Handbag for life
J.W. Hulme Co Mini Legacy Shoulder Bag
Maybe it’s their Midwestern work ethic, or maybe it’s because they’ve been at it for more than one hundred years, but this Minnesota company makes some of the best leather bags and accessories, ever. Picture a style that works on you or your grandmother, and may last til you’re a grandmother yourself, and you’ve got JW Hulme. We’ve got most of their products on our long-term wish list, but our all-time favorite is the mini version of their Legacy shoulder bag. It’s a saddlebag style made of gently distressed leather: large enough for your essentials, casual enough for the weekend and classic enough for the week. JW Hulme makes all of its products in the US and this one is no different: its made of leather tanned exclusively for them, then carefully hand-buffed and antiqued by a perfectionist craftsman in St. Paul.
Buy online for $370
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Guillow’s Balsa Wood Airplanes
Looking for a toy that’s inexpensive, simple to operate, and made at 40 New Salem Street in Wakefield, MA for the better part of a century? Well, you’re in luck. Little has changed about Paul Guillow’s balsa wood gliders since they first went on sale in 1926. True, the price has doubled seven times, but with a starting price of only two cents, that means you can still pick up a two-pack for under $5 here in the States.
It’s also true that the vast majority of the world’s commercial balsa wood supply comes from Equador, and domestic production is unlikely anytime soon. Even so, we’ll gladly choose Guillow’s over the several alternatives made in China. We love these simple, classic toys and hope you will too.
Buy online for $5
More: Toys from Massachusetts
Analog street map
Soft Cities Custom Blanket
One day Nikki and Eric Rodenbeck thought it would be pretty cool if they could take online street maps and make them into big fuzzy blankets. So, they did. Just tell them where you’d like to center your
map blanket, pick a style, and they’ll stitch it up for you. Each custom blanket is made from 100% recyclable fleece and printed using non-toxic dyes. Best of all the design, printing and sewing happen right here in San Francisco.
Buy online for $175
More: Home Goods from California
Yes To Carrots Organic Lip Butter
Whole foods are great, but the last time we tried rubbing carrot sticks on our lips while skiing it was less than effective. The next best thing? Yes To Carrots Organic Lip Butter. With ingredients we actually recognize such as coconut oil, olive oil, peppermint oil and shea butter, we feel better when licking our lips over the next American-made product find.
All of the ingredients in Yes To Carrots Lip Butter are naturally derived and 95% are certified organic. In contrast, our old friend ChapStick contains a bunch of things we don’t know much about and have scary-looking Wikipedia pages. We’re not experts in sheep derivatives but isopropyl lanolate seems to be one. Then there’s D&C red no. 6 barium lake, which seems more at home on the periodic table than the night stand. And then there’s methylparaben, octyldodecanol, oleyl alcohol .. you get the picture.
Yes To is headquartered in San Francisco and all of their products are made in America.
Buy online for $10
More: Health & Beauty from California
Cooking in style
Best Made Apron
We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving – spending time with family and friends, and cooking and enjoying Thanksgiving dinner. This year, we’ll be donning a brand new Best Made apron – with all of the kitchen activity, we’re betting mashed potatoes and turkey fat will end up in a few places other than our stomachs. This apron’s sturdy 10oz twill weave cotton will keep us clean up until the bird is on the table.
Best Made’s apron works hard outside of the kitchen, too: it was originally designed to be worn in the workshop, so has pockets and loops to hold pencils and hammers. In keeping with the Best Made Company® mission to equip people with quality tools that they can use and pass down for generations, this apron is made reinforced with 8oz denim and its fasteners are solid brass #4 grommets.
Best Made tells us that the dirtier this apron gets, the better it looks – which is good news, since we’ve been known to make a mess.
