This week we’re celebrating Makers with products Made in the USA. At The Grommet, we see American manufacturing through the lens of the final product. At a conference held by the Urban Manufacturing Alliance, we were able to see the progress being made in American manufacturing on the ground floor. Here are the issues we dug into.
Access to Capital. 2.7% of female founders receive VC funding and it’s even less for minority business owners. The group advocated for alternative methods of financing like crowd funding and impact loans that have more generous results and are very effective in lifting small businesses off the ground.
Physical Space. To combat this issue, cities and facilities are meeting in the middle. San Francisco has begun rolling out modular manufacturing spaces and across the country, micro-factories are popping up for companies looking at producing smaller batches of products before full-scale production.
Education. Creating a product has never been easier, but many Makers enter the manufacturing world with limited knowledge. Manufacturers are being trained to help Makers understand this new realm regardless of their background. For the next generation, schools are focusing on technology and entrepreneurship programs. Two examples of that happening in Boston: BUILD and Fab Labs 4 America.
Inclusivity. Entrepreneurship and the American Dream are evolving on a cultural level so policymakers and business leaders must make inclusivity a priority. Minority business owners seek representatives that look like them at the decision-making table. The more hurdles they face, the less likely they are to succeed and make an impact on their community. Beyond economic, it’s a trust-building issue. As the business world grows more diverse, that trust becomes more vital.
There is plenty more we can and will dig into. If you have any stories or resources, we’d love to hear about them.
And now, here are some of the American-made products from our site that are helping to make more American-made products possible.
1. MOBILE GUITAR LESSONS
Made in South Dakota, Jamstik+ lets you learn how to play the guitar at your own speed. The guitar neck complete with strings and frets plays through your iPhone, iPad, or Mac with free downloadable lessons.
2. ICED DRINKS WITH NO ICE
This Fitchburg, MA product chills any beverage to ice cold without compromising flavor. Keep it in the freezer and IceColdNow will quickly cool down coffee, tea, beer, wine, and carbonated beverages.
3. THE LAST BELT AND WALLET YOU’LL EVER BUY
Hand-stitched in Topsfield, MA, the leather belts and wallets from Todder are crafted from carefully sourced vegetable tanned leather, sealed with Vermont beeswax, and finished with brass hardware. They’re made for a lifetime, too, so they’ll wear beautifully over time.
4. THE VEGETABLE SAVER
Extend the life of your vegetables with the organic preserving bags from Vejibag. Made of 100% organic American cotton and handsewn in Maine, these bags keep plastic bags out of landfills and help you lead a healthier life.
5. AN A-PEELING KITCHEN GADGET
Manufactured in Connecticut, The Negg takes the stress out of peeling hardboiled eggs with a little cold water and few shakes.
6. BROTHERS IN ARMS
Thanks to brothers Duncan and Hayden, kids can recreate archery battles without shooting their eye out. The North Carolinian archery sets from Two Bros Bows have foam handles and a stuffed, soft-tipped arrows for safety.
7. FUNCTIONAL JEWELRY
Made in Maggi Blue’s Maine studio from sterling silver, copper, and brass, the spinner rings from Magpie Creative are timeless, versatile and a go-to for any fidgeter.
8. BEER DECOR
Beer Cap Traps are laser-cut wooden maps with pro-bored holes for bottle caps. Made in Tampa, FL, they’re a perfect decor piece for any beer lover to display their favorite brews.
9. YOUR FAVORITE LAKE ON YOUR WALL
Commemorate your favorite lake the framed 3D wood art pieces from Lake Art. Laser cut in Michigan, each map is a bathymetric depth chart representation with facts about the lake and surrounding area.
10. THE HOME RAVIOLI ROLLER
Homemade ravioli doesn’t have to be a daunting meal to prepare with the handcrafted rolling pin from Repast. Made in Chico, CA and Woodbury, MN, for every tree used to make a pin, Repast plants 100 more.
11. A COMB FOREVER
To call the laser cut, hand-finished, Made for a Lifetime comb from Chicago Comb Co. a “metal comb” is like calling a Ferrari a car. It doesn’t do this Chicago-crafted accessory justice.
12. THE BLANKET THAT WILL OUTLIVE YOU
The heirloom quality, 100% wool blankets from Faribault are stain-, wrinkle-, and water-resistant and made in the same Minnesota mill they were over 150 years ago.
13. ELEGANT TRAVEL COMPANIONS
Travel in style with the hand-stitched leather dopp kits and razor cases from Range Leather Co. Made for a lifetime in Laramie, WY, these accessories are designed to look better with each use.
14. COMMEMORATE YOUR FAVORITE CITY
See your favorite city like you never have before. The laser cut maps from Cut Maps capture the intricate layouts from a bird’s eye view. This Elkton, VA creation is a sleek addition to any decor.
15. COMPLETE MUSCLE RECOVERY
Give your muscles the full relaxing treatment with Recoup Fitness. These San Franciscan cold massage rollers combine the benefits of rolling and icing to enhance your muscle recovery.
16. START AN ALL-NATURAL FIRE
Teen entrepreneur Adam Liszewski grew frustrated with how ineffective his family’s firestarters were so he created Stokes, an all-natural version with sawdust, paraffin wax, and recycled egg cartons in Natick, MA.
17. CAPS OFF TO A VINTAGE BOTTLE OPENER
Open up a bottle like they did back in the ‘40s with Eagle Cap Off. Made for a lifetime in Columbus, OH, the device keeps the cap intact and will have everyone wanting to give it a try.
18. CUT THROUGH THE TAPE EASILY
Whether it’s prepping for a paint job or shipping a package, get a clean rip of tape every time with Tadpole. The Shreveport, LA product fits snuggly onto the tape roll and can be transferred to a new one when you’re ready.
19. BAKE BREAD WITH A PIECE OF ART
Decorative, functional, elegant, and made for a lifetime, the rolling pins from Vermont Rolling Pins are crafted in The Green Mountain State itself by artisan wood turner Ken Freeman.
20. SOCKS THAT HAVE NO PEER
Another export of The Green Mountain State, Darn Tough Vermont socks are breathable, itch free and designed for high-performance and everyday use. We dare you to find another pair of socks made for a lifetime.
To see the rest of our American made products, check out Made in the USA collection.