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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Is it Enough that it is American-Made?

While buying American-Made products is helpful to our economy, we also need to choose products that are environmentally safe. I will not preview companies that produce harmful products or those that are known polluters. And my goal is to give credit to those who have green initiatives and high environmental standards.

Stay tuned to learn about more great American companies.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Vaughan Tools Since 1869

Creating Industry Standards in the U.S.A. for More Than 135 Years !

My husband went to Home Depot the other day to look for a particular tool, and was appalled that most of the tools he found were stamped with Made in China. Even the Craftsman tools we used to consider "so American" because they were made for and distributed by a once standard American company (Sears), are now mostly made in (I'll give you 2 guesses) China.

(In 2004, Craftsman tools came under fire when a lawsuit accused Sears of false advertising and consumer fraud for questionable use of the "Made in U.S.A." slogan. Today there is no such mention on their website. )

Trying to be a good American consumer, he searched all the tools and looked at all the labels for anything made in the U.S.A. And, lo and behold, he found Vaughan Tools!

Vaughan, headquartered in Hebron, Illinois, has been making tools in the U.S.A. since 1869! In fact, many of their products, which include hatchets, saws, landscaping tools, hickory handles and construction tools, have features that have become industry standard.

Howard A. Vaughan Jr. and Charles S. Vaughan, 4th and 5th generations, promise that Vaughan will remain dedicated to American manufacturing and will continue to pursue growth through innovative products. In other words, they're not going to start producing cheaper products in Asia so they can line their own pockets with gold.

If you're in the market for tools, consider buying Vaughan. With their quality standards and American ingenuity, you can't go wrong. Find out more at

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Do You Look at Labels?

Look for the union label
when you are buying that coat, dress or blouse.

Remember somewhere our union’s sewing,
our wages going to feed the kids, and run the house.

We work hard, but who’s complaining?
Thanks to the I.L.G. we’re paying our way!

So always look for the union label,
It says we’re able to make it in the U.S.A.!

Do you remember this song from the 1970s commercial for the former International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union? As a child, I remember running around the house endlessly singing the catchy jingle and not really knowing what it meant.

But labels and tags get my attention these days. I want to be informed of what I’m buying. I want to know if the product came from thousands of miles away or if it was made in my own backyard. I want to feel confident that it doesn’t contain harmful chemicals or lead or anything else that is questionable, and that it wasn’t made by underpaid or underage workers in a sweatshop.

When I see Made in the U.S.A. on a product’s label, it lets me know, that for the most part, the money I’m spending is staying in the U.S.A., and that the item was made by a hardworking fellow American who was paid a fair wage and works, we hope, under humane conditions.

We can learn a lot from labels.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

For the Love of Dogs & Country

Protecting Pets With Safe, Quality American-Made Products!

Americans love their pets. In fact, products for Fluffy and Fido generate a whopping $16.2 billion in sales in the United States every year.

With the horrific news not so long ago that America’s beloved pets were dying from eating pet food made with tainted ingredients imported from China, we need to take a long, hard look at where all our pets’ products are coming from. And that includes products like collars and leashes, as well as food.

Since 1950, Auburn Leathercrafters, owned and operated by the Dungey family, has been making safe, quality pet products right here in the United States. The company, located in the Finger Lakes region of Central New York State in Auburn, NY, currently employs 34 workers (other than family members).

Anita Dungey, owner/president of Auburn Leathercrafters, says her company’s customers appreciate the quality craftsmanship of their handmade products, which use only the finest full-grain leathers and materials.

While Dungey says her company, unfortunately, hasn’t been able to use 100% domestic materials, the vast majority of raw materials they use are from domestic sources, which is a plus for the company and the environment. “We have found that, by sourcing domestically, we have less waste in both time and materials,” she says.

Though the company’s dog leashes, collars and other items may not be the cheapest you’ll find on the shelves, Dungey says they will definitely be the best and her company guarantees it.

“Real value comes from a quality product that is designed to last. Even though it may cost a little more, we know our customers won’t be disappointed,” Dungey says. “That is why we stand behind every product we make.”

Like founder Everett Dungey always said: “It is better to explain why your product costs more than to explain why your product failed.”

The Dungey family is extra busy these days, not just promoting their own products, but also helping protect other products made in the U.S.A. Last year, Anita stumbled across a piece of legislation that would have lifted tariffs on the products they make. She wrote letters to her representatives and other government officials in Washington about her concern for this bill. Thanks to her efforts, and those of concerned business owners across the country, the proposed tariff suspensions were lifted on her company’s products – and those of more than 500 other businesses, possibly saving a lot of American jobs.

As for the company’s “green initiatives,” Dungey says: “I guess you could say our green initiative is to keep things simple and to not waste our resources, whether they be time, money, or other resources.”

The company has two Web sites: one for retail customers at and wholesale customers can shop at