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Monday, November 26, 2012

Twelve Gifts for a Red, White, and Blue Christmas




It's time to think about Christmas, and, of course, most of us must also fulfill our obligation to bow to the commercialism so deeply ingrained in the season. Christmas gifts? Maybe this year we might feel just a little better if we buy these tokens of our affection with a "slightly different" purpose in mind. Why not shop for goods made in America and support our native companies and businesses?

Buying products that are made in America is not just a matter of national pride. It is a matter of national survival. If we do not support American workers, they are going to continue to see their jobs shipped out of the country. According to the Economic Policy Institute, America is losing half a million jobs to China every single year. And, manufacturing employment in the U.S. computer industry was actually lower in 2010 than it was in 1975.
If we do not support American businesses, they are going to continue to die off at a staggering rate. Overall, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001. In addition, the United States has lost a staggering 32 percent of its manufacturing jobs since the year 2000.
Last year, the United States had a trade deficit with the rest of the world of 558 billion dollars. More than half a trillion dollars that could have gone into the pockets of U.S. workers and U.S. businesses went overseas instead. If that money had stayed in the country, taxes would have been paid on that mountain of cash and our local, state and federal government debt problems would not be as severe.
As a result of our massive trade imbalance, we have lost tens of thousands of businesses, millions of jobs and trillions of dollars of national wealth.
So, here is a twelve-item gift list for those who want to spend money on American-made goods. Granted, I could have put a Harley Davidson Road King on the list, but the $18,000 to $31,000 price tag may have had many of us mortgaging our homes to indulge. Therefore, I considered cost for my Christmas gift items. I ended up with fairly inexpensive gifts that the average person could afford.

I also tried to find items that reportedly possessed quality and some unique features. Some of the gifts I chose are better suited to one sex, but many of the companies and stores offer many more choices that will satisfy anyone. So, I included the interactive link (home address) so that you can take a much longer look. I even included one gift for the family dog. And, admittedly, some of my choices are pretty impersonal, more on the practical side.

Perhaps the best part of the gift entry is each story behind the manufacturer, store, and/or products. Please read "the story" of each to appreciate the emphasis on American pride and skill. You will be rewarded with learning of people who still believe in generosity and the American Dream.

Let's do our best to make Christmas just a little more red, white, and blue.


A Dozen Inexpensive Gifts
 Made In America

 

1. The Gift

Lodge 12 Inch Diameter, 2 Inch Depth, Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet

The Price

$36.95

The Story

Nestled alongside the Cumberland Plateau of the Appalachian Mountains is the town of South Pittsburg, Tennessee (population 3,300). It was here that Joseph Lodge and his wife settled and, in 1896 opened his first foundry. Originally named The Blacklock Foundry after Joseph Lodge’s friend and minister, the company gained success until May of 1910 when it burned down. Just three months later and a few blocks south, the company was reborn as Lodge Manufacturing Company.

Joseph Lodge created a legacy of quality that has thrived through two World Wars and the Great Depression and is still carried on by his family today. Both the CEO and President are Joseph Lodge’s great-grandsons who continue to evolve our product line and improve manufacturing methods. While many worthy competitors have fallen by the wayside, Lodge’s dedication to quality, technology, and employees have helped it not only survive but flourish.

Even during the hard times of the 1930s, the Lodge family found ways to keep employees above water. Novelty items such as cast iron garden gnomes and animals were produced and sold to keep the furnaces burning and the paychecks issued.

As the economy bounced back, Lodge responded to growing demand, and in 1950 converted its foundry from a hand-pour operation to an automated molding process in order to keep up with demand. This led to safer and more efficient manufacturing that at the time was very rare.

Continuing a dedication to technology and conservation, Lodge once again updated its foundry in 1992. The replacement of coal-fired cupola furnaces with an electro-magnetic induction melting system earned a Tennessee Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction.

Well into our second century in business, Lodge continued to innovate. In 2002, the legendary Lodge Logic line of pre-seasoned cookware was introduced, eliminating the hassle of its unseasoned counterparts. It was an industry first that has since become an industry standard.

As the world entered a new century, Lodge reinvented the cookware world with Foundry Seasoned Cast Iron Cookware.

Lodge sprays vegetable oil onto the cookware, then bakes it on at high temperatures to create a natural, easy-release cooking surface for everything from Skillets, to Grill Pans, Camp Dutch Ovens and Restaurant quality serving pieces.

Produced in our Tennessee foundry, the seasoning process won a 2003 Good Housekeeping “Good Buy Award,” leading to a world wide renaissance in Cast Iron Cooking.

