Wairarapa has come up trumps at the 2015 David Awards, entrepreneurs from Martinborough and Featherston taking home two major accolades.
Small businesses owners Adi McMaster and Karyn Carter were both finalists in the Solo Meo category of the awards -- held to recognise the achievements of small and home-based businesses -- for people who run their business singlehandedly.
Mrs McMaster's business, MartyGirl Skinfood, won the category, while Ms Carter's doggytreats scooped the People's Choice Award, with her home-baked dog biscuits winning her scores of fans.
Martinborough resident Mrs McMaster, whose businesses specialises in handmade skincare and beauty products made from locally-sourced natural ingredients, said she was "excited and stunned" by her win.
"I first heard I'd won when Karyn rang to congratulate me, but I didn't believe it until I saw the email in front of me," she said.
"I just went, 'oh my God, that's my name'.
"It's so cool to think of people like Karyn and I, trundling away in our little kitchens in little old Martinborough and Featherston, doing everything ourselves, getting recognised like this."
As founder of MartyGirl Skinfood, Mrs McMaster not only makes her own plant-based products, but collects the ingredients, sources the pottles and labels, does the packaging, manages her website and social media, and runs beauty therapy workshops for schools, businesses, and community events.
"All the hard work and husking weeds has paid off," she said.
"At first, it seemed like nobody cared or recognised what I was doing -- but after a while, people started taking notice."
She said she most wanted to thank the group of women who volunteered themselves as "guinea pigs" and tested her products -- and is looking for test subjects for her new men's range, MartyMan.
Featherston's Ms Carter, who started doggytreats this year after relocating to Wairarapa, said on her Facebook page receiving the People's Choice Award, combined with being a finalist in the Solo Meo category, made her feel like "one happy puppy".
"I'm delighted -- and so grateful to everyone who has supported and believed in me," she said.
She said she looks forward to receiving "a nice, shiny certificate" and feedback from the judges on developing her business further.
"You don't win anything as such -- but you get the kudos and bragging rights, which is awesome."