Three years ago when my husband and I went on our honeymoon, I made the decision to only buy locally-made souvenirs. It didn’t seem right to travel all the way to Italy to buy souvenirs made in China. Obviously I wasn’t the first tourist to have this thought because a lot of shops had signs in their windows that said “Made in Italy, not China.” And yes, the signs were in English. The most common items we saw were leather, lace, glass, art, liquor, and food.
Last summer, we were fortunate to go on an Alaskan cruise, and I made the same souvenir buying decision. It was actually harder to find locally made items in Alaska than it was in Italy, but not impossible. When I walked into a souvenir shop, I would ask where their locally made items were. Some shops had lots, some only had one shelf. The locally made items included jewelry, art, holiday decorations, and food.
We just got back from a trip to Arizona to visit family, and without even searching it out, I picked up some great American Made souvenirs. At a jewelry shop, I found a bracelet and earrings made with Sleeping Beauty turquoise. This type of turquoise is only mined in Arizona, and is popular for its deep blue color with few veins. The bracelet and earrings with crafted by Native American artists in New Mexico (sorry, if the shop owner named the tribe, I didn’t catch it).
I’ve loved turquoise for as long as I can remember. My grandparents used to spend the winters in Arizona, and my grandmother wore a lot of turquoise jewelry. I’ve always enjoyed wearing turquoise because it reminds me of her.