2023 Winners


Craft Category

Buckaroo T-Style Electric Guitar by Schiemann Guitars

Located in Fuquay-Varina, Schiemann Guitars aims to make custom guitars that serve the needs of the player. Matthew Schiemann works to preserve lost history by using reclaimed wood from old tobacco barns around North Carolina as the body of the guitars. Each guitar holds the history of a barn while giving it a second life. The Buckaroo T-Style Electric Guitar is made from reclaimed pine from the rafters of an old tobacco barn taken down in Kipling, North Carolina. All characteristics of the wood are present, including cracks and nail holes. It is stabilized and painted using nitrocellulose lacquer, then aged to match the character of the wood. The neck is hand carved from roasted flame maple. The fret board is made from gaboon ebony, and the hardware is hand-aged to match. The pickups are hand-wound by Lollar Pickups. Learn more about Schiemann Guitars.

Honorable Mentions

Drink Category

Conniption Kinship Gin by Durham Distillery

Conniption Kinship Gin is the newest addition to the family of gins from Durham Distillery. This delicious, modern gin with a beautiful indigo hue starts with a vapor-distilled botanical base of juniper, Indian coriander, cardamom, licorice root, angelica root, and bitter orange. Then, delicate botanicals of fresh orange and lemon peels, honeysuckle flowers, and peeled, ripe cucumbers are distilled into “vodka” using modern vacuum and cold distillation methods. All are blended before adding pure, distilled, and deionized water. In the final step, butterfly pea flowers are all-naturally infused into the gin, resulting in a beautiful indigo hue. Science equals art in cocktails with Conniption Kinship Gin. The color shifts from indigo to shades of blue and pink when mixed with citrus. Conniption Gin has no extracts and nothing artificial. Learn more about Durham Distillery.

Honorable Mentions

Food Category

Lavender Lemon Cookies by Sweater Box Confections

Based in North Carolina’s Outer Banks, Sweater Box Confections is on a mission to bring friends and families together to enjoy delicious baked goods made with love. Inspired by the owner’s grandma who would fill sweater boxes with her handmade cookies and fudge at Christmas, the team bakes handmade cookies in small batches. To make their Lavender Lemon Cookies, the bakers start with their sugar cookie recipe and use quality ingredients and culinary lavender from a family-owned and operated farm. These crisp, buttery cookies with a hint of lavender and lemon are one of their best sellers. They call them tea cookies, but you can enjoy them with any beverage, or all by themselves. All Sweater Box Confections are crafted without preservatives and with a bit of love baked into each bite. Learn more about Sweater Box Confectioners.

Honorable Mentions

Home & Garden Category

Sculpted Cherry Barstool by Handcrafted by Keegan

Located in North Wilkesboro, artist Keegan Watson creates functional furniture and artistic pieces from trees that have been removed from urban settings or from local lumber yards that practice sustainable forestry. Keegan finds unique specimens of wood and designs interesting bases to make each piece of handcrafted furniture special. His Sculpted Cherry Barstool is made from old growth cherry salvaged from closed furniture factories in western North Carolina. The stool has an ebonized exterior while the inside of the seat is the natural color of the beautiful cherry wood. The flowing lines on the seat cradle you as you sit, and the legs taper gently to the floor to give a light look and feel. Finished with a durable semi-gloss varnish, this stool is both durable and outrageously comfortable. Learn more about Handcrafted by Keegan.

Honorable Mentions

Style Category

The Marigold Beanie by Carolina Textile District in collaboration with Fonta Flora Brewery, Solid State Clothing, Opportunity Threads, and InnovaKnits

The Carolina Textile District (CTD) is a member-governed and member-driven network of values-aligned textile manufacturers invested in creating a new and dynamic textile industry in our region that values the worker, the environment, and the community. One of the Carolina Textile District’s projects is COLLECTION, and as its name implies, it’s a collection of products made in North Carolina. Made within 125 miles in North Carolina, the Marigold Beanie was created through a collaboration between six North Carolina businesses: Fonta Flora Brewery, InnovaKnits, Opportunity Threads, Solid State Clothing, and the Carolina Textile District. This naturally dyed beanie is made from 100% recaptured wool that was saved from the landfill. The Marigold Beanie is a locally sourced and manufactured product that showcases the strength of community partnerships and transparent supply chains. Learn more about Carolina Textile District in collaboration with Fonta Flora Brewery, Solid State Clothing, Opportunity Threads, and InnovaKnits.

Honorable Mentions