- July 28, 2015
- QMT - Hand-Tuned Windchimes Made in Virginia
QMT Windchimes originated in the Florida craft show circuit in the early 1980s. Mike Throne camped in the back of his van and traveled to craft shows selling different products, including wind chimes from a local producer. When his source for chimes dried up, Mike began to build his own handmade wind chimes, with an eye toward quality and continually improving his designs.
- July 27, 2015
- Burt's Bees - An American Journey from Maine to North Carolina
In the summer of 1984, Maine artist, Roxanne Quimby, was trying to thumb a ride home. Eventually, a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over, and Roxanne instantly recognized Burt Shavitz, a local fellow whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off. Before long, Roxanne was making candles with unused wax from Burt's beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they'd make $20,000. It was a pretty fantastic beginning - but it was just the beginning, all the same.
- July 26, 2015
- Darn Tough - Made in Vermont For Three Generations
At the Darn Tough mill, there's a sign that says, “Nobody ever outsourced anything for quality.” The Darn Tough folks share, "When you’re really serious about something you make it yourself. Our socks aren’t produced off shore or out-sourced within the US." And that's not all we love about these socks!
- July 25, 2015
- Colonel Littleton - Fine Goods from the Heart of Tennessee
How did Colonel Littleton get started? Here’s the story from the Colonel himself:
I don’t want to say by accident, but it was a little that way.
- July 24, 2015
- Ann Clark Cookie Cutters - Just Like Your Grandma Used
Ann Clark started out with little more than a pig-shaped Christmas ornament and a dream. After years of painting and creating small gifts for her children to give away, she set up shop in her garage and turned a hobby into a business. Armed with a small amount of start-up cash and unbridled enthusiasm, Ann tackled her first trade show. She set up a booth at the Philadelphia Gift Show featuring six cookie cutter designs and several other hand-made crafts and came home with $3,500 in orders. Ann Clark, the person, became Ann Clark, Ltd., the company.
- July 23, 2015
- Tervis - America's Favorite Tumbler
Let’s take a little trip back in time. It’s 1946. Detroit. Engineers Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis hit on something big: they harness the natural insulating powers of air to create a permanently sealed, double-walled tumbler. Finally, a way to keep hot drinks hot and cold drinks cold. This outstanding innovation changed the drinkware industry forever.
- July 21, 2015
- Colonel Conk - Made in the USA for the Distinguished Gentleman
Upon his return from the American Civil War, Colonel Ichabod Conk concocted fine grooming products for the discerning gentleman. He used and sold these items in the New Mexico barbershops he ran with his wife.
- July 21, 2015
- From the Science Lab to the Trail - Nalgene and the American Dream
Back in 1949, a Rochester, New York chemist named Emanuel Goldberg developed the first plastic pipette holder. He, along with three workers, began the Nalge Company in a small building at 625 South Goodman Street. For years, Goldberg and his growing team developed the Nalgene line of state-of-the-art polyethylene laboratory equipment: centrifuge bottles, filter units, storage tanks. Obviously, it wasn’t the kind of stuff you toss into your backpack for a weekend in the woods. But there were rumors floating around … stories about scientists taking the smaller, more convenient bottles out of the lab and using them on hikes and excursions.
- July 20, 2015
- Everyone Knows It's Slinky!
“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs
and makes a slinkity sound?
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing!
Everyone knows it’s Slinky!”
- July 20, 2015
- Nordicware - American Kitchenware from Minneapolis, Minnesota
An inspirational American success story, Nordic Ware was founded in 1946 by a determined wife, Dotty, and her resourceful husband Dave, newly back from the second world war. With only $500 in their pockets, a few good ideas and a desire to create a business of their own, a humble kitchenware company was launched from the basement of their home in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the beginning, Nordic Ware’s product line started out with only a handful of items, all of which were specialty Scandinavian ethnic cookware products—the Rosette iron, Krumkake iron, Platte Panne pan, and the Ebelskiver pan. But times have changed!
