Made In The U.S.A.

Posts Tagged ‘MITUSA’

An American manufacturer needs your help.

In Resources on June 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm

Today I received this email from Nova Lee, a young entrepreneur trying to fulfill her American manufacturing dream. She’s looking for our help.

“I am attempting to make an American made product and am needing public support to make it happen. The product is a reusable 16 oz cup that collapses down to under 2 inches and fits in your pocket. We call it HicCup. Take a look at this video and spread the word. What we need is is to raise 20k dollars to pay for the mold, which costs 45k. I’ve raised 25k and now I need help raising the rest. To accomplish this I will need to pre-sell 1667 cups at a price of 14$. Thanks for any support you can send my way and thank you for promoting products made in America!”

So if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly reusable plastic cup, or if you just want to help a young lady manufacture her product in the USA, visit her web site at to help.

Is buying American a joke?

In Adventures on December 31, 2009 at 12:38 am

To a whole lot of people, it is.

And I’m not sure if that’s unfortunate, or just fine.


Christmas Aftermath

In Adventures on December 26, 2009 at 12:43 am

I received many very thoughtful gifts this year. Some were deliberately MITUSA, which I found to be a very sweet gesture from my family and friends. Other gifts were accidentally MITUSA–gifts that were given that just happened to be Made In The USA. Here’s a rundown.

Deviled Egg Tray. This gift, the result of a gag gift exchange, is not only quite desirable around my house, it’s randomly MITUSA. Read the rest of this entry »

Three Awesome Things I’ve Learned are MITUSA

In Adventures on December 21, 2009 at 12:00 am

I hope you enjoy these. They’re going to be some of the last “hey look at this cool MITUSA thing I found” suggestions you’ll ever get from me. The year is winding down and I’m feeling a bit ponderous, so I’m guessing the posts are going to start taking a thematic, sum-up-able bent. Without further ado, until I bore you with that, allow me to bore you with this. Read the rest of this entry »

Made In The USA Clothing Store

In Adventures on December 20, 2009 at 12:44 am

From The Cutting Edge, the Carpenter’s Union publication in St. Louis, via my boss (who is not a carpenter but somehow receives this magazine):

Union Member Opens “Made In The USA Clothing Shop.”

Matt Pigg, Local 1795, his wife, Kendra, and Brooke Smith have opened a “Made in the USA” clothing apparel shop located at 104 West Columbia Street in Farmington, Missouri, just off of the Square. The grand opening was held on September 19th. Read the rest of this entry »

More Last Minute Gift Ideas

In Adventures on December 17, 2009 at 12:39 am

Have I mentioned this blog: If I haven’t, I should have. It’s a great resource for finding stuff that’s MITUSA. So if you’re stuck for ideas on American-made gifts, give it a look. How about an axe? Or a flashlight? Or a cleaning solvent?


High-Tech Digital Camera Equipment Made In The USA

In Adventures on November 21, 2009 at 12:34 am

Some of you may know that I moonlight as a camera “expert.” In researching a recent story about digital camera media cards (those little wafers of digital “film” that you put in your cameras these days) I learned that one of them, a brand with a fairly strong reputation, is actually proudly Made In The USA.

Hoodman, a company of digital camera gadgets and accessories, is based in Torrance, California. Read the rest of this entry »

Last call…

In Adventures on November 19, 2009 at 12:46 am

Alright campers, this is your last chance to tell me where to go and what to do. Suggest a GREAT gift idea, something that qualifies as MITUSA, and you could win. Read the rules and reasons here, and then send in your best ideas. Or even any ideas at all! It’s getting close to go time!


