The United States is a complicated country. The American electorate elected a president who promised to “Make America Great Again” by putting American priorities and American industry first. But the reality is, American consumer spending habits are not aligned with what they say they care about, or how they vote. Wal-Mart, a company U.S. consumers have made one of the most successful in American history, has shelves stocked with goods manufactured in China – 80% of their inventory, in fact. So why do we want to hear about making American when we don’t buy American? The contradictions of the American electorate may take awhile to resolve, you can begin to put your money where your mouth is – Northern Grade provides an outlet to plug into your patriotism with your hard earned U.S. currency.
Founded in 2010, Northern Grade highlights and supports the American artisan. According to its website, the company says in all caps, “WE STRIVE TO PRESENT TO YOU, THE CONSCIOUS CONSUMER, THE AMERICAN CREATIVE WHO IS PRODUCING AND DESIGNING PRODUCTS IN THE UNITED STATES AND OF THE VERY BEST QUALITY.” They have stores in 35 cities such as Minneapolis, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Austin and Moscow and have opened a shop at the Seaport in Manhattan.
But do Northern Grade and the artisan goods it retails meet consumer demand and consciousness? Glancing at the current offers on their website, items such as a roasting pan by Blank Creative, hand-forged in Charlottesville, Virginia stands out because its practicality. It’s an item that consumers can use everyday, which justifies the $310 price tag. Lower on the price scale is 4 oz bar of Charcoal Soap by Bell Mountain for $9. Again, another product that households will use daily, but without the preservatives, artificial dyes or fragrances present in most soaps on the American market. It may take awhile for the alignment of consciousness, patriotism and consumerism to manifest with the average Americans, but for those of us ready to make real change today, Northern Grade provides a satisfying place to shop.
You can find out more about Northern Grade at https://www.northerngrade.com.