Evaluating dreams is the most difficult thing I have ever done on Oh My! Handmade yet. All the entrants to our New Biz for the New Year giveaway showed creativity, inspiration and the passion to make 2012 the best year for their business and their dreams. How do you say no to someones heart? It is no easy thing. I am excited to announce the winner but before I do I have to say that you are all winners! Everyone who took the time to create an entry and reflect on where they have come from and where they are going reached into my heart and inspired me beyond belief. I adore each and every one of you and believe in the power of your creativity!
But there can only be ONE grand prize winner.
This entrant’s sweet humility, young spirit and entrepreneurial drive made a big impression on myself and the other contributors to the giveaway. She was the first to comment on the giveaway and spent the entire month of December connecting and sharing with the #omhg community. With support and guidance we are sure we will see her in the pages of Seventeen Magazine and supporting herself with her dreams. Leeana of Lovelee Soaps congratulations on winning the GRAND PRIZE!
This entrant was chosen unanimously! All of us relate in someway to needing to praise and make room for our inner goofball. We need to stop taking ourselves so seriously so we can be serious about joy. With our support and love her business will grow and thrive and help her get to the place she needs to be to open a brick and mortar store so she can share her love of handmade with her community. Tania of ManusMade you have won 2nd Prize!
Her enthusiasm and warmth leapt off the screen and right into our hearts. She took the time to connect with almost every entrant to the contest on Twitter and Facebook. Her video entry was creative and inspiring, her optimism contagious. While her business is newer and in need of support and direction she has all the pieces of a successful business she just needs the tools to help her put the puzzle together. With our support and skills her business will go from fledgling to full on in 2012! Congratulations Adriana Willsie you have won 3rd prize!
Hooray for all 3 of you, 2012 is going to sparkle and shine, your businesses are going to thrive and you are going to make amazing new friends. I am thrilled to adventure along with you and celebrate your success! Please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to claim your prize!
But wait! There’s more!
I was impressed and moved by almost all of the entries so I am choosing a second list of winners. 12 entrants will have their submission featured on Oh My! Handmade as part of our Meeting the Makers series. One each month until 2012 leaves us! I think these stories need to be read, shared and appreciated so I will showcase one entrant a month. The featured business will have an ad run in the sidebar of Oh My! Handmade for the month their post runs. I will also open it up to the community to offer support, suggestions or to collaborate (trades are good!) on the missing pieces each business needs to work on. Designers get your creative juices flowing, I’ll be calling on you to design logos or other materials in mini-contests each month!
- Laura Clempson of Cupcakes for Clara-All of us were impressed by Laura’s (oh, excuse me-Clara’s) sweet entry and her business concept. We think she is already doing everything right but will benefit from some OMHG community loving. Virtual cake coming your way!
- Christine Haynes of Christine Haynes-Christine is at a crossroads, she has invested the time and finances to grow her business to where it is now but now her dream is shifting and it is time to align the old brand with the new future awaiting it. I deliberated long and hard about this one! But we feel that Christine is firmly set on the path for success and realizing the full potential of her dreams in 2012. I can’t wait to showcase her awesomeness for you all!
- Corinna Buchholz of Piddix-Corina is one of Etsy’s top 10 handmade vendors! Her business would benefit from an updated logo and unified branding but she is already well on the way to world domination. Her entry was exquisitely written and engaging and I feel deserves to be shared in a post of its own to inspire others in the same position.
- Karen Berman of Moment of Focus-Karen was a superstar connector during the contest, making a Twitter list so entrants could stay in touch and working hard to build community among the participants. Her jewelry is unique and incredible and poised to be the next big thing!
- Lakshmi of Studio Lakshmi-Lakshmi pushed her comfort zone to make a beautiful video for us where we could connect and meet her true self. Her honesty and creativity in sharing her journey made my heart sing and should be seen by all of us struggling to make our dreams reality while also juggling motherhood.
- Nanako & Deb of Pig & Fish-These ladies are just lovely! Their kindness and support of other creatives radiates from their entry and the supportive comments they shared on Twitter and the giveaway post. I can’t wait to introduce them to you and share their story on OMHG.
- Mary Craig of Clutch Jewels-this fashionable sister made a great impression on me with her video! You don’t get much sparklier and fabulous then Mary! I can’t wait to connect further and share her awesomeness and successful business with OMHG readers.
- Stefanie Nieves of The Petite Soiree-Stefanie’s story is incredible, despite opposition to her living her dreams she is fighting to make them reality. Her determination, passion and creativity are awe-inspiring, this is one supermama to watch out for!
- Sarah Lee of Sarah’s Silks-Sarah has been an inspiration to me for years. I first found out about her playsilks when I was a new mother almost 8 years ago! For over 20 years Sarah has been building a family run business based on ethics, community and creative play. Now she is faced with bringing her business into a new more visual age and connecting with her market in innovative ways. I know she will do it with grace and creativity and want to help where I can!
- Faith Raider of Faith Simplicity-Faith’s was our first entry to the contest and I found it as moving on the 3 reading as the first. Faith’s honesty and authenticity shone through in her entry as she talked about developing a business that allows her to be gentle with her depression, balance motherhood and find hope in struggle. I can identify with her story so deeply and know that other women will be inspired by reading her journey. Sorry we can’t help you with your rebrand this time around but we will be here to celebrate you as you embark on it!
- Kites and Crows-This family run creative adventure is a beautiful thing! Combining music, art, handmade and entrepreneurial spirit Mysha and Jessica Lee are involving their two children as they live their dreams. I think theirs is a story we can all be moved by and their music is a treat for the ears. Keep dreaming lovely family I can’t wait to see where the journey leads you!
- Michelle Benkso of Cloud 9 Fabrics-Michelle’s business is simply amazing and I have been a fan of their fabrics for a couple years now! Her entry shows us that you can have a brilliant business concept, all the right pieces, and everything on the way up but still need a little help scaling the mountain. I hope Michelle is able to connect with our thriving design community to get the support her business needs to achieve supernova status in 2012! And I get to share my fabric lust with you all in a feature post-yes!
- Sarah Hart of Hart to Heart-Did I say 12? How about one more for good luck? This last sweet and creative entry snuck into my brain and I am choosing her for a Spring feature in our Handmade Here series since she is a local lovely and I am excited to connect and help her grow her business in 2012.
I can’t let the rest of you walk away empty handed, so many other entries made an impact on me and all of you deserve to be celebrated for your creativity. The remaining entrants to the contest will all receive copies of my Cultivate Your Creativity workbook and a discount on advertising if booked before the end of January. You will receive an email tomorrow with your book and more information. In order of entry not of awesome here are the rest of the participants:
Eloise Pare of TheGreenBunny.etsy.com
Kathryn of Big Twig Design
Thank you all! You make the world a brighter, more beautiful place to live and give me hope for all the goodness 2012 holds. Please stay in touch and keep this new community vibrant by taking part in our weekly #omhg Twitter chats that resume on Thursday from 1-2EST. I will be running a similar contest next year (of course even grander then this one!) so keep your pencils sharpened and your hopes bright!
Thank you to our generous contest sponsors:
Aeolidia, Ahoy Graphics, Tracey Selingo, Moxie Pear, Allisa Jacobs, Erin Giles and Meagan Visser. You are the most awesome community an editor can dream of, thank you for everything and for making this possible!
Know that you are all deserving, that your dreams are worth following and that there is a community here to celebrate your wonderfulness all year long!
Virtual hugs and consolations and celebrations from my heart to yours. Now go on and grab 2012, invite it for tea and make some more grand plans. I’m right there with you.