Owning my own small business here in Wisconsin, I know firsthand how hard it is for small businesses to compete with imported products. Over the years, I have been exposed to so many blue-collar heroes and have witnessed time and time again the pride that comes with making something by hand. It's indescribable.

That's why I started Patriot Crates. Small, curated gifting crates that are packed full of handmade products, strictly from American small businesses.

The Patriot Crates project shines an enormous spotlight and celebrates the backbone of this country. The American Small Business. The woodworkers, the farmers, the chefs, the welders, the blacksmiths.... the artisans. Men and women making their products by hand. Family owned, Veteran owned, minority owned, women owned...you name it. All heroes in my book.

With nearly 100 (and growing daily) handpicked and vetted small town companies providing products, this project, unintentionally has kind of turned into a movement...it's unbelievable.

It's been an inspiring journey getting to know the owners, their families, and employees of all of these companies. Many have rags to riches stories of American grit; others are small town heroes who employ as many people in their communities as possible.

Gifting a Patriot Crate is the equivalent of shaking somebody's hand that created something just for you, by hand. Not purchased in a department store, not mass produced from a machine, but a little piece of their pride, their integrity and hard work.

Help me in celebrating the American worker, American small business and the American spirit.

Shane Henderson