1 Writer, 6 States, 13 American-Made Gems: An Epic Shopping Adventure

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.
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Aleysa Bags — Charleston, SC

"A stylish handbag that doubles as your laptop case (and comes in the best colors, too!) is a rare find."

Alesya Bags Equestrian Tan, $265, available at Alesya Bags.
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Angel Court — Meridian, MS

"Angela Burgess and Courtney Taylor, co-founders or Angel Court Jewels, may be be headquartered in the deep South, but their multi-layered designs and materials mixing, like brass and vintage Swarovski crystals, have quickly gained national admirers."

Angel Court Starbuck, $175, available at Angel Court.
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Superstar Lipline — Los Angeles, CA

"I’m a sucker for great package design, and this metallic, red, retro font takes me back to knee-high socks and roller skates. The balm is amazing too; it's super glossy with the perfect rosy tint."

Superstar Lipline Debut, $14, available at Superstar Lipline.
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Toast Made — Portland, OR

"The technology of peel-and-stick has come a long way. What’s not to love about these gorgeous, real-wood iPhone and iPad veneers."

Toast Made Bird On A Branch Design, $30, available at The Toast Shop.
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Derby Millinery — Bellingham, WA

"Designer Jenny Rose hand-blocks her derby-style hats on antique forms, and pays special attention to the details, like adding subtle curves and putting on ribbon trim."

Derby Millinery Classic Wool Derby With Vintage Trim, $160, available at Etsy.
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ImStrang — Seattle, WA


"The knitwear of designer Kim Strange drapes beautifully for that insouciant, French-girl style."

Photo: Courtesy of Imstrang
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The Urban Smith — San Francisco, CA

"The Urban Smith uses empty bullet casings (courtesy of San Fran Police Academy) and plates them in 24K gold before converting them in to the label’s popular rings!"

The Urban Smith .40 Amethyst Special Ring, $48, available at The Urban Smith.
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Maak Soap Lab — Portland, OR

"Made in small batches, hand wrapped, and shipped three weeks from the date of the pour, this Portland, Oregon-based soap company uses pure essential oils, like Willamette Valley Peppermint and Virginia Cedarwood distilled and bottled in the United States."

Maak Soap Labs Doug Bar, $8, available at Maak Soap Lab.
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CarolAnn Wachter — Boulder, CO

"This Boulder-based designer’s background in painting and sculpture is evident in the forms and silhouettes of her coats and silk-print dresses."

CarolAnn Wachter Black Cashmere Topper, available at CarolAnn Wachter.
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Meridian 110 — San Francisco, CA

"Batik is always chic, but the unexpected pop of neon leather of Meridian 110 handbags ($280) just makes me over-the-moon happy!"

Meridian 110 Kaleidoscope Batiki Mini Satchel, $265, available at Meridian 110.
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Soiyl — Venice, CA

"This line of colorful footwear — hand-woven by Los Angeles artisans — reflects the easy-going, feel-good attitude of its Venice-based designer, Dolores Melgoza."

Soiyl Flamingo, available at Soiyl.
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xobruno — Portland, OR

"It’s a backpack, a tote, and a shoulder bag! Hardworking and stylish, xobruno’s leather and canvas bags are water resistant and finished with heavy-duty hardware."

xobruno Alvar Bag, $245, available at xobruno.
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Pocket Square Clothing — Los Angeles, CA

"We’d still borrow from the boys of Pocket Square Clothing to spice up a jacket or tie on a handbag."

Pocket Square Clothing The American Gangster, $20, available at Pocket Square Clothing.
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