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Belmont Shore shop commits to American-made products

December 5, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
What sets Fern Solomon's Belmont Shore shop apart from many others is what customers read on the labels and price tags: Made in America.

Ninety percent of products sold in Fern's Garden are made in the U.S.

Solomon opened her shop 12 years ago. Her mission, as she calls it, is to sell gifts made by artists based in Southern California and across the country.

Even in the down economy, she says business at her shop at 5308 E. 2nd Street has been good.

"People, they really want to make a difference with their dollar, and once they find that there is a place where they can make a difference, they come and they support us," she said.

"Americans need to buy American," said Donna Penny, a customer.

Fern's Garden sells wind chimes, jewelry, home décor, wall art and more.

Jacob Sokoloff, Solomon's brother, makes wind chimes that are sold at the store. He used to have 50 employees at his studio, but says overseas competition forced him to lay them off.

His big challenge now is working with local manufacturers.

"I'm always struggling working with makers to keep it local," he said.

Fern stresses to her customers that buying American-made products means job creation at home.

We need to bring our product back, our factories back into beautiful working order so we can make Americans have beautiful (manufacturing) jobs again right here in the United States," Solomon said.

Fern's Garden is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Information: (562) 434-6425.