Buying American List is a blog about “Buying American”. The blog had recently published a great three part series on Woman Run Companies – Making Products in the USA. The first one was published on October 22, 2015, the second on November 17, 2015 and the third on December 29, 2015. It am reposting the first two articles here. For other websites that also stress “Made in America” see my blog entry: Made in America Movement websites. Have a Happy 2016.
5 Women Run Companies – Making Products in the USA
Writing about companies that have made the conscious choice to have their products Made in the USA can be eye-opening. Frankly there are an amazing amount of people who are creating a wide array of products and doing it their way. I love to read about how one or two people got an idea and put it into action. This posting will focus on women who have created a business that is making products here in America.
Sometimes these companies are small and sometimes they have grown into a pretty big business. I love to learn about how they did it and especially when they decide to give something back to their communities. You may have seen several postings of companies giving back to help others. I’ll include some links at the end of this article. Since I’m writing this in October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month I hope you’ve seen this one in particular. Pink for October . This started out featuring 2 companies and has grown to include 7 companies. Please send me more if you know about them.
There are many more companies that are being run by women that I plan to feature in the future. Here are the first 5 of many more to follow.
1. Flynn Skye
Designer Amber Farr created this line of clothing in Venice, California. Her clothes are about simplicity with an edge and are perfect to wear all day long. Whether you’re at the beach or going out for a romantic dinner these clothes will make you feel a little sexy and a little free.
She named the company after her daughter who she says is “the most magical, free spirit I know”.
I just love the look of these clothes and can imagine how they make anyone just a little bit happier when they slip on some Flynn Skye clothing.
This company grew out of a woman’ love of sewing. She didn’t intend to grow a business out of recycling wool sweaters into mittens. But once she got the idea, she ran with it.
The Mitten Company was featured in a previous posting and you can read that post here.
One thing that I’ve learned is that a companies website often tells their story the best. Here is a snippet from the Handful.com About page.
Handful was founded in Portland, Oregon in 2006 by fitness enthusiast, Jennifer Ferguson. After years of searching in vain for a good sports bra, Jennifer decided to channel her frustration creatively. She designed and manufactured what she (and a lot of other female athletes) had been waiting for…the “perfect sports bra” that’s versatile enough to wear from workout to weekend.
Today, Handful is a thriving business run by four women who share a passion for helping women everywhere lead lives that exceed their wildest dreams.
I love that Jennifer Ferguson, the CEO is also the star of the Handful Product Video. Check it out to learn more and to see that the 4 women running this business love to have fun.
4. Nikki Lund
Nikki Lund is a woman with many talents but the focus here is her clothing designs. You may know her as a musician but she also has a love of clothing and is an amazing designer. I recently asked Nikki if her clothes were made in America. Here’s her reply: “yes they are…. And I’m damn proud of that! ” Well Nikki, we’re proud of you also!
Please also consider following her on Twitter to keep up with her multi-faceted career. @1NikkiLund
**UPDATE** Here is a link to Nikki’s new 2016 Spring collection.
5. Swoop Bags
This is another example of where the creator can tell her story better than I can. Please read what Sarah Kirk has to say about the Swoop Story.
Thirty years ago, my grandmother gave my brother a handmade storage bag for his heaping pile of Lego® pieces. Years later, when my own son got knee-deep into Lego®, my mom remembered that bag and made a similar one for my boys. Friends would come over to our house and say, “WOW! Where did you get that bag? What a FANTASTIC way to contain the crazy Lego® mess!” The idea of Swoop Bags was born.
Today, I give you SWOOP BAGS – a re-imagined, modern version of the original bag my grandmother made. As a graphic designer who loves and breathes modern design and the busy mother of two Lego-loving kids, I sought out to create a bag that was contemporary in style, simple to use, and very well made. Large Swoop Bags not only make cleanup time a breeze, they also double as a circular play mat when opened up and spread out on the floor. The Swoop Mini is a portable, travel-size version – perfect for kids and families on the go. Who said you couldn’t take your favorite Lego pieces to the beach?
