Summer 2021 Awards

The NY NOW Awards provide an important opportunity for our community to recognize brands who have stood out for their innovation and design, their dedication to designing sustainable products, and those incredible emerging brands. Meet Our Judges

Click here to submit your entries for the Winter 2022 Awards.

Best Product by Section

NY NOW’s Best Product Award celebrates products at to the market that push forward the ideas of innovation, authenticity, and sustainability.



Emerging Brands Award

The NY NOW Emerging Brand Award celebrates a new brand on the rise and champions a new generation of makers and creators who have recently launched innovative product/s that tell a compelling story across their platforms. This award honors the spirit of creativity and innovation in product, storytelling, and being of the moment.



Traditions matter. They allow us to experience the richness of lives around us, to connect with the past, and to provide guidance for the future. That is why we named our company “Amara”; Eternal.  

Amara is a New Jersey based company, that partners with the artisans of West Bengal, India to bring its Rattan Collections to the International markets. Our artisans use traditional weaving techniques for rattan weaving, that have been passed on for generations. Amara’s approach is to invest in our artisans by using ethical trade practices, run community-based educational programs to preserve their craft, and ultimately provide long term sustainable income for the community.   


Our humble beginnings began with the manufacturing of our Bklyn Bento stainless steel lunch box.

As with many things in life, one thing led to the next and before we knew it we’re manufacturing a small handful of sustainable eco-friendly products.  

We first learned about stainless steel bento boxes while racing a Rickshaw across India to raise money for the Cool Earth foundation.  

During this 3 week adventure we raced across 2,500km in the Brooklyn Dodger Rickshaw.  

We zig-zagged our way through remote villages on roads that were either unpaved or riddled with potholes.  

For a couple of Brooklyn guys, this was not an issue.  We’ve been training on theBelt Parkway and Atlantic Ave for years.  

Midway through our adventure we passed through a rural town on the edge of the Rajasthan Desert, and this is where we met Neeraj.  

Neeraj is a local guy who graced us with his presence while we fixed our Rickshaw on the side of “his” road. Super nice guy, and funny! After much debate and lots of laughs he insisted on trading his bento box for my shirt (yes, he took the shirt off my back).  

It was a fair trade. It was a nice shirt.  

Fast forward and I’m back in Brooklyn eating out of a metal box…and loving it. It did not take long before we realized everyone loved this bento box and everyone wanted one; from our co-workers to our childhood friends to strangers in Prospect Park. (Even my ex-boss who had horrible taste liked this thing.)  

That’s when we decided to begin manufacturing an authentic stainless steel bento box from India and bring it home to Brooklyn, N.Y. for all to enjoy.

Welcome to Bklyn Bento!

We truly love these products and hope you do too!


BRAID & WOOD Design Studio creates modern & minimal plant hanger products for indoor plant lovers. We are a boutique product design and manufacturing firm based in San Diego, CA. 


Carol’s Cards is a special new collection of handmade, all-occasion greeting cards, each designed and sewn using yarns and upcycled natural fiber fabrics and buttons, some from old garments. Her 20 card designs range from classic to contemporary. There is nothing else like them in the marketplace. 

Fiber artist Carol Lindell Jones has her degree in costume design and has always loved textiles. She began in the Fall of 2020 creating holiday cards inspired by leftover fabrics from the more than 400 COVID-19 face masks she made for family and friends. She launched her card business in April of 2021.

 Every 5″ x 7″ card design is a unique combination of colors and textures and is personally signed by Carol. Each card is a beautiful work of art suitable for framing.  

 Putting to use her interests and expertise, Carol is a Trustee and volunteers as a curatorial assistant at the Litchfield Historical Society specializing in textiles and clothing. Carol also gives back to her community by donating a portion of her business proceeds to support food shelves in Litchfield County CT, where she lives and creates her cards in her eighteenth-century country farmhouse.


From Elina: My jewelry work has a sculptural approach, inspired by traditional adornment and travels but also, it is the result of my love for history, craft, and world cultures. I am fascinated with the process of transforming metals, bronze in particular – a metal that is deeply connected with human history. All pieces, totally hand cast and fabricated in my studio in the Bay Area, California, fuse ancient techniques with an industrial and urban vibe. 


Inspired by too many house plants and not enough space, Hold on to YourPlants® creates modern wood pieces to display your plants with spacesaving sensitivities. Handcrafted in the US, woman owned. 


{save} is a natural skin care line, working to slow down the skin’s aging process. We offer exceptionally gentle formulas suitable for sensitive skin. We deliver our products sustainably, with respect for our planet.  

Our products are safe even to the most demanding and sensitive skin – they are free of parabens, SLS, mineral oils, phthalates, sulfates, silicones and fragrance. They are manufactured in the European Union which bans over 1,300 potentially harmful ingredients from beauty products – you won’t find a single one of them in our products! 

