The Bermudian magazine was thrilled this year to send out a call for entries into our first ever Made in Bermuda Awards—and the response was overwhelming! We were inundated with first-rate entries of exciting new products like Alex & Pete’s ice cream, Nettleink textiles and Coral Coast luxury men’s dress shirts, as well as iconic locally-made items like Horton’s Rum Cakes and Astwood Dickinson’s Bermuda collection. From hand-carved wooden spoons to a remake of the classic Bermuda short, the quality of entries made it difficult to narrow down the winners, but our panel of expert judges certainly stood up to the challenge and for that we are extremely grateful. Designed to celebrate local artisans, small-business owners and creative entrepreneurs in the fields of Home, Crafts, Food & Drink and Clothing & Accessories (even if they manufacture overseas), the 2015 Made in Bermuda Awards is proud to announce the winners and finalists herein.
Congratulations to overall winner TABS who receives a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of The Bermudian magazine. Divisional winners Alex Davidson (Home), Tucker’s Farm (Food & Drink), Tini Pinto Pottery (Crafts) and TABS (Clothing & Accessories) each receive $250 courtesy of the Bermuda Tourism Authority.
Overall Winner: TABS Bermuda Shorts
TABS—The Authentic Bermuda Shorts—has been growing in popularity since designer Rebecca Hanson launched her line on Bermuda Day, 2013. Taking a contemporary twist on the traditional Bermuda short and infusing it with her signature triangle motif has made the shorts instantly recognisable.
Hanson’s aim was to create the perfect shorts for island living—designed to take their wearer from the boardroom to the boat seamlessly. Since their launch, TABS has expanded into women’s Bermuda shorts, socks, belts and more recently, swim shorts featuring a unique pattern in partnership with artist Graham Foster.
Rich, vibrant and heavily inspired by the island’s unique hues, the colours of TABS shorts stand out in the marketplace with names like oleander pink, Elbow Beach yellow, bay grape green, red bird, parrotfish turquoise, North Rock navy and even cahow grey. “Every colour of TABS is carefully matched to something you will see on the island—from the oleander flower to the crystal blue water of Paradise Lake,” explained Hanson.
“TABS are a quintessential lifestyle product, made for island living,” she said. “Every product is multi-purpose. The Bermuda shorts for men are designed to take you from the boardroom to the boat. The women’s Bermuda shorts can also be rolled up or rolled down to show a playful tropical print making it a great short for work as well as for casual wear. The swim shorts are the ultimate weekend short with a tailored look that can be worn both on land and in the water.”
“Rebecca Hanson has really excelled in taking a simple idea and making into a brand powerhouse,” said judge Kate Dunmore. “She excels in focusing on every detail and ensures that she is connecting to her customer in every way possible. Not only has she managed to create a flawless product, widely loved by Bermudians and expats on the island, but she has also managed to market her brand so well that it has now become known internationally. Rebecca really puts her heart and soul into this brand and I think that is really reflected in the end result.”
Added judge Megan Pitman: “TABS has successfully rejuvenated the iconic and classic Bermuda short—enhancing its appeal to a wider, more contemporary market. The win is directly linked to the distinct sophistication of TABS from its creative branding, quality design, solid craftsmanship and well considered and executed marketing. In a short time TABS has shown signs of being an evolving brand with a dedication to being progressive.”
TABS shorts are available at A.S. Coopers, Coral Beach and Tennis Club and Luxury Gifts Bermuda at Tucker’s Point, as well as online at www.tabsbermuda.com.
Food & Drink Division Winner: Tucker’s Farm Goats Cheese
Located on Hungry Bay in Paget is a small herd of seven dairy goats (“five pretty ladies and two smelly boys,” according to owner James Tucker) and the entire cheese-making production for Tucker’s Farm.
Lovingly handmade in small batches, their selection ranges from fresh goat’s cheese in three varieties—plain, Marley (featuring fresh herbs) and Full Hot (with hot peppers and Black Seal rum)—to the more ripened Hay Jude, a surface-ripened blue cheese called Deja Blu and a raw milk version called Kid Cabra.
“The main cheese I make is a fresh spreadable cheese that goes well with just about everything,” said Tucker. “The Curious Cook (remember him?) once called it ‘cream cheese with attitude’ and that about best sums it up. It is sold in grocery stores throughout the island and also featured on the menus of a number of local restaurants. Aside from the fresh cheese, Tucker’s Farm also produces a variety of ripened cheeses from small mould-covered pyramids to larger aged wheels of a cheddar-like cheese.”
