In the fifth year of our MADE Awards competition, the winners covered a wide range of products being conceived and produced in the local market.
The Greater Wilmington Business Journal launched the MADE Awards to spotlight makers, manufacturers, artisans, designers, small businesses and the business that support them in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.
Nominations ranging from conceptual and early stage to actual in-market products were welcome to be submitted.
A manufacturing category also looks to call attention to the products that are mass-produced in the region.
Nominations poured in from businesses vying in five categories: Manufacturers, Exporters, Functional Product (examples include tools, gadgets, beauty products, furniture and industrial/medical devices), Arts (such as apparel, accessories, textiles, home goods and stationery), Food & Beverage (such as wine and spirits, dry/ baked/canned goods and sustainable foods) and Supporter (examples include patent law firms, manufacturing associations, SBA lenders and retail markets that carry primarily local products).
A panel of outside judges combed through the nominations and was asked to base their choices for winners on several factors, including:
- Does the business have unique offerings in its market?
- Which companies are likely to grow sales the most, particularly in other parts of the country and/or internationally?
- Is the continued growth of the company likely to result in the creation of more jobs in our region and a positive impact on local economic development?
- and for the Supporter category: Which organization is best equipped to help businesses that make products expand quickly, resulting in more jobs locally and other positive impacts on local economic development?
In the end, the judges chose top winners for the Manufacturers, Exporters, Functional Product, Food & Beverage and Arts categories and one overall for the Supporter designation. Those winners are profiled on the following pages.
Outside of the annual awards, the Business Journal wants to continue to spotlight the MADE focus year-round. Each month in the print edition, we’ll feature a company making goods and products in the Cape Fear region.
To be considered for the feature, contact [email protected]
Congratulations to this year’s winners.
-Vicky Janowski, editor Greater Wilmington Business Journal
On Twitter: @vickyjanowski
To see the winners for the Manufacturer Category, click here
To see the winners for the Functional Product Category, click here
To see the winners for the Food and Beverage Category, click here
To see the winners for the Arts Category, click here
To see the winners for the Supporter Business Category, click here
To see the winners for the Exporter Category, click here
JUDGING THE APPLICANTS
The MADE award’s goal is to recognize products made in Southeastern North Carolina.
Any company with an operation in New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties was eligible. Their product could be in production or in the prototype stage.
After the nomination period, a panel of outside judges reviewed the submissions and picked the winners.
In picking the winners, judges were asked to weigh whether the nominated businesses had unique offerings in its market; which were likely to grow sales the most, particularly in other parts of the country and/or internationally; and if continued growth would likely result in the creation of more jobs in the region and impact local economic development.
For the Supporter category, judges considered what nominated organization was best equipped to help businesses that make products expand quickly.
2019 MADE Judges
Director of CFCC’s Small Business Center
Director of UNCW’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Executive Director of the Arts Council of Wilmington and New Hanover County