“Winning changed our entire business…our lives.”
—Tracy Woodard, co-owner of Covered in Cotton, the 2019 Overall Winner
It’s an honor for Garden & Gun to celebrate the region’s talented artisans, creative makers, small-business owners, and other entrepreneurs with its annual Made in the South Awards—a spotlight we consider more important than ever as we enter the awards’ fourteenth year. If your Southern-made product falls into one of the six categories—Home, Crafts, Food, Outdoors, Style, or Drink—enter now. We’re looking for it all: small-batch bourbon, fishing flies, can’t-eat-just-one cheese straws, custom furniture, an organic skin-care line, hand-stitched cowboy boots, you name it.
Our Sustainability Award celebrates a Southern maker who has committed to conservation and the environment by incorporating eco-friendly practices into the business model or by partnering with like-minded nonprofits to give back. To be considered, tell us, on your entry form, how you demonstrate that commitment. One winner will be chosen from across all six categories.
Think lighting, barware, furniture, pillows, rugs, table linens, kitchen utensils, cutlery. We’re looking for rustic dining tables, contemporary rocking chairs, custom wallpapers—those must-have items that turn a house into a stylish home. Note: Unfortunately, fine artists do not qualify for the awards. We’re always excited to discover new Southern talent, though. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear about your work.
Summerville, South Carolina
After a decade working as a corporate tax lawyer in Washington, D.C., Stephanie Summerson Hall decided to switch paths completely. Five years of research and design later, in 2019, the Holly Hill, South Carolina, native officially founded Estelle Colored Glass, her luxury line of handblown pastel and jewel-toned glassware named for and inspired by her grandmother, who loved nothing more than hunting for antique home goods—often colored glass on which she would serve Sunday dinners. Today, Hall’s modern-meets-antique wineglasses, cocktail coupes, and cake stands have gone global, appearing on morning shows, in celebrity Instagram posts, and in just about every home gift guide since the pandemic. Follow her on Instagram @stephaniesummersonhall.
Stationers, letterpress printers, bookbinders, basket weavers, quilters and textile crafters, ceramists and potters, candlemakers, small-batch beauty and skin-care experts: We’re looking at you.
Mariana Barran’s introduction to embroidery came in the second grade when the nuns at her Monterrey, Mexico, elementary school taught mandatory stitching classes. When she moved to Houston in 2014, she brought that needlework know-how with her, eventually opening Hibiscus Linens, her line of artisan, hand-stitched napkins, towels, tablecloths, and other household textiles. The winner of the Made in the South Awards’ Crafts category in 2017, Barran splits her time between her studio in Houston and Hotel Amparo, the boutique inn she owns in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Follow her on Instagram @mariana_barran.
Whether you’re selling masterful twists on your grandmother’s old-school pies and cakes, bringing seasonal bounty to the masses by the jarful, packaging this year’s venison as next year’s jerky, crafting artisanal cheeses, bottling a fiery hot pepper sauce, or producing just about any other product for the pantry, this is where you belong. Note: While we do accept items like meat and honey, we cannot accept raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, or other crops and produce, but please email us at email@example.com if you’re a grower with a story to tell.
Raleigh, North Carolina, and Charleston, South Carolina
Jason Stanhope, the James Beard Award–winning executive chef at FIG, which regularly tops Charleston’s best-of lists, and Joe Kwon, the cellist for the Grammy-nominated Avett Brothers, have been close friends since the acclaimed Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen introduced them in 2016. Although a musician by trade, Kwon has always had a deep appreciation for food, cooking in his spare time and documenting the dishes he encounters on each tour stop. Stanhope worked in nearly every kitchen position at some of the most revered restaurants across the world before settling in Charleston in 2008. The duo have stayed close, attending concerts together and getting in the kitchen whenever they can to cook and drink Champagne. Follow them on Instagram @joekwon80 and @jasondeanstanhope.
We’re on the hunt for products, whether for sport or recreation, that prod us to get off the couch and enjoy the outdoors. On the sporting front, imagine such items as fly rods and fillet knives, shotguns, gear packs, game calls, and decoys. For outdoor recreation: Bikes and boats of all types are welcome, as well as backyard games, grills, beautiful garden tools, hammocks, swings, custom campers, and more.
Raleigh, North Carolina
The author of several outdoor guides, including The Total Outdoorsman Manual, the North Carolina–based sportsman and Garden & Gun contributing editor T. Edward Nickens most recently published The Last Wild Road, a collection of essays on adventure and the sporting life. This year marks his thirteenth appearance as a Made in the South Awards judge. Follow him on Instagram @enickens.
Bespoke sunglasses? Sure. A great line of blue jeans? You bet. Jewelry, scarves, shoes, boots, blouses, handbags, hats, button-downs, watches—any kind of apparel or accessories, we’re after it all.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
As a child, Gogo Ferguson would wander the beaches and forests of Cumberland Island, Georgia, alongside her grandmother, picking up shells, sharks’ teeth, and bits of broken pottery. Those treasures inspired her to launch her eponymous jewelry brand in the early nineties. Since then, she’s sold pieces to First Ladies, celebrities, and foreign dignitaries, even designing the wedding rings for John F. Kennedy Jr. and Carolyn Bessette. Her designs have been included in two presidential collections and a retrospective exhibit at the High Museum in Atlanta, and are available at her two studios in St. Simons and Cumberland Islands. Follow her on Instagram @gogojewelry.
Here, we’ll toast the game-changing vintners, distillers, and master brewers set on bottling some of the South’s best booze. Cocktail mixers, bitters, simple syrups, and the like are all welcome too. Beyond the bar, iced teas, small-batch sodas, juices, and anything else that’ll quench our thirst makes the cut.
You may recognize Kapri Robinson from Allegory, the James Beard Award–semifinalist cocktail bar in D.C. where she shakes up creative takes on classic drinks. Or maybe you’ve heard her discussing the food and beverage world on her podcast, Soul Palate, or watched her mixing imaginative old-fashioneds and gin rickeys on Netflix’s new series Drink Masters. After growing up in Georgia and Maryland, Robinson moved to Washington to attend college more than a decade ago and never left. Since then, she cofounded the Chocolate City’s Best cocktail competition to honor the country’s top mixologists of color, as well as the BIPOC-centered culinary event series Empowering the Diner. Follow her on Instagram @KapriPossible.