The 15 Best Made-in-America Gifts, From Institutions and Newcomers Alike
We’ve got Filson and Faribault, as well as U.S. companies you’ve missed
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Visit InsideHook’s Holiday 2020 gifting hub to find gift ideas for every person on your list this year. Also, who are we kidding? Find lots of ideas for yourself there, too.
There are two main reasons to buy someone a gift that’s made in America. First, if the recipient is the kind of person who hoists the Stars and Stripes every morning on the flagpole in their front yard, it’s a good bet they’ll appreciate any present that’s U.S.A.-made. But second, in a marketplace that is increasingly fractured — where the money you pay for a product could end up in the pockets of a dozen different people scattered across the globe — it’s not a bad idea for you, the gift giver, to set your own parameters for where you want your hard-earned dough to end up.
Now, you’d think finding American companies to spend your money at would be easy, but the designation has increasingly become a cliche. For whatever reason, “American-made” has come to be associated mainly with heritage goods like leather wallets and cast iron. And while we do include the latter in this list, we’re prioritizing a more expansive view of this country we call home.
Below, we’ve included the hat favored by Hemingway, the viral condiment of 2020 and the ideal bottle of whiskey to facilitate your politically loaded holiday conversations, among other things. Some of these gifts are 100% made in the U.S., others are simply assembled here with materials from elsewhere, but rest assured, all of them are born of pure American ingenuity.
Skip the winter beanie and get them the hat favored by Hemingway, featuring the signature patent-leather bill designed for repelling water when you’re at sea, as well as construction via the company’s original factory from the ‘50s.
Faribault makes it on plenty of American-made gift lists, but the Justice Blanket — featuring the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote, “The time is always right to do what is right.” — is especially fitting for 2020. Plus, for every blanket purchased, Faribault is donating $100 to a United Way fund helping businesses rebuild after civil unrest.
Yes, Smithey makes more traditional skillets, like the ones you picture holding some fresh baked cornbread, but this curved-wall option is great for gifting as even cast-iron acolytes may be surprised by the design and the company’s signature polished look.
In October, Gerber launched a new program called Reserve, where they’ll be releasing limited-edition knives all made in the U.S. The Terracraft is our favorite of the first batch, a deceptively simple fixed blade option with some smart details — and if you act fast, you may be able to score one.
A nice bottle of Scotch is one of our default gifts for people who are hard to buy for, but this year we’re switching it up and going for an American single malt. It’s a burgeoning category, of which Colorado’s Stanahan’s is a favorite. And if Reserve Bar doesn’t deliver to your state, there’s a good chance your local liquor emporium will carry it. Already familiar with the distillery? Consider branching out with Blue Peak, a Solera-finished whiskey released this fall — the first new addition to their main lineup since 2017.
There’s probably another cooler company topping Christmas lists this year, but if you want an overbuilt beer bucket that’s actually built in the U.S., you’ll want to go with Pelican.
The short version of Uncle Nearest is that the young yet heralded distillery is carrying on the legacy of Nathan “Nearest” Green, an enslaved distiller who taught Jack Daniel. (We have the long story here.) During a holiday season inevitably rife with tough conversations, we can’t think of anything else we’d rather be drinking.
If there’s one condiment of 2020, we have to give it to chili oil. But because a jar from Trader Joe’s doesn’t scream thoughtful, go ahead and get a jar of Boon’s small-batch concoction (good for stocking stuffers, Zoom holiday dinner parties, etc.). It’s spicy, it’s crunchy, it’s umami-y, and it’s made in L.A.
Not only are you getting the time-tested style and durability of Filson, but the new Mackinaw jacket features wool from Portland’s Pendleton in appropriately festive cobalt blue or red and black.
We’re guessing most people who own KitchenAid stand mixers don’t know they’re made in Greenville, Ohio. Go ahead and include that fun fact with a few family recipes and you’ve got yourself a winner.
Make sure to have the recipient open this one on Zoom so you can see them go from laptop on the lap to laptop on the ergonomic stand in real time.
The Texas-made Stetson is expert-level gifting, as you need to figure out their hat size and appropriate style. But pull it off and you could single-handedly jumpstart someone’s wardrobe after a COVID-induced sweatpants funk.
Are socks a boring idea that everyone expects to show up on a list like this? Possibly. But maybe in 2020, what was once boring is now the most comforting thing imaginable.
All Field Notes journals are made in the U.S., so really any design will do (and they’ve really outdone themselves this year). But this limited-edition release features art from independent American letterpress shops, so your dollar goes that much further.
We haven’t met a Gantri lamp we don’t like, as the company partners with designers to create cutting-edge lighting concepts, then manufactures them in California using custom polymers featuring corn, sugarcane and sugar beets, and offers them at affordable prices.
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