American Brands, Foreign Owned

In Adventures on November 9, 2009 at 12:54 am

Shelley’s aunt, my soon-t0-be aunt, Jane K., forwarded a link to a story 0stensibly about brands who no longer make their products in the USA. It was an inappropriate title (thanks, MSN Money) but interesting nonetheless. I haven’t worried too much about who owns the companies that make the MITUSA stuff I buy. I’m focused on country of origin: where was this item made. Not who owns it, Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Birthday, Leah

In Adventures on October 30, 2009 at 12:29 am

For my birthday, my good friend Leah gave me a very nice, and thoughtfully MITUSA, gift. She wanted to honor my MITUSA goals so she gave me a book about Annie Leibovitz she found on my wishlist, as well as a gift certificate to Avalon Exchange, a vintage clothing store in the Delmar Loop. I used it to buy a pair of previously-loved shoes and a previously-loved button-down shirt. I was MITUSA all the way, thanks to the recycled nature of previously owned clothing. Read the rest of this entry »

Barack Obama on Buying American

In Adventures on October 10, 2009 at 12:55 am

“The fight for American manufacturing is the fight for America’s future.”

How did I miss this? Read the rest of this entry »

Save An American Job

In Adventures on October 8, 2009 at 12:45 am

Save an American job at

To do this, the site suggests that you look for the MITUSA tag and buy it when possible. I’ve been doing that, as you’ve noticed, but I’m still not convinced I’m saving jobs. I’m probably not hurting them, though. Right? Read the rest of this entry »

Waste Not Paper

In Adventures on October 4, 2009 at 12:33 am

I’m toying with the idea of making our wedding invitations. To that end, I recently investigated the paper options available from my favorite paper/art purveyor, and it turns out the supplies I’ve been buying for my homemade holiday cards for years have been, albeit inadvertently, MITUSA. I’ve been buying cards, paper and envelopes from a producer called Waste Not Paper. They’re in Chicago. So they’re almost even local. Read the rest of this entry »

I guess I need a new coffee pot.

In Adventures on September 18, 2009 at 12:31 am

If you read my last post, which I’m sure you did, you know that my favoritest coffee pot is two things: An awesome heaterless design, and a fire hazard in waiting. Since it’s been recalled, I will no longer use it. In fact, after writing my last post, I unplugged it just to be safe. (How ridiculous is that, right? It’s been fine for years. Now I know that its recalled and I won’t even leave it plugged in.) Read the rest of this entry »

My Kitchen Stuff: From Whence It Came

In Adventures on September 16, 2009 at 12:33 am

The wedding registry work got me to thinking about the things that currently inhabit my kitchen. Out of curiosity, I looked around at the things I purchased for the kitchen long before I worried about origins. Some of it ain’t so bad.

George Foreman Grill. One of the best unwanted gifts I’ve ever received. I opened it and thought, “What the hell am I going to do with this?” Read the rest of this entry »

Some American Stuff You Can Buy

In Adventures on August 27, 2009 at 12:02 am

It’s been a while since I’ve talked about some of the junk you can buy when you’re buying American, so consider this a return to early form.

Turns out you can buy Tapcons and Quikrete.

Tapcons are heavy duty concrete screws designed to allow you to screw stuff into masonry. I needed to remount a light fixture to my brick wall. The Tapcons, turns out, are Made In The USA. Illinois, if I recall correctly. Read the rest of this entry »

My birthday.

In Adventures on August 21, 2009 at 12:05 am

My birthday is coming up, and so I’m obligated to provide gift suggestions to my beloved. That raises a question: do I ask her for only MITUSA items, or do I ask her specifically for all of the non-MITUSA items I can’t buy but desperately want?

Turns out, the right answer (IMHO) is to ask for the few items I want that are MITUSA (a new-to-me used record player, some books that are probably printed in the USA, Read the rest of this entry »

“This is worth nine minutes of your life, if only for the babes.”

In Adventures on July 29, 2009 at 12:35 am

That’s what a reader (who shall remain nameless in order to protect his identity) said to me in the email that contained this link:

He (or She?) was right.

The problem with a video like this is that it gives a guy like me heart palpitations. I don’t want to feel like my adventure is just a big waste of time. Read the rest of this entry »

Just got my green toys.

In Adventures on July 27, 2009 at 12:30 am

I just got my green toys. Or Green Toys, I guess I should say. They’re great!

