machine from WaterRower. The equipment is functional and can be stored in an upright position no wider than a dining room chair, so it won’t clutter the room.

South Carolina: Dress up that suit with a bow tie from R. Hanauer, which also sells neckties, pocket squares, cummerbund sets and belts. 

South Dakota: Visitors to Watertown can check out The Redlin Art Center, a collection of the oil paintings and prints of artist Terry Redlin. But the center also sells a number of official prints, canvas reproductions and linen design art.

Tennessee: Nashville-based company The Lamp Store creates one-of-a-kind lighting that is sure to add a little bit of style to any room. Most of the company’s lamps sell for under $100.

Texas: 

Mizzen + Main

NFL star J.J. Watt is among the celebs who rock Mizzen + Mainwhich manufactures fashionable sportswear with function in mind. The clothes are machine-washable, wrinkle resistant and designed to handle the Texas heat. Complete your outfit with an item from Texas Hatters, the Lockhart-based company whose cowboy hats have been spotted on a slew of celebs, including former President Ronald Reagan, Willie Nelson and Chuck Norris.

Utah: Elevate your game with Gravity Dice, which are designed using advanced 3D modeling and simulation to have a perfect center of gravity. 

Vermont: Get comfortable with a button down, pair of PJs or blanket from The Vermont Flannel Company, which has made its products in East Barre for more than 20 years.

Virginia: Collared Greens sells a wide variety of men's clothing and accessories with a bit of Southern flair, and its products are made throughout the United States, from sunglasses in Wyoming to button-down shirts in Philadelphia. But its stitched and silk belts are both Made in Virginia, and its flagship store is located in Richmond.

Washington: Seattle’s R+E Cycles has created high-quality custom bicycles since 1973 and sells its tailor-made Rodriguez and Erickson brands almost exclusively. Although the shop is a Seattle institution, about half its sales come from online orders. 

Bonus Member of Congress pick: Looking to do some home remodeling this holiday season? Rep. Denny Heck recommends Bellmont Cabinet Co., a family-owned cabinet manufacturer that sells its products across the United States. 

West Virginia: The Marble King manufactures over a million marbles every day at its factory in Paden County. The company makes industrial marbles for things like filtration systems, but also sells the traditional marbles for gaming and decorative displays.

Wisconsin: 

Housekeeper Crockery

There’s a lot of manufacturing happening in the Badger State, including when it comes to cookware. We’ve profiled Housekeeper Crockery before, and the company’s 8” cast iron skillet makes for a nice gift. Another option is Tramontina USAwhich is based in Texas but manufactures many of its aluminum cookware in Manitowoc.

Gift wrapping ideaTop your presents with a bow from Cream City Ribbon, located in Milwaukee.

Bonus staff pick: AAM’s Meghan Hasse recommends baby bottles and other products from the Life Factory. Created by an integrative designer and a pediatric feeding specialist, the innovative glassware is designed to be functional, reusable, safe and eco-friendly.

Wyoming: Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate a gift from Meeteetse Chocolatier, which uses organic ingredients to create its line of artisan chocolates. It is committed to eco-friendly methods and aims to become a zero-waste business.