Here’s How We Put Together the 2019 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide

By Elizabeth Brotherton-Bunch
Nov 25 2019 |

We made a list, checked it twice.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing officially unveiled the 2019 Made in America Holiday Gift Guide on Monday, our annual list of gift picks from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and — for the very first time! — Puerto Rico. If you haven't seen the list yet, stop reading this and go check it out

The gift guide is among the most popular pieces of content we release all year, and for good reason. There are a lot of people who want to buy American-made products during the holiday season, but given the influx of imported goods that line a lot of the big box store shelves, it can be hard to know where to start. Our goal with the guide is to make things a little bit easier for shoppers, along with shining a much-deserved spotlight on the companies who make their products locally, creating jobs and supporting their communities.

A lot of folks have asked us how we put together the guide every year. We have a few guidelines we follow.

First, we strive to include a range of different items, both in terms of what they are and in price. This year, for example, we have jewelry, clothing and accessories, beauty products, toys, shoes, candles, home decor, cookware, sporting goods, outdoor gear, electronics, and more. Some items on the list cost only a few dollars and some cost thousands — although most are priced under $100.

Second, we work hard to ensure that we maximize the number of companies we can feature on the list and don't repeat ideas that have been featured in previous years. So, while American Giant or Shinola are always popular around the holidays, we didn't include them on this year's list because they were already featured in previous editions. 

Third, we try to include as many ideas as we can from readers like you. In early November, we put out the call for gift ideas, and we're pleased to report we received hundreds of responses! While not every idea made it — some already had been featured, for example — we tried to include as many as we could.

One thing we will note is that we trust the companies when they claim they have a manufacturing presence in the United States. Essentially, our goal is to highlight companies that support American jobs and make some really cool products we think people would want to find under their tree. 

I talked with AAM President Scott Paul about the process of putting together the guide on this week's episode of The Manufacturing Report podcast, which is embedded below. I encourage you to listen in, as the episode also includes interviews with a handful of the companies featured in the guide talking about why people should buy American-made products this time of year.

Full Disclosure: The Made in America Holiday Gift Guide is intended to highlight companies that support American jobs and that make great products in the United States. We rely on the companies listed to provide accurate information regarding their domestic operations and their products. Each company featured is individually responsible for labeling and advertising their products according to applicable standards, such as the Federal Trade Commission's "Made in USA" standard or California's "Made in USA" labeling law. We do not review individual products for compliance or claim that because a company is listed in the guide that their products comply with specific labeling or advertising standards. Our focus is on supporting companies that create American jobs.

For more on the Federal Trade Commission's standards for "Made in USA" claims and California's "Made in USA" labeling law, please also read this guest post by Dustin Painter and Kristi Wolff of Kelly Drye & Warren, LLP.