SEATTLE — Per Business Wire, Amazon announced the finalists for its first-ever Small Business Spotlight Awards, an awards program established this year to honor and celebrate top entrepreneurs and small businesses across the country selling in Amazon’s stores. Amazon customers will select the Small Business of the Year, Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year, and Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year by voting now through Nov. 8.
Since Sep. 20, more than 1,300 U.S. small businesses have nominated themselves for the awards. Six finalists have been selected per category, based on their origin story and company vision; customer centricity; and product innovation, selection and value.
Denise Sung, founder of Watex Green Living, is a finalist in the Small Business Owner Under 30 category. Watex offers urban garden products designed for all ages and housing units, so those living in small city spaces can still enjoy gardening.
“Growing up in the countryside in Northern Taiwan, I spent much of my childhood with my late uncle in his vegetable garden. He inspired me to start my own business to make gardening more accessible for people without much space,” said Sung, per Amazon’s website. “I'm doing what I'm most passionate about: green living. Our products are a no-brainer, and the installation is straightforward — you can set up a home garden in less than 30 minutes and have veggies when they are ripe!”
The other finalists are:
Small Business of the Year:
- Ayoba-Yo, a South African-style meat snacks company based in Fairfax, Virginia.
- Baking Steel Company, which produces pizza baking steels and griddles, based in Cohasset, Massachusetts.
- Damhorst Toys & Puzzles, maker of wooden toys, based in Hermann, Montana.
- EcoBark Pet Supplies, a sustainable pet products company based in Largo, Florida.
- nutpods, which makes non-dairy, unsweetened creamers, based in Bellevue, Washington.
- Ravenox, a ropes and hardware company based in Mount Vernon, Washington.
Woman-Owned Small Business of the Year:
- 1818 Farms, which produces bath and beauty products, based in Mooresville, Alabama.
- EazyHold, maker of grip cuffs for people with disabilities, based in Simi Valley, California.
- Nerdbugs, which makes organ-shaped plush toys, based in Madison, Wisconsin.
- OBIA Naturals, a natural hair and skin care company based in Dallas, Texas.
- Soul Insole, which makes foot rehabilitation products, based in San Diego, California.
- Ultimation Industries, manufacturer of conveyor systems, based in Roseville, Michigan.
Small Business Owner Under 30 of the Year:
- Bedtime Bulb, maker of sleep light bulbs, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Habit Nest, which makes journals to build good habits, based in Los Angeles, California.
- Joe Chocolate Co., which produces caffeine-infused chocolates, based in Seattle, Washington.
- Player Ten Games, a party games company, based in Austin, Texas.
- Renova Medical Wear, maker of clothing for postoperative patients, based in Weehawken, New Jersey.
- Watex Green Living, which makes urban garden products, based in Lake Forest, California.
Winners from each category will receive a prize package including six months of dedicated Amazon account management, Sponsored Products advertising credits, promotion on Amazon.com, and a trip to Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. Winners will be announced later this year.