Made in Virginia 2019 Awards: Home & Lifestyle Winners

24 products made by skilled, enthusiastic, and creative Virginians.

Naked Goat Soap Co. concrete candles, Tweed Studio cutting board, Scarpworks cheese knives, and Saint Virginia Handcrafted Textiles organic cotton botanical-dyed table runner.

Photo by Fred + Elliott

Alexander Brothers

Key Chain Bottle Opener, Timberville

The simplicity of its mission belies its artistic beauty. The Alexander Brothers’ bottle opener has one job of course—to open bottles—but the iron and wood tool transcends its humble task. Made of hand-forged iron with a handle adorned with brass-riveted walnut or cherry, the bottle opener is a collaborative effort of brothers who were raised to be craftsmen. “Dad encouraged us to be craftsmen first,” says Shea Alexander, one of five brothers who each learned traditional methods of blacksmithing, woodworking, and leather crafting as soon as they could safely wield a knife or hammer iron on an anvil. “We have maintained the aesthetics of old-world crafts,” he says. Shea, a woodworker, collaborated with brothers Drew, a blacksmith, and Jo, a leather craftsman, to design the bottle opener and other products in their “tavern ware” collection. The Timberville-based company sells its openers and other handcrafted products, which are as varied as barn doors and leather journals, online and in a variety of stores around the Commonwealth. 

Staff Notes: “Small but sturdy…it’s adorable! It makes a great gift and is perfect to take to a tailgate.”


(Click here to see a photo of the bottle opener.)

Hardwood Artisans

Waterfall Solid Cherry 5-Drawer Low Chest of Drawers, Elkwood

Hardwood Artisans Waterfall solid cherry 5-drawer low chest of drawers.

Photo courtesy of Hardwood Artisans

A customer brings a lamp into one of Hardwood Artisans’ four showrooms and makes a request: “I want a dresser to go with my lamp.” That’s everyday business for this 42-year-old company, which creates heirloom-quality furniture to order in its Culpeper workshop. Hardwood Artisans works hand-in-glove with their customers, creating bespoke designs ranging from traditional to contemporary. They use eight sustainably harvested wood choices; cherry is the most popular. And even if you’re a thousand miles away and your order requires a complicated installation, they’ll make it happen. “From first touch to last touch,” says marketing director Susan Caudel, “we strive to handle every creation from design to delivery.”

Staff Notes: “Gorgeous! Graceful lines and outstanding craftsmanship. Love the attention to detail.”


Naked Goat Soap Co.

Concrete Candle, Hanover

Moving to the family farm in Hanover opened George and Heather Long’s eyes to a simpler, uncomplicated way of life. The fresh living feeling prompted Heather to leave her job in real estate and, in 2014, start Naked Goat Soap Co. Her first product was soap made from the milk of their Nubian dairy goats. Other body products and candles have followed. Heather’s body products include pure essential oils and other all-natural ingredients. Her pure soy candles with cotton wicks are lightly scented with phthalate- and paraben-free fragrances. George makes the reusable concrete vessels that keep the wax cooler, resulting in a longer, cleaner burn. “Turn off all the noise,” Heather says. “Live a simple, clean life. It’s a beautiful place to be.”

Staff Notes: “A very pleasant scent, subtle. Burns clean, melts well. Appealing!”


Saint Virginia Handcrafted Textiles

Organic Cotton Botanical-Dyed Table Runner, Gainesville

Nine years ago, cancer changed the way Amy Hindman looked at everything. She searched for the all-natural, the toxin-free, the life-giving—even when it came to finding a scarf. Not finding what she sought, Amy created her own from the softest organic, American-made cotton she could find and natural plant dyes. What started as a need turned into Saint Virginia, her own artisan textile line. In small batches, she lovingly dyes scarves, table runners, and tablecloths using flowers, plants, roots, leaves, and bugs. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind work of art. Amy grows most of the flowers she uses at home; the rest she forages locally. Her favorite release, Suburban Forage, is a print she created using onion skins from the grocery store. 

Staff Notes: “These are so unique and one-of-a-kind. Nice botanical feel—like bringing the garden inside.”



Cheese Knife, Suffolk

Wood has long been the medium of choice for cheese boards. But father and daughter duo and woodcrafts aficionados Ed and Joanna Bickham of Suffolk have found a way to take the beauty and functionality of wood to the next level. Ed is a retired engineer who makes an assortment of wood furniture, cutting boards, and various home décor pieces in his workshop. Joanna, who shares his love of woodcrafts, is the designer and finisher for their business, Scarpworks. Just over a year and a half ago, the pair was discussing their wooden cheese boards, noting what a shame it was that their beautiful creations were destined to be “cut up” by sharp metal knives slicing through cheese. Joanna suggested wood knives, and her father quickly agreed. Made of mostly locally sourced woods like maple, osage, and cherry, the knives will last as long as any other knife if used respectfully, says Joanna. 

Staff Notes: “Elegant design and exquisite craftsmanship. It feels great in your hand and looks so pretty on a cheese board.”



Tweed Studio Cutting Board, Richmond

Monograms can be found on almost anything from shirts to beer huggies. Tweed™, a gift and home decor store in Richmond owned by Carol and Paul Viall and their daughter, Kate Stottlemyer, has been adding initials and names to everything from trays and stemware to jewelry trays and ball caps for 15 years. Now they’ve added a new dimension to their popular engraving service: drawings. A new product line, Tweed Studio™, features hand-drawn illustrations of homes, penned from photographs and then engraved on any of four products. These include two styles of made-in-Virginia wooden cutting boards and two styles of aluminum serving trays. A personalized message can also be engraved on the back of each product. “We do a lot of personalization for special occasion gifts like engagements, weddings, and anniversaries,” says Stottlemyer. “Our new product line is an evolution of that.” The family hopes to add more products to its newly launched Tweed Studio™ lineup. “Our gifts are perfect for commemorating and celebrating life’s special occasions, including buying a new home,” she adds. 

Staff Notes: “This would be a perfect housewarming gift!”


Meet the other winners of our Made in Virginia 2019 Awards:



Style & Beauty

Click here to meet the 2018 winners.

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 2019 Awards were selected by the Virginia Living editors and originally appeared in our December 2019 issue. Look for these and other products made in Virginia in the Virginia Living Store

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