Nothing about this purchase feels cheap or chintzy or recycled. You wouldn’t know they were made from “100% curb collected recycled milk jugs” if the package didn’t tout it.

These things are straight up cool, and any kid would be glad to get them. Any kid I’d want to know, that is. Read the rest of this entry »

Guerilla Glue

In Adventures on July 23, 2009 at 12:33 am

That would be cool. Guerilla Glue, for covertly and permanently affixing anti-establishment propaganda to places it shouldn’t be. But until that stuff’s invented, I suppose we’ll have to settle for Gorilla Glue.

End of dumb joke. Maybe.

Reader Dan (one of three known reader’s named Dan, making “Dan” by far the most popular reader name) recently sent me a story about Gorilla Glue (in which the company’s astute marketing department seized an opportunity from the news to get some good, and humorous, attention) with the note that the stuff is in fact MITUSA. Read the rest of this entry »

I bought a shirt.

In Adventures on July 15, 2009 at 12:07 am

Several, actually.

But don’t worry, they’re MITUSA-certified. They’re vintage. From eBay.

So yes, I’m killing the planet with fossil fuels used to deliver my new old clothes halfway across the country to my door. But I was DESPERATE! Read the rest of this entry »

I need to buy a shirt.

In Adventures on July 13, 2009 at 12:02 am

Oh. My. God. I am so sick of wearing these clothes. I never thought I’d miss a crisp, clean new shirt. But I do. I feel like I look like it’s last year. Or five years ago. Or some other time when I got all these clothes.

I look like a slob. More like a slob than usual, I mean.

It’s not like I want to go on a buying binge, but… Man! I want to go on a buying binge. Read the rest of this entry »

An adventurous non-buying idea.

In Adventures on July 9, 2009 at 12:51 am

I’m kicking around some ideas to spice up this MITUSA adventure. I’m not buying much, and the stuff I do buy I’m in a groove of getting American-made, so I’m no longer so much doing and experiment as I am just living a different lifestyle. (A lifestyle without new shirts, which is really getting annoying.) Because of that, the reading is getting a bit boring. The adventure isn’t so… adventurous. Read the rest of this entry »

Long time no post.

In Adventures on July 7, 2009 at 8:51 pm

We’ve just gone five days without a post. That’s my longest hiatus this year. Many apologies, dear reader.

Here’s the thing: I’m in this groove of not buying stuff, and so there’s not a lot to write about. Also because of that I’m not making so many MITUSA-awe-inspiring discoveries on such a regular basis. I don’t want to force it.

Anyway, I’m toying with some ideas to spice up the adventure. I’ll keep you posted.


2Jane is having a MITUSA sale!

In Adventures on July 1, 2009 at 1:00 am

Well, they didn’t call it a MITUSA sale. They probably don’t read this blog, nor do they understand the mind-numbing importance of it all. BUT… they’re having a sale. Or so my email informs me.

Though this page doesn’t say it, the email I received sure does. Read the rest of this entry »

American Apparel at Last

In Adventures on June 24, 2009 at 12:09 am

When we were in Atlanta last week (popping the question, you know) we went shopping while we killed time between hotel checkout and airport takeoff. Shelley spotted an American Apparel store across the lot and pointed it out eagerly, knowing it was one of the few (really, the only) place that sells American-made clothes. Keen eyes, good heart, thinking about her beau’s needs… That’s the kinda gal you marry. Read the rest of this entry »

Purple Death

In Adventures on May 18, 2009 at 12:44 am

At this point in the process my myriad failures aren’t particularly notable. Still, I feel the need to bare my soul and drag my deepest darkest secrets into the public eye. So here it is, you sadists. Another big time disaster custom made for your enjoyment. I’m a horrible, horrible person. I’d like to apologize to all of you for what I’m about to say. I know I’ve let you down, and even though you’ll say that these words are hollow consolation, I want you to know I regret my behavior. Here goes: Read the rest of this entry »

MITUSA Certification

In Adventures on May 17, 2009 at 12:47 am

Yes, it’s true. There is a certification for Made In The USA products. It’s called USA-C.

