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Jewelry Blog

Halstead Bead's annual competition has been around since 2006. Their grant was introduced in order to illustrate the importance of the new generations within the jewelry industry, as well as their business models. 2019's Halstead Grant for new businesses was just recently awarded to Emma Hoekstra, jewelry designer and founder of Emma Elizabeth Jewelry.

When the family-owned jewelry Halstead Bead first established the grant, the application process was developed to guide young entrepreneurs. They would eventually push toward a self-sufficient path, giving themselves the confidence to strategize a way to keep business moving forward. 

The judging panel consisted of Halstead Bead's president, Hilary Halstead Scott and cofounder Suzie Halstaed joined by their marketing project manager Kelli Vanyek Greene. Occupying the guest judge seat was co-owner of Asheville, North Carolina's Stay Gold jewelry store and digital marketing consultant, Liz Kantner. Kantner is another recent addition to the jewelry industry, having opened Stay Gold in February 2019 with business partner and tattoo artist Chris Evans.

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According to a press release, Hoekstra started working in jewelry after the unfortunate passing of her boyfriend. The release states that “Metalsmithing classes allowed Emma to channel her grief into creating her art.”

Kantner continued with the statement, saying “Emma’s work combines [wearability] and edginess in a flawless way. Her attention to detail and use of beautiful stones makes her collection something I've been coveting since exploring her work during the judging process. Not only is the design and craftsmanship beautiful, but her plan was thoughtful, realistic and showed growth from her previous application.”

A 2017 graduate with a BFA from Grand Valley State, Hoekstra's operation is currently in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Her work is playful with negative space and artful geometry, with pieces ranging in price from $25 to $600, not including the commissioned work for clients.

Her winnings from the Halstead competition include $1,000 in jewelry supplies, a $7,500 cash grant, a feature spread, and a place on the cover of the special grant publication, Reveal. She will also be traveling to Prescott, AZ. 

“We’re thrilled to present this award to such a deserving emerging artist," said Hilary Halstead Scott in a statement. "Emma applied to the grant three years in a row and we have seen her business develop by leaps and bounds each year.”

Information originally sourced from JCK Online.