Posts Tagged ‘CA


Guideboat Shopping

Guideboat is a company in Mill Valley, California. It is an eclectic mix of boats, (yes, boats) equipment and well-made upper end clothing. Much of their clothing is made in the USA or Europe.

Source: Guideboat

Below are some of my favorite from this season’s catalog. All of the below are Made in the USA.

Rock and Raven Hacking Jacket

Rock and Raven Hacking Jacket

Goat Suede Shirt

Goat Suede Shirt

Frank and Eileen Shirting

Frank and Eileen Shirting

Red Wing Clara Lace up Shoes

Red Wing Clara Lace up Shoes

St. Regis Wool Jacket

St. Regis Wool Camp Jacket

Sailboat Selvage 5 pocket pants

Sailboat Selvage 5 pocket pants

Thompson Twill Jacket

Thompson Twill Jacket

Flannel Lined Pants

Flannel Lined Pants

Union Suit Redux

Union Suit Redux



.Lumber Rain – Poppy von Frohlich

I present once more one of my favorite small American (and local) makers of clothing made in the USA. This new product is a raincoat called .Lumbar Rain by Poppy Von Frohlich.

Source: .Lumber Rain – Poppy von Frohlich

.Lumbar Rain

PVF rain coat

  • I finally made a rain coat! Waxed cotton canvas is the earth friendly option when it comes to rain gear.  Lumber Rain is designed to make you look rad while battling the rain.

    Large boxed pockets set at an angle for comfort but not so angled that your stuff falls out,  my large signature hood with a leather drawstring, western style front yoke, back rain flap, curved hem (a little longer in the back), antigued copper snaps, and french seams. (better pictures coming, these are temporary photos)

    I designed the coat to have enough room for two medium/light weight layers or one medium/thick layer.  Bust shaping is from a narrow front side panel and a larger armhole.

    To clean a waxed cotton coat you brush off dirt with a soft brush, if you get a lot of use out of it you can rinse it off with a hose and if you get a lot, a lot of use out of it you may need to reapply wax in the areas that get a lot of rubs.  The coat cannot be washed in a machine nor can it be dry-cleaned.

    A key characteristic of waxed cotton is that it shows its creases, called crooking.  It is a desired look when buying waxed cotton.  Expect to see crooking in the coat and show it off with pride because wearing waxed cotton is cool and responsible.  The whiskey color and the moss show the crooking more than the black does.

    Are you new to waxed cotton?  Are you a tiny bit skeptical?  I completely understand.  This coat can be worn as a normal canvas coat on non-rainy days but it has the added bonus of having water resistant properties for those rainy days, water does not penetrate the cotton fiber, it simply beads up and rolls off.  Waxed cotton can sound funny to someone who hasn’t worn it before so I am offering exchange, store credit or refunds.  I think once you try it on you will be very happy with it, but in case you discover it is not right for you we can figure out which return policy is best for you. This offer is good for coats that have not been worn outside, coats that were only tried on and worn around the house for twenty minutes or so.

    PVF Lumbar

    This is a pre-order, Shipping is scheduled for September 22nd

    made in Northern California, USA!!!



Does Free Trade Cost U.S. jobs? The Case Of Hersheys and NAFTA

There was a recent survey that asked the question: Does free trade create or cost US jobs? The response was surprising: 43% of those surveyed said that it created U.S. jobs while 43% said that it caused Americans to lose their jobs. I thought this question was already settled. We know that the Free Trade has lost US jobs, most of them well-paying. And this is the major reason why the United States middle-class working class has not received a raise in over 20 years.

So, why would 43% believe that Free-trade  created US jobs? For some of the population it is because they have no or little information about the problem. But it is, also, difficult to see the connection, because it is complicated. For instance, I could name hundreds of examples of companies eliminating  US jobs and relocating them to different countries, but people still can’t see the direct correlation to Free Trade.

I will make the case that Free Trade causes the loss of US jobs very simple. I will follow one Free-Trade rule and one US company to see the impact of US jobs. The Free-Trade rule is the North American Free Trade Act (NAFTA) which decreased import taxes between Canada and Mexico and the United States. NAFTA meant that goods coming from Mexico would be cheaper than they had been, and to take full advantage of this “loophole”, American companies started taking the traditional US jobs and moved them to other countries where the costs of doing business are lower.

The Free Trade Act

NAFTA became law on January 1, 1994. However, the elimination of tariffs was not complete until 10 years later which meant the following: THE LOSS OF US JOBS WOULD NOT BE DETECTED UNTIL AFTER 2004! (that is why you didn’t hear “the giant sucking sound” coming from Mexico right away.

