Made in Michigan for the holidays

Cottage industry entrepreneurs around the state provide unique products while helping Michigan’s economy.

The holiday season is fast approaching and everyone is looking for that special gift to give. Consider a made in Michigan product. These cottage industry manufacturers offer an endless list of products from bath and body items to food to pet products.

A cottage industry is when products and services are home-based created rather than in a factory setting. These cottage industry products are unique because they are individually made not mass produced. Most cottage industry entrepreneurs emphasize hand-made, hand crafted, one of a kind items that are high quality and reasonably priced.

A good place to start looking for made in Michigan products is at your local craft shows. Many schools, senior centers and churches organize these events as a way to support their activities while showcasing local entrepreneurs and producers. Some of these shows have product themes while others are an eclectic mix of items. Many of the sellers will take orders or do special orders for customers.

If there are no local shows in your area or you can’t get to them, another way to support Michigan entrepreneurs is by googling “made in Michigan”. There are a number of sites listed that have a variety of products that are Michigan made. These sites help support cottage industry producers who are at a disadvantage, in many cases, when competing with large mass produced businesses.

Each website has a long list of products made in Michigan to consider and compare. There is something for everyone on your list. Some of these sites offer convenient, online shopping - perfect for the person who can’t get out or prefers not to battle the crowds.

By purchasing made in Michigan products you will not only get a unique, special item but support Michigan’s economy and local entrepreneurs.

Happy holiday shopping!

If you are interested in learning about what it takes to produce cottage food products, Michigan State University Extension offers both one and two hour workshops on Michigan’s Cottage Food Law. The two-hour workshop, taught by MSU Extension food safety and MSU Product Center educators, combines the business and food safety aspects of preparing and selling cottage foods safely and successfully.

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