NEW YORK, Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DailyCandy, the original trusted source for handpicked discoveries of fashion, food and fun, today unveiled the names of small businesses proceeding to the final round of its 3rd annual Start Small, Go Big (#SSGB) contest, sponsored by Ink(SM) from Chase, the small business credit card portfolio from Chase. Out of 2500+ entries, eighteen finalists (three from six categories -- fashion, food + drink, home, beauty, digital + tech and most inventive) were specifically chosen by the editorial team famous for their unique ability to discover 'the next big thing'. Now, the fate of these finalists is in the hands of the voting public; America will vote for their favorite daily now through August 24th.
The six winning businesses who emerge as fan favorites will get the chance of a lifetime - a trip to DailyCandy's Start Small, Go Big Academy on Oct. 9 & 10th in New York City for a series of one-on-one mentoring sessions with a roster of DailyCandy mentors including Etsy's Matt Stinchcomb; Georgetown Cupcake's Katherine Kallinis and Sophie LaMontagne; indie designer Lauren Moffatt, One Kings Lane founders Susan Feldman and Alison Pincus; TLC's What Not To Wear hair stylist Ted Gibson; interior design guru Jonathan Adler; fashion magnate Rebecca Minkoff; Christiane Lemieux of DwellStudio; and the founders of Fresh, Lev Glazman and Alina Roytberg. Winners will also meet with experts in the fields of marketing, public relations, finance, product and tech -- arming them with valuable know-how and allowing them to structure their business plans for successful future growth.
In addition to expert advice and ongoing professional counsel, winners will also receive invaluable endorsement on DailyCandy's various platforms and gain career-changing exposure among some of the most engaged and loyal readers in the digital community. Support includes a proverbial 'stamp of approval' from DailyCandy's trendspotting network of editors, an email to DailyCandy's network of subscribers, visibility on the company's website, and promotion to DailyCandy's 1 million+ Twitter followers/fans, as well as an invitation to attend a blowout bash held in the winners' honor with the brightest movers and shakers from NYC's top industries.
The finalists across the six categories of the 2012 DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big contest are:
- FASHION: Arrowhead(@arrowheadco), a Maine-based organic, sustainable clothing company; Afia,(@afiameghan) a sustainable women's clothing line sourced and sewn in Ghana, West Africa; Brooklyn-based, vintage-inspired women's designer Lauren Nevada.
- FOOD + DRINK: Honeysuckle Gelato (@honeysuckleatl), Southern-inspired gelato and sorbet made from local ingredients in Atlanta; The Teaologist (@JennieRipps), an innovative, unique NYC-based tea purveyor; What Jew Wanna Eat (@WhatJewWannaEat), an Austin, TX-based food blog on Jewish home cooking.
- HEALTH + BEAUTY: Atypical Beauty (@SamanthaShepard), an online shop for safe, effective health and beauty products; Spright (@spright), a performance-driven cosmetics brand for active women; Soap Cartel (@soapcartel), purveyor of artisanal articles for the bath, body and home.
- HOME: Miss Fancy Plants (@MissFancyPlants), a NYC-based floral boutique; Uprise Art(@UpriseNYC), a members-only club for art collectors; Hello My Sweet (@hellomysweet), a full-service dessert and decor concept party designer.
- DIGITAL & TECH (new category): Taste Savant (@tastesavant), a curated restaurant discovery site for the savvy diner; Spinlister (@Spinlister), an online bike rental marketplace; StyleUp (@TheStyleUp), a style-advice app with outfit suggestions for any occasion.
- MOST INVENTIVE AWARD, SPONSORED BY INK FROM CHASE (new category): Free Bread (@FreeBreadInc), a gluten, nut, corn, soy and sugar-free bakery; Apt 2B (@APT2B), an LA-based home shop focusing on style, function and "comfortability"; StudyNY (@StudyNY) well designed clothes that withstand the seasonal trend's test of time.
The "Start Small, Go Big" site (www.startsmallgobig.com) serves as a resource for new business owners looking for insights, tips, and invaluable early-day resources. Visitors can follow the continued growth of past contest winners and hear counsel from industry experts who've blazed the trail to success. The DailyCandy Start Small, Go Big contest capitalizes on DailyCandy's unique power to launch undiscovered businesses as a way to provide a select group of entrepreneurs the tools to take their businesses to the next level. All 18 finalists should expect to see a lift in sales, website traffic and distribution, and partnership and media interest, as evidenced by last year's finalists, who have gone on to open new stores, expand their product offerings, and distribute product to upscale must-eat restaurants and stores nationwide. To learn more about DailyCandy's Start Small, Go Big contest or the DailyCandy Academy and the mentors participating this year, visit www.dailycandy.com/startsmallgobig.
The voting polls are open August 8th through August 24 at 11:59 PM EDT. Online voters are entered daily to win a Jonathan Adler Tote Bag and $250 worth of DailyCandy Deals.
DailyCandy is the original, trusted source for handpicked discoveries of fashion, food and fun. DailyCandy editors find the genuine, the next and the unique for more than six million readers- nationally and via 11 local city editions. Come enjoy the hunt, the scoop and the share – and the sweetest deals in your city. Explore from your inbox, at DailyCandy.com and on these social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Tumblr, and YouTube. DailyCandy is a unit of NBCUniversal's Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media.