Made in Virginia 2018 Awards: Home + Style Winners

22 quality products created with pride, passion, and a commitment to craftsmanship. 

Blue Ridge Overland Gear

Tool Pouch Roll, Bedford

Whether it’s lipstick from a purse or a screwdriver from a tool kit, we’ve all experienced the frustration of trying to find something buried in the depths of a bag. To solve this problem, Matt Akenhead and his team of avid outdoorsmen at Blue Ridge Overland Gear in Bedford considered the pros and cons of the tool bags and rolls they had used in the past and created the ingenious Tool Pouch Roll. Four generous hook-back Velcro pouches are secured to a large compatible loop Velcro platform, allowing you to easily find whatever you need. To store, simply roll it up and secure it with the webbing straps and adjustable buckles. “It’s easy to pack and molds to fit in tight spaces, like under a bench seat on a Jeep,” says Akenhead, whose wife uses a modified version of the roll as her purse. “You need to carry these things and use them in this way and then move it to another space. That’s basically our design inspiration, and that’s how most of our stuff comes to life,” he says. 


Camelot Pewter

Richmond Bowl, Henrico

Anthony Berry has been making fine pewter bowls for 35 years. He has recently created a unique new design with a flat engraving area, a smooth bottom, and a distinctive size. “I had in my mind what I wanted to do for a while, but when I showed everybody my first design, they said it looked like a dog dish,” says Berry. After few design changes, the resulting Richmond bowl has become a hit in the six months since production began. Polished inside and out, the handsome bowl features beading trim at the top and bottom, and a straight, cylindrical line that offers ample surface for engraving, making it particularly attractive to the schools and organizations that use Berry’s pewter for awards and honors presentations. It is the standout in the five-piece Richmond collection of pewter hollowware. Like all of Camelot’s pewter, the Richmond bowl is lead-free and safe to use for serving food or drink. 


Earth, Fire and Spirit Pottery

Ceramic Mugs, Lexington

The Poole family’s treasured recipes for pottery glazes create distinctive colors that define the functional and decorative ceramics at Earth, Fire and Spirit Pottery in Lexington. Jointly owned by sisters Amber Poole and Jessy Poole-Caruthers, and Jessy’s husband Daniel Caruthers, the studio offers handmade, high-fire reduction stoneware. Amber and Jessy learned the art from their father, Don Poole, a minister and potter in Oklahoma who passed away in 2005. “We took over the business and moved to Virginia in 2011 to be closer to craft shows and festivals on the East Coast,” says Amber. Their father had a degree in biology and a passion for the natural world that was vividly expressed in his pottery designs. “We traveled to Belize and went on deep-sea fishing trips growing up. That’s why you see a lot of nature in our designs.” Urns decorated with sea creatures and plates covered with leaves share space in the kiln with next-generation designs, like vases with three-dimensional dragons. “Dragons are just cool,” says Amber with a laugh. 

$3 to $675.

Gates Antiques

Gates Red Oil, Midlothian

As co-founder of Gates Antiques, Ltd., which she opened with her husband John A. Gates Jr. in 1961, Jo Elam Gates of Midlothian knows a thing or two about maintaining the luster on furniture. When manufacturers stopped producing the silicone-free polishing oil used by the antiques store, the Gates family took matters into their own hands. “We just couldn’t do without it, so we bought the recipe for the oil and started making our own,” says Jo. The resulting silicone-free Gates Red Oil can be used for light to heavy finish cleaning and for finish rejuvenation. “Silicone creates a non-stick surface like glass. Unfortunately, almost all dusting products contain silicone, which can make refinishing and repairs nearly impossible,” explains the couple’s son, Jay Gates, who assumed management of the company in 2001, a year before his father passed away. “This oil is really good,” says Jo. “You can use it on kitchen cabinets, floors, furniture … anything wood. It doesn’t take much, either.” 


Lineage Goods

Waxed Canvas and Leather Bags, Harrisonburg

When Paul Hansbarger’s wife, Jessica, was pregnant in 2016, like many expectant mothers, she started shopping for a diaper bag. “She told me that she couldn’t find one that she liked and asked me to make one,” Hansbarger explains. It was a reasonable request, given that he had been in the business of making bicycle bags for several years. He “wasn’t interested in carrying around something with polka dots or purple stripes, either,” so Hansbarger created a bag they both would feel comfortable carrying. He selected waxed cotton, water-repellent canvas, and vegetable-tanned leather to ensure a durable product. His design was simple, elegant, and versatile enough to serve not only as a diaper bag, but also as a carryall for the office, the farmers market, or a night out. It was the beginning of Lineage Goods, which produces an assortment of bags, as well as leather and home goods. The shop, where you can watch Hansbarger craft his products, is in Harrisonburg. 

$128 to $168.

The Lost Whiskey Project

Off the Grid Cabins, Falls Church

“From ordering pizza to a real-time global news feed … I’m addicted, my kids are addicted, and I don’t think [all of this exposure to electronic devices] has been good for our family,” says Mark Turner, the founder of GreenSpur, Inc., a design-build construction company. Turner’s answer was to create a place where people can take a short break from smart phones. Calling it the Lost Whiskey Project, Turner plans a community of 160-square-foot pre-fab concrete cabins atop a rocky ledge in Fauquier County. Besides an incredible mountain vista and zero cell service, each cabin will have a wood-fired hot tub and a hammock outside, while the inside features a wood-burning stove, a shower fed by water collected in a cistern, a Murphy bed, and compost toilet. “It’s meant to bring out the best versions of ourselves—who we are after some quality time on the mountain, away from technology, if only for a few days,” says Turner. 

$95,000; cabins built on a made-to-order basis.


Botanical Jewelry, Charlottesville

Rebecca Perea-Kane has explored careers as varied as embroidering quilts and writing poetry, but found her passion for jewelry design on a walk through the woods. She says, “I thought a lot about how you find things while walking—little pebbles or interesting seeds—and put them in your pocket. I wanted to capture that impulse: what makes us want to carry these things around with us?” Her jewelry designs include botanicals and natural elements like crystals and honeycomb pieces. She uses sourced and found objects like blackberry and catbrier thorns and seedpods from trails near her home to create molds for reclaimed gold and sterling silver replicas, which she crafts into earrings and pendants. You can find her minimal and botanical jewelry at design shows and in shops in Virginia and around the country. 

$48 to $348.

Meet the other winners of our 2018 Made in Virginia Awards:




Click here to meet the 2017 winners.

Click here to meet the 2016 winners.

Click here to meet the 2015 winners.

Click here to meet the 2014 winners.

Click here to meet the 2013 winners.

Click here to meet the 2012 winners.

The Made in Virginia 2018 Awards were selected by the Virginia Living editors and originally appeared in our December 2018 issue.

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