Made Right Here TV series

Made Right Here

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Max Wastler and Joe Gannon

Meeting Your (American) Makers

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

By John Dugan
Photos by Chad Davis, video stills by Rick Page; maderighthere.tv 

Nokona was just an unsuccessful Texas purse manufacturer until 1934, when a Connecticut transplant trained the staff in making pro baseball gloves. Today, Nokona still makes gloves in its Texas-based factory, where some employees have been on the job 30 years. It’s American heritage brands like this, along with many other mom and pop start-ups, that are the focus of new television series Made Right Here, hosted by Max Wastler and Joe Gannon. “There was a time in America when things were made here and companies were built from the ground up,” says Wastler. “Those are the stories I want to tell.”

Working in production and design for big American clothing brands made St. Louis-raised Wastler privy to the reality of global outsourcing. “I wanted to involve myself in a culture that was a little more aware.” He made his name with a fashion blog, AllPlaidout, which had him visiting classic American clothing manufacturers such as W.C. Russell Moccasin Company, and Oxxford Clothes. Joining forces with Gannon, another passionate advocate for American-made, the pair started shooting footage of their trip to workshops in Tennessee, and thus Made Right Here was born.

“We wanted to show what it takes to make things. There is such a huge chasm between the things we buy and the people that make them, that we want to highlight the people and the process.”—JOE GANNON

In the pilot, Wastler and Gannon learn the art of belt-making from Billy Moore of Cause and Effect, visit Nokona to try making baseball gloves, make a chambray shirt with Imogene + Willie, and learn about boat making from J.T. Van Zandt (who happens to be the son of the musician Townes). For those of us curious about where American quality still resides, the show is a joy.

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