We use nature-derived ingredients from verified sources. Our products are 100% vegan and cruelty free. We can proudly say that the declared percentage level of nature-derived ingredients in our products ranges from 92 to 99%, in accordance with the newest international ISO16128 standard “Cosmetics – Guidelines on technical definitions and criteria for natural and organic cosmetic ingredients”. Learn more about our ingredients here. 

To make sure we deliver the best quality clean and safe skin care, we commissioned a world class, independent third party testing facility. All our products are dermatologically tested and the results show that they are hypoallergenic, safe for sensitive skin, and gentle and safe enough for use during pregnancy.


Kitty Kardboard is bridging the gap between home decor and cat products, starting with the most essential item in a cat owner’s home: the cardboard box.
My inspiration behind Kitty Kardboard was my own cat named Kitty, who loved cardboard boxes. In fact, all cats love boxes, but this adorable obsession comes with a drawback for cat owners: there are several empty Amazon boxes scattered around your home at ALL times.
After learning that cardboard boxes improve cats’ overall health and well-being, I realized that getting rid of the box wasn’t the solution to the problem; The solution was to reinvent the box. So, I set out to design a product that offers cats all the same benefits of a typical cardboard box, while offering their humans a beautiful piece of decor for their home.
Kitty Kardboard cat pyramids are consciously made in the USA out of recycled cardboard. The patterns on the boxes are printed with water-based, biodegradable ink, and were designed and illustrated by myself to compliment a wide variety of interior design tastes. The structural shape was also thoughtfully designed by myself to be easily assembled without tools or adhesives, and to flat pack to the smallest possible size in an effort to minimize carbon “paw”print.


Hey, y’all – I’m Kate.

I am the designer and creator behind Paper Thistle.

Let me tell you – putting your own artwork out there on the internet for all to see is quite a funny thing. The ideas that once only floated around in my head now get to live in your home, framed on a wall or on the front of a card, with a sweet message to one your friends tucked inside.

My hope is that Paper Thistle becomes to you what it is to me – a reminder to seek beauty in the simple things.  To keep smiling and be kind. 

Kaleidadope is a creative hub created by Krystal Banner that specializes in stationery, self-published decks, art and design inspired by color & culture. The company was created with a passion for creating an interest in art through representation and relatable themes. Kaleidadope celebrates discovering passion and purpose through creativity, positivity, a sense of humor and individuality. 

Rust Belt Love is a stationery and gift company who focuses on connecting people with beautiful messages on floral letterpress greeting cards. Owners Alyson and Nick believe that what people need now more than ever is real human connection. After 10 years of designing custom wedding stationery, Rust Belt Love launched their wholesale line of sentimental letterpress stationery for paper lovers who want to send heartfelt messages with a thoughtful, handmade look and feel. Alyson is a classically trained illustrator who does all of the drawing and designing, and Nick does all of the printing, often on their 100 year old letterpresses.  Rust Belt Love was nominated for a 2021 Louie Award in the Rising Start category, and will be featuring their full line for the first time in-person at the August NY NOW show.


At Umby, we are changing the way we think about protection – one yellow umbrella at a time. We create eco-friendly, designer umbrellas that not only protect you on a rainy day, but also provide insurance to vulnerable communities.  

As we protect ourselves, what if we could protect one another? 

Our model is simple: one umbrella = one year of insurance.  

With each purchase, we provide one year of health, life, agriculture or disaster insurance to a family in need.  Umby is leading the movement to bring awareness and action to the cause of protection. By choosing Umby, you can offer a ray of hope, comfort and protection to a family as they weather life’s inevitable storms.  


InStitches combines the two most popular gifts of all time in to one incredible combo. The Sock Card is a hilarious, shareable gift that provides ultimate convenience and helps laughs live on forever… On your feet. Founded in San Clemente, California by legendary entrepreneurs Rob Dyrdek and Taylor Shupe is turning the greeting card industry on its ancient head. 

Sustainable Design Award

The NY NOW Sustainable Design Award highlights and upholds brands and makers who have embedded sustainability, environmentally-friendly production processes and socially responsible or philanthropic models into their business practice. For the longevity of our planet, these practices are vital. See application criteria below:

  • “Green” Products: products that are manufactured or constructed with only recycled, recyclable and/or sustainable materials.
  • Environmentally friendly Production Processes: manufacturers who are using renewable or alternative sources of energy in production, including wind, sun, alternative fuels and preserving clean water.
  • Socially responsible and philanthropic business practices: products produced by indigenous peoples, creating viable, sustainable trades and markets in poverty-stricken and needy communities worldwide; and manufacturers who donate percentages of their sales to not-for-profit organizations.