Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Made in USA: SAS Shoes

Yes, you can still buy popular informal shoes styles made in the USA!

SAS Shoes - "SAS" stands for San Antonio Shoes - are not only made in America and are not only available in popular styles, but also are reasonably priced, top quality and very comfortable!

I've long been a fan of SAS shoes. In fact, the photo with this article shows my new pair of the "'Bout Time" style - next to my old pair, which I've been wearing just about every other day for the past five years! The lady in the SAS store told me that most customers wear their shoes about two years, that some like me wear them five years (rolling her eyes at this point), and she even has some who get ten years out of them (with a look of despair that makes me feel far superior to the the ten-year wearers).

I like the way SAS markets their shoes, too. They're sold only by independent businesses and they discourage e-commerce marketing. You walk in a store and all you see is SAS shoes - men's, women's, and kids', in all styles, all sizes, arranged up and down every wall and aisle. They come with a special washable foot-fitting insert and an extra pair of laces.

See the various styles and find an SAS shoes store location near you by clicking here. Then get out there and support your local retailer and another good Made in USA product!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SewBiz USA: Shirley's Creative Designs

As I've mentioned often before, one of the greatest pleasures of working at SouthStar is hearing from entrepreneurs all around the country who are "making it" in Sew Biz in all kinds of ways.

So I'm glad I can share a delightful letter we received this week from customer Shirley Rash, owner of Shirley's Creative Designs in Carson City, Nevada.

Shirley mentioned that she had come across "An American Story" in one of our old product Bulletins and it inspired her to write:

My grandmother, Grace Branstead, was a seamstress during the Depression and made most of my clothes in Jr. High when I was growing sooooooo fast my mother couldn't find anything for me to wear (I'm 5'10 3/4"). My mother sewed, but worked all the time. I had a sewing class in 7th, 10th grades and one in JR College. The teachers in 7th and 10th grade were great, but the STUPID sewing teacher in college didn't even know how to sew in an invisible zipper and wouldn't let me sew a shirt for my then boyfriend, now husband of 36 years, so I could work at a job my other teachers found for me 6 weeks before the end of school. A man's shirt was something I hadn't ever sewed before and I was going to have him model it for her. I had to drop that sewing class. The ONLY class I EVER dropped in Jr. College!

A few years later I had 3 kids, 2 girls and 1 boy. Both girls sew and my son sewed his Halloween costume one year on my industrial machine! My eldest daughter, Sue, sews and has taught her son, Justice, and daughter, Sera, how to sew and my youngest, Jennifer, sews too.

When Jennifer was little, I sewed a doll for her because all the dolls at the store were for "3 and Up". She took the doll everywhere and our son's eye doctor's nurse ordered 3 dolls! I made a total of 33 of those dolls for friends.

I started my business sewing doll clothes for porcelain dolls. I then branched out to design and sew cloth dolls and stuffed animals. I've been at it since 1993! I THINK that makes me stubborn!

Thank you, Shirley! I hope your story will not only inspire others out there who are on the verge of taking their sewing to a professional level, but also will inspire some of our other established customers to email us their stories for sharing as well.