Tag Archives: Made In America

US Made School Supplies

The National Retail Federation’s annual survey estimates that the average family with students in kindergarten through to 12th grade will spend about $630.00 on school supplies, electronics and clothes for back to school.  Of that figure, families will spend an average of $97.74 on school supplies such as notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks and lunch boxes.

School Pencils-carbon-crusader - CopyCustom Pencils by Carbon Crusader. The majority of custom engraved pencils are made in China. And, they are processed by companies that do not allow free speech. Yvy wanted her customers to create humorous products, and to say what the wanted on quality U.S. made goods available in a variety of colors. And, a place where left-handed people could get pencils engraved that they could read, too (she’s a lefty, BTW).

general pencils - CopyColored pencils made by General Pencil Company dates back to 1889, and the family owned business still produces its art materials in New Jersey using cedar wood from California. Made in the USA ($11.59 for 12; amazon.com

crayon-rocks - Copy

Crayon Rocks. Thanks to a unique pebble shape made especially for small hands, Crayon Rocks help develop kids’ fine-motor skills ($8.50 for 16; via amazon.com). Crayon Rocks invented by Barbara Lee, a special needs teacher who worked with elementary aged children for 23 years. She invented Crayon Rocks after being inspired by occupational therapist Jan Olsen and her Handwriting Without Tears program. She learned from Mrs. Olsen how important it was for children to develop a strong tripod grip early in their education process; handwriting skills depend upon this. Seeing that a simple tool to develop these skills in young children wasn’t readily available, Ms. Lee set out to develop one. They first made Crayon Rocks in a garage in La Crescenta, California, mixing the colors in small batches and forming them in hand-made molds. Since then they’ve upgraded their digs a bit…to a barn, that was hand-built by their Amish neighbors, on a hilltop in Hestand, Kentucky.

Outback Decomp BookOutback | Decomposition NoteBooks | Lined Pages | Part Number 44183. DESCRIPTION: This line of school notebooks feature intriguing cover designs and some eco-friendly attributes, such as 100% post-consumer-waste recycled pages, and soy ink printing, which has fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) than regular, petroleum-based ink. It’s also easier to recycle.  80 Sheets (160 Pages) College-Ruled, 100% Post-Consumer Waste Paper. Product dimensions: 7.5″ x 9.75″

Decomp BookKittens in Space | Coilbound Decomposition NoteBook | Ruled Pages. Part Number 16280. DESCRIPTION: Coil bound Decomposition Books that use a wire binding instead of the sewn binding of the traditional Decomposition Books.  They feature the same 100% post-consumer-waste recycled paper inside and the same soy ink printing on the cover.  The pages (80 sheets) are micro-perforated and removable. Books are 7.5″ wide by 9.75″ high. Easily fits in the Decomp spinner.

Bicycle Paper Clips. Set of 4, SKU#  446626. Mark your spot or organize a stack of papers with these bright World Market bicycle clips.  ( 4 @ $5.99 ; worldmarket.com).

duluth-pac - CopyBackpack. Duluth Pack’s classic bookbag—available in 15 colors, from tangerine to navy blue—comes with a built-in laptop sleeve ($140; amazon.com)


Manscaping With Classic Shaving


Let’s face it. When tasked with trying to write this blog, we hadn’t a clue what we were going to find during our research. Sure, it’s pleasant to look at beautiful photos of the history of shaving and all the heirloom shaving products available.  But during our research, we came across a stylish men’s retro shaving company that explains why wet saving is seeing a resurgence. Our many thanks to second generation ClassicShaving owner Danielle Dupont, for her time via our Skype interview. Classic Shaving offers Razors, Brushes, Mugs, Toiletries and many other men’s grooming accessories.  [And, a personal thanks from Rita- for laughing with me, and (not at me) when asked to record, “the sound the leather strap makes when you scrape a straight edge razor against it.”]

Listen to the podcast here and you’ll quickly figure out what that leather thing is called.

