In the hullabaloo of the holiday season, finding loved ones the perfect gift can sadly end up at the bottom of your to-do list. Picking up a present from a big box retailer seems like an easy solution, but instead of heading to the mall, try looking closer to home first. Ultimately, buying something because it’s “Made in America” (or Italy, Japan, Mexico…) doesn’t solely mean you’re supporting a fellow compatriot. The moniker also stands as a symbol of craftsmanship; keeping it local means a more meticulous production process, personal attention to detail and smaller runs for quality assurance. With that in mind, we’ve rounded up—as a New York-based publication—some of our favorite American-made goods for our annual holiday gift guide. See those and more in our BUY section.
Model 33 Record Storage
Crate digging is fun, but not when you’re in the middle of a passionate DJ set. Chicago-based Flipbin solves this problem with a handy aluminum display-and-storage unit ($75) designed to keep 33 of your favorite 12-inch records on deck and within easy reach. Each Model 33 is powder-coated for extra strength and made in Illinois.
Jill Platner discovered her love of metalworking in NYC while attending the Parson’s School of Design, and began creating jewelry as a side project to her sculptural pieces. Her weighty bronze and silver keychains ($285) make an ideal gift for Bowie fans or anyone possessing an electric personality.
Kill The Closest Snake Pennant
Depending on how you feel about snakes, this pennant from Oxford might be the perfect addition to your house—but the phrase actually refers to the predicament of having too many tasks to complete. The black wool pennant ($20) shimmers with gold lettering to remind all those overworked folks out there to focus, rather than stretch themselves thin. The company makes plenty of city-centric decorations too; check out their entire range.
“How Dare You Assume I’m Straight” Tank
Straight (or perhaps, directly) to the point, this unisex top ($36) is a collaboration between Otherwild and Herstory and is inspired by a tank worn by a participant in Gay Pride Day, NYC back in 1982. The rest of the collection includes a sweet Gay Power denim cap and Dyke enamel pins. Additionally, 10% of all proceeds are donated to the Lesbian Herstory Archives.
Inspired by the shape of diamond facets, Bre & Co’s porcelain Origami Teapot ($320) boasts bold lines and a strong design that holds four cups of tea. The pot is slip-cast using a traditional method, then hand-finished with a raw black glaze by Brooklyn ceramic artist Michio Shimada.
Indigo Fade Beanie
Sky Like Snow’s unisex indigo Fade beanie ($195) is made with uber-soft New England yarn and is hand-dyed using organically processed Japanese indigo grown at their Vermont studio. The double-sided design is guaranteed to keep you warm all winter long, just wash by hand between wears.
Desert Iron Folding Knife
Handmade in Seattle by award-winning metal- and leather-smith Robb Gray, Filson’s Desert Iron folding knife ($700) is crafted out of native Northwest wood and is built with full tang for maximum strength. Each individually numbered knife comes with a bridle leather sheath and certificate of authenticity.
Metro Driving Cap
Hand-woven from 100% Harris Tweed wool in the Western Isles of Scotland, Schuman and Sullivan’s Metro driving cap ($75) calls to mind casual gatherings and road trips of yesteryear. This six-panel iteration rests snuggly on the head, with a refined silk lining for comfort. Further, its dark brown barley corn patterning straddles the past and present—ultimately begetting a handsome, modern look. Using our discount code, COOLHUNTING, at the time of purchase will secure a 20% discount.
Fortifying Face Balm
Made among the Green Mountains of Vermont, Ursa Major skincare launched in late 2010 to provide a healthy and effective alternative to chemical-laden products. By favoring organic over synthetic, Ursa Major promotes a “super natural” regimen of face wash, toner and shaving cream, and a fortifying face balm ($36)—the latter being our favorite. Each product in the line blends a variety of essential oils ranging from aloe, lemon and carrot to bamboo and cedar that come together with a pleasant, mild fragrance. Besides the effectiveness of the products, we like the simple, recyclable packaging emblazoned with the bear constellation for which the brand is named.
Double Knee Work Pants
A grand slam in workwear, 1620’s Double Knee pants ($228) are as crazy tough as they are modern in fit. The slimming design features Tweave® Durastrech® fabric in a full military-spec construction, which means they’re kitted out with nine pockets, a gusseted crotch and articulated knees, plus they’re fast-drying, as well as stain-, chemical- and water-resistant.
Images courtesy of respective brands