The Company

The company that we are following is Hershey’s chocolate. In 1994, 100% of Hershey’s chocolate was made in USA or Canada. Once NAFTA went into effect in 2004, Hershey’s announced that it was cutting its US manufacturing chocolate to 80% by 2010 (1). This was followed by a slew of US chocolate plant closings: Reading, Pennsylvania(2) – loss of 160 jobs in 2007; Naugatuck, CT(3), loss of 150 jobs, closed 11/16/07; Oakdale, CA(4) , loss of 575 jobs, closed on 2/1/08; Smiths Falls Ontario, Canada(5), loss of 400 jobs (in a town of 9,000)  2008; Hershey, PA(6), the original 1903 East plant, loss of 600 jobs, closed 04/27/2012. And to add insult to injury, Hershey opened its brand new $800 Million plant in Monterrey, Mexico in 2009 with a workforce of 1300 employees(7).

The Original 1903 Hershey's East Plant being torn down on 11/05/2012

The Original 1903 Hershey’s East Plant being torn down on 11/05/2012

Does Hershey’s Still Make Chocolate in the USA?

Hershey’s does still make chocolate in the USA(8). Hershey’s did expand their West Plant in Hershey Pennsylvania in 2012 and still makes Hershey’s Kisses. The West Plant employs about 1,000 people. There are other Hershey’s chocolate owned plants across the United States although none of the products have the label “Hersheys”. The other factories: Ashland Oregon makes Scharffenberger Premium chocolate and Dagoba Organic  (purchased the company in 2005); Robinson Illinois makes Heath bars (purchased in 1986); Hazelton, PA makes Kitkat (contracted with Nestle), Cadbury (contracted with Kraft, 2010) and Cadbury Caramello; Stuart’s Draft, Virginia makes products with peanuts; Lancaster, Pennsylvania makes Twizzlers (purchased in 1977) and Memphis, Tennessee makes mints, licorice and Icebreakers (purchased in 2000 and 2011).

hershey bar

However, their main production plants are outside of the United States. The best known is Monterrey, Mexico. All the above US plant closing were done to move their production to Monterrey, Mexico to take advantage of the NAFTA rules. The Hershey CEO, Richard Lenny said in 2010, that the move to Mexico, would save the shareholders $190 million dollars(9). I had also heard that the Hershey’s CEO gets $4.7 million in salary although I can not substantiate that. Since that time, Hersheys has taken advantage of other Free Trade Rules (namely The World Trade Organization) and has expanded well abroad – China, Brazil, India and Malaysia).

Hershey’s Chocolate Manufacturing Plants Outside of the USA (alphabetic by country)

  1. Sao Paulo, Brazil
  2. Sao Rogue, Brazil
  3. Shanghai, China
  4. Yudond, China
  5. Zhoukou, China
  6. Inner Mongolia, China
  7. Mandideep Madhya Pradesh, India
  8. Juhor, Malaysia (2nd largest)
  9. El Salto, Mexico
  10. Monterrey, Mexico
Hershey's Monterrey Mexico Factory opened in 2009, 1300 employees

Hershey’s Monterrey Mexico Factory opened in 2009, 1300 employees

Can You Taste The Difference Between Mexican Made and US Made Hershey’s Chocolate?

There was a great blog entry that looked at exactly this subject. The blog is called the candyblog. What they did is they looked at some of the Mexican made Hershey’s chocolate: Milk Chocolate miniatures, Special Dark, Krackel, and Mr. Goodbar and compared them to the original American made. The result, not much difference. The reader’s comments, however, were pretty unanimous in condemning Hershey’s for outsourcing US jobs.

The Final Cost of Offshoring US jobs by Hersheys

We know that 1,500 manufacturing jobs in the United States were eliminated by Hersheys, because it is well documented. And Hershey’s did it simply to make more money, even though they knew it was creating a hardship to lots of small town workers. The number of American manufacturing jobs lost by offshoring of Hershey’s may seem small (especially if you are a Wall Street analyst), because it only looks at manufacturing jobs. It does not include associated jobs. Associated jobs are the ones directly related to the manufacturing like marketing, packaging, distribution, administrative, etc.

But, also indirectly- associated effects need to be considered.  These include other business’ loss of income (and other loss of jobs) that are directly related due to the loss of these manufacturing jobs. This would include just about everything in the neighborhood or town, especially in these small towns like Oakdale, CA loss of 575 jobs in a town of 15,000, or Smiths Town, Ontario, loss of 400 jobs in a town of 9,000. For these small towns, more than 40% of that town’s population is affected – this all creates problems with: real estate prices, auto sales, downtown businesses, bars, restaurants, insurance agents, grocery stores, home improvement, doctors, lawyers, schools, Little League, town income, etc.