Then we did what everyone does these days about new ideas or terms.  We researched the word “manscaping” on the web. And, you’ll thank us later,  for not sharing some of the hairiest images we found. (Not to mention the body parts) It’s just too gruesome. There are some ugly hairy body parts out there.  Fortunately, there are some handsome products and shaving tools out there for all types of grooming and shaving needs. With much pride, they’re  Made In America and you can browse through the pictures, while listening to our report.  pretty

Just look at how classy the shaving bowl and brush set is to the left. There are so many lovely gifts; like distinctive beard soaps. Classic Shaving makes these aromatic bars in the back of their Palm Springs, California warehouse. CS-SS-3

You’d think that these items would be popular among men of a “certain” generation. Surprisingly, that certain generation are the Millennials, and the generation that comes after the Millennials, Generation Z . There’s something about taking time to make one presentable by using tools that will last a lifetime,stead of disposable that are just tossed out with the trash. History has proven that once you lather up, you wont go back to a plastic razor and it’s a class act step forward. Here are some how to videos developed by Classic Shaving.

engraveable military brush
engravable military brush

Danielle says that she gets lots of correspondence from military men. Listen to our audio and you’ll learn about changes in the shaving habits of American men from one theater of war to the next.

A Strop–AKA-That Leather Thingy

For those who are inspired to try a more classical way of grooming, we implore you to save some time. Don’t search the Internet, because you will come across some images that may be shocking, and not suitable for young eyes.  Go here to the Classic Shaving How to Page. That way you can research some of the more technical aspects of wet shaving and then scope out some great looking tools and maybe even buy some gifts for someone special who may be heading to campus, this fall.  Or, maybe a gift for that special someone you want to inspire, in building a class act using.

You’ll also be able to say that you bought your manscaping tools from a company that prides itself in US Made products. Plus, you’ll enjoy manscaping, the Patriot-Made-Way by owning artisan made razors and blades, and that “leather thingy.”

Rita Rich

Plan For Holiday Ads Now!

imgresWith school starting up again soon, we are working hard on a school shopping feature, so stay tuned we will have that out very soon.  We’ve been pretty busy finding and producing some great content and audio stories this year.  And, we simply love all our new listeners, followers and subscribers!  Thank you. We live to find and tell great stories about people making it happen.

As we grow, things are getting busier everyday for us.  We imagine you’re busy as well, and just imagine the holidays have not even started yet!  But, you all have some great lead time!  So, with that said, we are trying to get ahead of the power curve for our fall and winter stories. 

Your producer Rita Rich is reserving interview spots for our fall, winter, and holiday shopping stories now, as well as taking reservations for mini ad placements within our podcasts.

Interested? Reserve a spot on one of our podcast shows by texting  Rita Rich @ 202-594-6138 to reserve your Holiday interview and Holiday Jingle or Holiday Ad space. Or, call Debra Grobman @ 323-939-8253 or debra@flatlandsavellc.com.

Your Customers Will Want To Share Your Podcast Story Because… 
  1. Nearly, everyone uses mobile devices these days, namely their cell phones.
  2. It’s engaging and more informational and entertaining than print media
  3. Our turn around is quicker than the big ad agencies
  4. Readers and listeners will want to consume the much sought after latest shopping and holiday information
  5. An added bonus is that we have staff on the East Coast, West Coast and in Michigan!                                                                                    
    Organizations Work With Flatlands Because…
  1. We are inexpensive, but very good at what we do.
  2. Our staff has extensive broadcast, media, public relations and technology experience.
  3. We work directly with our clients to help produce, interview and write the most impactful story for you
  4. We publish audio and media content in strategic and orchestrated manor across a plethora of social media platforms, RSS feeds and podcast platforms with a large connected listening audience.
  5. The depth of our reach expands beyond traditional print  and radio media, with a synchronized effort to help you cost effectively expand the outreach you need with a socially enabled campaign.
  6. We are up close and personal, and that means a lot to our listeners. 

Interested? Reserve a spot on our podcast shows by texting Rita Rich @ 202-594-6138 to reserve your Holiday Interview and Holiday Jingle or Holiday Ad space. Or, email her at rita@flatlandsavellc.com.  Or, call Debra Grobman @ 323-939-8253 or debra@flatlandsavellc.com.

Ask for our rate card to put your product, business or organization in front of thousands of active listeners.

We are heard on Air Canada, iTunes, Libsyn, WordPress, RSS Feeds, Podcast Directories, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and The Progressive Voices Channel (where the audience is young, hip and diverse with an estimated 39,200 followers and more than 500,000 listeners).

Let us help give voice to your great story, and share it with our active listners.

Camping Memories – NWF’s @Dmizejewsk

This is Patriot-Made Audio’s second in a series of camping podcasts featuring The National Wildlife Federation’s David Mizejewski (@Dmizejewski). David tells us about his own camping and outdoor memories, as a childWe’d love to hear from you while out in the wild; camping, hiking or just simply enjoying the great outdoors!

Text us your camping memories with a video or voice recording to (202) 594-6138 or via email at Patmadeaudio@gmail.com. You can also download our extensive list of                US Made camping gear!

