Monday, August 30, 2010

Buying American Made & Vintage

I've been looking for a new toaster for the past couple of years. I wanted to buy one made in the United States, and believe me, the search was a long and fruitless one. I was willing to compromise on one made in Canada or Europe, but definitely not one made in China.

I was surprised to find that even high end toasters, that try to give the appearance of being made in Europe, are actually made in China. You have to look hard to find the "made in China' label, but it's there. A $300 model at a famous kitchen wares store, and you guessed it, made in China.

Then I had the happy thought of buying vintage. There must be a lot of old toasters out there, from back in the day when we still made toasters in the U.S. And what better place to find vintage items than dear Etsy? A quick search revealed a lot of excellent toasters, reasonably priced, which were indeed made in the United States.

I decided on this beauty from Bliss Vintage:It was made in the 1940's, and as we all know, they don't make 'em like they used to. This toaster is a shiny chrome wonder, and makes excellent toast. And it was made in the U.S., in Elgin Illinois, which is only a few miles away from where I live.

Christine, the owner of Bliss Vintage, was a joy to interact with, so friendly and kept me informed all along the way. My toaster arrived quickly, and beautifully packed for its travels from Canada to the U.S. My toaster had returned to its' roots, back to Illinois, after its' adventures.

I have a wonderful, American made toaster, beautifully styled and classic. And while enjoying a crispy, buttery slice of toast with my morning coffee, I have the satisfaction of knowing I shopped successfully, getting what I wanted instead of just settling, and purchasing from an independent business person.

Don't you just love happy endings?

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