Gift Shopping with Sheena Sood

sheenasoodgifts2Searching for the perfect American made present? Founder of abacaxi, Sheena Sood, shares what's on her wishlist this holiday season along with her picks for American made gifts. On my wishlist… Hard to go wrong with anything from Clover Canyon, especially this printed sweatshirt or accordion printed crop top. I’m also totally obsessed with this made in NYC asymmetric skirt and knit in NYC wool sweater by Kordal. I’ll wear them together! Loving Kordal’s loungy knit shorts and rayon/silk crop top for winter days at home. For my girlfriends… abacaxi mandala rings are great for the holidays! For my more adventurous friends, ornate jeweled bracelets with attached rings. Pretty sure my friends will get a kick out of these awesome bikinis. Lovely hand-dyed pillowcases by Upstate are another option, or these gorgeous tumblers.

For my sister… She’ll have fun in this abacaxi shift dress (on sale), and might need a little arm bling to go along with it. Unique handmade ceramic planters and cups and napkins from Brooklyn-based Mondays Projects for the home.

For my mom… She’ll get a lot of wear out of this abacaxi silk blouse (on sale), Kordal’s lovely Aimee sweater and Upstate’s hand-dyed silk blouse.


Gift Guide for The Graduate

Remember that distinct feeling you had the day you graduated high school? Like your whole life had been waiting for this very moment to begin. Naïvely honestly believing that anything was possible and your future was literally beckoning you forward. I came across  Wildfox's Dazed and Confused Lookbook from 2009 (made in LA) and I was instantly transported back to those final days of high school, knowing that there were only three months left until everything changed. It made me think about how my 18 year-old-self envisioned my future self. Do you remember how you thought your life would be post-graduation? Take a moment to scan Wildfox's spot-on interpretation of the 70's-based cult classic, it's amazingly nostalgic. And if you know any high school students bidding their youth goodbye in the upcoming days, check out my American-made gift guide for grads.
1. Homage Womens Buckeye State $28, Made in Columbus, Ohio. 2. La Mer Collections Pyramid Stud Wrap Watch $106, Made in USA. 3. Maya Brenner State Charm Necklace $399, Made in Los Angeles. 4. Duluth Canvas Flatpack $169, Made in USA. 5. Susy Jack Ikat Lined Notebook 12, Made in New York. 6. Jagger Edge Spring Fling iPhone 4 Cover $99, Made in Los Angeles. 7. Chalkboard Globe $112, Made in USA. 8. Susy Jack Pencil Cup - Kilim $9.50, Made in New York. 9. SFK Psychedelic Camera Strap, Made in USA. 10. Joie De Vivre Banner $10, Made in USA. 11. Bowery Lane Bicycles Breukelen $695 Made in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. 12. Reach for the Moon Charm Necklace $55, Made in USA. 13. Susy Jack Magnetic Clip Sets $6.50, Made in New York. 14. Uncommon Goods $20 Graduation Good Voodoo Doll, Made in USA.

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Our mothers are arguably the most important people in our lives, considering without them there would be no life in which to have important people. This Mother's Day (May 13), show your mother how much of an impact she has had on shaping your existence by gifting her something made in the United States. Afterall, your mother only wants what's best for you, and what's best for you is supporting the American economy for the sake of your own kids, or if that wagon's still waiting to be hitched, your future kids.
1. Splendid Slouchy Bands Sweater $88, Made in Los Angeles, California. 2. Madder Root Mantinicus Dishtowel Lobster $24, Handmade in USA. 3. Yellow Owl Workshop Kitchen Shimmer Recipe Cards $16, Made in San Francisco, California. 4. Rifle Paper Co. Switchboard Notepad $12, Made in USA. 5. Minimalist Utensil Jar $58, Made in USA. 6. Maximal Art The Collector's Charm Scotty $9.95, Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 7. Shabby chic, feed sack, Vintage Basset Hound Puppy Graphic with Gingham Welting 14" x 14" pillow sham $29, Made in Riverside Connecticut. Check out the KreativbyErika shop for a wide range of dog breed pillow shams - and cats as well! 8. Anna Rabinowicz Agate Coasters - Set of Four $64, Made in USA. 9. Bootights $3o, Made in North Carolina. Enter code "Mom" for 40% off until May 31. Buy two and shipping is free!! 10. Lollia Shower Gel $22, Made in USA. 11. Clare Vivier Neon Stripe Card Case $66, Made in Los Angeles, California. 12. Duchess Marden Exfoliant $44, Made in USA. 13. Maximal Art The Collector's Charm Vintage Pencil $9.95, Made in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs and Dog Lovers

For most dog owners, their pets are an integral part of their family dynamic. Thus when the holidays roll around each year, pet owners tend to purchase presents for their four legged friends. In my search to buy all of my loved ones American made goods this Christmas, I couldn’t resist including my jack russell Olive (seen here) in the mix. Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the day I brought her home from the Franklin County Dog Shelter, which gives me that much more incentive to spoil her this Christmas. The following American made presents are for dogs and dog lovers alike. Make your purchases count this holiday season by investing the money you spend on your canines in creating American jobs and aiding the American economy.

