I wanted to share with you our latest email that went out about the awards show. Hope this helps you understand more about what we are up to. And if you're not yet on our mailing list, please sign up!
On Tuesday of next week we open nominations for the 2015 Academy of Handmade Awards. If we know anything from working with makers, it's that you all are a humble bunch and can sometimes shy away from the spotlight. We get it... this is probably also why you chose a career where you get to have a lot of alone time and don't feel weird pressure to climb a corporate ladder and compete with your peers.
Competition is NOT what this awards show is about. We truly mean that. As much we have "winners" selected in particular artists categories it is merely to shine a light on people who are kicking ass (yes, I said ass!) in their business and making amazing product. When people see the kinds of awesome creative businesses that are emblematic of an entire industry, they take it seriously and respect it.
And what you do deserves to be respected and taken seriously.
So why participate in the Academy of Handmade nominations process? Glad you asked!
1) Honor Your Peers!
Last year we saw over and over again makers who voted for and nominated their peers because they see how much unnoticed work they put into being awesome. It is astounding how much love and support this community has for other people and this is just one to give a "hug" or "high five" to makers you know that are doing outstanding work. It's also a great boost when you are also told you are nominated. When you make alone, it can sometimes feel like no one sees all the hard work. We want to tell you that we see it and appreciate it!
2) Celebrate Yourself (without lobbying for votes)!
We have always felt strongly that makers deserve a peer-based system, because quite frankly while a lot of awards out there are great honors, many of them make you do a lot of work to get them. Whether it's through lobbying for votes from friends and family or through elaborate application processes that are juried, going after an award like that can seem like WAY too much to do when you're a company of one (or even just a few) and there are other pressing matters (like making things!). That's why when someone nominates you or you nominate yourself (which you totally should if you've had a great year!) it is just a matter of filling out a pretty quick nominations form then... that's it! Voting for Best Artist is then done by Academy Members.
3) Promote and Support Craft!
On top of recognition of individuals, we believe that when we collectively showcase the best in handmade through our nominations process and in our awards show, people start to understand that you are legit business owners making things that are useful, beautiful and valuable. Our collective excellence can show people that there is something special about buying from a maker, from a person that has honed their craft, and that you all deserve a fair wage.
4) Thank Supporting Businesses!
Lastly, we also honor those businesses in our nominations process that we have labeled as "supporters." They are the resources that help your business succeed-- the people who work tirelessly to give you a platform, help you hone your craft, inspire you, and help you make your business a business. They are the business coaches, web designers, bloggers, retail spaces and markets that believe in what you do too. And they are also awesome!
So, we hope you will join us in supporting our industry starting next week.
Nominations begin on Tuesday, October 21 at 9:00am PST. Please visit our awards page to see what's up for the 2015 Awards Show! And make sure you save the date for the show: March 7, 2015.
Don't forget, your work is worth celebrating!
Director & Co-Founder
p.s. We have so many companies that we are in midst of working out sponsorship packages with. Please let us know if you are interested in sponsoring the show before your level gets filled!
p.p.s. Check out all the fun we had at last year's Academy of Handmade Awards!