It has been an amazing journey searching for America’s Favorite Small Business these past eight weeks.  We’ve been inspired by more than 200 businesses as they shared the story of their own American Dream. Tens of thousands of votes later, we are thrilled to announce that America has chosen the winner: Shwood Handcrafted Wooden Eyewear.

Shwood, based in Portland, Ore., was founded in 2005 by Eric Singer, who began by hand-carving wooden sunglasses in his garage. Today, with thousands of customers and fans, Shwood’s 20 employees are working hard to keep up with the demand for their beautiful wooden sunglasses made from sustainably harvested wood.

As part of their prize package, Shwood is receiving $25,000 in Dell products pre-loaded with Microsoft solutions suited to their needs, and a $50,000 MasterCard prepaid card that can be used toward their business expenses. They will also star in an online reality show about their business.

This prize package comes at a great time for Shwood; they are growing quickly and hustling to fulfill a large number of orders. The huge demand for their wooden sunglasses has caused them to outgrow their 3,500-square-foot shop, and they are now on the verge of moving into a much larger facility that can accommodate greater production.

The partners at Shwood plan to use their $25,000 in Dell products to upgrade their network and outfit their office with brand new computers and printers. They will also establish real-time tracking solutions at each of the stations on their production lines. With their $50,000 prepaid card from MasterCard, they are evaluating upgrades to some of their laser woodcutting equipment to boost production.

Watch the online reality show with Shwood, that started Oct. 25

We are excited to showcase Shwood as they show us more about their business and make use of the contest winnings in their own web reality show, which airs Tuesdays and Thursdays, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 10, 2011, on Dell’s SMB Facebook page (Facebook.com/DellBusiness).

 

A little background on the contest:

Beginning Aug. 15, 2011, US-based businesses with 25 or fewer employees were offered the chance to submit a short video explaining why they should be crowned America’s Favorite Small Business (AFSB). A select panel of judges from Dell, MasterCard and Microsoft filtered the more than 200 video entries down to the best 10 submissions and then invited the public to vote to select the winner.