Swoop Bags are durable and designed to last using the highest quality 100% cotton canvas and durable nylon cording. We have bold, bright, fun colors to choose from and our bags are stylish enough to stash in any room of the house. Locally made in Seattle, too.
“Just SWOOP it up!”
So there’s a small start of what I envision will be multiple postings highlighting companies run by women. I plan on other similar series such as one I’m working on that highlights companies started or run by veterans. And of course the continuing series of companies that are giving back to their communities.
5 More Woman Run Companies – Making Products in the USA Part II
One of the aspects I really enjoy about writing this website and blog is discovering companies that are making their products here in the USA. There is an extremely broad range of products and the businesses are spread throughout America. I’ve started a series of posts that feature companies that are run by women.
This is my second set of 5 companies (find the first one here) and you can rest assured that there are plenty more great American companies to be featured. In fact, if you know of a company that is run by a woman or women that is making their products here in the USA please let me know. I’d love to give their website a look and include them in a future feature.
Only Hearts began in 1978 as a tiny boutique in New York City. They specialized in all things heart-shaped. Their collection ranged from vintage lockets to corsets and the store quickly became a destination for heart collectors.
News of the boutique spread because of their unique product line and founder Helena Stuart took advantage and expanded. She began designing a fresh take on lingerie as fashion, her inner outerwear concept, and ultimately the outerwear collections of today. For the past 10 years her partner has been daughter Kaya Stuart.
If you love wearing great sexy undergarments or you’re looking for a gift for your partner, you can find Only Hearts products on their website, in fine specialty shops and department stores, their 4 storefronts and of course on Amazon.com.
This is another one of the great American success stories that we discover on a weekly basis. The short story is that Kim Camarella-Khanbeigi was in college and looking for an idea for a business. She ended up getting her idea along with a suggestion from her Father that was ahead of its time. But to really discover what happened, please read The Kiyonna Story which is on their website.
Whether you are looking for cocktail dresses, separates, shapewear, swimwear or even that very special wedding dress, Kiyonna carries a variety of styles. And we’re not talking about just one or two items in a category. They have a large selection in a range of plus sizes.
Here are some links to take you to specific lines on their website or just head to their homepage to take a look around.
The pieces in the collection are focused on simplicity and function. Her works begin as Tina hand sculpts each piece by clay in her San Francisco studio. Hand made molds are created from each design and are used to cast the vessels in small batches by color. Each piece is hand sanded and carries a unique beauty that ensures the quality and integrity of each piece.
Read more about Tina in this 7 X 7 feature.
Kleynimals were invented by a Mom who began looking for a non-toxic key toy when her son started playing with her set of keys. She wasn’t able to find anything suitable and since she already loved stainless steel products she decided to create her own key toys. And, in the process she made a conscious decision to have them Made in the USA. What a win-win!
Meet Eli the Elephant, Gus the Giraffe, and Leo the Lion. They are non-toxic stainless steel toy keys that will satisfy your child’s desire to play with metal keys without the hazards of lead contamination, sharp edges, or the daily grime that come with the keys in the bottom of your diaper bag.
Watch this video to learn more about Kirsten, the Mom, and Kleynimals.
You can purchase Kleynimals on their website or find them in many retail stores around the world. There is a product locator on the website to assist you.
Megan Fielding, the founder of Omgirl created her first yoga-inspired graphic tee in 1997 while working at the original Yoga Works, in Santa Monica California. She continued to create a collection of active and lifestyle pieces that matched the feelings of the yoga community.
The brand blends fashion-forward silhouettes and hand-dyed prints with functional, active and comfortable clothing.
Omgirl is proudly made in Los Angeles, California from fabric to finishing.
Because of space requirements, I am unable to publish the article but there is the link to part 3 of 5 more Woman Run Companies – Making Products in the USA