Made in America: Meet the Usry Family

What does a house look like with only American products?

February 18, 2011, 1:39 PM

DALLAS, Feb. 28, 2011— -- Is it possible for an all-American family to live life with only all-American products?

At the request of "World News with Diane Sawyer," one Dallas family is going to give it a try and share their experiences with the country in a special series, "Made in America," focusing on U.S. manufacturing, jobs and what it all means for the nation's economy.

In their single-story home on Snow White Drive, the Usrys lead full and active lives. Husband Jon, 39, works as an advertising executive and wife Anna is a stay-at-home mom who's active in community organizations. Son Landon, 7, is in first grade. Daughter Ellis, 6, is in kindergarten. And then there's the dog, a black lab named Amber.

"Both the kids are obsessed with her," Anna said.

Jon, Anna, Landon, Ellis and Amber have all agreed to participate in a unique experiment, emptying their living room, kitchen and master bedroom of any imported products and replacing them with items made in the U.S. From the rugs on the floors to the sheets on the bed to the TV on the wall, they'll find out where their products came from and whether similar goods are available from U.S. manufacturers.

"I thought that Ashton Kutcher was going to be coming around the corner, we were being punked," said Anna, recalling when she first heard ABC's request.

Watch the Usry's and "Made in America" starting Monday on "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer."

There are still plenty of Americans at work making consumer products. More than 11 million Americans get their paychecks from working in factories, and according to Moody's, if every American spent an extra $3.33 on U.S. made goods every year, it would create nearly 10,000 new jobs.

"We've seen and continue to hear about more and more of the manufacturing going offshore or out of the U.S., which translates to job loss," said Jon. "Whenever we have a viable option, we would love to buy American."

'Made in America:' Cost Often First Consideration

Still, Jon admits that the first consideration for his family when making purchases is often cost, and it frequently seems that the least-expensive goods come with a "Made in China" or "Made in Mexico" stamp.

"As a child, I think hearing the sentiment 'Buy American' seemed to be a message that was more prevalent then than is so now," said Jon.

"I remember when it came to automotives... the discussions around that when it came to American-made or foreign cars," said Anna, thinking of her own childhood.

The Usry's say that in 2011, their own children are more apt to think about what's trendy than where products come from. Like many suburban kids, Landon and Ellis have toys, video game systems, and sports equipment that comes from all over the world.

Landon, a big 'Star Wars' fan, has plenty of themed toys, and Ellis loves to play with her room full of baby dolls, including her prized American Girl dolls, all of which were made in China. They should be called "China Girl dolls," Ellis said with a wide grin.

For the parents, the biggest toy is the flat screen TV, a Panasonic that they believe could be the first item to go.

"I would think that probably 50 percent of the products in our household are from the U.S.," Jon estimated. "A lot of the day-to-day consumables and some of the other electronics and furniture very well may be coming from other countries."

Starting tonight on "ABC World News with Diane Sawyer," the Usry's will find out exactly where their belongings were made, and whether their 50 percent guess is on the mark. We hope you'll join us to find out, and learn about 'Made in America' products by visiting a special page on our web site,

ABC's Eric Noll contributed to this report.

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