Welcome to the Open Call for Entries for the 2017 Indie Business Network Artisan Product of the Year Awards! Last year marked our first in many years of hosting this type of  award (meet the 2016 winners here). This year, we are pleased to have a carefully curated panel of influencer judges who will personally experience your products and, in each of 5 categories, score products to vote for winner, second place, and an honorable mention. (We may also have a people's choice award. More about that later.)

You must agree to and comply with the specific Terms & Conditions in order to participate. Entries are open to all artisans in the United States, all US territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix), and Canada).

The deadline to submit your entries and products is Monday, October 30, 2017. Products must be received in our offices as indicated by that date. No exceptions. Please refer to the Terms and Conditions for further details.

Why Artisan Products? Why Artisan Product Awards?

The last decade has seen a re-emergence of artisans as an economic force. Not only are they making wonderful products, they are plying their trade on their own terms and creating entirely new lives for themselves based on selling products they make with their own hands.

They do not rely on big box stores to get their products into the hands of consumers. They make a living solely on their skilled craftsmanship and the determination and fortitude required to fully embrace entrepreneurship. They defy the stereotypical statement that entrepreneurship is not for everyone.

Whether you call them Makers, Handmade Entrepreneurs, Artisans or something else, they are not only shaping their own futures, they are shaping the future of their local communities, our nation, and the world. They are redefining the market for consumer products across all areas: personal care, home decor, fashion and accessories, food, fragrance and more.

Artisan Entrepreneurs like you are single-handedly reversing a hundred years of standardized manufacturing practices. By turning away from mass production methods and assembly lines, they are feeding the demands of a market place that is increasingly hungry for customized and niche products that meet both pragmatic and emotional needs.

The Indie Business Network was founded on the principle that no woman would ever have to rely on a third party (human or otherwise) to provide for herself and her children. That vision has come to pass.

As the Indie Business Network approaches its 18th year, now is the time for an award that recognizes artisans for the awesome products they produce that make our lives and the world a better place.

• bath and body (soap, lotion, bath bombs, body butter, etc.)
• color cosmetics (nail polish, foundation, bronzer, eye shadow, etc.)
• skin care products (cleansers, toners, moisturizers, under eye cream, serum, henna products (but not hair care please), etc.)
• lifestyle and home (candles, tarts, room sprays, household cleaners, pottery, wood carvings, etc.)
• food (condiments, cookies, herbal tea, chocolate, etc.)

Submit Your Entry for the 2017 Indie Business Network Artisan Product of the Year

Use the form below to submit your entry. A separate entry form and entry fee must be received for each product you wish to be considered. Maximum of two entries per person.

You do NOT have to be a member of the Indie Business Network to participate. The influencer judges have agreed not to consider IBN membership in the evaluation process.

The deadline to submit nominations is Monday, October 30, 2017. Entries and products received after  this date will not be considered. No exceptions.

The winners will be announced in early December 2017.

Submit Your Entry

Meet The Influencer Judges


Patrice Grell Yursik, Afrobella, Chicago, IL

Website: Afrobella

Bio: Patrice created Afrobella in 2006 to fill a void in the print and online world for a celebration of women all shades of beautiful. If you enjoy different cultures, eclectic music, and have an obsession with makeup and fashion and all things fabulous, then Afrobella, is for you. Patrice has has been featured in Essence, Ebony, Glamour, Trinidad Newsday, Fast Company and more. Patrice partnered with MAC Cosmetics to create the custom All Of My Purple Life lipglass, part of the Bloggers’ Obsession collection. It sold out in a week, on two separate releases. Afrobella is currently on Ebony Magazine’s Power 100 list, alongside the likes of Jay-Z, Oprah and the Obamas, and holds a spot on the Signature 99 list of top beauty and fashion bloggers in the world.