Brief Description

This is a brief description of this product.
  • Foundry seasoned, ready to use upon purchase.
  • Use on all cooking surfaces, grills and campfires.
  • Oven safe.
  • Sauté, sear, fry, bake and stir fry to heart’s content.



Internet Address: http://www.lodgemfg.com/




2. The Gift

Fenton Art Glass Teardrop Earring Pair – Snowdrops on Ruby

The Price

$35.00

The Story

Founded in 1905 by brothers Frank L. and John W. Fenton, the Fenton Art Glass Company ranks among the world's foremost producers of handmade art glass. Fenton is the largest manufacturer of handmade colored glass in the United States, and the company is renowned for innovative glass colors as well as handpainted decorations on pressed and blown glassware.

For more than a century, Fenton has developed new colors and patterns, including items enhanced with hand-painted floral decorations and 22k gold accents. Fenton glass appeals to all types of customers, and, over the years, this appeal has led to the company's success.

In 2005, the Fenton Art Glass Company celebrated its 100th anniversary. The firm was then led by third- and fourth-generation Fenton family members, who worked side by side with more than 100 employees, including skilled glassworkers and decorators, to create beautiful, handmade art glass in Williamstown, West Virginia. The company ceased traditional glassmaking in 2011.

Today, the company has a new division, and these employees are creating handcrafted glass jewelry, including beads and Teardrop earrings. The jewelry is made in many of the classic Fenton colors and styles popular with collectors.

Brief Description

This original style handcrafted Teardrop Earring pair in Ruby features a handpainted design by Truda (TJ) Mendenhall called Snowdrops on Ruby. Each Earring has the initials of the artist who completed it. Earring size ranges from 3/4'' to 1'' in length.

Choose your favorite Teardrop colors or handpainted designs and purchase in all three styles to suit your mood of the moment. Every one of the colorful glass drops can now be had in three unique styles: Oval Hoop, Architectural Frame or the original Teardrop (shown here). These new styles use hypoallergenic sterling silver earwires. Go larger with the Oval Hoop, dressier with the Architectural Frame, or casual with the Teardrop.

In an age of mass production, Fenton remains committed to honoring the tradition of expressive, handmade creations. Each Fenton Made in America Teardrop Earring pair bears the signature of handcraftsmanship; those slight variations that convey distinction, character and charm. Pair with Fenton handcrafted glass beads.

Internet Address: http://www.fentonartglass.com/




3. The Gift

Metal Water Bottle 32 Ounce, Style: Artisan Hush Sepia Brown Sport

The Price

$20.00

The Story
Liberty is freedom to do the right thing. At the heart of Liberty Bottleworks is a desire to make a difference in our world. It starts with the company's culture of stewardship and leads by example through supporting like minded organizations. Liberty believes that most people want to do the right thing when it comes to helping each other, our environment and providing sustainable solutions. The key is getting the word out and providing the right tools. They pledge 1% of their sales and 1% of their working hours to helping large, local and grass roots efforts.

Liberty asks, “What makes us a Vintage American company?”

Their answer: “At Liberty, vintage means a return to fit your needs. To our roots. American Made is about taking pride in each other. Maybe it is just a bottle. Maybe it is something that makes you look at things differently. Pick one up and we guarantee you’ll feel the pride, passion and honesty that is forged into every Liberty Bottle.”

Brief Description

*
The wide mouth threadless design makes for easy cleaning and is ice cube friendly.

* The only American made metal bottle in the marketplace.

* Recycled and Recyclable. Liberty Bottles are the only bottle to be made from recycled materials.

* Deep Drawn Aluminum Construction. Less dents, greater durability, and precision construction.

* Drink Confidently. Flexible Food Grade Coatings ensure no chips or flakes end up in your water. Unlike uncoated metal bottles, our coating ensures no heavy metal leaching or porous surface for bacteria build up.

* Simple 1/4 turn on/off design (patent pending). No more turning and turning.

* Splash free drinking. The gradually tapered neck mimics the smooth pour of a wine bottle.

* Commitment to safety. Liberty Bottles exceed FDA requirements, are nontoxic and non-leaching. Independent Lab Certified to be 100% BPA FREE.

This particular bottle is designed by artist Lisa Rivas, a bilingual, bi-cultural, and multi-talented fine arts painter and professional graphic artist currently residing in Nashville, Tennessee. Her imagery springs from her love of nature and rigorous design training received in Caracas, Venezuela, her childhood homeland. Over the past ten years, Lisa has taken her mastery of surface design and her knowledge of traditional art methods into the world of digital production. Her work continues to express an extraordinary blend of color, line, form, and imagination. A portion of the proceeds from the Lisa Rivas Collection will be donated to the Margaret Maddox YMCA program "We Build People" in Nashville, Tennessee.

