Local is the the word on everyone’s lips – food, drink, clothes – you name it, if it’s locally made, it’s the thing to have! But it’s not just a buzzword, buying USA-made products plays an important role in strengthening local businesses and communities, creating jobs, and supporting the growth of local and national economies.

Just a few weeks ago, Jen Labinski wrote a blog featuring clothing brands made by women, many of which are made in the USA. So what about toys and gifts?

We’ve been out and about scouring the shops for USA-made toys and gifts. Here are 5 options that you can find in and around the South End:

Elasworld: hand-crocheted dolls and toys
Made in Massachusetts
Available: email handcrochetedtoys@gmail.com or visit sites.google.com/site/elashandcrocheteddolls/ or https://www.facebook.com/elayuzugullu/ to request a catalogue and place an order. Or visit their stand at the October Harvard Fest 2017, Newton Center on October 15.
Newton-based mom, Ozge, was taught to knit and crochet by her mother as a child. Later on as a Mom herself, she began to make crocheted dolls and toys for her daughters and now her daughters also join in. When Ozge’s daughter came back from daycare saying that her friends were jealous of her toys, Ozge had the idea of selling their creations and Elasworld was born. All the dolls and toys are made from organic materials so no toxins or chemicals for your little ones. They are safe for children of all ages and are washable (hand wash or gentle cycle). Choose from dolls, animals, superheroes, cartoon characters and even food items. As a special offer for South End Moms readers, Elasworld is offering a 15% discount on your purchase. Simply mention South End Moms when you place your order.

My Very Own rattle: safe and natural infant rattle
Made in Vermont since 1979
Available at Tadpole, 58 Clarendon Street, Boston, MA, 02116
These rattles are perfect for babies aged 5 months to 2 years. They come packaged with a white, pink or blue ribbon. Each rattle is made from a single piece of American Rock Maple so nothing will go in your little one’s mouth except pure, natural, non-toxic northern hardwood. The rattles also satisfy all U.S. infant product safety regulations and are CE certified (certified by the European Union for import).

Karyn Burns – ABCs: alphabetized artwork and products of your favorite places
Designed in New York*
Available online: shop.karynburns.com
Karyn Burns’s ABC prints and placemats make a great gift for children of all ages. Choose from many different New England locations including Boston, Vermont, Maine, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and many more. As a special offer for South End Moms readers, use the code FIRST15 at the checkout before September 20 and you’ll get a discount of 15% on your first purchase. As an added bonus, anyone that uses the code will be entered into a free prize draw to win a framed ABC’s of Boston print.
* Full disclosure – the manufacturing of these products has recently been moved overseas

Idea Boxes: themed boxes filled with wood coins that suggest activities, ideas, chores, story starters and more
Made in Oregon
Available at Olives & Grace, 623 Tremont Street, Boston, MA, 02118
Idea Boxes are a great way to generate activity suggestions that will surprise and entertain kids for hours. Each box has a theme such as airplane journeys, having fun in your backyard, preparing for a baby brother or sister, family game nights, and many more. All activity suggestions are open-ended and can be as long or short as you want them to be. They are also child-led and encourage communication and independence.

Wildlife Toys: quality animated hardwood toys
Made in Ohio since 1978
Available at CouCou, 24 Union Park Street, Boston, MA, 02118
These simply but beautiful wooden toys are loved by kids. Made with sustainably harvested wood and finished with food grade mineral oil, the focus of creator David Wakefield is on natural products and high quality manufacturing. Choose from characters such as Hildegard the Hungry Hippo and Gary The Grumpy Gator – children will have hours of fun making up stories about their animal friends.

Happy local shopping!


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