Everybody knows Martha Stewart is the best host of all time, so I knew the event would be put together perfectly, over the top, down to every detail. I set the bar high going in to it, but the event still managed to exceed my expectations and completely amaze me.
Lets start with the fact that the whole purpose of the event is to support, promote, honor, and train American makers. So great! I am so inspired and happy that Martha wants to do something like this. The event had two main events: The American Made Awards, and the American Made Summit. The first night the American Made Award winners were honored, and the Summit was basically a full day of training for American Makers and small business owners.
The first night, we got to meet and hear from all of the Award Winners. Here are the winners:
You could really tell that Martha and her team wanted to do everything they could to promote the brands they were honoring because the event space was designed perfectly to do just that. Before the Awards started, there was a cocktail reception where walls were lined with American Made products for attendees to see, take pictures of, and of course shop.
It was so much fun!
And can we just stop to talk about the food served all weekend? It was UN REAAALL. I literally died.
The bar was situated in the center of the space with all local wine and beers to taste. Separated by region so you could taste the difference between food from the South, North, East, and West. Everything was delicious.
One of my favorite things I tasted at the event was the ULIVjava mocha iced coffee drink. I usually just drink black coffee, I really try to avoid all the extra calories and chemicals in sweeteners of coffee flavoring products. The ULIVjava mocha iced coffee is ALL NATURAL! And it was seriously delicious!
Martha didn’t just host the event, she interacted with the crowd, toured the summit, and listened to all of the speakers. I actually looked over during one of the training talks, and saw Martha sitting in the middle of the crowd listening intently. It was very inspiring to see that she not only put on the event, but engaged the whole time. It shows she really cares about supporting the American Made movement. She even brought her dogs out to meet everyone!
The speakers were so insightful! I personally loved the panel on the role of social media in building brands. I also truly enjoyed hearing from Peter McGuiness of Chobani about how to craft a brand. There were experts from many different industries, all there to support and train American makers to build strong businesses.
Even some celebrities made an appearance! Blake Lively from Gossip Girl showed up to chat about her awesome website Preserve.us, which I am absolutely obsessed with. Barbara Corcoran from Shark Tank spoke on a panel with Martha, Tim Davis the President of the UPS Store, and David Bobbitt the Executive Director of The Score Foundation. The panel was moderated by Charlotte Beers.
I would recommend that anyone following the American Made movement attend this event. It was truly a blast and so informative! Although, I may have gained a few LB’s from trying all the delicious food!
If you’re an American Maker, apply next year! Maybe you will win an award and be invited to showcase your products at the even next year.
Don’t forget to check out all the winners from this year! They are some seriously great companies. I hope to interview as many of them for the blog as possible 🙂