Saturday, February 4, 2012

How to Find and Create with American Made Supplies

Since I posted my last blog about my personal story with a local "good guy" exporting our USA hand-made ingenuity to China, I've been asked about sourcing beading and jewelry supplies from with-in our own borders, and how you can brand your business as a Made-in-USA brand.

While it's challenging (to say the least) to find a supply house not currently importing beads and findings from countries with a scary product safety history, there were a few gems. The lack of labor laws in other countries (pushing employees into suicide protests) has been driving tons of cheap goods into every aspect of our craft for decades. It's difficult to know if you CAN actually source some of these goods in the US. But a few places seem to understand the importance of giving us an import opt-out feature and are doing a better job of posting country of origin in their product listings. So we can sleep better at night.

S045 - 5mm Grommet, 4.6mm HoleHalstead Beads makes it easy with a "Made-In-USA" category and has coded products for search-ability. I love the chain selection and the sterling findings... and the sterling stamp blanks... and the sterling eyelets (Great for my leather customers)... ooops... I'm getting distracted.

Next Up we have Lindstom Tools. This company dates back to the late 1800's, and still has office, workshop and manufacturing facilities in California. Yup. You read that right, Someone still manufactures tools in the good old USA- and the second you try these pliers... well when they say quality, they mean it. 

Another FAVORITE, with an entire product line made in the U.S.A., is Metal Clay Crafted Findings. Crafted Findings has had their fair share of idea's shipped over seas, and most of us probably recognize the knock-offs, but the second you test the quality of a tool... you know it isn't a Crafted Findings tool. Plus, they have awesome selection of new LONG rivets, another win for people using leather. 

If you love Etsy- good news- it's still a TOP source for finding USA handmade suppliers, and many Etsy sellers have wholesale terms. If you're a resin worker, prepare to giggle your butt off while checking out Buy My Crap for a new line of resin jewelry molds. These molds are "Made Entirely by hand by Mr. Crap from gorgeous silicone rubber." No release agents needed. Another new favorite is Fallen Angel Brass, a small craft house, like mine, hand forging brass filigree components. To make shopping on Etsy easy for you- here is a current search for Made in USA  in the supplies category. If you run an Etsy shop and sell supplies that qualify, be sure to include it in your tags. 

Scale Flower Kit - Small Anodized AluminumI made one exception in my search for home-turf supply houses. Since I'm in Washington state, The Ring Lord is a short 15 hour drive from me, in Saskatoon Canada- where the dirt smells exactly the same. Jon Daniels (plus 10 employees) manufactures a great selection of jump rings, lobster claps, tags, cuff link findings and then some. Plus all sorts of pretty metal petals and fun scaly things for chainmaille workers. Get your ruler out and prepare to squeal at his selection. I think bowing at his lordship is encouraged.  

The good news about shopping with manufacturing companies using fair practices: 

Ok so I know it's hard to justify paying a little bit more, and maybe even waiting a little bit longer, for these quality goods. But purchasing from these suppliers may allow you the privilege of adding "Fair Trade" to your product line, which is a win-win in your marketing and affords you a lot of chances to be more visible.

If you don't already know, being Fair Trade Certified is a great thing for any product, but difficult to achieve in jewelry crafts because- well because we've gotten a bit used to a ton of cheap imports.  If you put a little more time into sourcing your goods however, Fair trade can add to your branding, and as a bonus, it's also a way to source imports that actually make a difference in the quality of life for other countries. So you CAN buy and import- AND still sleep at night. :)

But wait- there's more. If you use these suppliers- you can see if you qualify for the certified use of the Hand Made in America logo, garnering use of that cool little hand in this blog, and fantastic exposure in their growing community. I've just gotten mine and will be adding it to our site shortly.

Don't forget to visit our Etsy supply store  for Quality Leather Beading supplies- All 100% U.S.A made (except for our hitch posts- and believe me, we're working on it). If you're buying local- find my TaFurious jewelry work at Glamarita on Garland- ask Ronnie about custom work.

I'll be adding to this list of home-bread suppliers regularly, so book mark us and come back to visit. Let's let our dollars do our talking.

Edited- More Sources:

Vintaj reached out and would like to let us know that EVERYTHING in their product line is 100% made in America- and the brass selection is amazing. Thanks Vintaj!

I've been having a fun little twitter exchange with Ornamentea, who's shown a ton of support and is (deservedly) proud to stand behind their USA suppliers. From bead caps to brass stampings, their selection of USA-made supplies is truly impressive... I'm placing my order now.

 we don't have it sectioned out but the VAST MAJORITY of our chain, findings, stampings and charms are USA made/EU made.

 has collected an AWESOME list of non-beady American-made stuff- lot's of great stuff is hand made right here in the USA... shop the USA love list today. 

Follow us on twitter! 

More excellent sources from Etsy peeps: 
DalkullanJewelry from DalkullanJewelry says: Hoover & Strong uses recycled metal and is all U.S. made. Shop here:


  1. Oh good. I was wondering where I was gonna get pieces. A lot of my beads come from etsy peoples. I honestly don't know for sure that they get it in america, but it is whole sale... >.> My biggest issue, is finding spools of chain. When I can, I need to buy about 6-9 spools.

  2. Kristy, every supplier should be able to tell you the country of origin of its chain, so don't be shy about asking. There are still several chain manufacturers in the USA using all types of jewelry metals. If you can plan a month or so in advance, most supply shops can get you any amount that you need. I searched "chain usa" on Etsy Supplies and got 480 results. There is a lot of choice!

    Thank you for mentioning us us in your blog post. We are honored to be included in this group.

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