I read the New York Times almost every day online, but I must admit I have a bit of a routine -- I read the same sections, in almost the same order -- and I definitely have to set a time limit. This is literally against every rule for living creatively. So, admittedly, I may miss some things.
Someone I spoke to recently (who? can't remember) suggested that he always found something interesting by gleaning the "Most E-Mailed" list that they publish every day.
Sure enough, the first time I tried it, I found a fascinating article about a 100-year-old brand, L.C. King Manufacturing Co. in Bristol, Tennessee, a struggling clothing factory that has recently, and almost unknowingly, become a favorite supplier among hipsters and Japanese designers.
For all these years, L.C. King has produced Pointer Brand, its own line of work and hunting clothing and accessories, but now they're creating private label jeans and jackets, right there in their 100-year-old factory. Clients talk about the "zen" of the place as well as the high quality of the products. There's a story there.
As someone who has tried hard to buy US-made goods -- everything from dish towels to calendar frames -- this "discovery" is fantastic news.
I can't tell you how disheartening it was to look up global producers of cotton textiles and see how many American companies have gone out of business in the last few years. (For the full story, read "The Travels of a Tee Shirt in a Global Economy, by Peter Rivoli, 2008).
And I will say that when I did find an American (usually family-owned) supplier, our relationship was instantly warm, friendly and flexible. We got each other. I want more of those.
The article also referred to a fantastic website directory of all American-made goods: Maker's Row. Which means that now I at least have contacts to research for my own small minimums and quirky demands, something I just didn't have before.
Thank you NY Times (and the anonymous person who suggested this diversion) for opening my eyes!
Our waxed canvas tote bags are 100% American made!
Canvas: James Thompson Fabrics, Valley Falls NY
Design & Eco-Friendly Screen Printing: Beyond Her, Houston, TX
Waxing, Construction, Leather: Chris Franks Design, Austin, TX
At roughly 8 x 10 inches, with dirt- and water-resistance and irresistible cuteness, this is the perfect lunch bag, wine tote, carry-all for odds 'n ends!
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