Considerations for Buying a Major Appliance – Made in the USA
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
1M ago
Buying a home appliance involves many considerations, such as the location and existing space, electrical or plumbing hookups and their locations, the features you want, etc. Finding the right item that meets your checklist – and your budget! – can take weeks or months of research, visiting stores, reading reviews, and asking friends or neighbors. Adding “Made in USA” to your list is often a nice-to-have. Such was the case with my LinkedIn friend, Allison Giddens, who purchased a GE gas stove. When she posted the photo to LinkedIn, I was surprised and delighted to hear the stove had been assem ..read more
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Keep It Made USA T-Shirts – By Authentically American!
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
1M ago
The people who share their stories with me are incredibly generous, especially with their time. While I keep interview times as short as possible, and provide questions before-hand, business owners and others I talk to are B-U-S-Y. Then once the piece is written, they’ll review it for accuracy and will often provide photos as well. To thank people for their time, I’ve begun sending an awesome “Keep It Made USA” t-shirt, manufactured and printed by Authentically American (link to write up below). These shirts are made of 100% cotton and are incredibly soft and fit well. But what I love best is ..read more
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Powered by Ingenuity: Brandon Acker, Titan Abrasive
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
2M ago
I’ve been working with Brandon Acker, CEO of Titan Abrasive Systems, since 2017. While I know all about Titan’s industrial blasting equipment and the company’s history, I didn’t know the full details of Brandon’s story. A funny, low-key guy, Brandon used to be a surfer, and in fact, met his wife Daniela during a surfing trip to Costa Rica. He rarely gets upset – or least, I’ve never seen it. He’s quick to give positive feedback and encouragement. When he and Daniela visit Costa Rica, they often bring back the most delicious hand-picked, small batch roasted coffee beans. Photos of Costa Rican ..read more
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Handcrafted in Vermont: Luxurious Flannel Apparel
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
2M ago
Nestled into a brick building in the Old Port section of Portland, Maine, the Vermont Flannel Company store welcomes passersby to step in and say hello. Indeed, my dog Rocky and I were warmly greeted by sales associate Matt Hinds; he knew we were coming and had treats ready for Rocky. He also didn’t chastise him for putting his paws on the counter. “Do you know how many dogs do just the same?” he said with a laugh. Ah, awesome. A dog-friendly store! The winter sun streamed in from the street-facing window, lighting up the colorful items neatly aligned on shelves and racks. Although small, the ..read more
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Julie Bigger, Maker: Leaving Her Mark in the World of Fused and Dichroic Glass
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
4M ago
Glimmer Glass Booth – Atlanta Summer Gift Show, 2023 The Maker Movement, once considered a fad when it took off in 2005, has since transformed education, industries, and people’s lives – as many of the interviews I’ve done for this blog attest. Barn Light Electric, furniture maker Floyd, and LupinePet are all examples of thriving companies that began with people who tinkered. (All source links below.) An umbrella term for independent inventors, designers, and tinkers, the Maker Movement “taps into an American admiration for self-reliance combined with open-source learning, contemporary design ..read more
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Handcrafted in Maryland – Mosaic Trays by Shelley Dane, Mosaique Designs
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
4M ago
One of my passions is functional art — items handcrafted by artisans that can also be used for everyday purposes: pottery vases, stained glass candle holders, majolica pieces, batik fabrics, and jewelry (to name a few things). I enjoy learning about the artisans and what led them to their work. For example, one of my first pieces purchased (ca. 1993) was a majolica bowl painted by a woman in the Cal State Hayward (now East Bay) Fine Arts program. Artists in the program would regularly show their work at campus events; the woman, “B. Priolo,” had traveled to Italy to paint and spent time at De ..read more
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Sta-Rite: Manufacturing Hair Pins for Over 100 Years
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
4M ago
Growing up in the early 1970s, I relied on brush rollers to add curl to my straight hair. To keep them in at night, I’d used bobby pins. Sleeping on those prickly brushes had to be the most uncomfortable thing imaginable! © Dianna Huff For fourth grade photo day, I still remember my mother taking out the rollers, brushing and styling my hair, and then lacquering it with Aqua-Net® hairspray. To keep my hair swept up off my forehead, she used a bobby pin and then hair sprayed the hell out of it.   I was then under strict orders to not run around or do anything to muss myself before the phot ..read more
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Rare Find: Local Company that Repairs Vintage Items
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
5M ago
“Hey mom,” said my son, “this lamp cord is smoking.” No, not a cigarette. The cord was sparking. The lamp, a mid-century Danish model I found on eBay, had a faulty cord from the beginning. To get it to work, you had to jiggle it. Any slightest bump from the vacuum cleaner or the dog would knock the cord out of its delicate alignment. I quickly unplugged it and then began the search for a place that repairs lamps. (Yes, yes, yes, I could have done it myself watching a YouTube video, but it meant replacing the socket, etc. As the bumper sticker says, “Wiring isn’t a hobby.”) My search brought up ..read more
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Made in USA Gift Guide – The Best!
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
6M ago
The Alliance for American Manufacturing has unveiled its 10th anniversary edition of the Made in America Holiday Gift Guide. The list includes unique gift ideas from more than 200 companies that manufacture products in the United States. What makes this year’s guide wonderful is that the Alliance included both new gift ideas and old favorites from previous years. You can find gifts listed by category or by state. One notable company is Shinola Detroit. They’re known for their watches, but they also make the most high-quality journals I’ve found anywhere. Categories include everything from Toy ..read more
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Podcast: Distraction-Free Websites for Manufacturers
The Small Manufacturer Blog
by Dianna Huff
6M ago
Rachel Cunliffe and I were thrilled to be guests on the MFG eCommerce Success LinkedIn live stream. I especially enjoyed Rachel’s discussion about what users bring to websites in terms of their emotional states: Feeling overwhelmed, stressed, hurried, unfocused, exhaustion Information overload, speed of change – cognitive impact Politics, COVID, distressing news, social media disagreements, fear of being cancelled These constant strains — or chronic sources of stress — reset what’s “normal,” and the body begins to change. Chronic stress brings about a “weathering,” according to public he ..read more
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