Made in the South Awards
2010 Home Category
From modern rocking chairs to strawberry jam, the winners of our first contest for craftsmen exemplify the South’s entrepreneurial spirit and a tradition of goods made right
photo: Brian Woodcock
Made in Bluffton, SC
In September 2009, two childhood friends got together and realized they had the same problem. Becky Brackett, a lighting company executive in Bluffton, South Carolina, and Libby Boyden, an interior designer from Savannah, Georgia, both concluded that all the commercial lighting for sale suddenly “looked the same,” Brackett says. “They all looked like they’d been made in China. We decided it was time for something new.” And so Lowcountry Originals was born.
Using Lowcountry staples such as oyster shells, driftwood, and marsh reeds, each of the company’s fixtures is unique. With pieces influenced by both traditional and contemporary shapes, the line attracts a broad audience. In fact, by last April, when Brackett and Boyden took their lighting designs to the interior design show at High Point, North Carolina, they could barely keep up with demand.
“I think what made them appealing is that these things were all made by hand—and made locally,” Brackett says. “For Libby and me, the idea has succeeded far faster than we’d ever dreamed.”
$500 – $5,000 lowcountryoriginals.net
Fort Remington Spoons
Product Wooden Spoons
Made in Oxford, FL
When DJ Remington realized her husband needed a better cooking paddle to stir his chicken pirlou, she went out back and made him one. “We were both sick of the cheap utensils you get at big-box stores, and I knew I could make something better that would last,” says the former secretary and fifth-generation woodworker. Remington keeps her sources local, using woods harvested near her wood shop, including favorites like Southern cherry and pieces salvaged last year from her grandmother’s fallen pecan tree. From Remington’s crepe spatulas to her long and skinny sweet-tea spoons, her pieces are the perfect accessories for the Southern gourmand.
Star Provisions Furniture
Product farm tables
Made in Cartersville, GA
Salvaged-wood furniture is a thing of beauty, and that goes for the antique heart-pine-and-metal tables dreamed up by Atlanta restaurateur Anne Quatrano and craftsman Frederick Knight. “You have to go where the wood takes you, nail holes and all,” says Knight, who builds the pieces for sale at Quatrano’s eatery and shop Star Provisions. Knight tops each table with hardwoods rescued from a defunct textile factory, then layers on a coat of spar varnish or wax to seal in dings, dents, and occasional paint flecks. Whether you plop one down in a kitchen or on a screened porch, it has the kind of patina that gets better with every meal.
$300 – $2,500 starprovisions.com
Product rocking chairs
Made in Lascassas, TN
It’s no easy feat to improve on a classic like the Southern rocking chair, but husband-and-wife design duo Matt and Melissa Alexander did just that, creating a sleeker, clean-lined version of the original. “It’s our way of reinterpreting a traditional form through a contemporary lens,” Matt says. Their workshop is located on the farm Matt grew up on, and each piece is made using a digital CNC router—technology that makes milling the modern shape possible. But don’t take the word modern to mean uncomfortable—the rockers are ideal for porch sitting.
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