Happy New Year to all!
The holiday shopping season was fast and furious, especially for American-made toys. Perhaps there was a silver lining to the lead paint toy recalls?! Before I close the book on 2007, I want to thank the many thousands of shoppers who visited StillMadeinUSA.com and especially those of you who wrote with suggestions, criticisms, or other feedback. Because of your emails, the site grew by several hundred listings just in the last few months! Every time I “discover” a great product or company, I remember why I spend so much time on this project.
Resolutions for 2008
Okay, we all have to do this. It serves a purpose if it helps us focus on things we want to accomplish or improve in the coming year.
1) Get in shape. For me, this doesn’t mean eating only grapefruit or joining a gym (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), but I resolve to move around more and eat less.
2) Live within my means. When times were tight, I borrowed from my family but now I have paid everyone back.
3) Stay in touch with friends and family. There is no excuse for being too busy to write or call or visit occasionally!
4) Overhaul my website. This is long overdue, and the site is not as useful to visitors as it could be.
5) Finish up my schoolwork. It’s just possible that I am wearing out my welcome at George Mason!
Perhaps in partial fulfillment of Resolution 4 (?!), I have posted a “beta-version” of an All-American Store, courtesy of Amazon.com. I often receive email from shoppers who wish for a store that sold only American-made products. There are a few virtual stores that try to fill this niche, but they tend to have limited selection and look similar to each other because they are relying on drop shipping from the same handful of suppliers. One attraction of the Amazon Store is that it allows me to hand-pick products to feature, there is no inventory, and no customer service or shipping hassles. The downside, however, is that there is also no profit! (Alright, I’m exaggerating. They pay a 4 percent commission on sales.)
So check out the latest entrant to the All-American Store genre, and tell me what you think. I will add products over time, focusing on those companies whose products are not readily available from other retailers.