Part II – Your Summer Stories


Here’s our latest Patriot-Made Audiocast. It’s part two of our appeal for your best summer memories! Take a listen to two of the stories from our friends, one from a relatively new American and one from a Maryland native. Have a favorite beach memory, or a bar-b-que that beats all bar-b-que? We want to hear them. It’s easy to share.  We’re interested in hearing the stories you’re passing down to your kids and friends.

Record short versions of your best summer memories on your cell phone or tablet, and then text your recording to 202-594-6138, we may just create a podcast using your story.  And we’ll share it with our Patriot-Made and Made in the USA listeners! You may also email stories to us at patmadeaudio@gmail.com

The Changing Face of Agriculture

Alices Chicken CoopClick on this link to hear our latest story as it sounds on the Progressive Voices Channel via TuneIn.

Patriot Made Audio covers a lot of ground on a number of topics and our host Rita Rich dips her toes into some fresh dirt to explore the changing face of agriculture this spring, with a homestyle twist.  

As many of you know, spring usually cultivates a positive outlook across rural America. Warmer temperatures sprout fresh beginnings and hope as farmers, garden hobbyists, and the entire agriculture industry begins breaking earth with anticipation of planting, which never seems to grow old.

But, farming, growers and the agriculture industry is experiencing many changes and challenges:

  • sharply lower crop price predictions for 2015
  • the avian chicken epidemic
  • drought and water needs
  • an aging farm demographic
  • a dwindling number of farms

Unlike inner cities, the above noted issues are the new climate for farms  (big and small) and the current reality for a U.S. business sector that provides food for millions of American households and world citizens. With shrinking profit margins and higher land values it makes it doubly tough to “herd in” a new generation of farmers because the huge risks, which are far less forgiving these days.

Enter the hobby farmer and the small home gardener. There’s a resurgence in getting back to basics, organics, NGMO food, seed saving, conservation, rebuilding and leaving big cities to live a simpler life while holding on to older Made in America products, even if the parts to maintain and repair it are hard to come by.

It’s also a story about a movement that families and communities are participating in: growing their own food because they distrust the chemistry behind big ag food products. It appears more and more people are refurbishing and rebuilding whatever they can because of great old American made products were meant to last.

Troy Bilt wo engineRita RIch has produced a great little story about a recent find  that is about a nearly 40 year old Troy-Bilt® rototiller which was placed out on the side of the road with a large cardboard sign on it that read, “FREE – The engine has no compression, and it does not work.”    Troy Bilt Owners manualTake a listen here to learn more about this great “find.”

Troy-Bilt® introduced the very first rototiller into the American landscape, it was considered a remarkable innovation for its time.

Mike working on the engine of TroybiltA local independent certified small engine mechanic Finished Troybilt 2(Mike Hass) was hired, he took the engine off,  ordered a new 6.5 HP engine and then the rototiller was fitted with its brand new engine (the engine is manufactured as a Honda clone.

This is one American made product built to last a life time (or two) and it’s  been saved from a trip to the landfill.  This”little red engine can,” now turn the earth till the cows come home!  What a great find!

Let us know which Made In USA product you refuse to get rid of, even though there’s a “newer-better-lighter” version of it on sale!

Post comments here on our Facebook page or send an email to rita@flatlandsavellc.com.

Rita Rich hosts the Patriot-Made Audio, produced by Flatlands Avenue Productions, LLC.

Remembering the Women Who Died Making it America

We are Remembering the Women, Girls and Men Who Died Helping to Make America, as a result of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in Manhattan, New York City (<click on that Manhattan link to an interactive map to see their names and where they lived) on March 25, 1911.

Lest we forget, it was the deadliest industrial disaster in the history of the city, and one of the deadliest in U.S. history. The fire caused the deaths of 146 garment workers – 123 women and 23 men. The 104th anniversary of the Triangle shirtwaist factory fire, marks more than a century of worker safety reforms.

More Information from Triangle Fire

Learn More

These resources provide detailed information on the events of March 25, 1911, working conditions at the beginning of the 20th century, and the impacts of the tragedy on workplace safety and health:

New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health booklet “Don’t Mourn – Organize” (See page 7: Dr. David Michaels “We must. We will.”)

“Triangle Fire” Documentary from American Experience on PBS.

The Kheel Center at Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations – This site houses an extensive archive of information on the fire. Primary documents include newspaper accounts, interviews with survivors, and a partial transcript of the trial of the factory’s owners.

