American-Made Giveaway

San Francisco's Tradlands has been on my list of American-made favorites for a while.

I wrote about their quality button-ups and small-batch production methods here, and my admiration for Tradlands as a brand seems to grow on a near-daily basis. Aside from everything mentioned above, Sadie and Jeremy of Tradlands are warm, friendly folks – something that's of extreme importance to my Southern soul.

This week, Tradlands teamed up with a few other wonderful American brands (Appalatch, Archival Clothing, and Gamine Co.) to offer an American-made giveaway package valued at $600. One winner will receive a Purl Scarf from Appalatch, a Waxed Twill Shoulder Tote from Archival Clothing, a Hemp & Fleece Raglan from Gamine Co., and a Button-Up Shirt of your choice from Tradlands. The prize will be shipped for free to the winner and is open to International entrants so London pals, you're in luck.


The American-made giveaway ends tomorrow night, Jan. 30 at midnight PST so if I were you I would enter, like, now. 

Good luck, guys!

Brook There's Organic Undies

I've been feeling feelings for Brook There's silk and organic underwear (not in a weird way) since I first came across the line last fall.

Not to overstate things, but Brook There is basically my dream undie line. Aside from their focus on quality and dedication to ethical principles – all pieces are made in America using organic and sustainable fabrics – Brook There's designs are simple but interesting and include a focus on neutral colors and tones with a few fun patterns and cut outs thrown in for good measure.

This is the underwear line for the othergirl, the rest of us. Those of us who are so far from buying frilly pink anything it's not even close to funny, but who still like a bit of interest in the color, pattern, and texture of our underthings.

My hat is off to Brook DeLorme, the founder of Brook There who's based in Portland, Maine, has been making clothes since her childhood, is currently on a road trip across the country (awesome), and writes interesting things on her blog

Rest assure that Brook There has been in my Indie Designer Directory since day one.

Here are a few Brook There favorites: 

Behind The Scenes With Shana Luther

Shana Luther first came across my radar thanks to one of my favorite Brooklyn boutiques, Thistle & Clover.

Shana and I became online acquaintances, then internet friends – she's super friendly, totally real, and loves animals, which makes her my kinda' gal.

So today, I'm pleased to take you behind the scenes of Shana's luxury, American-made handbag collection. Read on to learn more about Shana as a designer as well as her production process:

(P.S. – there's a puppy at the end)

Shana began designing handbags in 1999 under the label SML Bags. In true hustler form, she also had a day job in costume design which she calls a "different world" than fashion.

"I worked for a costume shop that constructed costumes for Broadway shows and films. Most costumes for the stage are worn 10 times a week so they have to stand up to sweat, make-up, and regular washing. Because of that, my job at the costume shop really instilled in me the importance of quality." 

In 2012, Shana decided to relaunch her label under Shana Luther Handbags. A good decision, if you were to judge it based on the reaction of the press, not to mention Martha Stewart – Shana was a finalist in Martha Stewart's American Made Awards in 2013, just one year after launching her new label. Awesome.

Shana has called Brooklyn home since 1995 and firmly believes in American manufacturing. In fact, her handbag line was created when she realized that there was a need for American-made luxury handbags.

"I wanted the same luxury but wanted to have more quality control over the production process, which is nearly impossible to do when production takes place overseas. When I set out to work with a manufacturer, I knew I wanted them to be local."

On manufacturing her handbags in New York:

"I live in NYC, which has the greatest (although dwindling) garment district in the world so it was only natural to take advantage of that. After months of research I was thrilled to find a small-batch manufacture within the same borough as me. I’m so proud to be producing my line locally."

Best/worst parts of being a designer?

"My favorite and least favorite thing is having limitless options as to what I can create. Sometimes it’s difficult to edit down my imagination and think in terms of a business owner and predict what your customers want to see from you."

And just for fun:

What’s one book everyone should read? One movie everyone should see?

"Stop what you’re doing and read "Wool" by Hugh Howey. I’m not necessarily a sci-fi fan but this is a definite page turner. Also, it just makes me so happy to have the main character be an intelligent, strong female. 

Rent "Exit through the Gift Shop". I’ve known about the street artist Banksy but when he did his NYC residency last year, I was obsessed with finding out more about him and his work. I love the fact that only a few people in the world know who he actually is." 


If you weren't living in NY, where would you be?

"I love the city but if I couldn’t live here I would be in the country somewhere. My husband and I often travel to upstate New York for weekend getaways and I really enjoy being surrounded by nature and having that escape from hectic city life. 

Maybe I would get some chickens and sheep and see what would come of that…"


Shop Shana Luther here

Learn more about Shana's process here

Follow Shana here and here

See more of Shana's new puppy, Jackie, here

Thanks to Shana for her time, and thank you for going Behind The Scenes!

50 States of Style

50 States of Style is a blog I discovered earlier this year and have been following ever since.

Nina Myers McCammon is the mastermind behind 50 States of Style, and it's a blog I truly appreciate for its simple, thoughtful posts and focus on all things American-made.

From interviews with American makers and creatives like Erin Austen Abbott of Amelia and Tradlands (some of my personal favorites) to lovely posts like this West Falls series with Kelly Shea and Brendan Banks, 50 States of Style has become a regular in my blog feed and one I always look forward to reading. 

Photos courtesy of West Falls Studio via 50 States of Style

Photos courtesy of West Falls Studio via 50 States of Style

After I wrote about mindful shopping last week, Nina was kind enough to share her experiences with paring down her wardrobe and putting the focus on quality rather than quantity. She's zeroing in on pieces that are comfortable yet polished, and is putting the emphasis on the items that she truly values, no matter the cost.

You can read the post here, and I'd love to hear about experiences with minimalist fashion – however you define it – either in a comment below or in your own post.

And while you're at it, be sure to follow 50 States of Style on Twitter and Instagram! Quality, American-made content guaranteed.