Internet Address: http://libertybottles.com/Liberty_Shop_Collections.asp

 
4. The Gift

Lenox Swan Art Glass Figurine

The Price
$39.95

The Story

Since 1917, six Presidents and First Ladies have commissioned Lenox to create the official table service for the White House. Our sophisticated patterns also grace the tables of millions of homes across the United States.
Lenox is proud to be an American company designing for Americans. They are the only manufacturer of fine bone china in the United States, produced at our state-of-the art facility in Kinston, North Carolina. Lenox is celebrating 123 years of excellence in design and manufacturing in the United States.

Lenox is the only manufacturer of fine bone china in the United States, produced at their state-of-the art facility in Kinston, North Carolina.

Brief Description

This pretty pink swan is a symbol of breast cancer awareness. Using centuries-old techniques of the glassmaker's art, the swan is decorated with a crossed ribbon. Crafted entirely by hand, no two sculptures are exactly alike
  • 10% of the proceeds to benefit Breastcancer.org
  • Crafted of fine art glass
  • Width: 2 5/8"
Internet Address: http://www.lenox.com/?fuseaction=search&keywords=Art%2520Glass
     


5. The Gift

K'NEX Classics 50 Model Bldg Set

The Price
$26.24 (On Sale)

The Story

Thanks to The Rodon Group, K'NEX manufactures all of its bricks, rods and connectors in the United States. Located just two miles from K'NEX in Hatfield, Pennsylvania, The Rodon Group was established in 1956, and is owned and operated by the Glickman family. If that name sounds familiar, it is - Joel Glickman invented the rod and connector building system that has been enriching the lives of families around the world for 18 years, and he currently serves as K'NEX Chairman and CEO.

K'NEX Brands, L.P. is a privately held company. Today, K'NEX is the most innovative and fastest growing construction toy company. Internationally, K'NEX products are distributed in over 30 countries. K'NEX Brands is also proud to distribute Lincoln Logs in North America.

This Is What the Company Believes:

“We believe that the company can be financially successful while behaving in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

“We believe that our product, K'NEX, is unique and worthwhile; that it is capable of enriching the lives of those who use it, both through pure enjoyment and through its educational impact; and that these genuine qualities must be sustained with all the innovation and creativity we can muster.

“We believe that K'NEX is as safe as human ingenuity can make it, and we must make this intrinsic in every design we devise and publish.

“We believe that the company has a responsibility to provide a safe and fulfilling work environment, and an opportunity to grow and learn.”

And This Is Why the Company Is Here:

“To be a profitable and successful company, while acting in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Unless we achieve these goals, nothing that follows below will long be possible.

“To provide safe, effective, innovative, and distinctive brands that truly delight the senses of sight and touch at every age, and tickles the senses of humor and wonder.

“Although the company has been operating as a toy company since 1992, The Rodon Group has been in business since 1956. Both companies have been operated as an extended family, and have internalized and embodied over that period a system of principles, procedures and values that have served to enhance the success of the companies, and to encourage the personal and professional growth of the people we work with every day.”

Brief Description

K'NEX is the next generation of construction sets. It inspires creativity, builds self-confidence and encourages interaction among children and parents. The possibilities are endless.

Build anything you can imagine with the K'NEX Classic 50 Model Building Set! Loaded with 700 Classic K'NEX parts for lots of open building fun! Includes instructions/ideas for 50 unique models including a sand castle, hot air balloon, sea creatures, trucks and more. 700 pieces made in the USA.

Details:

Ages 7+
700 Classic K'NEX pieces
50 Building Ideas
Great open-ended building fun
Made in USA

Internet Address: http://www.knex.com/

 
 

6. The Gift

Planet Dog's Orbee-Tuff Mazee Dog Toy
 
The Price

$16.95

The Story

Since incorporating in 1997, Planet Dog been known as the industry's leading socially responsible, values-based design house, bringing people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.

The company says, “The fire in our belly is to concept, innovate and develop premium products 'made for dogs, by dog lovers' all while being fully dedicated to satisfying both you and your best friend's needs.”

Their mission is to amuse, explore, support, innovate, create, educate, celebrate and philanthropate... all in the name of the dog. They provide financial resources to those in need, educating consumers about canine-related issues, creating an array of non-toxic and recyclable products, and keeping the tails of "their pack" wagging.

