Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Made in U.S.A.: Pointer Brand Barn Coat

Don't say you can't find jackets made in the U.S.A. True, you're not likely to find any at the mall, but just look to work wear and you can find plenty of dandy coats and jackets.

Now that there's a nip in the air here in Nashville, the first thing I've pulled out to wear on the chilly mornings is my Pointer Brand barn coat. The barn coat is just the thing for throwing on to go fetch the paper from the driveway, to wear in the cold car on the way to work, or... to go milk the cows in the barn.

The barn coat has got a nice soft lining and collar and plenty of space if you're also wearing a sweater or maybe a bullet proof vest. But the most remarkable thing you'll notice about it is the weight. It's heavy. They don't scrimp on material when they make this coat, and you just know it's going to last for years and years.

The only thing I don't like about it is that it doesn't have pockets you can really put your hands in to keep them warm, though it's got plenty of cargo pockets. But that's not enough of a negative that you won't find me wearing this jacket most every day this winter. And if you want different pockets, or you don't want denim like mine, there are several other styles to choose from. Just click here to see their selection.

Pointer Brand, by the way, is not only  made in the U.S.A. but better yet is made right here in Tennessee. It's a brand of the L.C. King Company in Bristol which has literally been around a hundred years and is still going strong. Their web site is also a winner. And you'll be a winner too if you support made in the U.S.A. by buying a jacket from them this winter!

Go to SouthStar Catalog Search Page.

Go to SouthStar Sewing Business Resources Page.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

SouthStar: Where the Star Shops!

Folks, after 25 years of doing this, it could get boring... but it doesn't! At least not for long, as operating a business like SouthStar, like life itself,  is just full of surprises. So I don't know why I was so eager to get out of here one Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago, except the weather was gorgeous and I was taking Friday off. I told myself I'd stay until 4pm.

The phone rang about 3:55 and I debated whether to answer it, but I did. It was some guy trying to find us, and I had the hardest time getting him to our driveway as he kept going up and down the street missing it.

Meanwhile Pete the landlord came in with the supervisor of a new cleaning crew. He introduced me and told me that the actual cleaning lady was out in the parking lot and getting ready to come in. Right on cue, in came the new cleaning lady Myrna, and behind her a big gangly guy wearing earrings. Pete thought they were together, but I recognized the big guy as my customer. I say "recognized" because I assumed he was my customer, but really, though he looked familiar, I couldn't say for sure if I had seen him before.

Ms. Myrna & Sinbad at SouthStar
I was introduced to Myrna, then greeted my customer and hurried back to the stockroom to get his order. As I went I heard Ms. Myrna say, "Sinbad, what are you doin' here?" Then when I got back she was having her picture made with him. Still, I figured Sinbad was his nickname and they were just old friends. Pete meanwhile was really confused, thinking he'd come in with Myrna.

So when I wrote his order up, just so as not to look stupid, I asked his name. He looked at me as if I'd just landed on this planet, laughed and said, "Sinbad." Sure enough. And what a nice, pleasant fellow, just as he comes across on TV. I'm a real ignoramus on popular culture but when my kids were little, I remember watching his show with them because it was not only funny, but clean, too.

And speaking of family, it turns out that Sinbad was in town to help his daughter make a music video. And Ms. Myrna tells me that she not only met Sinbad that day, but met his daughter that night when she was working another job as a security guard!

All of which goes to show, if you put yourself out there, life, and life at SouthStar, is full of surprises.

I did not mind one bit, by the way, that my exodus from the office was delayed that day.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Grist Columnist: Sew Political

I don’t know about you folks, but I have just had it with politics in this country. I am here to tell you today that I am neither a Democrat nor a Republican. Both of those parties are all about big government, high taxes, too many rules, and corruption.

Instead, I am forming my own party, one that is based on the ideals of liberty, individual achievement, private property, free enterprise, artistic expression, mechanical ingenuity, efficient use of fabric resources, and good old hard work: the Zippertarian Party. This new third party is for anyone who puts needle and thread to fabric for commercial purposes and we here at SouthStar are here to serve as all three branches of your government, not to mention chief lobbyist and pork barrel aggregator. Just think of us as your own personal community organizer.

You - the upholstery shop, the budding fashion designer, the parachute repairer, the department store sample department, the jeans factory, the costume creator, the embroiderer, the alteration shop, the niche product bring-an-idea-to-fruition person – you are our not-so-huddled masses and the salt of our earth.

We are glad to be part of your body politic. Call on us for your scissors and silicone spray, your pattern paper and notchers, and we will reward you with that greatest of life’s pleasures: a package at the door.

Thank you, my fellow needle traders. You will have something different as a Zippertarian party member: We don’t want your vote; instead, you will always have our vote. We just want your orders. And remember, in the rag trade, if we all hang together, not only will we not hang separately, but we’ll do it with proper fit and draping.
SouthStar Product Bulletin #241 is now in the mail. If you're not on our mailing list, shoot us an email and we'll get you fixed up.

Go to SouthStar Catalog Search Page.

Go to SouthStar Sewing Business Resources Page.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Made in USA: All American Carpenter Jeans

We at SouthStar love the American entrepreneurial spirit in SewBiz better than anybody. And there's hardly a better story to tell about it than All American Clothing Company. In fact, click here to read the story.

But today we're here to talk about their carpenter jeans. I recently acquired a pair. Why me? I'm not a carpenter. Well, there are good reasons to buy carpenter jeans. For one thing, they're looser than traditional straight leg jeans, allowing for easy movement for older bodies. For another, they have a special pocket on the thigh which is perfect for a cell phone. Normally, too, they have a hammer loop.

Frankly, with other carpenter jeans, I wish they'd lose the hammer loop. I don't carry a hammer around very often and on the perhaps one occasion that I have actually tried putting a hammer in the hammer loop, it was very awkward. Worse, I have a tendency to walk a little too close to things like filing cabinets and more than once I've nearly gotten whiplash from that empty hammer loop catching on a filing cabinet handle.

Guess what! The smart folks at All American Clothing company lost the loop on their carpenter jeans. Instead they added another pocket on the other thigh, one big enough to hold even a really smart, high IQ phone! And on top of that, they've added a gusset for even greater comfort and easy of movement.

Best of all, they're very reasonably priced, nicely tailored, and made right here in the U.S.A. out of all U.S. materials. They are Made in U.S.A. Certified and each pair comes with a traceability number with which you can trace its origin all the way back to the farms that grew the cotton. While you're looking at all that on their site, be sure to watch the video about how denim is made. It's amazing!

We've given favorable reviews to their polo shirts and their cargo shorts on this blog before, and we can say this now:

Way to go, All American! Your carpenter jean is a winner, too!

Go to SouthStar Catalog Search Page.

Go to SouthStar SewBiz Resources Page.