The American Made Outdoor Gear Awards, which annually celebrates the best stories from companies with a commitment to American manufacturing and sourcing in the outdoor market, announces the finalists for the 2017 awards. Winners will be announced and presented with awards at a ceremony on January 11, 2017, in Salt Lake City, UT, during the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market.
The American Made Outdoor Gear Award was founded in 2013 by Kokatat to recognize the leaders in American made quality, craftsmanship and creativity in the outdoor world. “Over the past five years we’ve received so many fantastic domestic manufacturing stories and we’re honored to share them with our industry,” said Jeff Turner, Kokatat sales manager. “This year’s crop of applicants was as impressive as ever, demonstrating the strength of domestic manufacturing in the US.”
Judged by a group of outdoor industry peers, the American Made Outdoor Gear Award application includes more than 30 questions regarding size, scope, challenges and success stories of domestic production.
Kokatat’s creation of the awards is rooted in its own history, as the brand’s founder and president, Steve O’Meara, recognized from the start that keeping production local was necessary in order to control quality and continually develop the finest and driest paddling apparel in the world.
The Grand Prize winner, selected from the category finalists, receives one-year ownership of ‘Sassy,’ a hand carved, 2-foot-tall, redwood Sasquatch from Humboldt County, CA. Category winners receive miniature versions of the award, and all entrants receive a certificate of participation.
Past keepers of ‘Sassy’ include Liberty Bottleworks (www.libertybottles.com) of Yakima, WA, Benchmade Knives (www.benchmade.com) of Portland, OR, Sterling Rope (www.sterlingrope.com) of Biddeford, ME, and current warden of the trophy Hyperlite Mountain Gear (www.hyperlitemountaingear.com) also of Biddeford, ME.
The Sassy Award has traveled across the country, where will he go next?