Jennifer Moreau

Jennifer Moreau, Greenville, SC

Website: Indie Craft Parade and Dapper Ink

Bio: Jen is the Community Director for the Makers Collective, which hosts a number of annual events and local initiatives, including Indie Craft Parade, a highly curated artist and makers market that hosts the best handmade artisans from around the South. Her role in the Makers Collective includes staff organization and volunteer coordination as well as new community initiatives and general event administration with her co-directors, Erin Godbey and Elizabeth Ramos, and of course, checking out all the great Maker products she comes into contact with every day. While not working for the Makers Collective, Jen can be found at Dapper Ink, a print and design company which she owns with her husband.

Ally Loprete

Ally Loprete, Los Angeles, CA

Website: Ally Loprete

Bio: Known as the Work/Life Balance Parenting expert, Ally Loprete founded Our Milk Money, an online search directory for parent business owners and entrepreneurs. Nationally recognized as a vibrant a dynamic public speaker, Ally hosts the popular This Little Parent Stayed Home radio program on iHeart Radio. Her new book, You Got This, is a powerful metaphor for the kind of positive energy that creates miraculous and unexpected wins in life and in business. Ally is diligently chipping away at her mission to bring 1 million parents home through self-employment and entrepreneurship.

Melinda Emerson

Melinda Emerson, Philadelphia, PA

Website: Succeed As Your Own Boss

Bio: Melinda F. Emerson, known as SmallBizLady, is America’s #1 Small Business Expert. She is the author of Become Your Own Boss in Twelve Months and the forthcoming book, Fix Your Business. Melinda is the host of #SmallBizChat, the longest running Twitter chat for small business owners. Her small business advice is widely read, reaching more than 3 million entrepreneurs each week on the Internet. Melinda is a graduate of Virginia Tech and the proud mother of her amazing son. Her favorite message to small business owners is, “You never lose in business! Either you win or you learn.”

Jade Huang

Jade Huang, Seattle, WA

Website: Nephriticus

Bio: Jade Huang is a twenty something beauty blogger who shares her honest opinion on skincare products from a young, natural perspective. Jade's strong passion for healthy living has caused her to become knowledgeable and passionate about ingredients in the products she uses. Her fresh and breezy style, as well as the down-to-earth way she relates to her audience on her YouTube channel, make following and learning from her experiences both fun and informative. Because she knows you'll ask, Nephriticus comes from lapis nephriticus, from whence nephrite is derived–a mineral species of Jade.

Lisa Douglas

Lisa Douglas, Colorado Springs, CO

Website: Crazy Adventures in Parenting

Bio: Lisa Douglas, a former Army wife raising eleventy-billion kids with her boyfriend living in the stunning mountains of Colorado. At her popular lifestyle website and blog, she shares humorous parental war-stories, yummy homemade family-friendly recipes, craft tutorials, and hilarious family videos. You can find her regularly MacGyvering things back together using shoelaces and bubble gum with a breastfed baby on her hip and pretending her hair color isn’t from a bottle. Passionate about healthy living, she uses natural cleansers and eats all-natural, organic foods most of the time.

Terms & Conditions

Here are the Indie Business Network Artisan Product of the Year Award Terms and Conditions

In an effort to keep things simple, these terms are basic and to the point.

Agreement to Terms

By submitting an entry and by checking the “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions as outlined below” box when you submit your entry, you are agreeing to abide by these terms and conditions, and you understand that you will be disqualified if your entry does not comply with these terms, and that you will not receive any products back, nor will you receive any other consideration.


Your product must be made by you or under your direct control. If your product is made at a remote location where you and/or your employees are not regularly (at least once per week) present, this is not the awards program for you. Additionally, your company must be 100% owned and controlled by you. Of course, you may have outstanding lines of credit and business loans, but you must be the 100% owner of your company and your brand.


The entry fee is $10 per entry. If you are submitting a face cream, for example, you need to send in 7 (seven) of them, but the fee is just $10. If you are entering two products (which is the maximum you can enter), you need to send in 7 of each of them, and you must submit a separate entry form and fee for each.

