This post is brought to you by our intern Lauren, a senior at Robert E. Lee High School!
If you haven’t been to the new little store that is shaking up downtown Staunton, it’s time that you go in and meet the amazing woman who is truly making the American Dream come true for herself. Corrie Park’s Made; By The People, For The People is making it trendy and fashionable to be made in the USA once again.
How does a high school teacher from Norfolk who had never even heard of Staunton end up opening a business in our vibrant, historic downtown? When I asked her, Corrie told me that it all actually started with her son, Grayson (now 10), who became very interested in the movie Food Inc. The movie featured Polyface Farms, a family owned and operated farm in the Shenandoah Valley. When Corrie researched the farm she found that it was only a few hours away, so she and her family of four went to visit the farm and camped in the nearby area. Their campsite neighbors suggested that they visit the neat little town of Staunton before heading home. It’s a good thing that the Parks took the friendly advice because they loved Staunton! From then on they made it a point to visit every time that they were in the area. It was last August when Corrie first met with SCCF and the ball just kept rolling from there. After June 7 of this year Corrie was no longer a high school U.S. History teacher, and the Park family relocated to Staunton.
Having been a U.S. History teacher, Corrie already like the idea of made in America. She was truly inspired while helping her husband clean out his grandfather’s house after he was moved to a nursing home. While going through some of the old treasures, Corrie noticed that most of the items read made in the USA, a sight that is not as commonly seen today. With this in mind, Corrie knew the kinds of products she was going to sell in her store.
Only two percent of items on the market today are actually made in the USA, so Corrie does have a little disclaimer; not ALL of her products are completely made in the United States. All of her clothing merchandise is guaranteed made in the USA, but the products not made 100% in America are still special too. Corrie supports local artisans and crafters by selling their items in her store. Look for locally made jewelry, personal care products, artwork and more that are all available in Made. Corrie envisions her new store becoming like a modern day general store and local gathering site. She wants to bring back the old fashioned days when products really were made in the U.S. Corrie’s goal is to educate her customers not only about where the things they buy come from, but also to bring awareness to the way each one of us can support local artisans, made in America, and good old fashioned patriot pride.