Planet Dog’s flagship initiative is the Planet Dog Foundation. Since 2012, PDF has donated more than $800,000 in cash and product donations. Their internal mantra of "think globally, act doggedly," keeps them focused on the higher cause of why they entered the industry...wagging, drooling, sniffing, snuggling, howling, romping dogs.

"We are proud to offer dog lovers durable, non-toxic, eco-friendly and 100 percent-guaranteed toys that are made in the USA," says Stephanie Volo, Planet Dog's top dog. "We are an active participant in a number of consortiums working to strengthen the US manufacturing sector and provide more jobs for American workers.”
Brief Description

Clearly engaging, clearly rewarding, clearly fun.

This eco-friendly toy is made in the USA from 100% recycled and recyclable materials. Orbee-Tuff Mazee is available in one size and two colors: raspberry and green. Like all of Planet Dog’s high-quality products, it is 100% guaranteed. It can be washed by wiping the outside with a damp cloth, filling with hot water and shaking before air drying.

Planet Dog is proud to donate 2% of every purchase to the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) to support canine service programs nationwide. In addition, PDF receives 100% of the profits from its best-selling Orbee-Tuff® Glow for Good Ball.

A fresh take on the stimulating puzzle craze. The interactive brain teaser is designed for long-lasting play. With a pliable, Orbee-Tuff® outer shell, and unique inner maze. Stuff with Planet Dog eats and enjoy.

* To clean, fill with hot water, shake vigorously and rinse.
* Non-toxic, recyclable and 100% guaranteed.
Internet Address: http://www.planetdog.com/home/



7. The Gift

Okabashi Cross Strap Footwear

The Price

$17.99 (Many styles up to $19.99)

The Story

Okabashi is a family owned business that has focused on designing and manufacturing extremely comfortable shoes for more than 25 years. We set ourselves apart from the rest of major manufacturers and invite you to tour our site to better understand why Okabashi is more than a shoe. Over 25 million pairs sold – Okabashi contends “nothing is more powerful than word of mouth.”

Okabashi believes that technology and design can be utilized to deliver a great product to the consumer at a great value, without shifting U.S. jobs overseas. Okabashis are proudly made in the United States in Buford, GA and shipped worldwide from there. Today, more than 98% of all footwear sold in the U.S. is manufactured overseas, yet Okabashi continues production where it was originally established in Buford, GA.

The notion to deliver comfortable footwear at an affordable price was the brainchild of the family who brought the business know-how, manufacturing expertise and principles of reflexology to the United States in 1984; thus introducing the Okabashi brand. More than 250 employees commit their efforts each year to perfecting the design, comfort, and durability of these unique shoes.

Okabashi found its way into the "green" market long before "going green" was main-stream.

Comfort is the foundation for every Okabashi foot-bed, beginning with the principles of a Japanese idea called reflexology. The study of reflexology identifies nerves in the foot that are connected with various organs and muscle groups around the body. Stimulating these nerves is said to have a positive impact on the wellness of those associated areas. Although every Okabashi style is different, massage beads are placed across the foot-bed of each shoe based on these principles. These massage beads are integrated with an ergonomic design to create a signature foot-bed that is often called "the healing shoe" or "the most comfortable shoe ever."

The majority of shoes sold in the United States are quite unrecyclable, and most shoe recycling programs are really shoe redistribution programs. At Okabashi, they believe in closed-loop recycling to reduce the use of virgin material and to keep old shoes from becoming environmental waste.The amount of recycled material in each pair depends on the amount available.The average pair of Okabashi sandals made this year contains 15-25% recycled material.

Other shoes sold in the United States are designed to wear out in 3 to 9 months. Most shoes are difficult to clean, wear out quickly, and are nearly impossible to recycle. Okabashi shoes and sandals typically last 2 to 4 years, are machine washable & dishwasher-safe, and are 100% recyclable. Durable, recyclable Okabashi shoes reduce consumer expenses as well as the natural resources needed to produce and transport new shoes. Your new Okabashi shoes should last at least 2 years - we guarantee it.

If you return your well-loved and worn Okabashis to their factory, they will recycle them. Returns that are free from contamination are recycled for use in new Okabashi products. Returns with contaminants are processed and recycled for use in non-apparel goods.

Brief Description

The Cross-Strap is an updated version of an original favorite. Simple style and cool comfort make this slide one of our most classic and versatile women's styles.

