Long before Made-in-America products were cool the, Olde Mistick Village shop, Elizabeth & Harriet was selling them.
In the early 1980s, Suzanne Lane, who grew up with an appreciation for locally produced artwork, founded the American handcrafts catalogue Elizabeth & Harriet. In 1986, her business thriving, she opened a store by the same name in the Olde Mistick Village.
“She wanted to support local, handcrafted items,” store manager Lynne Price said.
And even though the store has evolved a lot since then Elizabeth & Harriet continues to try to support American artists.The store carries paperweights and ornaments from Glass Eye Studios, located in Washington state, Henrietta Glass produced in nearby Providence, Meadowbrook Gourds Birdhouses from Pennsylvania and even a line of faux fur—Pandemonium—made in Seattle.
The items the store is most famous for though, Vera Bradley, is not Made-in-America. Lane was one of first to bring Vera Bradley merchandise to Connecticut and the store boasts the largest selection in southeastern Connecticut and Southern Rhode Island. But customers don’t always want it when they find out it isn’t Made-in America.
“It can help or hurt a sale,” Price said of Made-In-America products. “People are looking for it and into supporting Made-In-America products.” Price said that a woman recently came in ready to buy several Vera Bradley items but decided not to after learning the items were not made in the U.S.
Several Stonington-Mystic Patch users said that while they are out shopping for holiday gifts finding Made-in-America products is certainly important.
“I would rather buy made in America products even if it costs more but it is hard to find,” Erin Santos Lautenslager said on the Stonington-Mystic Patch Facebook page.
Others said that they try to buy Made-in-America and local products whenever they can.
“It’s definitely a trend,” Price said.
But is it a trend that is here to stay? Share your thoughts in the comments.