Big romantic getaways are likely not happening for most of us this year, but you can still mark the love-filled day while also supporting American makers and workers.
Valentine’s Day is Sunday. Maybe it is the monotony of the pandemic or the fact that my neighbors still have their Christmas tree in their window, but this holiday really snuck up on me. I’m guessing that if you’re reading this blog, you too have found yourself scrambling to think of a last-minute gift, too.
But I have good news: There are plenty of last-minute Made in America Valentine’s Day gifts out there, many of which can be shipped directly to your loved one or ordered for pickup at your local retailer.
Let’s start with the category that is probably the easiest option.
Russell Stover – famous for making those chocolate-filled, heart-shaped boxes – has been making its candy in the United States since 1923. The company operates stores throughout the country, but its treats also are sold at major retailers like CVS and Target.
Then there’s Sweethearts. America almost lost this Valentine’s Day tradition when the New England Confectionery Company went out bankrupt in 2018, but thankfully Ohio-based Spangler Candy (which also makes Dum Dums and Smarties) bought the brand. It took a few years to get things up and running, but those little boxes are back this year, even with new sayings. You can find them at local retailers, including your local grocery chain.
If you are looking for more American-made candy options, check out this list of union-made candy the AFL-CIO put together.
This is one that seems like a fairly easy option, too – but it’s actually not! According to the Association of Specialty Cut Flowers, 80% of the fresh flowers sold in the United States aren’t grown in North America. That means that a lot of those flower bouquets sold in bins at your local retailer this time of year are imported. You can find American-grown flower options via websites like LocalFlowers.org and Certified American Grown. If you still come up short, Bloomia and 1-800-Flowers.com are among the online retailers that feature American-grown flowers and plants available for fast delivery.
There are a whole host of American-made jewelry makers; our Made in America Directory features a bunch of them, and we know there are more out there, especially small, local jewelers. But if you need something quick, Alex and Ani is probably a safe bet. The Rhode Island brand has a Valentine’s Day section on its website, and its stackable bracelets and other jewelry is sold at retailers across the country.
Made in USA mainstay Hanky Panky has a whole list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas on its website. But if you aren’t able to order in time for Valentine’s Day delivery, retailers like Nordstrom also sell the brand, known for its line of colorful lace undergarments. Among online-only options, Love Ophelia offers a variety of sleepwear and robes; if you are in the market for something on the sexier side, check out Between the Sheets.
When all else fails, candles are a great gift idea (just make sure you don’t leave them unattended and ruin your holiday). There are many Made in America candle options out there – from small shops to big brands – so there’s really no excuse to buy one that’s imported. Yankee Candles, perhaps the most famous candle company out there, are sold at many retailers; Amazon also has a whole section of Made in USA options available for fast delivery (but make sure to check the description to verify the country of origin).
Like candles, soaps and bath products also are a fun gift, and there are plenty of Made in America brands. The key, of course, is getting something quick. Olivia Care’s line of bath salts, sold at Target, are Made in USA, as well as being cruelty-free, paraben-free, and vegan. Burt’s Bees, which offers a whole host of easy-to-find bath and beauty products, also makes all of its stuff stateside. And if you are looking for something a bit more manly, Duke Cannon Supply Co. products (like its Big Ass Brick of Soap) also are American-made and can be found at retailers nationwide.