NEW YORK-Martha Stewart honored the entrepreneurial American spirit at a gala event at Grand Central Terminal year here last evening.
The first annual American Made Awards, bestowed by the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine, recognized 11 up-and-coming small creative businesses in the areas of food, design, home, crafts, gardening, and other categories. Last night’s celebration-attended by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Karen Mills, administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association; and several notable names in the design and fashion industries-recognized the value of goods conceived, created and produced in the United States. “We share the excitement of these artisans who are creating with their hands … and their minds,” Stewart said in her remarks. “We applaud their creative courage.”
Winners in the home-related categories included Jonah Meyer and Tara De Lisio of Sawkille Co. in Rhinebeck, N.Y., who make traditionally designed stools, tables and bed frames out of locally milled and sustainably harvested wood; Alisa Toninato of FeLion Studios in Madison, Wis., who crafts sculptural, limited-edition cast-iron skillets in the shape of the 48 contiguous United States; Brett Binford and Chris Lyon of Mudshark Studios in Portland, Ore., a ceramics cooperative; and Brian Howell of Bee Man Candle Company in Canastota, N.Y., which makes smokeless, dripless, long-burning candles in an environmentally conscious way. Howell, who started Bee Man Candle Company when he was 13, was the audience choice winner, meaning that he was selected by online voters.
“The best American product made is the American dream, and I’m glad it’s alive and well,” Bloomberg said.