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Archive for May, 2010

Mrs. Made in USA here. For the past month I have been searching for a stylish, Made in the USA diaper bag to carry my stuff and the plethora of gear that i have to lug around for my 2 babies. I searched many different diaper bag sites and women’s purse sites. Pretty much everything was made in China and ranged in price from $40 to over $300. I also had the option of buying a “designer” bag made in Italy, but those cost at least $600. I couldn’t stomach shelling out that kind of money for a bag, even if it wasn’t made in China. Plus, the last time i checked we didn’t have a money tree growing in the back yard.

So after a long and exhaustive search for a Made in the USA purse, I resolved myself to the fact that i would have to, 1) keep using my old bag, or 2) buy an imported bag and endure the disappointed look of my husband. Then I got an idea….look on Etsy.com! They have millions of items Made in the USA, so there must be purses there too. I immersed myself in Etsy and came upon beautiful leather bags by Paulina Carcach. I found a bag I loved and emailed Paulina to confirm the bags were Made in the USA. Sure enough, she sews these beauties by hand in the San Francisco Bay area and gets her leather from a local leather shop. You can customize your bag by choosing the leather color and hardware you want. Best of all, her bags are SO reasonably priced. All shapes of handbags are under $150 and clutches are as low as $35. The one I chose, called the Alba bag, is only $141! I was in heaven. Not only did i find a cool bag that fit my needs but the price was unbelievable for something handmade and leather! I got the thumbs up from my husband and placed my order immediately.

I have attached a picture of the bag I ordered (in teal) and another style. All of Paulina’s bags are custom made to order, so I will have to wait a couple weeks for mine. I can’t wait to get it! When I showed my mom the picture of the bag I ordered, she said it reminded her of her designer bag (which starts with P and rhymes with Rada). I said, “Yeah, but mine is custom made in the USA and $500 less!” You can’t argue with that.

Check out all of Paulina’s beautiful, Made in the USA leather handbags at www.paulinacarcach.net.

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I had had my eye on some styles of Fedora hats for a while but every time I would see some in stores, they were made in China.  Prices would vary from $30-50 even so.  The thought of buying a Chinese hat (something that I had absolutely no real need for anyway) would turn my stomach.  The other day, I was contacted by a representative of Hats.com.  Not only did they sell lots of hats, they specialized in selling made in USA hats!  I was literally bemoaning the state of American hat manufacture the day before.  The only made in USA hats I had come across in stores had been by New York Hat Company, but they were always too big, too thick, or too expensive for me.

So I was very excited and jumped at the chance to review a few hats for them.  The page I went to for the made in USA hats is here.   A good number of the hats are made by Bailey of Hollywood, some are the Hats.com brand, and there are various others.  I got the Cody, Timberland Litestraw, Connor and Bailey of Hollywood Parks cap.  I’ve had a chance to try them out and am quite happy with the materials and craftsmanship, as well as the style.  Actually, the store brand Cody and Connor are the most stylish of the four and the least expensive ($29 and $34).  All the hats say “made in USA” on them and the Hats.com representative assured me that they have relationships with all the factories that make the hats.

I am surprised that I had not run across them before, as I would definitely have bought a hat there if I did.  Above are photos of me in two of the hats.  (The shirts is American Apparel, by the way).  On the left is a good about-town hat while the right seems good for touring or day hiking.

The Bailey of Hollywood and Timberland hats are both manufactured by Bollman Hat Company in Adamstown, PA.  They are also the makers of the Hats.com branded styles. Bollman Hat Company also is the founder of www.saveanamericanjob.com, which was developed to help create awareness of Made in the USA products and US manufacturers.

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