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Me, a judge?

Jen Lockwood

Have you ever been asked to be a judge?  To me, being selected as a judge means that you know an awful lot about whatever you are judging.  This past week I was asked to be a judge at the New York International Gift Fair (NYIGF) and help select a Bloggers' Choice Award winner.  OK, I have to admit this was pretty cool.  With my trusty partner Kate McLeod, we walked the NYIGF floors on Monday in search of the next big thing.  

Here's an excerpt that explains what I had to do and who I picked:


NEW YORK, NY, August 18, 2010... Bloggers from eight leading design and trend-watching sites have selected their top picks for "urgent, odd and delightfully designed" products from the summer 2010 edition of Accent on Design®. The Bloggers' Choice Awards are presented semi-annually to exhibitors in Accent on Design, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair® (NYIGF).

Each blogger selected one product from among the thousands featured by 200 Accent on Design exhibitors. So, who did I select?

Cast Iron Skillets by Borough Furnace (Murfreesboro, TN)!

In short, I selected Borough Furnace because I like the story behind the product. From humble beginnings as scraped, upcycled iron to a cool, hip, useful cast-iron skillet that will last forever. Old made new -- that is what grabbed my attention.

In action - pouring iron at night

Beyond Jason Connelly and John Truex of Borough Furnace being super nice guys and having a great story, their company is going places. I have a gut feeling that someone big is going to help Jason and John get the resources they need to produce their cast iron skillets. I told them not to forget their friends at Daily Grommet when they hit it big. Check out their website to see how the Cast Iron Skillets are made. What a story to tell!

On top of being honored as a judge I was also asked if I would help with a video. Cate Salvatore, from the NYIGF, used her trusty Kodak to film me on the floor interviewing Jason. I definitely was a bit nervous and well even more enthusiastic then I normally am. Luckily, Jason jumped in with a minutes warning. If you want to check it, click here.

As I reflect back on the whole being a judge experience, I realized that I am a judge everyday. I look at hundreds of products a week and only a few make it on the calendar. I am by no means a Simon Cowell but I am learning to spot a winner when I see one.


  • Deb Says:


    You are much nicer, funnier, AND smarter than Simon Cowell.


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