This week, 'Making it in America' reaches a high note with country music artist Amanda Watkins! Amanda`s musical journey has led her to opportunities performing with the likes of Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley. She has also appeared on the hit television series "Hart of Dixie" and has performed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live." In addition to her musical career, Amanda is a leading supporter of American made items...
Please tell us a about yourself.
I was born in the wild and wonderful state of West Virginia spending my years between there and Florida. It took all of my first four years of life to realize the agenda for me was going to be singing, songwriting, cooking and eating great food and, as cliche as it may sound, expressing my love for America through each of those avenues. I come from a hard working, God loving, life-is-what-you-make-of-it, hard headed, hillbilly vegetarian, tight knit, music lovin' family. They inspire me to write songs about the working man, love and just simply getting by in this crazy life. Work hard, play hard and love hard. Straight up.
This love of music has blessed me with a pretty wonderful life thus far. Touring, meeting incredible people who share this love of singing and writing and being able to express myself through song. From singing "Jonah In The Belly Of A Whale" in church at the age of five to standing on hallowed ground at The Ryman Auditorium to a full house, I feel like the luckiest girl on earth.
Performing live with some incredible Country artists has been my deal thus far. Dierks Bentley, Jamey Johnson, Dwight Yoakam and Brad Paisley are but a few whose careers I greatly admire and each for their own reason. I grew up never being able to get enough Waylon, Willie and George. There is a sense of freedom and at the same time a sense of responsibility that I can honestly say I love assuming in life. Music has taken me on a wild journey and I keep going. For the love of God and for the love of music.
Why is making it in America important to you?
There are so many reasons American made is important to me. The obvious reason is for helping to create jobs domestically and, in turn, hopefully bettering our economy for this generation and generations to come. When buying American made products, we can be more knowledgeable and confident about where and how the products are made and under what conditions. There are a variety of unknown situations overseas that we often can’t be privy to in terms of working conditions and standards. Supporting American manufacturers and domestic workers is truly important to me because we are also much of the time supporting safe working conditions and fair wages. It’s important to set that standard.
In what ways have you made it in America?
I am a recording artist and touring musician. I have traveled across the USA from the coal fields to Washington state singing "workin man" songs and bringing attention to the American made movement. My most recent single, "Whole Damn Train,” typifies and epitomized this topic. I have spent a good part of my life waiting on tables at Baby Blues BBQ in Venice, CA where I have had the absolute pleasure of meeting people from every walk of life... from the trucker stopping in before his long haul back across the States to the all-American visual artist selling their work in galleries and on street corners. I had the privilege to work for Rick and Danny, the owners and creators of Baby Blues, and see their American Dream come true - all because they worked hard enough.
How have you and/or your company expressed a passion for manufacturing in USA throughout history?
I only purchase American-made products for my Amanda Watkins merchandise to sell at shows and online. I also advertise that what I am selling is 100% made in the USA .
What is your favorite quote? How does it affect you in your efforts to support manufacturing in the USA?
I have two… "There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America". I love this because I think it's so easy to harp on how negative things are but it’s harder to stand up and do something about it or to be positive about how good we have it. Perspective is a powerful thing.
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." It’s another reminder that it truly takes only one person. We have the power to change anything we want to change all we have to do is believe it can happen.
About the segments:
‘Making it in America’ is a place where individuals who are passionate about work in America can collectively share ideas, insights, and experiences relative to American manufacturing. Participants will be asked to share the ways in which they are ‘making it in America’ within their respective fields & present ways that we too, can help make a difference with work in America.