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How it Started

Stop dreaming start doing

This all started when we got our first stimulus checks, believe it or not! I decided that I wanted to keep all of the stimulus money in this country, so I set out to buy only things that were Made in USA! I’d looked for Made in USA stuff before, but never with the “rule” that I’d ONLY buy Made in USA…I had no idea how hard it could be. It turned out to be quite the struggle!

I thought to myself…why isn’t there just a store where everything is Made in USA?? I found a few, and they are great, but they had nothing like what I was looking for. Where are the beautiful clothes, the modern home accents, the self-care spa things? Why doesn’t this exist? So I searched…and searched…and searched…and it actually didn’t exist. I didn’t think that was right, and I didn’t understand it. How is this not a thing??

So, while laid off due to Covid, I started hatching a plan. It started as a dream, but the more I looked into it, the more I knew I needed to do it. After some in depth discussions with my partner (both personal and business), we decided to make it happen! With his financial support and my skills, time, and design expertise (I am a former Interior Designer, specializing in the hospitality industry), I dove in full-force and haven’t stopped since!

The Journey

The Journey

The journey has been way longer than expected, with way more twists and turns than I ever saw coming!

I, like most people, was a bit confused about labels and what they all meant. I knew I had to figure that out first so I began researching, but even then it took some time before I found out there are actually Federal Trade Commission regulations regarding using the term “Made in USA”. (Here are the FTC regulations!) Aha! A real, solid document that explains everything! Now I had a solid starting point.

I thought at first that I was going to be using a “dropship” model. Dropshipping is when someone else warehouses and ships all of your products, and you don’t actually own any inventory yourself. Instead, when customers order from you, you pay your dropshipper and they take care of the rest. Well, that was a horrible idea for Made in USA! I couldn’t actually find a single Made in USA dropshipper in the country. I found some that sold a few Made in USA things, but none were like what I had envisioned.

It also dawned on me that in order to meet the FTC regulations, I would need to speak with the manufacturers to confirm they were truly Made in USA. I wouldn’t have had access to them through the dropshipping model.

Also, where is all of the beautiful stuff?? I couldn’t find it. Where were all of the artisans? I couldn’t find them.

After much searching and scouring, I came to the conclusion that I had to buy my own inventory, just like a normal store. So the hunt for products changed, my methods changed, and WOW I started finding incredible stuff that I was really excited to sell!!

At that point, I thought I’d be storing everything in warehouses all over the country and hiring an outside team to manage shipping and all other logistics. But then I had another lightbulb moment…how could I actually know what I was selling if I didn’t see it in person myself? I couldn’t. If someone wanted to know how stretchy a fabric was, how heavy a wall sign was or anything like that, I wouldn’t have been able to give real answers. To me, that was unacceptable. Customer service is everything!

After all of this, we decided to lease a building in town to use for our own warehouse. And now here we are! We’ve hired local staff, we’re contributing more to our own town, and we have all of our own inventory right here (other than items that have to be personalized or carved to order, of course!)! We’ve joined the local Chamber of Commerce and are ecstatic to be able to be just as hands-on as a brick and mortar store!

Personally Speaking

Sparkle hearts

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of the times I was lucky enough to visit my Grandparents in Tacoma. Our visits were always filled with exciting trips to Point Defiance, beautiful walks on Vashon Island, dinners at The Lobster Shop, and watching my Grandma play her baby grand piano against the backdrop of The Narrows and The Narrows Bridge.

Other favorite memories include visiting my Aunt and cousins in Illinois, where I was treated to a trip by myself when I was 12 to spend a week with my Aunt! We spent a bit of time in Chicago, went to Great America, had fun shopping, and I was lucky enough to have “donut day”…where all we ate, all day, was donuts! That has now become a family tradition, and I’ve done the same for my niece and nephew! It’s now become the highlight of the “12 year trip”!

Before I was here, my parents met at Washington State University (Go Cougs!) while both were attending teaching programs. My Mom had moved to Pullman from her hometown in Tacoma, my Dad had moved to Pullman from his hometown in Canada. When my Dad graduated they moved to Canada together, got married, and my sister and I came after that! I am an American Citizen, and I live in Pennsylvania. I am also a Canadian citizen, and I grew up there! Because I have a parent from each country, I am considered a 100% citizen in both countries. Pretty cool, eh? (haha!)

Without my partner in life and in this business, there's no way that Watt's would exists. He’s incredibly supportive of this vision both emotionally and financially! I’m quite sure I’m the luckiest woman on earth!

He’s owned businesses in Troy, PA for years now. Not only that, but he’s been very involved with supporting the community sports teams, local charities, being a major sponsor at the annual Troy Fair, supporting local 4H and much more! He is also from Canada and has been living and working here with a Visa for many years. I might be bias, but he’s done an incredible job starting two businesses here from scratch and has become a major contributor to the local economy!