  • Good for You: Massaging Insole, Ergonomic Foot-bed, Superior Arch Support
  • Good for the Environment: Made in the USA, 100% Recyclable
  • Good for your Pocket: Guaranteed for 2 years
  • Signature Microplast Material: contains Anti-Microbial Agent, Anti-Slip, Anti-Odor, Vegan-Friendly, Latex-Free
  • BPA Free
  • Signature Microplast Material: Anti-Microbial Agent, Anti-Slip, Anti-Odor, Vegan-friendly
  • Durable: Waterproof, Dishwasher safe
  • Endorsed by the American Chiropractic Association
Internet Address: http://www.okabashi.com/

 

8. The Gift
 
Round House U.S.A. Made Round House Jeans -- Dungaree Relaxed Fit

The Price

$33.99

The Story

The year was 1903. The Spanish-American War recently ended and Teddy Roosevelt was president. The Wright brothers would be making their flights at Kitty Hawk before the year was out and Henry Ford was designing his first automobile. The average American worker labored 10 hours a day, six days a week for $12 per week.

Oklahoma was still Indian Territory, 4 years before statehood. Over 100 trains roared through the town of Shawnee each day as thousands of railroad workers built towards America's westward expansion.
Round House workwear was born.
Named for the "round house" railroad repair station, Round House brand overalls quickly became a favorite among rail workers, becoming known for their ruggedness and affordability.

2003 marked the 100th year anniversary of 100% American made Round House brand workwear. In this special year, they celebrated both their own history as the makers of the nation's best fitting, longest wearing workwear, as well as the men and women who have made America proud to wear the words "MADE IN THE USA."

Now, ROUND HOUSE is the largest all Made in USA jeans and overalls manufacturer. Round House is also the oldest operating manufacturer in Oklahoma, producing about 240,000 units in just Round House overalls per year (20,000 pairs monthly/100 pairs per day), that's 10.8 million feet of thread a month. Jeans and overalls are available in numerous styles, cuts and colors including The Classic Blues, The Stone Washed Blues, The Vintage Engineer, The Painter, The Carpenter, The Heavy Duty Duck, and Camouflage.

Thanks to the hundreds of workers who have called the Round House Manufacturing Company their home throughout the years, the Round House trademark remains an authentic and enduring symbol of superior workmanship and American spirit. Manufactured with the same good quality and high standards that were established decades ago, the Round House brand means fine quality fabric, triple-stitched seams that hold, bar-tacked strain points, deep, reinforced pockets, proportioned fit, competitive prices, and quick turnaround.

Today, Round House Brand workwear remains an icon and symbol of American quality and ability. The company still builds Round House workwear according to the "Fit Best, Wear Longest" standard. As a company that values respect for others, the strength of family, the worth of freedom, and the power of faith, Round House is thankful for the opportunity to share this idea with you.
“God Bless America.”

Ten percent of all their profits are donated to support charitable works that reflect their company values.

Brief Description
Round House dungaree work jeans are the perfect combination of rugged and comfortable - the new American standard in American made work wear. Five pocket construction plus handy hammer loop, ruler/cell phone pocket, and pliers pocket on legs. Extra deep pockets. Reinforced back pockets. Zipper fly and button waistband. Jeans are proudly made in the U.S.A. of stonewashed 100% cotton denim.
  • Pre-shrunk 12-ounce 100% cotton denim work jeans
  • Triple stitched seams; wear-resistant 2-ply reinforced shank "snug" buttons
  • Work-friendly dungaree relaxed fit
  • Boot-cut leg openings
  • Made in the U.S.A. since 1903
Internet Address: http://www.round-house.com/




9. The Gift

Beatrixbell Handmade Hoop Heart Necklace

The Price

$46.00

The Story

Beatrixbell Handcrafted Jewelry is a small business and jewelry studio owned and operated by designer Beatrix Bell. Established in 1999 at historic Algiers Point in New Orleans, Louisiana, Beatrixbell Jewelry has over 10 years of experience producing precious metal jewelry adorned with gemstones, beads and mixed metals. Each piece is created with skillful craftsmanship and meticulous attention to detail in her Algiers Point design studio.

All of their raw materials, beads, charms and supplies come from companies and factories based in the United States. Their pea pod jewelry, hammered hoops and other fabulous finds are all handmade in New Orleans.

Beatrixbell Jewelry is carried in retail stores nationwide as well as many outdoor festivals and gift shows in Louisiana and surrounding states.

Brief Description

Handmade hammered heart necklace. Available in all sterling silver chain or contrasting sterling patina chain (oxidized). About 17" in length.

The hammered hoop necklaces are created with sterling silver metals, high quality chains, and components that withstand the test of time. Each individual hoop is formed, filed, soldered, hammered and polished by hand...not a machine! Hoops are embellished with natural stones, semi-precious gemstones, freshwater water pearls, and a variety of whimsical and vintage-inspired embellishments.

