Martha Stewart, single lady and former salmonella victim, is once again celebrating homegrown makers, entrepreneurs, artisans, designers, handicraft-ers, yarn geniuses, and Etsy shopkeepers with the American Made Awards.
The annual contest, now accepting (self-submitted) nominations through Aug. 29 before an online voting period kicks off on Sept. 15, is returning for its third edition to help spotlight the domestically produced cream of the crop in four different categories: Design, Crafts, Food, and Style.
To be clear, the nominees are the makers themselves and not individual products. The contest judging panel, which will whittle down all of the published nominees into 1,000 finalists, includes the domestic doyenne herself as head judge along with members of the Martha Stewart Living executive editorial team who specialize in each category. Judging criteria includes innovation, workmanship, originality, appearance, and “embodiment of the American Made theme."
Says Stewart in a press release:
Three years ago, we created the American Made program as a natural extension of the Martha Stewart Living brand. Since our earliest days as a company, we have celebrated craftsmanship, artisanal initiative, local provenance, and creative entrepreneurialism. These values are deeply rooted in American culture and history.
Now we are delighted to see a shift as these entrepreneurs define a new American economy. With American Made, we honor and support this growing population of makers who create beautiful and useful products, pioneer new industries, improve their local communities, and change the way we eat, shop, work and live — all while supporting the USA. We are delighted to showcase their work and help them grow and thrive.
To be announced on Oct. 17, the 10 grand prize-winning makers — nine judge-selected winners along with an Audience Choice winner — will each receive $10,000 in prize money, a trip for two to Martha’s big American Made ho-down at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia headquarters this November in New York, and an opportunity to appear in Martha Stewart Living magazine and other MSLO media outlets.
The 2014 American Made Award winners will also have the chance to showcase their wares in the Martha Stewart American Made Market, a curated collection of domestically produced goodies hosted by eBay. This is the first year that the online market, home to some choice "only Martha Stewart would own something like that" items, has appeared as part of the American Made program.
To help spread Stewart’s gospel of local manufacturing, micro-entrepreneurialism, and exquisite taste, I’ve singled out eight standout summertime entertaining products currently for sale at the Martha Stewart American Made Market. Because, really, what’s more all-‘merican than grilling in the backyard and slinging cocktails on the patio with Martha Stewart-approved gear?
Do consider the below items — they're produced in far-flung locales ranging from Boise to Brooklyn — for your next food- and drink-heavy al fresco gathering this summer. And if you are an American maker yourself, take the time to put your name in the proverbial hat for the 2014 American Made Award contest.
Maple USA Shaped Cutting Board by Aheirloom (Brooklyn) $50
Growler Jugs by Mudshark Studios (Portland, Ore.) $55 (32 oz.), $65 (64 oz.)
Mason Jar Cocktail Shaker by W&P Design (Brooklyn) $29
"Beer" in Several Languages Drink Coasters (set of 8) by Ladybug Press (Boise, Id.) $8
Apron in Hickory Cotton Denim by Hedley & Bennett (Los Angeles) $78
Muslin Tablecloth & Napkin Set - Ladybugs by Foxy & Winston (Red Hook, Brooklyn) $85
Salt and Pepper Shakers by Reed Wilson Design (Fort Collins, Colo.) $40
Copper Hot Dog Cookie Cutter by CopperGifts (Parsons, Kansas) $20.90
Related stories on MNN:
- 10 items you didn't know were made in America
- All 'Merican: Independence Day entertaining gear from the AMDC
- Hipster redemption? How local, made-in-USA, artisan-focused entrepreneurs are reviving American manufacturing