Tag Archives: online shopping

Going barefoot


image courtesy of Daveybot

While I was home for Easter last weekend visiting my family, I completely forgot to pack my tennis shoes. And since my one pair is a little worn, I figured I could use another pair. So I did some preliminary research online to see if there were any companies that manufacture tennis shoes in the USA. The only one that I found was New Balance. Not my first choice, but hey considering what I’d read from others who have attempted the buy American concept I felt lucky to find even one company that still does business here.

So we went off in search of some New Balance shoes that I actually liked. Much to my surprise virtually every pair we encountered in the dozen or so stores we went to were all “Made in China”. By the end of yet another incredibly frustrating shopping excursion, I had only managed to find three pairs of New Balance sneakers that were actually Made in the USA. And they were all too athletic looking for my tastes. Needless to say I was really deflated and angered when I wasn’t able to buy any new tennis shoes. My mom shopped very patiently with me, at one point asking me if I received the shoes as a gift could they come from another country? A very generous gesture that I refused but which made me smile anyway. Without her presence I doubt I would have persisted looking as long as I did.

This trend wasn’t exclusive to tennis shoes either. I couldn’t help but pick up a fair share of other cute pairs of shoes, knowing full well that they wouldn’t bare the “Made in USA” tag. I guess if you were to only buy American you would end up either wearing really ugly neon green and navy blue athletic tennis shoes or you’d learn to like walking around barefoot.

Oh and as it turns out, I simply didn’t browse New Balance’s web site closely enough. They have a very small selection of shoes that are Made in the USA as a menu option. And they are all pretty plain and ugly, in my opinion.


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March – Buy American


image courtesy of Buffalo ReUse 

So, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve become really horrible about blogging about my experience.  This is partially due to the fact that I have returned to spending too much time on Etsy. And so I have decided that I am going to forego shopping on Etsy for the rest of the year, except when I need to buy someone a gift or I need something specific. Clearly one month was not enough time to gain perspective on that little bad habit. Coffee, on the other hand, I found that I really do need on certain days in order to stay awake. So I’ve taken that back up.

Which brings me to this month’s challenge – buying only items made in America. And when I say challenge, I do mean a challenge. I have learned so much already about what I buy and I still have over a week to go. I am currently debating over whether I will continue buying American beyond this month. More on this later on.

The first week of March I went to Target. First of all you need to understand when I shop at Target, I need to sweep the entire store. We’re talking a couple hours. The Jovovich-Hawk collection had just been unveiled and I was simultaneously really excited and really worried because Jennifer warned me that, although Jovovich-Hawk design in Los Angeles, they don’t seem to manufacture there. And she was right. It seems that virtually everything sold at Target comes from some Eastern continent. Occasionally I found a “Made in Uganda” or “Made in Argentina” tag, but Chinese citizens appear to be making the majority of what I buy. After reading that “Made in China” stamp for the 100th time, my shopping spirit was sucked dry and I took the only American made item that I found, a pair of blue tights, and sadly went grocery shopping.

Over the next couple weeks I would come to find that every retail store held a similar experience. Old Navy. The Gap. Anne Taylor Loft. My shopping trips quickly dwindled to 5-10 minutes per store, as I grew discouraged going through rack after rack of foreign made clothes. My Etsy shopping time increased though, because I can easily find stuff on Etsy that is American made. GO ETSY! However I think I’ve been overcompensating for the fact that I can’t spend a leisurely afternoon shopping in stores by spending my evenings on Etsy. I’ve almost been window shopping more on Etsy than I normally do in stores. Hence my giving it up for the year.

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More online shopping


Due to the very limited number of magazines we could find in the Cancun airpiort, Megan and I put our last pesos together to buy an overpriced copy of Lucky magazine. Neither of us was too terribly excited by this purchase, but as it turns out there was an article entitled “The Best Websites You’ve (Probably) Never Heard Of” that inspired me to want to do some more online shopping.

So what did I do when I got home? Settled myself in front of the computer and began checking out the sites I thought sounded most interesting. Within an hour of returning to my apartment I was already online window shopping. While I did find a couple new, nifty sites, like Reform School and Curiosity Shoppe, I really didn’t need to immediately look at them, but it was like a little project I assigned myself so that I could feel useful spending hours online. Less than two weeks into my Etsy hiatus I began noticing how addicted I am to simply being connected. I had spent an entire week with very little access to a computer and it kind of bothered me more than it really should have. This is why one month this year I will attempt to give up the internet. It will be interesting…

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The first instance of withdrawal

On January 1st I almost made the mistake of logging in, but fortunately I only made it as far as my own store (which I had already closed) before I remembered. Thats just how routine my Etsy mornings had become. Unfortunately, I was also kind of bad and I did a bunch of Etsy shopping the last two days of December, so I had some email messages from the sellers about my purchases and it made me want to sign on too. But I resisted and simply emailed them back instead.

I also desperately needed a weekly planner at this point and this is when I experienced my first true withdrawal symptoms. I do attempt to buy things on Etsy whenever there’s a good selection to choose from and I knew I had some planners in mind but now, due to my chronic procrastination, I couldn’t buy them. The idea of buying handmade has become increasingly important to me in the past year, so now I was forced to find another source for my planner.

Thus I began spending time browsing other stores and galleries for a weekly planner. So now that I couldn’t shop on Etsy, I was simply finding substitutions to fill the same blocks of time I used to spend on there. And I realized this very early into my quest, so I did spend maybe a little less time than I would’ve on Etsy but not much less. For me a weekly planner is something I would normally invest more time than most folks would in looking for the perfect one because I’m horribly indecisive, but also because I have to stare at this thing for 52 weeks. It needs to be something that will make me happy for an entire year. Finally I ended up choosing this Little Otsu beauty  from Buy Olympia


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