Interview with American Made Insider

Interview with American Made Insider- 2/15/13: “AMI had the distinct pleasure to sit down with Jessica Brandt, an eco-friendly/American made advocate from Wisconsin. Brandt divulges to AMI the reason she feels so strongly about quality American made products and why we should continue to support our neighbors. Throughout the interview you will realize that the tone from which her strong convictions stem are due to her also being a mother. If you have a family of your own, striving to stay local, eco-friendly, and American, this is the interview for you. Brandt is candid in her approach, and solid in her beliefs.

FULL TEXT: American Made Insider: Give us a bit of your background.
Jessica Brandt: I’m 33, live in rural Wisconsin & am the mama of a toddler, with another babe on the way mid-summer of 2013. I want to share things I’m passionate about with others, and hope at least a few parents can benefit from the time I’ve spent researching products for my own babe! I REALLY enjoy discovering new products & companies, especially “mom & pop” operations. I am a mama on a mission to provide good quality, eco-friendly AND child-friendly products for my family! This includes toys, products for our homes, and personal care items. I’m not an expert in this area, my background is in Spanish Education. I put my teaching career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom, but my love for learning, and teaching is still strong. Other topics I’m passionate about include: reusable products, homemade products, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, organic gardening & eating, human rights, just to name a few!

AMI: How did you get started?
JB: The made in China issue just wasn’t sitting right with me, which I’ll get into more below. I started researching companies making toys in the US, and found numerous great companies. I thought “why don’t I start a Facebook page to share what I’m finding with others?”

AMI: Was there a catalyst for you?
JB: Yes- shopping for my son’s 1st birthday! I had seen one particular brand of toys recommended over & over on the mama forums I followed on Facebook (Melissa & Doug). While shopping for my son’s birthday I picked up a toy made by Melissa & Doug, flipped it over and saw the Made in China stamp on the back. It just didn’t sit right with me. I felt there had to be many great toys & products still being made in the USA, and as a result of that experience this page was launched.

AMI: What do you find to be your biggest reason for advocating for American made products?
JB: I’m a huge advocate of shopping as local as possible for a couple of reasons: reducing the carbon footprint of products, supporting my neighbors, and keeping a strong tax & social security base in our country.

AMI: Do you see an increase in interest in US made products?
JB: I launched my page almost one year ago, and it has seen a steady increase in followers. Since I haven’t been on this mission all that long, it’s hard for me to say there’s an increase, but it’s my feeling that there is…

AMI: What has been your biggest struggle in your support of American made products?
JB: Getting others to realize that there is so much more behind the cheaper sticker price on goods made in China, Taiwan, overseas in general. There are environmental & human rights issues that are not reflected in sticker prices. Sure American made goods may cost more, but they can also last you the rest of your life if taken care of properly, and your money is not being sent overseas.

AMI: What is your favorite product?
JB: I honestly couldn’t pick one product, but I’m very encouraged by the numerous toymakers making great toys in the US. There are many, many great offerings

AMI: Is there a product genre that is a passion of yours? If so, why that genre.?
JB: Baby products. As the mama of a 2 year old, with another babe on the way, I have a strong incentive to find the best products on the market. One thing every parent I’ve ever met has in common is our passion for doing what’s in the best interest of our families. I love researching the safest products for our babes that are also safe for the environment!

AMI: How do you see American made products trending in the next couple of years?
JB: I only see the trend increasing. There seem to be more & more people waking up to the realization that we need to focus on supporting our neighbors, and keeping our money as local as possible. Sure there are plenty of people that don’t think twice about where the products they’re putting in their carts are made, but I’m very encouraged by the people on my page, and others, who do care and are working hard to spread the word that America does still make many great products!

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Natalia Walth
    Feb 16, 2013 @ 21:01:31

    Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE your passion! I too was looking for a toy for my daughters first birthday and was utterly disappointed when I saw “Made in China” on Melissa and Doug products. I called them right away and expressed my dissatisfaction. I am a hard working American, my husband and I have bother served in the USAF and it sickens me that we keep sending our dollars overseas. Living an organic lifestyle is SOO expensive for us. But I know that it is worth it. Please keep up the wonderful information you are providing moms all over the US. Thank you!

  2. The Halfwayhippie
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 06:15:48

    I don’t even have kids and I think it is amazing what you are doing! I love reading your facebook page too!

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