Internet Address: http://www.beatrixbell.com/




10. The Gift

Dr. Doormat

The Price

Apartment size (18" x 24" x 3/8": 2lbs) for $26.99 and house size (24" x 36" x 3/8": 4 lbs) for $46.99

The Story

If you could do something to protect yourself and your family from allergens, toxins and pollutants that have the potential to cause them harm…would you?

Debbie Estis Greenspan, a former hotel industry executive of Rockville, Maryland, would. And she did. The Founder and President of the company behind this exciting new advance in home and health protection first came upon her idea after becoming a first-time mother in 2002.

 As an allergy sufferer, Ms. Greenspan had already eliminated irritants posed by carpets and pets. But one day in 2002, watching her infant daughter, Haley, crawling on the floor, she began thinking about what else might be lurking and researched the issue. "It was shocking," she said. The bulk of contaminants, she found, are tracked into the home on the soles of shoes. Those include bacteria from fecal matter, as well as toxins, pollutants and pesticides

"It Must Be The Shoes..."

Debbie began researching ways to make her home environment as safe as possible for herself and for her growing family. What she found surprised her…and will probably surprise you too. She learned that 90% of the harmful toxins, pollutants and dirt that enter your house do so right on the bottom of your shoes. Just stop and think for a moment about all the places those soles of yours go in a single day. By the time you walk through that door, you are providing a red-carpet treatment welcome for an infinite number of harmful microbes from your office, your car, stores, your gym, public restrooms…the list goes on and on. But we think you get the point.

"Paging Dr. Doormat…"

So what is a concerned mother to do? Greenspan sprung into action.

"I felt like I had to do something," she said. "So I began thinking about creating a line of defense to try and make my home the sanctuary we all would like our homes to be for our families, and especially our children."

That thought sprung her into further action, with more research and phone calls and legwork that led Debbie Greenspan to expand her network of business contacts into the scientific realm. She traveled the globe to discover the highest quality and most environmentally responsible materials. Debbie spent years searching for a manufacturer able to produce the mat according to her discerning standards. She was not willing to make any compromises on quality when making this product and refused to make any concessions regarding the impact on the planet. Even the resin and pigment are non-toxic.

The bottom of the mat touching your floor is made from natural/virgin and recycled, non-slip rubber. No rubber trees are cut down in the production of Dr. Doormat. Instead, the natural latex is sapped from the trees. The entire surface is comprised of a high quality, luxurious, stain resistant recycled and virgin polypropylene yarn reducing waste on our planet.

Greenspan's work resulted in the first-ever antimicrobial treated doormat designed for private residences -- Dr. Doormat. The mat helps to trap allergens and minimizes the transference of lead, pesticides, dust mites, mold, bacteria, fungus and mildew into your home environment – and without using poison.

You never have to re-treat the mat. Since the cured antimicrobial chemistry is non-volatile, insoluble, and non-leaching, the treatment should last the life of the mat. With proper care your mat should last over 5 years.

Every time you step on your common doormat, you not only step into a reservoir of microbes that grow and infest your mat; the mat also acts as a springboard for the microbes and pollutants to contaminate the soles of your shoes and transport all of the pollutants into your home.

The antimicrobial treatment of Dr. Doormat is like a microscopic layer of swords and spikes acting as a barrier upon the surface of the entire doormat. Microbes are negatively charged individual single cell living organisms. The treated surface of Dr. Doormat is positively charged pulling the negatively charged microbe down upon its sword like a magnet, piercing the cell membrane and disabling the invading odor causing microorganism on contact.

The microbes are not poisoned; instead the technology used by Dr. Doormat has been safely used in medical draperies, disposable diapers and other consumer products for the past 30 years, disabling the microbes with a physical mode of action.

For the past 30 years, the antimicrobial technology has been successfully used in consumer and medical goods including diapers, socks and medical drapes. Dr. Doormat uses the only antimicrobial treatment on the market that is non-leaching into the environment and disables odor causing microorganisms with a physical mode of action instead of poisoning them. The chemistry has been accepted and registered with the EPA, EU and other regulatory agencies for this specific application.

Brief Description

Dr. Doormat is the first antimicrobial treated doormat designed for home use. The mat is infused during the manufacturing process with a specially formulated antimicrobial treatment that permanently bonds to the fibers of the doormat and cannot be tracked through your home. Dr. Doormat is attractive and ideal for all entrances of your home, providing protection for you and your family throughout the life of the product.

