Print
More News

Spotlighting This Year’s MADE Awards

By Staff Reports, posted Sep 15, 2023
Each year, the MADE Awards brings to light a variety of products and businesses that in some cases might otherwise have flown under the radar, from marine bean bags to handmade swimwear. The purpose of the awards is to draw attention to manufacturers and makers in the Cape Fear region, revealing that the area is home to more made-in-Wilmington products than residents and even business leaders might realize.  

The Greater Wilmington Business Journal launched the MADE Awards for that very reason, to recognize makers, manufacturers, artisans, designers, small businesses and the businesses that support them in New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties.  

Those chosen by the judges each year cover a wide range of products being conceived and produced in the local market.  

This year, nominations came in from businesses vying in six categories: Manufacturing, 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), Exporter 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 were 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 the 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 three top winners for the Manufacturing, Functional Product, Food & Beverage, Exporter and Arts categories and one overall for the Supporter designation. Those winners are profiled on the following pages.  

The winners will each have a table at this year’s WilmingtonBiz Conference & Expo, also produced by the Business Journal, on Oct. 5 at the Wilmington Convention Center.  

Outside of the annual awards, the Business Journal wants to continue to spotlight the MADE focus year-round. Each month in one of our print editions, we’ll feature a locally based company making goods and products in the Cape Fear region.  

To be considered for the feature, contact [email protected].  
 

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 their 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.
 

2023 MADE JUDGES

ROB BURRUS
Dean, UNCW Cameron School of Business

JERRY COLEMAN
Director, CFCC’s Small Business Center

ERIN EASTON
Director of Workforce Development, CFCC

ROMONDO MCEACHERN
Director of Business Banking, Excite Credit Union

HEATHER MCWHORTER
Director, UNCW Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship

ANGELA SCHROEDER
Patriot Illumination

APRIL SCOTT
Director, Brunswick Community College’s Small Business Center
 
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Untitleddesign2 4523114356

Cybersecurity and Productivity: Striking the Perfect Balance for Business Success

Barrett Earney - EarneyIT
Untitleddesign2

The Importance of Real Estate Appraisals

Steve Mitchell - Cape Fear REALTORS®
Headshotrosaliecalarco 1182131047

Nominate your Hometown Hero

Trending News

Haley Promoted To President, CEO Of Wilmington Downtown Inc.

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Commercial Real Estate Firm Adds Four Partners

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Women To Watch Awards Finalists Announced

Staff Reports - Jun 18, 2024

Blue Surf Cafe To Celebrate 10th Anniversary, Add Dinner Service

Jessica Maurer - Jun 19, 2024

Proposed Castle Hayne Projects Could Bring Thousands Of Homes, Commercial Space

Emma Dill - Jun 17, 2024

In The Current Issue

Beach Towns Rank On USA Today Top 10 List

Carolina Beach garnered the top spot of the local beaches at No. 2....


Startups Weigh Local Support

What do Wilmington startup newcomers moving for quality of life and proximity to the beach think of the area through a technological and ent...


Local Museum Celebrates 45 Years Honoring Railroad

The museum was founded as a joint contribution of three local Wilmington residents and a handful of artifacts, growing from there....

Book On Business

The 2024 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

2024 Power Breakfast: The Next Season