#ShopAmerica: AAM staff selects gifts for wearing, riding and carrying

By Lauren Donia

As part of the Alliance for American Manufacturing's (AAM) ongoing effort to demystify shopping for American-made holiday gifts, we've asked our staff to submit their favorite American-made gifts. This post is part a series of "Staff Selections" we'll feature on ManufactureThis in coming days. Today's post is written by AAM field coordinator William Jones and vice president for state governmental affairs Brian Lombardozzi. Check out all of AAM's holiday coverage, including more staff gift selections.



During this holiday season we will shop for gifts to share with loved ones. As for a gift for me, I have a special passion for watches of all sorts. There is one American-made watch I have my eye on. Shinola Watches are manufactured in Detroit, Michigan. The watches are made in a 30,000 foot facility using American hand-crafted leather from Horween Leather Company.


Shinola not only makes watches in Detroit, but also bicycles. As they say on their website: “we don't think American manufacturing ever failed for being too good. Our worst didn't come when we were at our best. It happened when we thought good was good enough. It's a tall order to return to form, but we're up for it. We’re starting with the reinvigoration of a storied American brand, and a storied American city. Because we believe in the beauty of industry. The glory of manufacturing. We know there’s not just history in Detroit, there is a future. It’s why we are here. Making an investment in skill, at scale. Creating a community that will thrive through excellence of craft and pride of work. Where we will reclaim the making of things that are made well. And define American luxury through American quality.” They’ve got some pretty create videos up on their site about their factories too.

Other gift ideas?

Guarded Goods was started out of a one person’s desire to learn and master a craft. The wallets & accessories are made using leather from the American tannery Horween, based out of Chicago, Illinois and stitched together using waxed polycord, which is made in Maine by Maine Thread Company.

Chester Mox is a small American leather goods company making great wallets at affordable prices. California husband and wife duo Brandon and Bellanie Salcedo began making wallets for friends and family while Brandon was selling furniture (though he was already trained in leather-craft) and Bellanie was working in a bank. Eventually they began selling their creations online and demand took off, allowing them to quit their jobs and make Chester Mox a full-time operation. All the wallets are made-to-order, so you can choose your leather, sticking, and branding/initials. 

Images from Shinola website.