MASTERS OF CRAFT AWARDS
FOOD & DRINK

We’ll raise a glass to the game-changing distillers, master brewers, and cocktail mixers, and discover refreshing non-alcoholic small-batch sodas, juices, and teas. Whether you’re showcasing century old family recipes, boxing up baked goods or crafting local honey and jams, this is where culinary excellence shines.

HOME GOODS

Barware, cast iron cookware, kitchen utensils and cutlery, pillows, rugs, and table linens—everything from rustic coffee tables to contemporary leather armchairs — we’re looking for those items that’ll turn a house into a designer’s dream home. 

WEARS

Race-day neckwear or sportcoat? Millinery or a line of handmade jewelry? We want to see your talents! Button downs, watches, scarves, shoes, boots, and alike— we’re looking to celebrate it all.

HANDMADE

Hand painted barrel heads, cloisonne ornaments, letterpress printers, painters and artists, ceramics, candlemakers, leather and textile crafters; this is the category for you.

AWARDS OVERVIEW

The “2023 Masters of Craft Awards” is a Competition sponsored by Keeneland Mercantile, in partnership with Keeneland Magazine. This Competition recognizes the products of craftsmen or businesses that manufactures or produces a product in the U.S.A. that fits into one of the four (4) Categories: FOOD & DRINK, HOME GOODS, WEARS & HANDMADE. 

2023 Overall Winner

The Overall Grand Prize Winner will receive $5,000, a physical award, write-up in Keeneland Magazine's Summer 2023 Issue & featured product placement in the Keeneland Mercantile Store and keenelandmercantile.com. The winner will be selected by a panel of judges, based on the criteria described below.

2023 Finalist


Each of the four (4) Categories (defined above) will have three (3) Finalists for a total of twelve (12) Finalists. Each of the Finalists will be featured in the Summer 2023 Issue of Keeneland Magazine.

2023 Patrons' Pick Winner

The twelve (12) Finalists will also be eligible to receive the Patrons' Pick Award. This award will be decided through an online public vote, which will take place from April 1 – April 15. The winner will be announced on May 1, 2023 and will receive $1,000 and a physical award.

HOW TO ENTER: To enter, please visit http://www.keenelandmercantile.com during the Competition Period (October 15th - December 31st), timely submit the required application fee of $50 and complete all of the required fields of the Competition entry form, which will be sent by email after application fee is purchased. As part of completing the Entry Form, you must upload up to four (4) photos of your product. Have any questions? Check out our FAQ page here

MEET THE JUDGES

AL & MIKE BARKER

AL & MIKE BARKER

Allison (Al) and Mike founded Made Market in 2015 with the goal of coming alongside makers and inspiring shoppers by hosting Louisville’s finest curated handmade market. Made Market has since expanded and now host annual markets in four states where they have the opportunity to serve even more artists and artisans.

 Al, Mike and their six children love that they get to call Louisville home.

DIXON DEDMAN

DIXON DEDMAN

Dixon Dedman is an awarded talent in the bourbon industry known for blending some of the finest American whiskies of the last twenty years. He draws on his deep experience in spirits, branding, and product development to push boundaries with startups and established brands. He also has twenty-plus years of experience in the hospitality industry as the fifth-generation owner and innkeeper at one of the country’s most prestigious James Beard-awarded properties, the Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg, Kentucky. 

EMMIE HOWARD

EMMIE HOWARD

As President of Onward Reserve, Emmie Howard has nearly 20 years of experience, leadership and passion in the apparel industry. Howard is a pioneer of the nationally widespread Southern food and fashion culture, and is credited with being an industry trailblazer by launching a first of its kind clothing brand, Southern Proper. Onward Reserve has 12 store locations across the Southeast with its most recent new store addition at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia, that opened in October. Over 100 Independent specialty stores across the country also carry the brand at wholesale. 

ASHLEY SMITH

ASHLEY SMITH

Ashley Smith is the CEO of Black Soil KY. Our Better Nature is to reconnect Black Kentuckians to their legacy and heritage in agriculture. By bringing together urban families with rural and urban-based Black farmers, growers, producers across the state, they help introduce opportunities in agriculture that promote self-sufficiency, encourage healthy living, and activate cooperative economics. Their vision is to help foster a greater market share for Black farmers and producers as they provide healthy food options to a larger consumer base.

CHRISTOPHER THOMAS

CHRISTOPHER THOMAS

Christopher Thomas is the founder of MADE SOUTH, a brand focused on creating events that celebrate the best makers and artisans in the South. He is passionate about the South and small business, and has invested in several brands including Eli Mason and Good Southerner.

Christopher lives with his wife, Kimberly, and their four children on a small farm in Franklin, Tennessee.

JUDGING PROCESS

ENTER HERE
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