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Maybe you stayed home this summer and enjoyed the season from the comforts of your own backyard or rooftop, but writer Amy Flurry took to the road. As a former editor, Flurry's no stranger to sifting through hundreds of pitches each week. Ultimately, she drew on this experience for her first book, Recipe For Press , a guide to getting your own press for designers and entrepreneurs. This summer, she packed her bags and racked up many miles of driving time to present her book at designer incubators and indie gift shows across the country.Along the way, Flurry kept her eyes peeled for the local gems that were truly standout pieces. From Charleston to San Francisco, Birmingham to Seattle, this writer filled us in on the American-made brands and buys we need to know about. Check out her picks...and then warm up the car.