While I have absolutely nothing to do with it, I’m going to claim responsibility for this company’s certification process.

To be clear, I have no reasonable right to do so. But still. I called it. Read the rest of this entry »

MITUSA-Mania is Sweeping (or Mowing) the USA

In Adventures on May 4, 2009 at 12:56 am

Hey, look! My obsessive compulsiveness is rubbing off on my friends.

From reader Dan:

I’ve been wanting to buy an old fashioned reel lawnmower for some time and finally think I’m going to bite the bullet and buy one.  I was between a Scott’s Mower and an American Lawnmower Company mower, but (and this is where you come in) the decision may have been already made for me since it appears that the American Lawnmower Company’s mower is made in America (according to  In honor of your great MITUSA quest, I think we’ll go with the American Lawnmower Company model!

Aw, shucks.


Car Parts as a Buying Bellwether

In Adventures on April 26, 2009 at 12:35 am

The hatch on my hatchback has turned into more of a guillotine than a trunk lid. The hydraulic lifts that keep it raised have lost their gusto. It happened slowly at first, making the hatch feel lighter to lift but unable to hold it open unaided. Then one day, they didn’t even help to lighten the load. That was the day I discovered that a hatchback hatch weighs roughly 100 pounds. Seriously. The thing’s heavy. Read the rest of this entry »

I got yer Poof balls right here.

In Resources on April 6, 2009 at 12:39 am

Lest you think Zebulon is a fictional superhero-generating planet or a pop song from a German industrial band, allow me to introduce you to the real Zebulon. It is Zebulon USA, the place where you can buy only stuff that is Made In America. Like Poof balls (like Nerf, only Poof, and MITUSA) and underpants. Read the rest of this entry »

Good fences make you want to gouge your eyes out with a Home Depot gift card.

In Adventures on March 29, 2009 at 12:21 am

I want to build a fence.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while, and as the weather warms up I’m ready to do it. First, I need to figure out the details.

I spent last evening calculating the logistics of where and how it will be built. The hard part is going to be finding materials I can use. Read the rest of this entry »

Catching American-Made Fish with American-Made Fishing Tackle

In Adventures on March 14, 2009 at 12:58 am

My fishing buddy, Henry, was in town this afternoon to make a stop at Bass Pro. I went to visit him and scope out a bit of pre-season fishing info. Not so much about the fishing, but more about what my options will be when it comes time to buy American-made fishing gear.

Part of the fun of fishing, presumably like part of the fun of golf or photography or woodworking or whatever, is buying the stuff that facilitates your hobby. Read the rest of this entry »

I have a reader!

In Adventures on March 8, 2009 at 1:25 pm

I should clarify: I have a reader who is neither related to me nor on the payroll, and I don’t know him personally. That feels surprisingly nice.

He writes a blog too, and I have a feeling it will come in pretty handy.

As far as I can tell, he’s officially a genius and quite possibly the perfect human being. Read the rest of this entry »

Why Buy American? Part II.

In Resources on March 5, 2009 at 12:08 am

After telling my friend, Elon (*Reader #6), about my fancy-schmancy blog he visited and read and even posted some comments. He also gave me some good feedback:

I’m digging the blog a lot, but wondering why you didn’t delve deeper into your initial motivations. I wanna know more.

To which I replied, after some babbling about buying American being just a whim:

I think the conglomerate answer is that it seemed like one simple thing I could do that would have a wide-ranging impact for me, personally. So instead of buying local or growing my own or saving money or buying less or not buying junk or buying organically or shopping green or supporting the American worker or fighting companies that ship jobs offshore or generally doing lots of different “responsible consumer” things, this one step might lead me to a bit of all that. And so far, I think it has.

I’m happy enough with that answer to share it.


(* Readers: #1 Shelley, #2 Leah, #3 Jeremy, #4 Dan, #5 Crystal, #6 Elon, #7 Bryn. Hi everybody.)

Bull tendons.