American Society of Safety Engineers – ASSE, America’s oldest professional safety organization, was founded six months after the Triangle fire. Its “Century of Safety” site provides information on the fire and the events leading to the establishment of the society.

Triangle Fire Open Archive at the Remember the Triangle Fire Coalition. An online collection of documents, photographs, and artworks submitted by the public that serves as “a living repository for stories, images and objects about the Triangle fire’s history, context, and impact on labor, immigrant, and women’s rights and everyday life today.”

Detroit Graffiti + Social Enterprise = Chic Jewelery


Many thanks to Romy Gingras, of Gingras Global for permission to use excerpts of her interview for our latest Patriot-Made podcast story. This American made story is about Rebel Nell and with just few words you get that this is a story about : Chic Jewelry! But, there is quiet a unique  back story about Rebel Nell’s roots and how they got started. Listen to our podcast story here.  It also seems Rebel Nell is gaining the attention of Martha Stewart and even Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan who visited the Rebel Nell shop, just yesterday! 

 In revitalizing the city of Detroit, Amy Peterson, co-founder of Rebel Nell, has a dual mission: To help rebuild the city by using graffiti that has fallen off  decaying buildings, to make jewelry and to get women out of shelters. Rebel Nell employs, educates and empowers under-served women from shelters in Detroit to assist them in transitioning to an independent life.   Rebel Nell’s goal is to help women move from a life of dependence to one of self-reliance, overcoming barriers to employment through the fruits of their own labor.  Working directly with local homeless shelters, Rebel Nell identifies women who are ready to make to transition to a new phase in their lives.


Rebel Nell’s product line starts by re-purposing graffiti, an abundant local resource in the Motor City.  They collect the graffiti after it has already fallen off of walls.


After some hard work and TLC, the women of Rebel Nell turn the scraps of graffiti into a unique piece of wearable art.

The studio in Detroit is located in the Grand River Creative Corridor, in a creative work space called the 4731 Building. This was an abandoned part of Detroit that has come under the care of local artists to become a breeding ground for creativity.

How Rebel Nell Got Started: 

Amy Peterson, is an attorney, and nearly two years ago she was living next to a homeless shelter. She  had conversations with the women while walking her dog. During these conversations, Peterson learned that many of these women ended up in shelters through situations out of their control.  She realized that these women needed a transitional opportunity.

Thereafter, Peterson brought on board a fashion manager Diana Russell and in December 2013, Rebel Nell — named after Eleanor Roosevelt’s nickname Little Nell — hired three women, one of which was living in a shelter while the other two were in transitional homes.   Peterson and Russell plan to add two more women from shelters to the team. The two co-founders continue working their regular full-time jobs and don’t pay themselves a salary at Rebel Nell, so that their employees can make a living wage.

The primary goal at Rebel Nell is to restore the confidence in the women we hire.  In addition to on the job training, we provide financial management, life wellness and business education to help them successfully transition to an independent life.

For more information, please visit Rebel Nell at:

Valentine’s & Chocolates – Midwest Made

American Made South Bend Chocolates for Valentines Day

South Bend Chocolate Company (SBCC) is American Made! Patriot Made Audio interviews SBCC’s CEO Mark Tarner about their gourmet chocolates, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Take a listen to our latest podcast interview by clicking here.

What a great way to celebrate a tradition like Valentine’s Day with an American Made gift for loved ones. More information can be found at sbchocolates.com, with a complete assortment of gourmet chocolates, which can be ordered online  featuring Valentine’s Day right on their homepage.

President Mark Tarner is proud of his company’s website, which caters to both a wholesale and retail customer, including the buyer’s at posh Saks Fifth Avenue Department stores.  Know that every bite of a chocolate, popcorn, or cookie treat, includes natural ingredients grown in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio or Michigan.

In 1991, Mark founded the South Bend Chocolate Company (SBCC) and operated it as a second business. The company got its start making chocolates under a license from the University of Notre Dame. Its first three products were the Domer, Rockne and Nuts for ND.

Chocolate Covered Earth
Imagine a Chocolate Covered Earth

Then, in August 1994, the SBCC incorporated with Mr. and Mrs. Tarner as majority shareholders. They now produce over 500 items and are the fastest growing chocolate company in the nation, with thirteen company-owned stores in northern Indiana and four franchised locations throughout Indiana, Michigan and Ohio.

The factory is located at 3300 W. Sample Street in South Bend and occupies 60,000 square feet.


7773505Patriot-Made Audiocast talks with President Bonnie Swayze of Allliance Rubber. If you need a rubber product, be it a rubber band, promotional wrist band or exercise band, Alliance is the place to get it.  And, it’s US Made!

