I bought my first house a couple of years ago. It's a late 1890's Queen Anne style Victorian with lots of character and potential. I bought it knowing that it needs a lot of updating including electrical, plumbing, kitchen from the 30's, two bathrooms from who knows when, floors, walls, ceilings, windows, and everything else. Despite its problems, I can see in my mind that this house could be a great home once again. I've spent a lot of time looking around and studying my house, and I now have a general idea of how I want to bring this house back to life. Inside the house, the previous owners had left a couple things hanging on the walls here and there. The items that stuck out at me were the patriotic things. There were a couple of small United States flags hanging on the walls, and there were also a couple of U.S. Great Seals in the house. One of the Great Seals was guilded on the hearth of the fireplace downstairs. It was very worn from all the years, but it was still visible. The other was upstairs on the glass of one of the transoms leading into a bedroom. I've always been one to buy American cars and check labels in stores to make sure I try to buy the Made in USA version of a particular item, so seeing these patriotic items made me start to look at the house a little bit differently. It made me realize that this house was both built and last renovated before many, if not all, of the building materials used in it may have been imported. So, in order to renovate my house with the honor it deserves, I've made it my goal to only use Made in USA materials during renovation.
I began doing some research online to find the Made in USA products and manufacturers from which I would be sourcing materials for my house. However, I quickly got side tracked and started exploring all different kinds of Made in USA products. I found a lot of websites that list Made in USA manufacturers and maybe gave a short description and link to the manufacturer's website. Although, I was very happy to find so many websites that could help point me in the right direction, I was disappointed that most of this information that I was looking for was incomplete or completely unavailable. There are certain things I like to know about a product's country of origin or about the company that manufactured it. For example, I found a cooking pot that was Made in USA that I liked, but when I decided that I would like the entire cooking set I noticed that the set was manufactured in a foreign country. It was disappointing, but even worse is that I wish I had an easy way find another set of pots and pans that I liked as much that were all Made in the USA. Other information that I like to know is if the U.S. manufacturer is owned by a foreign company. It wouldn't change my decision to buy a Made in USA product that was made by a foreign based manufacturer if my other choice was an entirely foreign made product, but it is nice to know especially if I am presented with the choice between that Made in USA product that is made by a foreign based manufacturer and a product from a 100% U.S. owned and operated manufacturer. As a result of my frustrations with finding the information for which I was looking, I decided to build a website that would solve the short comings of the information that was presently available to me. Fortunately, I've always been interested with computers and technology, and it just so happens that web design is one of the useful skills that I picked up over the years.
Before I started building this website, I took a long time to decide how I wanted the website to work. I wanted the website to be very large in scale but also very simple in operation. It had to be able to accommodate hundreds or thousands of companies and tens or even hundreds of thousands of products, but at the same time be very simple to navigate and find exactly what you need. In order to solve this problem, I knew the website had to be very organized. To that end, I have set in place over 6,000 categories in which to categorize products, brands and companies. This many categories would be overwhelming if they weren't organized into a tree structure that helps narrow down products and companies very quickly. Currently, the only categories visible to site visitors are the ones that have been tagged to the products and companies listed on this site. As more companies join and more products are added, more categories will become visible. The other thing that I knew would be important for this website is the answers to the questions that I and many others want to know about a product or manufacturer. These questions are answered in a section under each product, brand or company that I have called "Pedigree".
I hope that consumers and manufacturing companies find this website as helpful as I intend it to be. This is, however, just the first iteration of this website. If things go well and I can finance further development, I have big ideas for what it could ultimately become.
Thank You for Visiting!