In Adventures on February 20, 2009 at 7:29 am

Visited the boutique pet bakery on old Main Street in St Charles. It’s next door to my therapist. I was in search of dog chews. Though they didn’t have rawhide twists, they steered me to quite pricey, but apparently long lasting, bull tendons. I got four small ones for $17. They should each last a good couple Read the rest of this entry »

Yes, I stopped for a beer on my way to the grocery store.

In Adventures on February 13, 2009 at 6:06 am

1.31.09: Saturday rolled around and I realized I was short on chili fixins for Shelley’s meatless (and unpalatable) chili I was planning. So I headed back out to fill in the gaps. On my way I stopped at Colorado Bob’s bar for a beer and to watch my friend, Ray, play washboard with his band The Fabulous Raytards. Read the rest of this entry »

The Superbowl of Squash

In Adventures on February 11, 2009 at 6:05 am

1.30.09: Superbowl Sunday means one thing to me: chili. I prefer a beanless recipe from former Republican Senator Phil Gramm. Not kidding. It’s really good, and I’ve been making it for years.

So I hit the grocery store to semi stock up during my lunch hour. I was near a Dierbergs while running some work-related errands (which involved buying Read the rest of this entry »

Where The Rubber Meets The Road

In Adventures on February 10, 2009 at 6:05 am

1.28.09: It snowed yesterday. And today. And the day before yesterday, come to think about it. I slid all over the road in my Hyundai (don’t laugh; it’s blue) and decided I needed some new tires. (Not just because I was sliding; the car was due. The sliding was just a reminder.) So I planned ahead: I researched to Read the rest of this entry »

Funny Vacation Fish Stories

In Adventures on February 8, 2009 at 8:39 pm

On vacation in Florida. Orlando, to be exact. Went to the Bass Pro Shop (I went fishing today; see the fish I caught below) and Shelley and I were greeted with a display of great American flag shirts. Really tacky in a really great jingoistic way. This is why I love the girl: she said “wait a second,” and marched Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Mitusa: Sounds Like Someone’s Aunt

In Adventures on February 8, 2009 at 6:09 am

1.23.09: I planned ahead for Valentine’s Day: I shopped at Etsy to get a head start and ensure I’d have something great in hand by the time the 14th rolls around. My Etsy shopping led to a lot of great ideas—to the point where I realized that even if you’re not trying to buy American, Etsy is an amazing place to Read the rest of this entry »

MITUSA: Made In The USA or Patented Sex Technique?

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2009 at 9:58 pm

I just learned (thanks, SF Guardian!) that the abbreviation I’ve been using for “Made in the USA” is also the name of a proprietary oral sex technique. Not kidding.

Maybe it’ll catch on and I’ll get more MITUSA hits.


Why buy American?

In Edibles on January 18, 2009 at 1:43 am

1.3.09: I was prepared to report that I didn’t buy anything today, but of course I proved myself wrong. I bought dinner.

Shelley and I ate with Dan and Crystal at the new Sasha’s wine bar at the end of my block. I bought for Shelley and I and, of course, the whole purpose of the meal was consumption. We started with locally-made Volpi prosciutto with Parmesan cheese from who knows where; it didn’t occur to me to ask. Crystal was drinking a Bloody Mary for her hangover (they did a lunchtime “beer run”) so I joined her.

It was over Bloody Marys that I mentioned my MITUSA resolution. Crystal asked instantly: What about the Vodka? It hadn’t occurred to me that of course everything I consume at a restaurant is purchased from somewhere not necessarily local, and not all of it is American-made. It just so happened that the prosciutto was local, but what about the million other things I ingested? Veggies, spices, condiments… there’s no way the lime in my drink was grown in the USA, right?

