Made in the South Awards: Crafts

Winner: Boyd’s of Texas Eau de Parfum

Runners-up: a calendar from Brown Parcel Press, pressed flowers from Blackwell Botanicals, and nesting bowls by East Fork

Photo: Jennifer Causey

The Winner

Boyd’s of Texas
Eau de Parfum
San Antonio, Texas
$125  for 1.7 fl. oz. bottle

Inspired by a vintage, leather-scented fragrance, Cuero perfume conjures long forest walks. But “our natural fragrances are multidimensional and change on the skin, so they wear differently on everyone,” says Katherine Couron, who founded the San Antonio perfumery Boyd’s of Texas with her husband, Dennon, in 2016. Both North Carolina natives, the couple ended up in Texas by way of Couron’s time in the Air Force, and after she finished with active duty, they sniffed out a way to celebrate the region they love. “We didn’t see fragrances on the market that truly evoked the South’s layered texture and warmth,” Couron says. So they set to work carefully concocting aromas laced with indigenous essences, using a methodical process—handcrafting small batches drop by delicate drop with organic elements (such as Virginia cedar), spending months testing, tweaking, and curing. To encourage folks to “wear what they like,” the Courons label their quartet of scents—which also includes High Desert, TX Lavender, and Green Vetiver—unisex. “I love that the simple packaging gives way to layers of unexpected depth,” says Anna Bond, the Crafts category judge. “Cuero, with notes of cedar, jasmine, and smoky leather, is my favorite.”

The Runners-Up

Photo: Jennifer Causey

Clockwise from left: A calendar from Parcel Press; Pressed flowers from Blackwell Botanicals; Nesting bowls from East Fork.

Brown Parcel Press
Sparta, Georgia

The Georgia farmland surrounding her studio informs Brown Parcel Press founder Megan Fowler’s letterpress creations, including her 2019 Sunny Side calendar, a big project inspired by a small strawberry plant. “It looked so full of promise, like a new year,” she says. She translated her sketch of the scene (which pops off the calendar’s cover) and twelve others to a letterpress plate, then imprinted them on thick paper hand-fed into a vintage press. Peaches, okra, and other seasonal produce mark the passage of months. The calendar’s colorful schemes require multiple press runs, but Fowler doesn’t mind. “Our customers spend a lot of time using it,” she says. “I enjoy that connection.”

Blackwell Botanicals
Pressed Flowers
Richmond, Virginia

For Anne Blackwell Thompson of Blackwell Botanicals, in Richmond, perfect doesn’t mean flawless. When searching the South (with bucket, clippers, and, sometimes, saw in hand) for plant specimens to press, the former historical decorative painter looks instead for signs of life. “A pinprick hole in a leaf, a misplaced petal; I want it clear that they came from outside,” she says. After the hunt, Thompson merges botanical knowledge and artistic instincts, meticulously dissecting each bloom and piece of foliage—from diminutive daffodils to five feet of wisteria vine—before pressing and drying the hundreds of components and reassembling them onto archival paper. Despite this exacting process, her works won’t stay perfect either. “The specimens fade,” she says, “but that’s part of their beauty.”

East Fork
Nesting Bowls
Asheville, North Carolina
$150 for set

His medium might be humbler, but the potter Alex Matisse shapes museum-quality dinnerware his lauded great-grandfather, the artist Henri Matisse, would admire. He and his now wife, Connie, started East Fork in 2009, and joined forces with their friend and fellow potter John Vigeland in 2013. The company’s versatile, durable stoneware is envisioned and tested in the East Fork team’s homes and made with regional clay chosen for natural impurities that surface as speckles, generating a minimalist, organic beauty. East Fork’s nesting bowls (a breakfast bowl, an everyday bowl, and a weeknight serving bowl) underwent multiple adjustments for that “just right” ratio when stacked. Connie relishes the pieces’ distinct roles at her own table. “We find we use each at a specific time of day,” she says, “so each enriches our routine.”


>> See the winners and runners-up in all six categories

>> Join us in Charleston for our Made in the South Weekend: Meet the makers and shop their products; enjoy a concert with Amanda Shires and Aaron Lee Tasjan; and more. Get details and tickets here