  • Made in the USA
  • Eco-Friendly, Sustainable, Reusable
  • Allergy Friendly
  • Washable (see care instructions)
  • Two-year Manufacturer’s Warranty
  • Surface area is made of the highest quality stain resistant recycled and virgin polypropylene fiber using non-toxic resin and pigment.
  • Durable, flexible, industrial strength, rubber backing with molded rubber nibs reduces mat movement.
  • Elegant bubble pattern scrapes dirt and grit off shoes while removing moisture at the same time.
  • Doormat is framed with a raised, inch wide border that forms a tray trapping water and dirt.
  • Mats are hand cut.
  • Mats available in two sizes: House size: 36”x24”x3/8”, 4 lbs. and Apartment size: 24”x18”x3/8”, 2 lbs.
  • Specially formulated antimicrobial treatment controls and disables odor causing microorganisms on the mat on contact, prevents deterioration and odors and extends the life of the mat. The antimicrobial formula is biodegradable, non-toxic and permanently bonded to the fibers of the yarn
Internet Address: http://drdoormat.com/1-home



11. The Gift

Made In America Store's IceDozer Plus

The Price

$20.00

The Story

It’s a story we have heard all too often in the past few years. A local company loses business to overseas competition and is forced to close its doors. But Mark Andol, the owner and founder of the Made in America Store simply wouldn’t go down without a fight.

At the age of 19, Mark opened his first business in his father’s garage, “Mark’s Small Engine and Repair Service”. He innovated “mobile service” on small engines from 3 to 25 HP on-site at the customer’s residence, and did everything from tune-ups to overhauls.

In 1989 at the age of 23, Mark was ready to focus more on welding and fabricating. He started General Welding & Fabricating, Inc., renting a 5,000 sq ft shop in East Aurora, NY. He was now up to 10 employees to respond to demand for his honest, quality workmanship.

His business outgrew the modest facility, so Mark broke ground on a 14,000 sq.ft. building in the Town of Elma, and over the years expanded his business to 60 employees, and three additional locations. In 2007, Mark cut the ribbon on a 48,000 sq.ft. addition to his Elma facility. The addition was designed for flexibility, efficiency and growth to meet the demand of customers from across the U.S. Little did he know that almost over-night the very accounts he grew for would wipe the business from underneath his feet.

Mark was caught in the crosshairs between The Great Recession and the Global demand for cheaper goods. Two multi-million dollar accounts dropped off in only a weekend, and Mark was forced to lay off half of his workforce. After some research on where business went and how the products were being produced so inexpensively ($3 cheaper than General Welding and Fabricating could produce them at cost), Mark was able to find out that the new supplier was a manufacturer in China, that didn’t have to follow the strict regulations he had to. The product was being shipped from China, to a port in Florida and then distributed to all of the Regional Support Centers that General Welding and Fabricating used to supply.

This was one of Mark’s most painful experiences in life, as he believes in the dignity of those who work with their hands and believes in livelihoods that enable families to buy a home, have a car and send their kids to college. Unemployment puts the American dream on hiatus. For some people, it puts their dreams on hold for good.

Determined to make lemonade out of lemons, Mark began visioning a store that would only carry products that are 100% American Made. In a moment of inspiration – though some at the time called it insanity – he decided to run with the idea.

Mark Andol’s vision became a reality with the opening of the Made in America Store on April 3, 2010. It is the only brick and mortar general merchandise store in the country that exclusively sells 100% American Made Products – down to the packaging.

Located just 20 minutes from Buffalo and less than an hour from Niagara Falls, NY, their mission is to restore U.S. manufacturing jobs by providing American consumers a brick & mortar store and e-commerce site that guarantees that each product sold is entirely American in materials and labor.

Since Opening Day, the Made in America Store has been featured on ABC’s World News Tonight, FOX & Friends, and nationally syndicated and satellite radio. AP articles have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today and newspapers across the country. Reporters from Japan and Russia have come to the store, making it an international story. To date, more than 100 tour buses have added the Made in America Store as a destination. And, buses are added every week, some from as far as San Diego, California!

In addition to requiring that all products sold are 100% American Made, down to the packaging, the Made in America Store insists on top quality at comparable pricing. The customers know they are helping to feed an American family when they shop at the store. And, each manufacturing job has a positive economic impact of providing four additional jobs for the benefit of the U.S. economy.

The Made in America Store also honors active duty members of the U.S. military and veterans by offering a 10% discount on every purchase, every day.