What the hell is a guy supposed to do? Can I not eat vegetables in the off-season unless I move to California, and then only avocados and pears? Can I not dine out? I suppose I’ll have to investigate at the grocery store this week. Fingers are crossed. Read the rest of this entry »

The First Purchase

In Adventures on January 17, 2009 at 10:35 am

1.1.09: Happy New Year. I celebrated by sleeping in, then spending the afternoon at Shelley’s where we watched old home movies with her family while I sat on the living room floor browsing through her dad’s record collection. He has it readily available because he’d like to get rid of it, as in sell it. It’s a great, great collection. Vintage LPs from everybody: The Stones, the Beatles, The Doors, The Who… After a good hour-plus of thumbing, I settled on six records I had to have: Morrison Hotel, The Soft Parade, Rumours, Tommy, Piano Man and Harvest. We looked them up on eBay to try to establish what these records had been selling for (and to establish some basis for valuation for some of the other records he’d be selling to other buyers) and arrived at $42 for those five. (Most of it was in the original “textured” pressing of Neil Young’s Harvest, complete with lyrics.)

The first purchase of 2009 was a good one: vintage records, paid in cash, and presumably all made in the USA. (But even if they weren’t, after this many years in country they should have earned their citizenship; they’re American now. I’ll have to use this logic in the future if I want to buy clothes, because I have a feeling almost none of them are made in the USA so I’ll need to shop vintage.  That’s always tough for us big guys.)

In the evening, Shelley and I ventured out to run an errand. Hobby Lobby. I wasn’t buying, but for fun I checked lots and lots of labels. Shelley even got in on the fun too. The first five or so things were Made in China. Finally a simple wood piece was made in the USA. I decided that probably nine out of ten things in the building were from China.

I did look for some taper candles for my dining room table. In the candle section, there was a brand that was Made in the USA (how about MITUSA from now on?) but they didn’t have any tapers. And all the tapers were from far off lands. No worries; I’d keep looking.

Next stop: Target.

I had three things on my list, and thankfully they were bound to be American. The first, though, hit my cart before it even occurred to me to check the label. (This is gonna be a hard habit to get into.) It was coffee cream, though, and sure enough it was made about 90 minutes away.

The second item, hand soap, was also easy enough as I had two choices. One was $7.50 for four fancy bars, the other was $3.30 for two bars. I chose the latter option, and also appreciated the fancy natural packaging and the company’s pledge to donate money to the WWF (the one for animals, not the one for wrestlers).

Finally I picked up the shampoo I’d come for, and was briefly puzzled by the label: Made in the USA from US and/or imported materials. Hmm. Not sure what to think of that. Presumably it must be fine, because it’s just more information than most labels, and presumably some labels just say MITUSA even if they’re comprised of imported goods. That’s a pretty high standard to set, but presumably it’s legit: What good would it be to buy things made here if everything they’re made of was bought overseas? I’m sure there is plenty of good reason why that’s fine, and probably some reasons why it’s less than ideal, but I assume I’ll figure that out when the time is right.

What I didn’t find, which wasn’t on my list, were those American-made taper candles. Again, the only tapers in Target were Taiwanese. This does not bode well, neither for the candles nor for my year of purchasing.

Lastly, we looked at a game I’ve been eyeing: Seinfeld Scene-It. (I know, I’m a dork.) But it looks like a good time for a Saturday night. (I know; I’m old and boring.) It occurred to me over the holidays that I might like to possess that game and I should have bought it yesterday before I wasn’t buying un-American items. The game’s made in China according to Shelley, who broke the bad news.

The Seinfeld Scene-It scandal raises a good question: what do you do when there’s only “one” thing that fits the bill (a particular game or CD or book, etc) and that one thing is made in a far off land? You either, A) don’t buy it. B) have Shelley buy it for you as a gift (which is cheating); or C) find a used one online or at a flea market and buy it that way. But does that solve the problem? In some cases (like when buying vintage clothing of a certain age) I vote yes. But in many other instances, like this one, the unfortunate answer is no. My best hope to play Seinfeld Scene-It is to stumble upon a friend who has it already. Or just wait until next year, which is probably what’ll happen. Maybe in the meantime, though, I’ll decide I don’t actually need that game to have a fulfilling life. We’ll see.

Things I bought today: shampoo, handsoap, coffee cream and five vintage vinyl records. (Shelley bought dinner at Houlihans. I only ate it.)