Goorin Brothers – Hatmakers since 1895

Goorin Brothers hats

If you yearn for a departure from what I call, bland and boring mall shopping, then step into a Goorin Brothers hat shop.  Started in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1895 by Cassel Goorin, (the castle logo was inspired from his first name) where he first sold his finely crafted hats off a horse cart.  Fast forward to today and the company is still run by a Goorin – Cassel’s great grandson.  And of course my favorite part of the story is that the lions share of their hats are made in USA!

I recently visited two Goorin hat shops, the Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts locals.  From the inviting exterior windows to the minute you step inside – old world charm is everywhere from the hat lined walls and niches; to the antique artifacts; to the friendly and helpful shop keepers; all the way down to their tissue paper and business cards.   Lots of mirrors for trying on hats and lots of help from the staff make it a really enjoyable shopping experience.  Here are some of my highlights:

A display of various wool, felted hats all part of their Heritage Collection made in Pittsburgh, PA since 1895.

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Assistant shopkeeper, Matt wearing an all felted hat made in Pittsburgh, PA

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The 1333 Minna Collection consists of various San Francisco Bay artists who design unique hats for Goorin Brothers.  I love the design on the interior of the hat too.

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The Ruben Spitz Collection made in New Jersey.

Ruby Spitz runs the last “cut and sew” hat factory in America out of New Jersey.

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Love the antique hat stretcher and don’t forget to purchase a unique feather for your hat selection.

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Ladies wide brim felt hats.

My Mother had fun trying on a straw cloche hat and a wide brim felt hat.

Mom purchased a sporty Grenadier hat made in the USA!

And finally,  don’t forget a hat box or two for storage of all those toppers!

To shop online, find a shop near you, or learn more about Goorin Brothers go to www.goorin.com

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American Apparel – Made in Downtown Los Angeles

American Apparel proudly greets you with its made in USA info!

American Apparel, founded by Dov Charney, is a fascinating company – (read lots more about Dov,  his personal journey, and how he started American Apparel).   In addition to  manufacturing  wonderfully trendy, fun, and well made clothing  right in Los Angeles,  American Apparel currently employs over 4,500 employees in their downtown LA factory alone!  In addition to supplying all its American Apparel stores throughout the USA they export their Made in USA clothes to stores in China, Europe, Australia and South America!  The product line is geared towards a young demographic but there really is something for everyone including women, men, teens, kids and babies.    For myself I found several stylish blouses to wear under my vintage jackets;  cute t shirts to help motivate me to get to the gym and some really pretty lipgloss and nail polish.  Oh, and they carry a line of vintage pieces – California Select – at their online store.

I love these skinny jeans in many delicious colors.

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Lots of lace and sheer skirts and dresses for layering.

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The opaque pantyhose come in a rainbow of colors.

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Lipgloss -They have a full line of nail polish too and all made in the USA.

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A sea of T’s for the guys.

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Great selections for babies and kids too!

A handful of products carried at American Apparel are not produced in the USA so if you are being really diligent just check for the Made In USA tags on the garments.  Check their store locator for a shop near you or you can always shop their online store.

Sumptuous Throws Made on Nantucket Island

For as long as I can remember I have loved Nantucket Island (off the coast of Cape Cod, Massachusetts).  It is here you will find Nantucket Looms which has a rich history and a wonderful product line.  They are best know for their line of luxurious Cotton, Mohair and Cashmere throws, all produced in their weaving studios right above their Main Street retail store.  They also offer a variety of unique and stylish home furnishings and gift items.

Nantucket Looms weaving studios

The welcoming women at Nantucket Looms gave me an informative tour of their weaving studios and how the process works.   Nantucket Looms is a production hand weaving  process.  Once the loom is set up, (a detailed task), they are able to produce 7-8 throws.

Here is Becky at one of the looms working on a Mohair throw.

Craftsmanship at its best!

In addition to their regular variety of  beautiful throws I was really excited to learn of a special edition they weave each year for the Nantucket Conservation Foundation Inc.  For this endeavor everything is exclusive to Nantucket even the sheep!!   Here is  how it works.

  • Lovely sheep graze on conservation property on Nantucket.  Their grazing conserves the unique grassland on Nantucket.
  • In October the sheep are sheared during Nantucket’s Cranberry Festival.
  • This wool is sent to the Twist of Fate Spinnery in Portland, CT where they spin it into various weights of yarn.
  • The skeins of yarn come back to Nantucket Looms and they are woven into 4’x7′  organic, wool blankets.

A skein of wool from Nantucket sheep sits atop two of the woven blankets.

Here are some more images from the weaving studio.

Weaving studio at Nantucket Looms

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Everything is beautiful at Nantucket Looms!

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OK, lets go downstairs to the retail shop.  My personal favorite item is the 100 % cotton, machine washable, 4’x7′ woven, throw.  I love the weave pattern, color options, and the generous hand tied fringe and did I say…its machine washable! After you treat yourself to one of these don’t forget to keep it in mind as a wonderful wedding gift option.  At $310. I think it is well worth the investment since you will have it for a very long time.

This really is the perfect summer or fall throw for those cool evenings.

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A Mohair throw.

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The most luxurious Cashmere throws.

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Oh and I cant forget the smaller items they offer like the lovely Wildflower and Glycerine soaps that are made in Rhode Island for Nantucket Looms.

A box of these soaps makes a great and very affordable hostess gift. A three pack of Wildflower soaps for $6.00

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Nantucket Looms at 51 Main Street. The weaving studio is on the second floor.

That’s me eying the delicious throw in the window.

Bye-bye Nantucket…I miss you already.  If you want to learn more about Nantucket Looms, purchase a throw or shop for other items check out their website:  www.nantucketlooms.com