1. KreativByErika Vintage West Highland Terrier graphic with gingham welting 14" x 14" pillow sham $25, Made in Riverside, Connecticut. 2. Bow Wow Couture Dog Collar and Flower Set Christmas Damask $31.95, Made in Gainesville, Florida. 3. Bow Wow Couture Bow Tie Set Fresh Dots in Tangerine $34.95, Made in Gainesville, Florida. 4. Bow Wow Couture Bow Tie Set Santa's Little Helper Collar $34.95, Made in Gainesville, Florida. 5. Bow Wow Couture Dog Collar and Flower Set Mod Dog in Nautical Navy $31.95, Made in Gainesville, Florida. 6. KONG Braidz Monkey Dog Toy $10.49, Made in the USA. 7. Zuke's Jerky Naturals Dog Treats$7.99, Made in the USA with USA sourced meats, grains, fruits and vegetables. 8. VeraMeat Hi I'm French Ring $170, Made in NYC. 9. VeraMeat Poodle Art $48, Made in NYC. 10. Outsidepeg Personalized Boston Terrier Magnet Modern Dog Gift $6.99, Made in Park City, Utah. 11. Outsidepeg Havanese Magnet Modern Dog Gift $5.99, Made in Park City, Utah. 12. Mirka Design DOG TOY - Christmas bone $11. 13. Uncommon Goods Dog Bone Ornaments $22 $14.99, Handmade in Northern California. 14. U.S. Bones* Dizzy Bone Large - 8 in $4.99, Made in USA. 15. U.S. Bones Dino Bone - Beef Feemur - 14 in 10.99, Made in the USA. 16. U.S. Bones Rawhide Retriever Roll - 9 in $3.29, Made in the USA.

* U.S. Bones was launched in 2004 as an effort to raise money for animal shelters and rescue groups. With every purchase you make, 25% is donated to the animal shelter/rescue group of your choice. U.S. Bones currently has over 500 partner groups with 6-12 new groups added each month.

White Elephant Holiday Gift Guide

White elephant exchanges typically involve gag gifts that most people would rather do without, but I prefer to play the game by having all of the participants bring something they would actually want to receive. Instead of buying all of your relatives presents for Christmas this year, why not opt for a white elephant exchange and skip the hassle? White elephant exchanges are much more fun, and you also (kind of) get to choose your gift. My family began this tradition about five years ago and it has become one of my favorite Christmas pastimes.

While looking for a white elephant gift this year I came up with the following American made ideas, all of which I would love to end up with.

1. On the Rocks Set $34, Made in Louisiana. 2. Al Stephens Hand Forged Cheese Slicer $30, Made in Northern Alabama. 3. Lumen Oil Candle Shadow Projectors $6 - $48, Made in Brooklyn, NY. 4. Maptote Napa Valley Wine Tote $13, Made in Brooklyn, NY. 5. Maptote Dropp Kit $28, Made in Brooklyn, NY. 6. NATIVE(X) Medeek Scarf in Red $30, Made in Portland, OR. 7. Yankee Candles $14.99, Made in USA. 8. Cycle Care Kit $15, Made in Atlanta, GA.

How to play...

Everyone brings one wrapped gift, which does not exceed a particular price point. My family opts to purchase gifts in the $25-$30 range. Each person draws a number from a bowl that determines the order in which they get to pick their present. The person who draws number one selects the first gift and unwraps it, then player two either has the option to take the first player's gift or choose to unwrap a new one. Each subsequent player has the same option to either open a new gift or steal someone else's unwrapped present. A gift can be taken up to three times before it can no longer be stolen by another player. If your gift is stolen you then have the option to take someone else's gift or pick a new one to unwrap from the pile. The best part of a white elephant exchange is battling over the most coveted items, and not knowing what you are going to end up with!

Holiday Gift Guide for your Father

Dads always seem to be the easiest to shop for during the holiday season since they usually have a few practical gift ideas idling on the back burner, with no real preference in terms of brand or color. While their gifts may be easy to find, they also veer toward being somewhat boring. In an effort to find American made gifts with a little more panache for my dad this year, I may have stumbled across a veritable gift-giving gold mine for dads: Uncommon Goods.

Headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, Uncommon Goods is an online marketplace that offers creatively designed, high-quality merchandise at affordable prices. The site houses an array of retailers' goods, which can easily keep you occupied for the duration of the afternoon. The following pieces are among my top American made picks for dads this holiday season. There is nothing more exciting than finding the perfect gift for your father, one that is equal parts out of the box and extraordinary.

