Labor of Love: Celebrating the American Worker

Labor of love

by guest blogger Toni Becker, member of the Rodale’s editorial team

Labor Day is right around the corner. It’s the one day of the year when all working Americans can kick up their feet and celebrate, well, themselves.

While it’s thought of as the unofficial end to summer, Labor Day is really a day for the American worker, a time to honor all of working people’s social and economic achievements. The celebrations may have changed since the first official Labor Day was observed in 1894, but the hardworking spirit of this country has not. So this September 5, let’s celebrate American workers across the country.

At Rodale’s, we feature amazing businesses that embody the best of America and that go even further, producing American goods that are friendly to the earth and to its people. Let’s take a virtual cross-country trek and check some of them out:

Starting in the North

Traveling to the far Northeast, you’ll find the coastal town of Rockland, Maine. This “lobster capital of the world” is home to Nuthatch, an apparel company that hand-makes clothing (here in the USA) using natural fibers, including linen.

Moving inland to Craftsbury, Vermont, you’ll come to the workshop of Hanna Broer, who crafts a line of organic lingerie. Her pieces blend beauty, comfort, and quality and are all made from organic materials.

Traveling South to New York

In the small town of Gardiner, New York, Jana Blankenship handcrafts beauty, hair, and personal care items through her company Captain Blankenship. The products are made with love using only organic, wildcrafted, or natural ingredients.

In New York City, Maggy Ames meticulously crafts useful items for the home, such as stoneware cookware and bird feeders.

Heading Farther South

In Charlottesville, Virginia, Laurel Smith creates jewelry filled with inspiration and happiness as part of her line Laurel Denise. Each of her pieces is crafted by hand in the USA and conveys a message written in her own handwriting and engraved on real leather.

Deeper South and Farther West

Renewable, economical, and simple coffee products are made by hand in Austin, Texas. The filters and cold brew systems made by CoffeeSock are perfect for coffee aficionados.

Moving into the Midwest

Gorgeous, unique, and with a long personal history in Cambridge, Ohio, Mosser Glass continues to proudly make glassware in the USA, as it has done since 1971.

In the heart of Amish country in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Alpine Tea Company focuses on high-quality products made from organically grown fabrics that are handcrafted in a socially responsible manner. Their aprons are fun, functional, and long lasting.

West-Coast Bound

Instead of using the chemicals and synthetics many companies use, Axiology carefully crafts its lipsticks from a harmonious blend of natural and organic ingredients in Bend, Oregon. This USA-based business also partners with organizations that help heal the planet and save our wild animals.

Over in California, CP Shades uses 100 percent natural and sustainable fabrics for products that are meant to be worn over and over again. The company continues to cut, sew, and garment-dye in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Etta+Billie creates feel-good skincare products that are free of additives, artificial colors, and artificial scents. A certified Green Business, its every product is crafted with natural, organic ingredients in San Francisco.

Heading up the West Coast

Based in Portland, Oregon, Schmidt’s makes natural deodorants that are free of aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, phthalates, gluten, chemicals, and synthetics.

Ending in the Pacific Northwest

Don’t let the name fool you. French Girl Organics was founded by American Kristeen Griffin-Grimes, who handcrafts her line of skincare and hair products in Seattle using original recipes. Her beauty formulations use 90 to 100 percent certified-organic ingredients.

Washington State is also home to the Seattle Seed Co., which grows and hand-packs its organic, heirloom, and non-GMO seeds right in Seattle. All of the company’s products are 100 percent from the USA and are plantable, compostable, or recyclable.

Toni Becker HeadshotToni Becker is a part-time content creator at Rodale’s. She is also the personal chef, event planner, chauffeur, and best of all playmate to her young daughter. Her family of three lives in the woods where she finds time to write, cook anything she can from scratch, garden, and build her case of why she needs goats.


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