I live in Venice Beach California. It is one of the most popular tour attractions in the world, because of its eccentricities and beautiful coastal scenery. Although I am a true Los Angeleno and prefer to drive an automobile everywhere, a bicycle is practically mandatory for Venice living. I recently received one as a gift and it was made in the USA. It’s a Chubby’s Cruiser and I absolutely love it. I think I’m Johnny Cash, so it’s all black much like my Cadillac. If you are looking for bicycle accessories or an American crafted beach cruiser then hit up chubbyscruisers.com.
It’s no secret that my dogs are very important to me. I feel that my relationship with my dogs has actually developed some of my most important self discoveries. Because my dogs are so important to me, I spare no expense when it comes to making their life better. They get trained by Linn Boyke who is unparalleled in the field. They also get fed American made, top-notch food.
I wanted to buy some new cages/crates and when I walked by the window of the pet store I saw this great sign.
This is clear cut pride in an American made product. I purchased a Midwest iCrate and I love it. It is expertly made in the USA.
My sister never skips an opportunity to make fun of me for becoming my father. My dad found a pair of chinos that he liked in 1985 and bought 7 pair of them. He found a suit that fit him well and he bought it in black, blue and grey. I must admit that in this regard I am just like my father. The day I first set foot in The Stronghold flagship store in Venice beach, I immediately knew I had to buy all colors and washes of their expertly crafted jeans.
Above and beyond the fact that I liked the way they fit, I knew that buying The Stronghold products was an investment in American craftsmanship. The Stronghold is Los Angeles’ first denim maker established in 1895, and the current line is a meticulous reproduction that not only incorporates the same techniques but promotes the same turn of the century ethic. The Venice boutique is a testament to frontier style, complete with bordello-esque carpeting, Silvertone wind-up phonograph, vintage furnishings and an after-shave bay rum collection that’s sure to put hair on your chest.
I believe my current Stronghold denim collection is at five pair, but I’m sure it will grow with time. Like I mentioned earlier, they not only adhere to a strict code of craftsmanship, but they build a relationship with their customer that was common generations ago. The Stronghold doesn’t subscribe to the new bedazzled and embellished denim trends, nor to the practices of the department stores that sell them. I feel a connection to the products and to the purveyors because the effort within both is evident.
The Stronghold offers other great American made brands as well as denim. The store is replete with boots, shoes, timepieces, hats and outerwear.
The Domestic Journey sets out to highlight and celebrate American companies who make a conscious effort to promote and produce US goods, and The Stronghold does this in spades. There was a time when, “Made in the USA” was a stamp of higher quality and The Stronghold is working to continue that.
I’m a proud California boy. I’ve had the tremendous luxury of seeing what this state has to offer, from two very different vantage points. I was raised in a relatively urban environment in Los Angeles, but my parents have agricultural property in the central California area. Just under 200 miles separates my home in L.A. from my parents vineyard in Paso Robles but it’s light years apart in lifestyle.
While in Paso Robles recently, I noticed the homemade sign that you see in the picture above. It was proudly displayed in front of a ranch near my parents. Obviously I needed to take a picture for this website being that it is all about purchasing domestic goods. As I photographed this sign I thought about how I grossly overlook just how important agriculture is to not only California but to our Nation. According to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, “California agriculture is nearly a $36.6 billion dollar industry that generates $100 billion in related economic activity.”  The state’s agricultural sales first exceeded $30 billion in 2004,  making it more than twice the size of any other state’s agriculture industry.
Manufactured goods come to mind first when thinking of buying domestic, but clearly its not because they have more of an impact on our domestic product. I have made a commitment to purchase American made goods to support all US industry and that certainly includes our great American farmers.
 “CDFA History”. California Department of Food and Agriculture. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
 “Agricultural Statistical Review, 2006 Overview” California Department of Food and Agriculture. p. 17. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
I am lucky enough to be working on a home improvement based television show and I unfortunately can’t give out many details.
The show has me in various hardware stores all over Southern California and I’ve noticed something great while in my downtime. The overwhelming majority of hardware and home improvement items are made inside the United States. Ostensibly this is an industry dominated by American made products. Weather it be paint, cement, lumber, or metal it seems like the U.S. still reigns supreme at your local hardware store. These companies provide us with the tools and materials we need to build both our projects and our GDP.
It’s my Birthday and I’ll cry if I want to. I don’t know why I’d cry, but it is in fact my birthday.
I received a ton of great birthday wishes and gifts that I’m immensely grateful for. One gift giver that deserves an exclusive mention is an amazing American company known as Alex Maine. Alex Maine is a line that not only crafts excellent clothing but serves to promote American consciousness. I had a chance to speak with their insultingly handsome founder Bron Heussenstamm, inside their Hollywood store. He made it clear that his purpose is American craftsmanship.
