Made in Texas

Enterprising Texans launch new awards celebrating the best of the Lone Star State

Enterprising Texans launch new awards celebrating best in the state

Texas Works Awards
As the name implies, the awards celebrate all things Texan. Texas Works Awards/Facebook

A new awards program from two enterprising Austinites celebrates Texas' love of all things, well, Texan. Texas Works Awards honors the best in locally crafted products, ranging from fashion to food to apothecary, and serves as an avenue to get consumers to support Texas-based artisans and business owners. (Did we mention this is about Texas?)

Texas Works is the brainchild of KLRU's The Daytripper host Chet Garner and Vincent Friedewald, founder of the Austin-based No. 4 St. James. Together, the duo is launching are launching the awards project as a "joint venture to celebrate Texas products."

For its inaugural run, the awards will focus on products in eight categories:

  • Fashion & Style
  • Workshop
  • Food
  • Drink
  • At Home
  • Adventures & Outdoors
  • Pets & Animals
  • Apothecary

To enter, a contestant must submit their entry (which must be made or based in Texas) and pay the $45 entry fee by September 21. The winner will receive a $10,000 grand prize, an appearance on an episode of Garner and Friedewald's new video series, and bragging rights. And, since this is Texas, the bragging rights just may be the best prize of all.

To pick the winners, Garner and Friedewald have crafted a panel of judges from across the Lone Star State, including Hardcover Carnivore's Jess Pryles (Food), Junk Gypsy Co.'s Amie and Joie Sikes (Fashion & Style), and Fixer Upper's Clint Harp (At Home).

“The awards are an exercise in discovery, really," Friedewald tells CultureMap. "We want Texans to discover what their fellow Texans are making, so they can support them as customers, and we want the Texas makers to discover each other, so they can be inspired, and even collaborate as business peers. So it’s a discovery contest as much as it is an awards contest.”

To launch the awards, the duo partnered with Go Texan, part of the state's Department of Agriculture. (You've likely seen the trademark logo on Texas products.) Friedewald said the relationship makes sense because of the work Go Texan does in support of local products. "They were on board right away," he says. "Chet handled that relationship and I think it all came together in about 24 hours."

Semifinalists for the first-ever Texas Works Awards will be announced on October 22, which is also the first date for voting in the People's Choice category. The grand prize winner and People's Choice selection will be announced on November 26.