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Garden & Gun’s Fourteenth Annual Made in the South Awards Call for the Best of Southern-Made Products



Press Release

The official call for entries for Garden & Gun’s fourteenth annual Made in the South Awards is open through June 20. The magazine is seeking Southern-made product entries in six categories: Home, Crafts, Food, Outdoors, Style, and Drink. The overall winner receives a $10,000 cash prize and is prominently featured alongside the other category winners and runners-up in the magazine’s December 2023/January 2024 issue, which hits newsstands in November 2023. 

Additionally, for the second year, the Made in the South Awards program will feature a Sustainability Award, given to an artist or innovator leading the way with not only a noteworthy product, but also responsible production, conservation awareness, and locally driven production. G&G has incorporated this important element into the competition to highlight and advocate for conservation in the South and beyond.

“Even after fourteen years of this program, the excitement around the G&G office is still palpable when we launch the Made in the South Awards,” says David DiBenedetto, senior vice president and editor in chief of the magazine. “We’re thrilled to see the talent of the artisans, makers, small business owners, and sustainability trailblazers from the region and honored to shine a spotlight on it.”

Garden & Gun created the Made in the South Awards in 2010 to celebrate and encourage Southern craftsmanship, and to recognize the best Southern-made products on the market. The recognition has proven to make an impact on the growth of small businesses who have been honored in every category.

Testimony from the 2022 MITSA overall winner: “Winning the Made in the South Awards has significantly increased sales of the Warren cabinet, but more importantly has helped me reach a much larger client base across the South. It has been a fantastic affirmation of creativity and the desire to conceive something that’s unconventional at first, but feels right at home when finished.” —Elijah Leed, owner of Elijah Leed Studio (Durhan, NC)

The Made in the South Awards judges are industry experts from across the country selected by G&G’s editorial team. The 2023 judges are:

Stephanie Summerson Hall (Summerville, SC): 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. 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. (HOME)

Mariana Barran (Houston, TX): 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. (CRAFTS)

Joe Kwon and Jason Stanhope (Raleigh, NC and Charleston, SC): 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. (FOOD)

T. Edward Nickens (Raleigh, NC): The author of a handful of 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. (OUTDOORS)

Gogo Ferguson (Cumberland Island, GA): 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. 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. (STYLE)

Kapri Robinson (Washington, D.C.): 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. She also 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. (DRINK)

All Southern artisans or businesses with a product in one of the six categories (Home, Crafts, Food, Outdoors, Style, and Drink) that will be available for sale through January 2024 may apply. For entry forms, category descriptions, and rules, visit Entries will be accepted until midnight ET on June 20. Winners will be publicly announced in the December 2023/January 2024 issue of Garden & Gun, which will hit newsstands in November 2023.

To follow along with the Made in the South Awards, use #madeinthesouthawards on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, or visit us at

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