Here’s some quick advice this holiday shopping season: Buy locally made gifts. With logistics backups delaying overseas shipments, many popular products are back-ordered. Thinking about the newest Apple watch? Apple is reporting supply chain issues and chip shortages, with estimated delays through December. By ordering gifts made locally, you’re enhancing your chances or receiving your gift on time. Here’s a bonus: You’re also supporting small businesses in your hometown and around the country. That’s something to feel good about as you start your holiday shopping! Consider these 7 American-made gift ideas for any budget.
7 Made In the USA Gift Ideas
What: Beeswax Candles from tea candles to spa candles, pillar and dipped tapers
Price: Various; $14.99 for a 10.5 oz. candle; box of 9” Dipped Tapered candles $36.50
Based in: Medina, Ohio
If you’ve ever bought candles recently and wondered why they burned so fast, it’s probably because they’re made of paraffin, a byproduct of crude oil production. Splurge on original beeswax candles. We like one of the original candle makers in the United States: Root Candles. Beeswax burns at a high temperature, ensuring that candles last longer. For instance, a 10.5 oz candle has a 70-hour burn time. They’re also cleaner: Beeswax is 100 percent biodegradable and burns without soot or black smoke. These natural candles also emit a bright, warm light. Root produces a wide variety of candles hard to find. For instance, we inherited some nice candle sticks and Root makes quality dinner candles of all the colors in the rainbow.
Like many American brands, Root touts a cool history. For over 150 years ago, it pioneered mass production of honey, making Medina, Ohio, famous for Bee Industries. Churches around the United States also rely on Root candles for liturgical candles. Root is also a five-generation family-owned company. It prides itself on using domestically harvested beeswax and natural wicks. So whether you’re looking for a way to enhance your holiday entertaining or a simple house warming gift, candles are always appreciated.
Tervis Plastic Tumblers
What: Plastic and Stainless Steel Cups and water bottles
Price: Various: Stainless Steel Coffee Cup $24.99; Vintage 19th Hole Collection
Emblem 4-Pack Gift Set $49.99
Based in: North Venice, Florida
Who hasn’t sipped a beverage out of these plastic insulated tumblers? But did you know the original insulated drinkware is all made in Florida? Invented in 1946, this drinkware company was created by two Detroit engineers who merged the last three letters of their last names to come up with “Tervis.” Outdoor enthusiast John C. Winslow purchased the company and moved it to Florida where it’s been ever since.
The Tervis tumblers were designed as an eco-alternative to single-use plastic cups and water bottles. Starting out, Winslow went from dock to dock selling Tervis cups, which were durable with excellent insulation. The cups gained even more popularity in the ‘80s and ‘90s with the 16 oz. cup and other innovations. Today, there are stainless steel cups and hundreds of design options. You can even upload your own design or photo to personalize a cup. It recycles damaged and scrapped materials into other products instead of landfilling them.
What: Artisanal Perfume
Price: Various. $80 to $175
Based in: Louisville, Kentucky
American Perfumer is like the high-end Etsy of American Artisan Perfumers. This company bills itself as the first and only retailer in the United States exclusively devoted to American Perfume and the people who make it. American Perfumer features nearly 40 American brands from over two dozen perfumers. While it recently closed its Louisville store front, it still encourages people to “sample” fragrances virtually by selling them 1 oz. – 2 oz. versions, which retail for anywhere from $6 to $10.
David Kern is the genius behind American Perfumer. His small-batch perfume “Colorado” won the award for independent perfumes at the International Art and Olfaction Awards. The fragrance won for its combination of scents reminiscent of citrus, Colorado blue spruce, wildflowers and the bark and amber of a ponderosa pine.
The perfume names and scents are eclectically American. Check out a few fragrance names: Cherry Bomb, Drunk on the Moon, Tomato Leather and Rhubarb my Love. The site also allows you to learn more about the people behind the fragrances. It features profiles of each perfumer and brand.If you know someone who truly wants a unique gift, go no further.
American Kitchen Cookware
Price: Various. 4-Quart saucepan $232
Based in: West Bend, Wisconsin
Sure, there are pots and pans you can pick up on the cheap, but if you’re looking for quality cookware that’s going to last a lifetime, invest in brand like American Cookware. They also have lines of non-stick and cast-iron pans.
American Kitchen Cookware products are all created in West Bend, Wisconsin. Its stainless steel line of pots and pans are made with two layers of stainless steel around a solid aluminum core for lifelong durability. Its non-stick pans have a PFOA-coating (PFOA is a toxic coating used on some early non-stick pans) with a thicker film for extra durability—so it can withstand the dishwasher and oven. It offers bakeware and cookware warranties for its products.
What: Clean Ingredient Nut Butters
Price: $16 for a 12 oz. bottle of nut butter.
Based in: Portland, Oregon
Looking for fun gift for a gift exchange? A gift box from Ground Up might be it. Ground up makes small, hand-batch nut butters in unique flavors. Try Marzipan with Sprinkles Nut Butter; Oregon Hazelnut + Almond Butter and Chunky Almond or Cashew + Coconut Nut Butter.
These butters are free of preservatives, refined sugars and peanuts. One of the co-owners created the company because she couldn’t eat the nut butters on the market. A small amount of honey is used as a sweetner. The company is also a non-profit that trains disadvantaged women (formerly homeless or human trafficked) in a 6-9 month program to help them gain valuable career skills.
For the holidays, try the Holiday Tasting Flight: Cinnamon Snickerdoodle along with the holiday edition flavors Salted Eggnog and Gingersnap.
Price: $22 for a Mermaid Jewelry Dish with 22K Gold, Cone Incense Dish $18
Based in: Austin, Texas
Pottery from Karacotta is designed and hand-crafted in Austin, Texas. Kara Pendl is the creative brains behind Karacotta, which opened its doors in 2017. Pendl says she’s mostly a self-taught potter. Every piece of pottery is created by Pendl’s team and meant to be functional artwork.
Products range from the whimsical incense dishes and jewelry dishes to more practical earrings and tumblers. The Everyday Cup in Moonbeam costs $32/each. They are each wheel thrown and can be used for practical hot or cold beverages of planting a succulent. They are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Price: Various: $495 for the best-selling Gaby, Rusty $329
Based in: El Paso, Texas, with retail locations around the United States.
Lucchese Bootmakers make boots by hand, a tradition dating back to 1883. The boots are created with a process called “pegging” to attach the outsole to the rest of the boot. Each boot is also hand-stretched. Patterns are also hand-stitched into the leather.
These aren’t just cowboy boots. Styles include cowboy, roper, work, Chelsea and polo and fashion boots, to name a few. Lucchese also makes shoes, apparel, accessories such as belts, wallets and handbags. How do you find Lucchese products? You can shop online or you can visit one of their retail and outlets around the U.S. And if you prefer a personalized pair of boots, make an appointment to create a pair exactly for your foot and style.
So, as you make your list this year, we encourage you to shop local. Whether it’s a quality made product or one that supports a local business. Or it could be simple reason American products are available. For more ideas, see Give a gift you can feel good about giving. If you’re buying something for Mom, try one of these Offbeat and Fun Gifts for the Mom who has everything. Whatever your motivation, take your time. Remember, it’s not the price tag, it’s the thought that goes into the gift that matters.
Patty Yeager is the managing editor of Smart Lifebites. Her stories include Sorting Family Keepsakes: It’s OK to part with the porcelain.