- July 19, 2015
- Just Jump It This Summer
Did you know that ten minutes of jumping rope is roughly the equivalent of running an eight-minute mile? Also, jumping rope for approximately 10 to 15 minutes is enough to burn off the calories from a candy bar? That’s great exercise!
- July 18, 2015
- J. R. Watkins - Hardworking Products from Minnesota
Wash and iron; cook and clean; repeat. Such was life for many women in 1868. But times were changing. Elizabeth Blackwell opened the first Women’s Medical College. Louisa May Alcott captured the period’s ideals and values in Little Women. And, hard-working wives and mothers with tired, aching muscles found relief in a new, all-natural liniment manufactured and sold by Joseph Ray Watkins.
- July 17, 2015
- Sweetness Made in Savannah
Ted Dennard is the founder, president, and head beekeeper for Savannah Bee Company. An elderly beekeeper, Roy Hightower, sparked young Ted’s journey in the magical world of bees and honey, and it’s been 35 years of it ever since.
- July 16, 2015
- Sm,artwool - From the Colorado Rockies to You
The SmartWool story started on a rugged Colorado ski slope with the belief that toes didn’t have to be cold. One simple pair of Merino socks challenged the conventional wisdom and forever changed the way outdoor enthusiasts looked at their feet. It’s not just about the Merino, though. It’s what Smartwool does with it that makes their product different. For over 20 years, they've been pushing the boundaries of Merino to create smarter, more capable products from head to toe.
- July 15, 2015
- Old Mill of Guilford Established in North Carolina in 1767
The historic Old Mill of Guilford was founded in North Carolina on Beaver Creek (near Winston-Salem) in 1767 to grind grain for the early settlers of what is now Guilford County. Today, this fully-operational, water-powered grist mill continues to produce all-natural, stone-ground, whole grain foods, just as it has for nearly 250 years.
- July 14, 2015
- Pointer Brands - Over 100 Years of Style and Character from Bristol, Tennessee
The legacy of Pointer Brands begins with L.C. King. At age 12, L.C. began working at for his uncle's general goods store and four years later, he joined his brother in the wholesale dry goods business. A salesman there for 25 years, L.C. decided to strike out on his own and develop a clothing line that reflected his love of the outdoors.
- July 13, 2015
- American Classic Tea Filling Cups for Three Generations
Seventy years ago, Ruth Campbell Bigelow changed the way we drink tea in the United States. An avid tea connoisseur, Ruth thought tea drinkers, like herself, would enjoy a more zestfully flavored tea. Happening upon a special colonial recipe that called for tea to be blended with orange peel and spices, she decided to try to re-create what she felt sounded like a wonderful idea....
- July 12, 2015
- Lodge Cast Iron Cookware Made in Tennessee for Every Generation
Lodge Manufacturing is one of America's oldest cookware companies in continuous operation. Founded in 1896 by Joseph Lodge, it is still owned and managed by the descendants of the Lodge family. All of the company’s cast iron cookware is produced at the foundry in South Pittsburg, Tennessee. It has been which has been in operation since the company first opened.
- July 11, 2015
- Manual Woodworkers Pillows from the Mountains of Western North Carolina
Manual Woodworkers is based in the mountains of Western North Carolina and calls Hendersonville home – which is also home to one of our Mast Stores. Since its beginnings in 1932, Manual Woodworkers has proven its ability to identify trends in the gift and decorative accessories industry and has been ranked #1 in Home Decor by Gift Beat Magazine. Three generations of this family-owned company operate with a commitment to providing quality, American-made products.
- July 10, 2015
- Spooner Creek from Milwaukee to You
Spooner Creek is the artwork of Michael Macone expressed in clay. He has been making pottery for over 30 years, and his work is featured in collections around the world. Michael’s mother was an artist and encouraged his gift at an early age. She taught him to oil paint in 4th grade. He always kept busy with art and sold his first paintings to neighbors and family friends.