Martha Stewart has always had a finger on the pulse of creativity and the work of artisanal makers, so it's no surprise that her American Made 2014 awards marks their third year with a fresh crop of talented nominees and finalists. I recently discovered, much to my delight, that my business, Cotton & Flax, has been chosen as a finalist in the design category of the American Made 2014 awards!

For a small business like mine, this type of support and exposure would be a game-changer. In my case, it would allow me to expand my current studio space to make room for larger projects, and to expand the number of talented local sewers I hire to help me with my work. It would mean the opportunity to create a larger impact in my own local economy, as well as open the doors for more ambitious projects and exciting collaborations with other USA-based brands.

Most of all, the potential of winning an award like this fills me with excitement and hope for the future of the makers movement. It's wonderful to see Martha Stewart and her team spreading the word about talented artisans who are creating their work in America, and I hope that this spotlight on American craft and design will continue to draw new people to supporting USA-based companies.

I hope you'll read more about my commitment to USA-based production and the values behind my business in Cotton & Flax's profile on the American Made site, and explore the stories of the other finalists, as well! You'll find so many talented makers are finalists for this award, including my favorites: Austin-based leather goods maker Canoe, and Portland-based stationery company Egg Press. Of course, I would be so thankful for your vote, and hope you'll spread the word about American Made!

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Who will be the 2014 American Made Audience Choice Winner? You Decide.

Martha Stewart and her panel of judges have been busy selecting the next generation of American Made entrepreneurs. Thousands of makers from across the United States nominated themselves for the chance to become a 2014 American Made Award Winner and finalists have been selected. From the entire pool of finalists, 10 Award Winners will be named: 9 by the judges and 1 by our audience. The competition is far from over. 

Make your voice heard by voting for your favorite American maker — discover all the American Made finalists here, then click on the blue “Vote” button found on each finalist's profile. You can vote up to six times each day until voting ends on October 13th, 2014. The most active voters will automatically be entered to win unique prize packages each week valued at $300. 

Passion is contagious, and we're counting on you to help one of these makers, creators, and innovators win a 2014 American Made Award and $10,00 to grow their business. Will you join us and cast your vote today?

Guest post by Erin Dollar, Owner, Maker, Cotton and Flax, an American Made Awards 2014 Finalist.