Words by Caitlin Potts / Photos provided by Mettlers American Mercantile

What do you get when you combine great food, classic fashion and a love of all things American made? The answer is Mettlers American Mercantile, a company dedicated to featuring timeless pieces for men, women and the home.

Founder Lou Mettler possesses an eye for great quality with strong attention to detail, and proof can be found in the various products he offers. Located in Bay Harbor, Michigan, the store was established in 1975 and has become a favorite for area visitors and residents alike. It showcases items that are put together and effortlessly polished.   Lou and his teamtravel all over the United States sourcing heirloom quality pieces made in America.  They also have their own brand of clothing that is manufactured in the United States.

We talked to the brand’s Operations Manager, Erika Kilkenny, who gave us the inside scoop on what is sure to be a brand that’s high on everyone’s list.


“Lou Mettler, owner and founder, has been in retail his entire life. After retiring and traveling the world, he saw an incredible niche with Locally Made & Shop Local initiatives all over. He thought, ‘Why not do it again, only this time, I will do it all in America.’ 


“Producing our own line has its challenges of finding the right manufacturer and the right materials. But it’s so worth it when you see individuals wearing your garments and loving them.”

Importance Of Focusing Om American-Made Clothing And Home Decor

“[We wanted] to show people the United States is still producing some of the best quality products just like it did 80 years ago. And the USA can be the manufacturing mecca of the world it once was a lifetime ago. We just need to support each other.”

More About The Mettlers Label

“Having our own Mettlers label illustrates to our clients that we truly care about supporting American manufacturers. Our goal is to design timeless pieces that will last and not trend driven.”

Manufacturing Process

“We utilize a handful of independent manufacturers that are specialized in each type of piece we design: shirts, trousers, ties, etc. It is our hope to some day start our own manufacturing facility.” 

Challenges Within The Fashion Industry

“We are a specialized designer & company. It is hard to compete with the demands of quality items at a fare price. However, we have found that people are willing to pay a little more for an item that’s of impeccable quality and made on US soil. Our customers walk away feeling great that they invested in an item that is of great quality. Plus, when you really compare our prices with, for example, JCrew or Brooks Brothers, we are about the same.”

How They Want Mettlers Clothing Wearers To Feel

“Like a million bucks! They feel great investing in something of heirloom quality, not disposable or trend specific. Out pieces are special, unique and made to the highest quality standards in the USA.”

How To Purchase

“At our retail/design studio location in Bay Harbor, Michigan and online at our website”