Buy online for $58
More: Apparel, Home Goods from New York
American Giant Full Zip Hoodie
As a general rule we advise against taking fashion cues from tech moguls, but if there were ever an exception to be made, it could only come from the world of hoodies. Mark Zuckerberg has been spotted on more than one occasion wearing an American Giant hoodie, and it’s not hard to understand why. A fellow San Francisco Bay Area startup, American Giant stitches their goods at a factory just south of the city. They recently opened a small store in San Francisco’s Mission District, which also serves as a warehouse and the company’s headquarters.
American Giant hoodies are made from thick, heavy cotton. Everything from the fabric to the zippers to the pulls just feels substantial in a way that’s hard to put into words. They’re perfect for the airplane, the ballgame, or the boardroom (if you work someplace cool).
Buy online for $79
More: Apparel from California
IBM Standard Issue Clock
My grandfather told me that you could always spot an “IBM man” by his socks. “An IBM man always wears garters to keep his socks pulled up,” he explained over breakfast one morning. He went on to describe a culture of disciplined innovation and strong attention to detail. And that is what we love about School House Electric’s reproduction of IBM’s classic 1960′s wall clock.
A spun steel case and domed glass lens cover a simple, well-proportioned dial. The quartz movement powers highly legible hour and minute hands and a red smooth sweep second hand. This clock was designed in partnership with IBM and is assembled at the School House Electric factory in Portland, Oregon.
This video features School House Electric founder Brian Faherty talking about how the clock is made.
Buy online for $235
More: Home Goods from Oregon
Standard issue eyewear
Randolph Engineering Aviator Sunglasses
Massachusetts-based Randolph Engineering was founded in 1972 by two Polish immigrants in pursuit of the American dream. After a few years perfecting the design and manufacture of these aviators, Jan Waszkiewicz and Stanley Zaleski got their big break when the United States Air Force contracted RE to produce a small batch of sunglasses for its pilots. Their quality and durability won them a bigger contract, and these shades have been standard issue since 1982.
Today, Randolph Engineering aviators are worn by pilots, celebrities, civilians, and Statesmade (us). With their timeless style and superior quality, we think they’ll be our favorite accessory for years to come.
Randolph Engineering is based on Randolph, Massachusetts. Its products are manufactured by Americans using the machinery and tooling created by the company’s founders.
Buy online for $129
More: Accessories from Massachusetts
Carrot & Stick Letterpress Stationery
We opened up our mailbox (the real one, outside our front door) to find three credit card offers, two bills, a supermarket circular, and…a handwritten letter! You can guess which piece of mail we opened on the doorstep. While the note in our friend’s handwriting was the best part, the Carrot & Stick stationery on which it was written was second best.
Next time we send some non-electronic mail, it’ll be on a Carrot & Stick backdrop. We love this company for its modern take on an old-school style–some of our favorites are the coral, bamboo, and Hawaiian letterpress cards.
Carrot & Stick creates all of its artful paper products on four letterpresses in its Oakland, California studio.
Buy online for $16
More: Home Goods from California
The scoop from Florida
Zerolon Ice Cream Scoop from Zeroll
It’s time to throw away your obviously bent and then awkwardly re-bent soup spoons. It’s time to part with the scoop with the button on the side that never really worked. It’s time to get rid of the slightly rusty scoop that someone accidentally put in the dishwasher. It’s time to trade up to the ultimate ice cream scooper. Not only is this literally the best ice cream scoop on the planet, it also happens to be from Zeroll, whose founder Sherman Kelly invented the modern ice cream scoop.
Like all of their scoops, the fluid inside the handle picks up heat from your hand, which gets transfered to the ice cream, making it a breeze to cut through even really solid ice cream. To take it a step further, this model is also hardcoat-anodized and sealed with Teflon. And did we mention it’s quite beautiful? In fact its non-anodized twin is part of the Museum of Modern Art’s Permanent Design Collection in New York City. Can you pay less for an ice cream scoop? Definitely. Can you find a better one – at any price? We seriously doubt it. And we think that’s worth parting with twenty bucks.
Buy online for $20
More: Home Goods from Florida