In this climate, with elections nearing and general discontent with the way society is running, it can be hard to avoid political conversation. Even in the fashion, beauty and bridal business, the current situation and political climate is resonating with and effecting both prices and options for consumers.
In my humble opinion, this is exactly why right now is the perfect time to invest in independent, local brands. For those of us based in the United States, this means researching, sourcing and supporting service and product based companies with roots on our soil.
If you don’t know much about the tariffs put in place this September, here are a few notes from a recent CBS News article that’ll give you a small look at the intensity of the situation:
A 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods took effect in September -- that tranche of tariffs is slated to more than double, to 25 percent, in January.
"There's no going back at this point. We can't suddenly call off the dogs. This is going to affect us for the next 10 or 20 years."
It seems no area of consumer choice will be left untouched by the impact of tariffs. Bottom line: you’re going to pay more for the same stuff.
If we consider the USA’s insatiable demand for Chinese-manufactured product, especially with the holidays upon us, this information and point of view makes our economy seem daunting… which it very well may be.
But what we can do with this information is put it to work supporting the work of entrepreneurs (aka our neighbors, family, friends, heck even strangers with a dream) in the United States.
What does this look like?
Purchasing your wedding dress from an independent designer (bridal boutiques across North America are becoming increasingly more interested in the bespoke/customizable/made to order work of bridal designers.)
Commissioning artisans in your community (city, state, region) to fill your ‘need’ for items like furniture, art, decor, dinnerware, mugs, etc.
Consciously swapping foreign-made and imported goods for locally-crafted. Whether it be beer, soap, clothes, candles, or even skincare and makeup!
Get savvy with American-made companies before you start dishing our your cash and credit to just anyone.
Here are some of my favorite domestic companies:
Olga’s Organics - Organic, Non-GMO, Paraben free, Petrolatum Free, BHA free, Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLS) free, Vegan, and Cruelty-Free mineral and plant-based makeup. I’ve raved about their lip tints and translucent face powder over and over again on Instagram - but I really can’t get enough!
Kata Banko Couture - I’ve worked alongside Colleen at Kata Banko Couture for years, and have seen her progression to incorporating more domestic-based materials with a sustainable approach to crafting accessories. Not only have her designs become more “bridal and beyond,” this having more longevity in its wearer’s wardrobe, but her use of naturally-formed and locally-sourced components supports a family-owned and -operated American companies.
Unbelievable Skincare - I especially love this brand for being local to me (I’ve met with the owner Pamela over coffee a few times and simply love her!) The items are handcrafted in small batches, free of nasty toxins and additives, and of course - cruelty free.
Love Lives Here Bridal - If you’re a bride to be in the United States, consider it hitting the jackpot to know about LLH. All of the dresses coming out of their Milwaukee-based studio are handcrafted and made to order for each bride. The owner and head designer Amanda Jennings has a technical and generational background in sewing, which really resonates through the gorgeous craftsmanship and passion behind the brand. LLH is currently touring North America in trunk shows - to see if there are any coming your way, click here!
Bombabird Ceramics - There’s something so romantically unique about using someone’s handcrafted goods in your everyday life. Cue Bombabird: the solution to your flower, coffee, tea, water, food and soup-holding needs (sorry Target). Their items are gorgeously modern, effortlessly functional and made in one of my favorite cities, the Burgh! Something Old Dayton (one of my favorite friendors in the Dayton-area) has used their work in collaborative styled shoots a few times now, and I’ve fallen in love with the brand ever since!
Can you recommend a USA-made goods company? Please leave a comment below. And don’t forget about #ShopSmallSaturday on November 24th!