Along with the cheese, Tucker’s Farm is now expanding to include fresh bottled goat’s milk, thanks to the relatively new Bermuda Dairy Goat Cooperative. “This small group of local goat dairies provides Tucker’s Farm a consistent supply of goat’s milk for cheese production and currently the farm produces some 150 pounds of cheese a week,” said Tucker.
“Tucker’s Farm is producing cheeses that are of international quality,” stated judge Joe Gibbons. “The best here could stand up to goat cheeses anywhere, and with strong results.”
Ranging in price from $7.50 to $10.00, Tucker’s Farm cheese can be found at Supermart, Lindo’s Markets, Harrington Hundreds, Miles, Windybank Farm, Tom Wadson’s Farm Market and Junior’s Farm Stand.
Crafts Division Winner: Tini Pinto Pottery’s Wrecks and Reefs Collection
Artist Yamini Gupta studied ceramic design in India where she grew up and further refined her trade after moving to the US with her husband. But it wasn’t until three years ago when she followed him to Bermuda that she truly found her inspiration. “Little did I know, that I would be in for the visual treat of my life,” she said. “I couldn’t stop soaking in the pristine waters, the pink sandy beaches and the incredible variety of flora and fauna.
“One of the things that fascinated me the most was learning how the numerous shipwrecks off the coast of Bermuda waters had a positive effect on marine life. These shipwrecks acting as artificial reefs can dramatically increase the diversity of marine life in the region. Additionally, I found the sight of rusting, corroding iron against turquoise blue waters breathtaking. It appealed to my artistic sensibilities of juxtaposing opposites—old with new, dark with light, and in this case solid, opaque metal with translucent, flowing water. It is this world of mesmerizing contrasts that is the source of inspiration for my collection, Wrecks & Reefs.”
Found under the name Tini Pinto Pottery, Gupta’s handmade stoneware works are as intricate and delicate as they are weighty and solid—and they caught the attention of the judges immedia
tely. “I liked the design, colours, textures and overall craftsmanship of this lady’s items,” said judge Michael Cacy. “Good Bermuda theme, and I felt the execution supported the theme well. This design would not have been easily crafted, but the potter has done a superlative job of it. Any island home would be proud to display these pieces.”
Another judge stated: “Thematically, her Bermuda inspiration is innovative and beautifully realised. She represents the level of craft that would be a pleasure to see on the island.”
Currently Gupta’s one-of-a-kind pieces range in price from $98 to $375 and are only available by contacting the artist directly. She can be found at facebook.com/tpintopottery.
Home Division Winner: Alex Davidson’s Wooden Spoons
Carpenter Alex Davidson’s award-worthy wooden spoons have a rustic charm that gave him an edge in a category filled with quality home goods.
“Alex’s use of reclaimed local wood and his deference to their unique natural quirks and properties for each spoon’s design, really clinched his top place position for me,” said judge Delight Morris. “The collection is a delight with the hand-carved spoons available in mahogany, cypress, allspice and the classic Bermuda cedar. Alex’s spoons, some of which are crafted from the hulls of wrecked boats and hurricane damaged tree branches, represent the best in rediscovering and reimagining discarded and forgotten pieces of our environment.”
Ranging in price from $50 to $150, the spoons are created from locally sourced wood that would normally be discarded or other pieces that he salvaged. It is milled and rough shaped using large machine tools before Davidson uses his hand tools to fine-tune their unique design. “I do not have a set pattern but produce each by eye, the shape often dictated by the properties of the billet of wood,” he said. “Some of the wood that I am using at the moment blew down during hurricanes Faye and Gonzalo. I have also made items from wood that washed ashore from wrecked boats. I would like to think that each spoon has a story.”
While a simple wooden spoon may be a surprising winner in this category, judge Elaine Murray summed it up perfectly: “Although a wooden spoon, a common kitchen tool, would seem to be a surprising first choice in the Home category, what impresses is the marriage of primitive beauty, superior execution and the opportunity that Davidson took to create a product from locally reclaimed wood, making his product an example of Bermuda sustainability! Hold one in your hand, feel the weight and contours and then imagine carving the hull of a boat and you will have your perfect wooden spoon.”
Alex Davidson’s wooden spoons are available by contacting 292-2854 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.