Two Westonites have been chosen from nearly 2,000 nominees from cross the country as finalists in the Martha Stewart Presents American Made Awards.
Marina Marchese of Red Bee Honey in Weston has been selected from more than 220 entries in the food category that has now been narrowed to 26 category finalists. She is the only finalist from Connecticut in that category.
Westonite Frances Palmer of Frances Palmer Pottery is a finalist in the design category.
Other categories of the contest include crafts and gardening.
Through the American Made Awards, Ms. Stewart and the editors of Martha Stewart Living magazine are searching for the rising stars in a new generation of small-business owners. Ten American makers will be selected for work that embodies the quality, beauty, inspiration, possibility, and creativity of Martha Stewart.
One American maker will be selected by the Martha Stewart Living audience for the Audience Choice Award. The winner will be honored at the American Made event in New York City, will appear in Martha Stewart Living magazine, and will receive $10,000 to further his or her business.
Online voting takes place through Sept. 24. People who visit the American Made website (http://americanmade.marthastewart.com/finalists) may vote once per day. Voters will be automatically entered to win prizes from Avery and The UPS Store and Martha Stewart products.
“I am so honored to have been selected as a finalist for this prestigious Martha Stewart search among small business owners,” said Ms. Marchese. “Our votes are starting to gain in movement, and I am so appreciative of everyone’s support. The timing is perfect because September is National Honey Month!”
Ms. Marchese, a beekeeper, is the author of Honeybee: Lessons from An Accidental Beekeeper and the founder of Red Bee Honey. Her story began when a neighbor invited her to meet his honeybees, she became smitten with the taste of fresh honey still warm from the hive and ditched her day job to become a full-time beekeeper — and she hasn’t turned back.
Today, Ms. Marchese dedicates much of her time educating people about the culinary delights of artisanal honey and elevating the respect of honey tasting to a high art.
Ms. Palmer began making pottery after her family moved to Weston 26 years ago. She took a ceramics class and discovered that pottery combines three things she loves: food, gardening and art.
Six years ago, Ms. Palmer partnered with Niagara Ceramics Co. to design the popular Pearl Collection, tableware produced entirely by American workers.
“I believe that art and function are not mutually exclusive and my customers, now more than ever, appreciate this. There has been a resurgence in interest in the crafts movement and as a result, a growing demand for my work. I am firmly committed to designing and manufacturing ceramics entirely produced in the United States,” Ms. Palmer said on her online profile.