Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

I loved recently learning about the Martha Stewart American Made audience choice award in her most recent issue of Living magazine. This is a contest that I can really get behind and I don't generally even LIKE contests - but yet this seems so good for all of those involved from an exposure standpoint - and also simply the excitement of being nominated and recognized in the first place, that you can't help but get excited for everyone despite who wins. They're all winners anyway, right? Martha Stewart American Made: Vote!

Currently, you can go to the Martha Stewart American Made website where you have until September 13, 2013 to vote for your favorite makers in 6 categories: food, craft, design, style, technology, and garden. You can vote up to SIX TIMES per day for your favorites. Each vote enters you into a weekly drawing to win a book signed by Martha Stewart, American Express gift cards, and other prizes.

The six nominees with the most votes in each category (food, craft, design, style, gardening, or technology) will receive an American Made Gift Basket and be featured on their website and on Sirius radio. From this group of finalists, the audience will then choose the Grand Prize Winner between September 17-23 and on September 24th the winners will be announced.

The 2013 Audience Choice Winner receives $10,000 to further their business plus a trip for two to New York City to attend the American Made Workshop where for two days, Martha Stewart Living magazine will transform New York’s Grand Central Terminal Vanderbilt Hall into the American Made Workshop and showcase the best artisanal and handmade crafts, gifts, foods, gardens, projects, and designs. They will also be given a feature on marthastewart.com. Not bad!

A major German fashion magazine owned by Conde Nast called Myself had a similar contest a few years ago for a reader's choice award and I won in the design category. I was so thrilled. I was given a trip for two to Munich, they shot a video of me working at my home, I was featured in their magazine, photographed with my husband at their red carpet awards gala, honored on stage before a large audience and given a lovely prize that I still cherish and display in my home. These types of things can really mean a lot to those of us who are working independently, at least it meant a lot to me. I was just nominated for a German media award called the Lead Award but we'll see... I'm up against some amazing writers and bloggers! I just feel honored to have been nominated in the first place. To me, that's already a win. I'm sure all of the current American Made nominees must feel the same and if they don't - they should. It's an incredible honor!

I wish ALL of the nominees the best of luck and I hope all of my readers will get involved and vote!

(images: marthastewart.com)