This week we discovered lots of great new companies. I’ll look forward to including them in individual postings but for this recap we’ve chosen
Boathouse Sports, WIFFLE Ball and Upstate Stock. It’s a great mix of companies that are both new and decades old. I hope you find something perfect for your or your team.
Boathouse Sports is a company which produces custom made athletic uniforms and apparel. It was founded in 1985 by two-time Olympic rower John Strotbeck and is another great American story of an individual who saw the need for a certain type of product and filled the niche himself. Take a few minutes to watch his video as he talks about the companies roots, the development of the uni-suit and a bit about what is coming up in the future.
If you watched the video you learned that the company started completely as a one man show. Drawing on John’s rowing history the company focused exclusively on the sport of rowing and provided clothing for both team members and rowing enthusiasts. Since then there has been a massive product line expansion and they now carry products for 17 sports. Their product line includes uniforms, training gear and apparel for sporting enthusiasts.
They may have started with apparel for rowing but they now carry Uniforms and Training Gear for sports including soccer, football, basketball and for the cheer teams that support them. And you can even save money by using their reversible products for both home and away events.
Their website has great pages to help you or your team select the right gear. They have a Fit Guide, Pricing Info, Custom Artwork, Stock Logos and Outerwear Fabrics. Whether you are a coach or athletic director responsible for outfitting your team or a employer with a company team, Boathouse Sports can outfit your team and supporters with the right gear for your needs.
Take a tour of the Boathouse Sports factory in this video and see how their products are Custom Made in the USA.
Raise your hand if you played with WIFFLE Balls as a kid. My Oh My! That’s a lot of hands going up across America.
Did you know that WIFFLE balls are now being manufactured by the third generation as a family business in Connecticut? After seeing his son develop a sore arm trying to throw curves and sliders with a perforated plastic golf ball, David Mullany decided to try and come up with a ball that could help.
He got some ball-shaped plastic parts from a nearby factory and started experimenting with different cut out designs. Working with his son, they determined that the ball design with eight oblong perforations worked the best. It was easy to make curve, hard to hit and caused lots of strikeouts, or wiffs in the neighborhood parlance. And of course it was those wiffs that led to the name Wiffle Ball.
I don’t remember playing Wiffle Ball according to a special set of rules as a kid but there actually are a special set of rules. You can find them HERE on the Wiffle Ball website.
Check out this classic video brought to you by Dick’s Sporting Goods – An Inside Look at the History of Wiffle Ball
And finally, when you have relived your past and are ready to get a new supply of these Made in America originals, you can head to Amazon.com or use the Wiffle Stuff tab on the website. It takes you to The Connecticut Store for Wiffle Ball products and other items that are Made in Connecticut.
I learned about Upstate Stock through a short article on NY.Racked.com. In fact the article was so short that I’m going to include it right here. Of course all credit for this article goes to the author, Claudia Saide and NY.Racked.com
Plenty of menswear-dominated shops are popping up around New York that offer “Made in the USA” apparel (The Hill-Side and Northern Grade are two recent examples), but Upstate Stock offers it at a price that’s a little more affordable. The brand’s first flagship recently opened in Williamsburg with a full selection of men’s apothecary items, candles, accessories like wool beanies and fingerless gloves, and — most importantly — a fully functioning coffee bar.
“I’ve always been a coffee guy. We carry the Cut Coffee, which is from Toronto,” founder Bram Robinson told Racked during a recent visit. “It was an opportunity to sell something that no one else sells.”
The space was completely abandoned before Upstate Stock moved in, and Robinson stuck with that raw vibe by keeping the original flooring and adding barn wood furniture. It all plays into the brand’s Brooklyn roots — even one of its three factories is located within the borough. “We could have gone to the Lower East Side, but we have nothing to do with it. We don’t live there, and we don’t make anything there.”
Besides for Upstate Stock’s line of beanies, gloves, flannel shirts, and collaboration, there are lots of other cool American-made brands to check out, like Bram’s brother’s clothing label Klaxon Howl and the hypoallergenic skincare line SallyeAnder (its great baby products are also available here). You can also shop apparel from Freenote Cloth and American Trench, plus plenty of giftable items — we had our eye on this awesome gentlemen’s glassware set by Manready.
You can find Upstate Stock at retailers like Steven Alan and Nordstrom, and the Brooklyn shop is its one and only store for now — but considering Bram’s enthusiasm for his first flagship, it definitely wouldn’t surprise us if a second Upstate Stock opened sometime in the very near future.
One great thing about new ventures like Upstate Stock is that not only do they carry their own fabulous products but looking through their Shop link, I learned about all sorts of other great companies making products in the USA like American Trench and
And of course, taking it one step farther, I noticed some other companies selling the Upstate Stock items that are worth checking out. I’ve run into The Lodge before and love their selection of items. They are carrying almost 20 items by Upstate Stock. The good folks at Danner and Zady. And for full disclosure, Zady sells plenty of items on it’s site that are not Made in the USA. However, they really, really, really care about the environment and how clothing is made so I’m happy to give them a shout out.
So there you go. A short and sweet posting on Upstate Stock but I’m glad that NY.Racked wrote about them and that I discovered them this week.
If you enjoy learning about companies that are making products in America, please check out some of the previous weeks postings.
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