Don’t forget that Free Trade has had much wider implications for the US economy in general. The below is just one of them – Trade deficit. For more  reasons, see my entry: Why Free Trade is Devastating to the USA?

US Trade Deficit After Free Trade Started

US Trade Deficit After Free Trade Started

Final Message

Not only are all these U.S. Hersheys’ manufacturing jobs and associated jobs gone forever, but all future expansion will be made outside of the country. A message for all the Free Trade economists, your formulas always forget to put in a variable – that there is a finite number of good paying jobs in the world (just like there is a finite amount of resources). This, in essence, means that any expansion outside of the United States comes at the expense of the United States. Buy American, support businesses that hire American workers.

Hersheys’ References

  1. FinanzNachrichten.de25.04.2007 Hershey to Close Plant in Conn.
  2. Lancaster Online April 24, 2007 Hershey to Close Reading Plant
  3. April 24,2007 Hershey Co. to Close Peter Paul Plant in Naugatuck.
  4. San Diego Union July 13, 2008 Town Draws Candy Maker After Hershey Plant Closes.
  5. CBC News Ottawa Feb 22, 2007 Hershey Confirms Smiths Falls Plant will close.
  6. Oct. 6, 2010 Original Hershey Chocolate Factory Set to Close.
  7. April 30, 2009 Hershey Co. monitors Swine Flu’s impact on Mexico plant; declares products safe.
  8. The Hershey This is Hershey – Global Locations
  9. Truth or

 Gallery Of Wearable Art – Welcome To GOWA !

 Gallery Of Wearable Art – Welcome To GOWA !.

I had come across the Gallery of Wearable Art (GOWA) at the first street festival of the year – A La Carte & Art Show in Mountain View, California. The Gallery of Wearable Art has a store in Cambria, CA and does wholesaling to other shops. However, they do participate in a few street festivals during the year, mainly in Colorado, so it was just luck that we ran into them this weekend. The company is owned by Christopher and Dinah Lee. Each year the couple goes to Paris to pick out their favorite designs in silk, they purchase them and, then, Dinah fashions them into wearable art. The motto: For the Goddess in Every Woman.

Seamless Duster in Fantasia

Seamless Duster in Fantasia

The Petal Jacket

The Petal Jacket

Fashion Tunic

Fashion Tunic

If you visit Cambria, it you will find it is a very cute little covey of shops and stores. It is a seaside town with a very artistic flare. It is definitely worth the trouble if you are anywhere near the vicinity. The address of GOWA Creative Arts is 4009 West Street, Cambria, CA 93428.

Cambria, CA

Cambria, CA

What you don’t see on their website, sometimes you can see on their Facebook page.


Nativearth Hand Made Footwear and Accessories

Home Page: Nativearth Hand Made Footwear and Accessories.

I saw this advertisement in the San Jose Mercury News which caught my eye. (It was called Unique Bootique). I usually don’t highlight an extremely small business like Nativearth, because their businesses are usually very local and do not appeal to the rest of the country. That may be the case here as well, but I think it does have an interesting niche: creating footwear from other historical times.

Gypsy Slide Sandal

Gypsy Slide Sandal

Information from the Nativearth Website:

Nativearth is currently making well-fitting and high quality footwear, offering Court Slippers, eight styles of Period Boots, original Ghillies, and three styles of sandals for men, women and children. These are made in standard, ready-made sizes and can be purchased off the rack. If there is a style you like, we will make it in any color and send it in a few weeks. That’s the beauty of our little business, we are versatile and we are directly responsible for every stitch in each shoe. If you like a shoe style but it doesn’t feel quite right we can trace your foot and hand cut the shoe for you. We have a library of Period styles and can work with our customers to create a shoe, boot, bag, a belt and other accouterments designed to your specifications. Our products are guaranteed to your satisfaction.

Cavalier boots

Cavalier boot

We also make custom, Landskenecht, Gypsy and Tudor shoes, William Wallace boots, Buccaneer/Cavalier-style and several styles of button and lace boots from the ankle, up to the knee. We work with you to create what you want. You choose the style, color, buttons, closure and soling — then you get traced, measured and for full custom, and wrapped in the case of full custom. This is an exact method of creating a perfectly fitted pattern. We select fine grain buffalo, bullhide, deer and elk leathers and will make and hand cut your footwear from scratch with your design. Our turn-around time for semi-custom and custom footwear is an average of five to eight weeks depending on the season.

We have had a wonderful response to our footwear. We like to say it is “no tech.” “In our footwear you will be comfortably supported and protected from the hazards of modern walking– moving on the earth like going barefoot with comfort.”

All of the footwear is made in (Gold Country) Mariposa, California. They have been making footwear for over 24 years.

January 2020
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