From the Alex Maine website -
Approximately 97% of clothing purchased in the USA is currently manufactured elsewhere. America needs our help. Together, it’s time to bring jobs back to this great country. That is why Alex Maine, “Alex” meaning “de- fender” and “Maine” meaning “homeland,” is standing up for the American economy by bringing textile jobs back to America, manufacturing 100% of our product within the U.S. We pride ourselves on having fun while creating unique, upscale apparel, using the finest American craftsmanship and the most comfortable fabrics.
That is a powerful sentiment that bears great semblance to Domestic Journey. I proudly wore an Alex Maine V-neck Tee and Heather Cardigan Hoodie to Loveline tonight and if you’re in the market for some of the most comfortable clothes on earth, head to alexmaine.us immediately. Neither I nor Alex Maine are going to transform the American economy but it’s a start. I hope to only make more people aware of great companies like Alex Maine because they deserve it.
New info on American jobs was released this week and the Labor Department reports a surge in private-sector hiring and the nation’s unemployment rate holding steady at 8.3 percent. In an election year, President Obama most likely will use potential improvements in the economy and unemployment to bolster his run as an incumbent. Regardless of his motives, I am pleased that progress is seemingly being made. The median projection for unemployment during the final quarter of the year is 8.1 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey of 75 economists conducted Feb. 3 to Feb. 9.
I am not a great patriot for pointing this out, and I highly doubt that the money I’ve spent on this Domestic Journey has had much of an impact on the American economy, but I’m doing something. If we can all apply effort, minor it may be, collectively as a whole we are strengthened. Although I am not out of work, many are, and purchasing American goods and services exclusively is one way of pitching in. My contribution lives in the great shadow of military service men and women but it is a piece to a vast puzzle. Cooperation is a cornerstone of strong nations.
“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” – Eccles. 4:12
Recently I was at Starbucks picking up some H20 and tea to help get me through a self imposed coffee hiatus. While I was there I saw a bracelet by the cash register. This was a special bracelet made by the Opportunity Finance Network to help financially support job creation for out of work Americans. I picked one up for the base donation of five dollars and opted to donate another 2 bucks to this great cause. One of the main motivators behind Domestic Journey was to support job creation and retention in this country.
I’m not trying to dictate your fashion choices, but I am trying to help the jobless American in any way I can and this bracelet seems like a great way to do so. The bracelet has a metal piece in the center that says, “indivisible” and that message is important now more than ever, when Americans in droves are reporting to unemployment offices.
Sometimes it’s pleasing to purchase new things, and sometimes on occasions like this one, you purchase things for unfortunate reasons. This last Tuesday, I was sitting on my couch and saw some movement in the corner of my eye. When I looked over to the movement I saw a very confused and anxious little mouse. I absolutely love animals of all shapes and sizes and I believe they all deserve to be treated with reverence. That being said, I don’t want a bunch of mice living in my house with me and my doggies.
I was now posed with quite a predicament. I had to find a fully humane trap for this little rascal and it had to be made in the USA. After a little research I came across “Mice Cubes.” This is supposedly the most humane trap available, designed to simply trap a mouse in a rectangular box without any injury. I went to Amazon.com and ordered some. Sure enough, they’re manufactured here in the USA.
I laid out two of the cubes, with peanut butter covered crackers inside. So far they’re hasn’t been any mouse activity and frankly I’d love it to stay that way. It would be great if that mouse just poked his head out to say hi and doesn’t make any return visits.
My friend Orlando just celebrated his birthday. Normally, to embarrass him, I ‘d tell you exactly how old he’s turning, but he is also my Jiu Jitsu coach and he will effortlessly beat me up. My father’s birthday is this Sunday and I won’t try to embarrass him by exposing his age, because I know my dad and he doesn’t give a shit. I had zero problem finding a nice American made gift for both men, but oddly enough I couldn’t find anything to put them in. I went to Target this morning in hopes of finding some wrapping paper, a box or a bag to dress up the gifts. I found the most masculine looking stuff I could and headed on over to the check out counter. I actually forgot completely about the Domestic Journey and selected things without looking at where they were made. When I arrived at the check out counter it set in that I was purchasing something and I stepped out of line to investigate my merchandise. Sure enough every thing was made in China. This is not the first time that I’ve almost made a purchase without remembering my commitment to U.S. made goods. Without fail, the act of pulling out my wallet or seeing a payment counter reminds me that I am in fact buying something and I then vet my potential purchases.
After realizing my wrapping paper, bags and boxes were Chinese made, I headed back to the aisle where the gift stuff was and I absolutely could not find anything American made. I suspect if I tried a boutique instead of Target, I would have more luck. I gave Orlando his gifts this morning without any wrapping and that seemed to work out fine. Hopefully I will be able to at least moderately wrap my dad’s gift with something American before his birthday in a couple days.