Brief Description

The new, top-of-the-line IceDozer Plus 2.0 includes an improved Flexiblade, designed to do a better job on stubborn frost. The patented and scientifically designed IceDozer Plus 2.0 is really two products combined. We’ve taken the IceDozer Classic 2.0 (the gold standard for fast and efficient removal of ice) and added to it the removable PocketDozerTM mutl-tool. This serious tool comes equipped with multiple attack surfaces, including the FlexibladeTM (which bends to the curvature of the windshield, so that each pass clears a much wider swath of visibility).

The finely honed Frost Peeler Blade takes aim at stubborn frost, while the forward facing IceBreaker Teeth concentrate the cracking force for tackling thicker ice. While the carbide-style Tenderizer teeth on the bottom of the product are designed to exploit the Achilles Heel of ice – its brittleness.

Tapping sharply downward creates hairline fractures that make it much easier to rip the ice from the windshield. Additionally, the forward-facing snow Plow helps keep you clean and dry by bulldozing snow and ice away from your hands and sleeves. The effectiveness of these unique attack surfaces is dramatically amplified through a two-fisted PowerGrip that harnesses the natural strength and motion of the upper body.

In addition, you have the quick-release PocketDozerTM. This multi-tool features a Brush with plus bristles for clearing snow as well as a mini Scraping Blade for tackling hard-to-clear areas (like side mirrors and headlights). The PocketDozer includes the unique IceNotchTM for clearing ice chunks from the windshield wiper.

Proudly made in the USA, the IceDozer Plus 2.0 is built tough out of the absolute best materials. In fact, we’re so confident of its durability that we back the IceDozer Plus 2.0 with a Lifetime Guarantee – unmatched in the industry. What are you waiting for? Go out and Kick Some Ice This Winter!





12. The Gift

Sabaku Artwear Agave French Terry Pullover

The Price

$27.00

The Story

Nancy E. Lenches Alegret is the graphic artist whose colorful work graces Sabaku Artwear silk screened apparel. Sabaku was founded in Tucson Arizona in 1988 by Nancy and her husband, John, who manages the company.

Nancy grew up in Tucson and the influences of the surrounding Sonoran desert, Native American craft and Mexican folk art can be seen in her work. Her interest in art was quenched early when every summer starting at the age of 12, she was privately tutored in drawing, painting, weaving and ceramics. During school, she enrolled in all of the art and design courses that were offered. Nancy attended the College of Fine Arts at The University of Arizona. There she became "hooked on clay" and made her focus of study ceramic sculpture.

Graphic art came to Nancy quite accidentally when she was asked to design a screen print for a Fun Run fundraiser at her son's elementary school. "I didn't know anything about silk screening, but with a little help from a local printer, I made a four color design of a dog wearing running shoes and we put it on the shirts. It was a big success. We sold 700 of them." She learned printmaking quickly as the phone started ringing with other schools and businesses wanting Nancy's designs for shirts. It was not long before Sabaku Artwear was off and running.

Twenty years later, Nancy's work has matured as she has mastered the technical boundaries of commercial apparel printing. She rejects the limitations of Sabaku's two eight color presses by building color fields of overlapping hues until the finished prints are dazzling in their complexity.

 All of her designs start as pencil sketches which are then rendered in ink. These ink drawings are scanned into a computer. This technology allows Nancy to do color separations in hours that used to be laboriously hand cut over several days. Both Nancy and John are particular about the shirts that are the canvases for her art. Most are made and dyed to Sabaku's exclusive design and color specifications by a manufacturer in Miami, Florida.

Brief Description

"Art to Wear... Anywhere"

According to Nancy and John, "Sabaku is the Japanese word for desert. The desert surrounds our home in Tucson, Arizona. It is beautiful, mysterious and forbidding. Our geographic location puts us in the middle of the southwestern United States and sixty miles from Mexico. We are blessed to live in this place; visually stimulating, historically rich and culturally vibrant. We have created the artwork for our shirts to share the spirit of the Southwest with you."

"Here, strange plants and animals inhabit vast deserts and rocky landscapes where Native American craftsmen have flourished for thousands of years. In Mexico, the Spanish and Indian cultures mixed, creating a new artistic vocabulary.

"Southwest Style is a design tradition influenced by the unique environment and cultural history of this part of the world. We see it in the exquisite patterns of an agave leaf, petroglyphs at Canyon de Chelly, a Mata Ortiz pot or a Navajo blanket. We hear it in vibrant mariachi music and taste it in the spicy regional cooking. We respect this land and the people who have walked here before us. When you wear your Sabaku shirt, we hope you stop and savor the spirit."

Internet Address: http://www.sabakuart.com/






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