1. Dog Blueprints $185, Made in California. 2. Reclaimed Slate Cheese Board $48, Handmade in Wisconsin from recycled materials. 3.  Cardboard Animal Heads $28-$58, Made of 100% recycled cardboard in Virginia. 4. Whiskey Stones and Gift Set $19.50-$58, Natural Soapstone "ice cubes" milled in Perkinsville, Vermont, by the oldest soapstone workshop in the United States. Glasses made in Slovenia & the Czech Republic. 5. Pizza Cutter $36, Handmade for lifelong use by Al Stephens in Alabama. 6. Wine Cask Artisan Board $130, Handmade in Texas. 7. Fishlights $295-$495, Handmade by Glassfire Studio artisans in Salt Lake City. 8. Real Sugar Maple Leaf Nightlight $38, Handmade in California. 9. Soda Bottle Bird Feeder Kit $10, Made in the USA. 10. Tube-Wringer $21.95, Made in the USA. 11. Wallet Pen $8-$70, Handmade in Vermont.

Holiday Gift Guide for your Mother

My favorite person to buy gifts for is my mom. Being such a selfless person, she always puts others needs before her own, and as such it is nice to take the time to show her my extreme gratitude. I also tend to put the most pressure on myself when it comes to buying her gifts. The following items are some American made gift options I have assembled for the holidays, but I think I may have settled on the Canyon De Chelly Scarf from The Portland Collection.


1. Anthropologie Minimalist Birdhouse $100, Made in USA. 2. Maya Brenner Letter Necklace $198, Los Angeles. 3. Jenis Ice Cream $12, Columbus, Ohio (can be shipped!) 4. Anthropologie Aginares Paper Napkins $14, USA. 5. Pendleton The Portland Collection Canyon De Chelly Scarf $98, Made in Oregon. 6. Clare Vivier Work Tote $242, Los Angeles. 7. Anthropologie The Collector's Charm, Ceramic Bobble $15, Made in USA. 8. Lodis Astor Patent Mini Card Case $44, Made in USA. 9. Rifle Paper Co. Christmas Tree Gift Tags $10, Made in USA. 10. Blithe and Bonny assorted goods $8-$28, Made in USA. 11. Serena & Lily Wide Stingray Cuff Bracelet, Made in Texas of imported material.

Holiday Gift Guide for your Boyfriend

Buying gifts for guys tends to be among one of the hardest gift-giving endeavors. There are four standard gifts every girlfriend gives her boyfriend before she inevitably runs out of ideas: wallet, watch, tie and some sort of electronic. This holiday season in an effort to buy my boyfriend (and everyone else on my gift-giving list for that matter) American-made goods, I assembled a lineup of items that are sure to please the man in your life. Be forewarned that two of the four aforementioned gifts made the cut.

1. Tom Bihn Aeronaut (seen  here) $240, Made in Seattle, Washington. 2. Wassokeag (seen here) Mens Deerskin Lined Bullhide Soft Sole Moccasin Made in Dexter, Maine. 3. David Hart & Co. Ties $130, Made in NYC. 4. J.Crew Leather Laces $6, Made in USA. 5. Kenton Sorenson Modern Man front pocket wallet $90, Made in USA. 6. Alex Maine Knit Hoodie 4 Button – Pepper Heather $108, Made in Los Angeles. 7. Urban Outfitters Monsieur Mustache Pint $8 or 2 for $10, Made in USA. 8. Homage Buckeye Nuthouse Crewneck$48, Made in USA. 9. Topo Klettersack Backpack $139, Made in USA.

Holiday Gift Guide for your Girlfriends

This holiday season marks the first (of many to come) in which I will be purchasing all of my gifts from companies that manufacture their products in the U.S. With such a wide array of amazing American made goods on the market, the task has been extremely entertaining  and rewarding. Given the fact that the average American spends approximately $704 on holiday gifts, totaling more than $465 billion annually, the holidays are an important time to support the types of companies and products you want to endorse. According to ABC News, if each American spent their $704 entirely on American made products we would create 4.6 million jobs in the U.S.  While getting every American to purchase solely American made products may seem like an impossible feat, it seems completely plausible for every American to simply invest $64 on American made goods this holiday shopping season, which would create an impressive 200,000 American jobs.

To get you started I will be posting a series of gift guides with amazing American made items targeted toward specific loved ones. The following gift guide for friends was the easiest to assemble considering that when I shop for my friends I tend to imagine that I am shopping for myself.

1.Clare Vivier La Pouchete $145, Made in LA   2.Frieda & Nellie English Disco Garden $178, Made in NYC 3.DANNIJO Lindsay Friendship Bracelet $80, Made in NYC   4.VeraMeat Skeleton's R US bracelet $54, Made in NYC Girlie Chiffon Bow $25, Made in LA Heart Shoe Clips $25, Made in LA  7. Crystal Bowtie Shoeclips $55   8.Anthropologie Honeyed Hive Posts$32, Made in USA   9.Graphic Image Personalized Case for iPads $110, Made in USA   10.Anthropologie Bundled Up Critter Candles $19.95, Made in USA   11.Anthropologie The Collectors Charm Numbers $15, Made in USA