Thursday, May 14, 2009

Made Here, Baby!

The year my son was born, I remember hearing about all the recalls of millions of imported children's toys because of toxic materials. As a new mother, I found this frightening. I didn't know whether my son's toys were safe or not, and as a result I had to rely on my judgement. I tried to seek out quality toys for him, toys made locally and avoided shopping at big-box stores. I was still worried but figured there wasn't much I could do about it.

Family Review Network brought my attention to a book called Made Here, Baby! by Bruce H. Wolk, and after reading it I feel inspired and truly excited. The book is a compilation of more than 400 companies devoted to making safe, high-quality children's products in the United States. The listings cover everything - products for infants, clothing and accessories, furniture, sports and fitness equipment, and toys and games. I loved how each listing included an interesting fact about the company, such as how it started, their philosophy, or a story about the owner. These facts were interesting to read and made each company personable. In addition, each section includes an entertaining introduction in the form of an enlightening interview or personal anecdote.

I was amazed at how many of these companies I had never heard of. Moreover, I was pleasantly surprised to recognize a few companies' products that I had reviewed in the past, and that I hadn't known they were American-made. I also discovered a few that were located in the same city as me. This book was an eye-opener. I never would have discovered all of these companies by myself, and it makes me feel good to know that there are safe choices out there for my son. Best of all, they're made right here in America! This is truly a wonderful resource, and one that every parent should check out.

Learn more about Made Here, Baby! and purchase it here.

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  1. Dear Mama Sparkles,
    I am truly humbled by your comments. When I first began this project, I thought I was interviewing "Just Companies." Very quickly into the process the companies became "Friends," and then the inevitable happened -- I felt as though I had adopted 417 children. From start to finish, this has been a true labor of love. The process continues; about 20 new companies have contacted me wanting to be in the next edition. I would estimate that of the 417 companies in the current edition at least half are women-owned or founded and virtually all of them, in their own ways, have a deep commitment to responsible, sustainable manufacturing. As an author, I care passionately about supporting and helping these American manufacturing companies. My background is unusual you see; my career started on the manufacturing floor. I really want to hear from people as I want to be here to help. If I can assist just one of these companies hire a few more people then I have done my job. Best regards, Bruce H. Wolk, www.madeherebaby.com

  2. Hi Marissa. Great review! I'm glad you liked the book so much, and I'm sure it will be a wonderful resource for years to come. :)

    p.s. When I typed in MamaSparkles.com, I was redirected to a Windex site! Weird!


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