Listen to our latest audio story about Alliance Rubber by clicking here

Some of Alliance’s Consumer Products Include:

Visit some of their websites at alliance-rubber.com, adband.com and rubberband.com for Alliance’s exciting product catalogs.

Campfire Stories

There are so many great Made in the USA products and so many great stories to choose from. But, there are some things that are just natural for hanging around the campfire on a summer’s night.

Where would we be without treats around the campfire? So, I present to you a proudly Made In America product, from the American Licorice Company. While you are thinking about sucking on a Red or Black Red, or Natural Vine; or sticking it into a can of beverage and using one as a straw, please remember to clean up your campsite!

American Licorice Company is working on a great project everyday–throwing less things into the garbage!campfire
Hear Their story here:


Then, think about where you’d be if your tent or sleeping bag had a broken zipper! You’d need to find a replacement for it, right? Might as well buy from an American supplier!
Learn more about the business that Mr. Feibusch built-in 1941 in New York, NY.  By clicking on the link below:


If you have any story suggestions please send them along. We’re always looking for stories about corporate social responsibility, businesses that create jobs in communities, and people who epitomize Americana.

Happy Parents’ Days!

Rachel Barton Pine report

Patriot-Made Audiocast featuring Rachel Barton Pine
Rachel Barton Pine was interviewed by Patriot-Made Audiocast producer Rita Rich

Take a listen to our latest Patriot-Made Audiocast, featuring Rachel Barton Pine—a violinist extraordinaire, who is spreading the word about American composers worldwide.
And, have a great Mother’s and Father’s Day! May all your dreams start out sweetly while listening to some lullabies.

Surviving Sandy-New York’s Icestone.

Click on the hyperlink below to listen to an inspiring story of surviving Sandy.

Patriot-Made Audiocast about Icestone recovering from Sandy

Icestone makes flooring and counter-tops from recycled glass and concrete, in a historic building, within the old Brookklyn Navy Yard.  Super Storm Sandy was not kind to this employee owned company.  But, the Icestone team is working hard to keep their company alive, and to meet their worldwide customer’s demands.

Please take a listen, and like us on Facebook and spread the Patriot-Made word!  Remember being a patriot has nothing to do with politics.  It has everything to do with that feeling in your gut.



What Is Patriot-Made Audiocast™

Patriot-Made Audiocast™

It’s been awhile since Debra Grobman and I began our journey to create Patriot-Made Audiocast™ reports.  So, I thought our report subjects and those who stumble upon our blog would like an updated description about what it is that we are doing.   Thank you all for being interested in buying, wearing, using goods and services that are made in America.   Your desire isn’t to isolate our country from the rest of the world.  Your desire is to do what you can to put dollars and cents behind making our country stronger, with the hopes that your cash gets into the hands of your neighbors and friends. And, you take pride in what some call good old-fashioned American ingenuity.  You’re a patriot. 

 We thank you again.   Rita Rich 

What is the Patriot-Made Audiocast™:  A series of feature stories about the people and the things they make in America. Things that are consumed, worn, enjoyed, by all: food, shoes, boots, clothing, art, music, candy, cosmetics, toiletries, etc.   Things that help others make things and build the places where we live in our country.

Why the Patriot-Made Name : Because it can, and should, refer to any proud citizen of our country who invests himself in his community to enrich and serve the lives of others, whether it’s creating a food to meet the needs of those with special needs or a product that creates just one other job in America.  Being called a patriot doesn’t mean you’re a member of any political, religious, sectarian group or organization. Being a patriot is something a person feels from within.

Why Audiocast: Working with audio and sound is the passion of Patriot-Made Audiocast’s co-creators, Rita Rich and Debra Grobman, who are veteran radio professionals.  Both feel passionately about how audio enriches our everyday lives and is the most intimate and portable medium harnessed by humankind.  Listen to Patriot-Made Audiocast™ over the airwaves and on your personal digital device like your smart phone, Mp3 player or personal computer.

Why You Should Contribute Your Stories to Patriot-Made:  The producers ask  for your time to record a quick interview. In return you and your products are featured in stories that will be featured on websites, newsletters, blogs, radio stations and their websites, as well as, social network sites that are visited, or read, by thousands and thousands of readers and listeners who have already opted-in to receiving them.

Sponsorship inquiries are most welcome!

Contacts:  Rita Rich at info@ritarichmedia.net and Debra Grobman at dgcreative@mindspring.com