You must also pay all fees associated with entering the award program. If you send in products, but your payment does not process, you will be disqualified and your products will not be returned, nor will you receive any other consideration.

You may enter up to two products, in any category you'd like.

Professionalism and Neutrality

Products are being judged by a panel of highly curated influencer judges, some of whom you may know personally and/or professionally.  By entering, you agree that neither you nor anyone on your behalf will seek to directly or indirectly influence a judge. If you do so, you will be disqualified and your products will not be returned, nor will you receive any other consideration.

You acknowledge that neither the Indie Business Network nor anyone associated with these program has any liability for any costs, damages or losses that you encounter by virtue of participating in this program.

You further acknowledge that neither the Indie Business Network nor anyone associated with the Indie Business Network or this program has any liability for any costs, damages or losses that you encounter by virtue of participating in this program, nor for any injuries sustained by any of the judges who use your products as a part of this program.

Program Modification

The Indie Business Network may modify, postpone or cancel this program at any time for any reason. In such case, your products (or the fair cost (not retail price) thereof) will be returned to you, along with any entry fee. Outside of the Indie Business Network canceling this program, all fees and products are non-refundable.

Promotion and Right to Display

If you are selected as a winner, you may use the badge provided to share your achievement, and you may also identify yourself, your brand, and your business as an “2017 Indie Business Network Artisan Product of the Year” winner, or similar. You may also use the badge/seal provided for this purpose, and you agree not to alter the badge in any way.

You acknowledge that any award does not constitute an endorsement of your product, your business, or you personally by the Indie Business Network or any of its members or any judges, and you may not indicate as such, directly or indirectly, in any of your promotional materials, whether editorial or advertising in nature.

If you receive an award under this program, you grant the Indie Business Network the right to display your winning product photo, and images and information about you, your brand, and your business in the marketing and advertising materials of the Indie Business Network.

Deadlines and Submission Requirements

The deadline to submit your entries and products is Monday, October 30, 2017. Products must be received in our offices as indicated by that date. No exceptions.

You may submit up to two entries in any category combination. Each one requires a separate fee.

For each entry, you must send seven (7) (one for each of our judges and one for IBN's offices) full size products (the same product, NOT different products) to the address that will be provided to you after your entry is received, no later than Monday, October 30, 2017. If you send different products, you will be disqualified. All judges must receive the exact same product.

Products must be received in our offices as indicated by Monday, October 30, 2017. No exceptions.

You must send full size products. If you are sending a color cosmetics, please see below.

Special Consideration for Color Cosmetics

The judges understand that color cosmetics may not match their skin tone perfectly, and that they are to consider other aspects of the product and not the actual color. To deal with this issue, we have decided on the following approach.

As an option (this is not required, it's just an option), if your entry is for a color cosmetic, please send seven of the exact same full size product so every judge receives the same product, regardless of her skin tone. As an option, you may also send sample size(s) of any color(s) you think is a match for any judge's skin tone. In this way, all judges assess the same product formula, and then can try that product in a different color that more closely matches their skin tone.

Mark samples clearly with the name of the judge you want to receive the samples. Again, all judges will receive the exact same full size product.

We encourage you to visit the influencer judges' websites so you can learn more about them in advance of submitting your products.

Announcement of Winners

The judges will score each product on a scale. Once all products have been scored, the scores will be tabulated, and the product with the highest score in each category will be declared the winner in that category. The product that comes in second will be the second place winner. The product that comes in third will be the “honorable mention.”

Judges are being instructed that, in addition to their experience using a product, they may also include in their scoring evaluation all aspects of your brand, including website, product photos, social media aesthetic, and overall online brand appearance.

If only a few products are received in any category, those placements will be adjusted to fairly reflect that.

We may also include a people's choice component, but we have not decided for sure whether or not to do that. We will announce that decision shortly.

Winners will be announced in early December.

Good luck to all entrants!