Congratulations to all of the 2014 American Made Award Winners! Sponsored by Martha Stewart, talented makers and designers that painstakingly work their passion to be made in America competed for recognition. The entrepreneurs competed in a variety of disciplines, from food, crafts, style and design and were judged by a combination of originality, design aesthetic and overall interpretation of the American theme.
There was a lavish cocktail party Friday night to celebrate winners that included florists who grew unique flowers, flour producers reviving ancient grains, furniture designers, urban agriculture start-ups.
The textile winners were Rowland and Chinami Ricketts of Ricketts Indigo met when they both apprenticed with an indigo dyer in Japan. They brought the traditional technique of indigo farming to the West, in Indiana to create beautiful handmade home textile goods.
Whitney Pozgay designs and produces her clothing line WHIT right in New York’s Garment Center. As the Style Winner, she collaborates with local artists nearby to try to keep all of her operation in Manhattan and give back to the community.
There was also a promoted shop onsite for the American Made designers and makers. One of the most interesting speakers at the American Made Summit, Ellie Bennett was represented with her Hedley & Bennett aprons. She was someone who used to work in professional kitchens, frustrated with the poorly made, generic aprons. She set out to create stylish, practical aprons and created a business custom designing aprons with restaurants. She produced superior aprons with bartacked pockets and fully finished straps that wouldn’t rip off like most mass produced aprons in commercial kitchens. She designed each restaurant’s order individually to match their restaurant’s aesthetic.
The party itself served the most amazing artisanal foods from every corner of the country. AS you would expect at a Martha Stewart event, there were craft stations to make gorgeous crepe paper flowers or get in touch with the 3D printing Makerbot to make your own luggage tags.
Seeing so many entrepreneurs who DID make things by hand or followed their artistic passion being celebrated gave me a lot of hope. I can’t wait to see all the winners next year!