Grants can be a great way to help your jewelry business get to the next level. Read on for a list of grants for your business, as well as some tips and resources of where to look for funding options.
As small business owners and one-person shows, we often need a little extra help. This article lists grants, funding, and scholarship opportunities for your jewelry business. Grants are great because unlike a loan, you don’t have to pay them back. These opportunities can help you launch a new collection, open a brick & mortar, or learn a new skill.
Halstead Grant – The Halstead Grant is an annual grant from the Halstead jewelry supply company. Winners receive $7,500 in cash, a $1,000 merchandise credit, recognition in the industry, and personalized application feedback from the judges. The Halstead Grant is open to those who have started their jewelry business within the past 5 years, work primarily in silver, and have the intention to sell their work at a national level. There is a 3x submission limitation and the grant is only open to U.S. residents or those with a Permanent Resident Card. The Halstead Grant also recognizes 5 finalists and 5 semi-finalists, receiving $500 and $250 each, respectively. Semi-finalist and finalists also receive personalized feedback from the judges. The call-for-entry goes live every summer and they are currently accepting applications.
FedEx Small Business Grant – The FedEx Small Business Grant awards $50,000 to 3 grand prize winners to help grow their business. The grant also awards 7 First-Place winners with $20,000, and $10,000 to five winners of the FedEx Distinction Awards. Applicants must have a 9-digit FedEx shipping account number, be in business for at least 6 months, have fewer than 99 employees, and a shipping need for their business to enter. Information regarding the 2023 grant will be posted to the FedEx Small Business Grant webpage linked above.
Here We Are Awards – Here We Are is an initiative started by New York City Jewelry Week. The program addresses the lack of representation within the jewelry field. Each year, a new group of jewelers are selected who represent the diverse spectrum of makers in the US. Program members are eligible to be selected for one of two funding awards. The Exhibitions Awards grants and established jeweler $5,000 to produce an exhibition for NYCJW. The Emerging Entrepreneurs Awards grants two emerging jewelers $1,500 to expand their business. The program also offers workshops and educational initiatives, the opportunity to apply for a residency at NoLo Studios in New York, and a dedicated marketplace to sell their work in collaboration with 1stDibs.com.
Tory Burch Foundation – The Tory Burch Foundation offers multiple options for women entrepreneurs to gain access to financial capital. The Bank of America Loan Program provides access to affordable loans through Community Lenders. The Tory Burch Foundation has also partnered with Fearless Fund and The Cru to provide grants for women of color. The Nest Artisan Revolving Fund from the foundation partners with Nest to offer repayable grants to women artisans and makers in select cities across the country. Additionally, the Tory Burch Fellows program is a year-long program that offers $5,000, business education, mentorship, and access to a community of other women business founders. More details on each program can be found on the ‘capital programs’ tab of the foundation’s website.
CERF+ Grants – CERF+ is an organization created by artists, for artists, that aims to protect their livelihood. This is done through education, advocacy, network building, and emergency relief. CERF+ offers a few funding options. The Get Ready Grants are geared towards protecting artist’s businesses and preparing for emergencies. They can be used for business protection, like inventory software, studio safety equipment, and emergency readiness, and career protection, like financial planning services. Their Emergency Relief grants are provided to those who have experienced a serious illness or injury, or experienced an event that would significantly and adversely affect their business, like a fire or natural disaster. To apply for an Emergency Relief grant, artists must first submit an inquiry form before they can apply.
Women’s Jewelry Association – The Women’s Jewelry Association is a national organization that aims to help women in the jewelry and watch industries advance professionally through education, community, and leadership development. They offer a number of grants and scholarships geared towards a variety of career stages and usages. You can find a full breakdown of each grant, including eligibility, application period, and award amount, on the grants page of their website. Please note that for many of the grants you must be a WJA member.
Society of North American Goldsmiths – The Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) has many resources aimed specifically towards jewelers. The Educational Endowment scholarships are provided to expand students or professionals’ education within the field. This means they can be used towards jewelry and metalsmithing classes. There are often grants and scholarships by outside organizations listed on their Opportunities page as well. In addition, SNAG offers scholarships to their annual conference so those interested can attend at a discounted rate.
Nina Berenato Making it Together Grant – Austin, TX-based jewelry designer and maker Nina Berenato, created a grant aimed specifically towards women artists. The Making it Together Grant awards $5,000 to a female or female identifying individual, who sells work they made themselves, and is located within the US. $50 from the sales of her Making it Together Necklace go into the grant fund, and each time it reaches $5,000 – a new grant is given out.
The JewelFund – Created by Jessica Rose of the Jewellers Academy, the JewelFund awards 3, £1000 grants, along with 2, 1-hour business coaching sessions with Jessica, and a year-long membership to Jewellers Academy This grant is open to anyone, in any country, over the age of 16, who owns their own jewelry business – that’s it! One grant will be given to a jeweler who identifies as a BIPOC individual. Grants must be used towards your jewelry business, and receipts will need to be submitted.
|WomensNet Grants – WomensNet offers a variety of grants to women, with their most well-known grant being the $10,000/month Amber Grant. In addition, they offer business specific grants for different categories, like skilled trades and creative arts, marketing grants, and mini grants. You only need to apply once to the Amber Grant to be considered for all other grants WomensNet offers. Awards range from $2,000 for the mini grants to $25,000.|
Art Jewelry Forum Grants – Art Jewelry Forum, or AJF, offers two grants on alternating years. The AJF Young Artist Award recognizes innovation in early career jewelry artists. Winners receive $7,500 and four finalists receive $1,000. Applicants must be under the age of 35 and not enrolled in a formal training program. The second is the Susan Beech Mid-Career Artist Grant, which recognizes mid-career artists who have made a significant contribution to the field. Winners receive $20,000 to be paid over two years, and the money must be used towards a specific project. Project updates and spending updates will be provided every 6 months. The grant is open to those 35-55 years of age who have an active career.
The grants listed above are a great start to get you going, with many of them jewelry or arts specific. However, there are so many more out there – we just don’t have enough space to cover them all! We’ll list some additional resources below, as well as some information on where to search for grants, funding, and grant-related tips.
Social media can be an excellent source for finding grant information. I found Future Focus Consulting on Instagram. They are a firm that offers consulting services for businesses for a fee, however, their Instagram account, @futurefocusconsulting, posts new grants every week across a variety of disciplines. You may consider searching Facebook for groups. You can search for grants, but ‘art opportunities’ or ‘art open calls’ bring up a number of groups that will post grants as well.
Seek out general business related organizations. The National Association for the Self-Employed offers grants to those who are members of the organization, but they also offer many more resources. They have a blog, ask the experts pages on subjects such as marketing, accounting, and business law, and tax calculators. US Business Grants lists a variety of grants across the country. From federal grants to industry specific, you can browse their full list to find one that’s a good fit. Your local town or chamber of commerce may offer grants, as well as local organizations that want to support their communities. These can be great resources for business benefits in general. Searching for local opportunities can be beneficial because often there isn’t as much competition, and the organizations are smaller, meaning they don’t show up in general Google searches.
Check out jewelry and metalsmithing related organizations. Often their websites have related opportunities listed, like SNAG does. You can search the scholarships and grants tabs on SNAG’s Opportunities webpage. There anyone can list relevant opportunities and it changes frequently, so be sure to check back regularly. Search for your local metalsmithing or jewelry guild or organization. For example, the Metal Arts Guild of San Francisco has a page listing the grants they offer for members. You might even already be a member of your local guild! Lastly, investigate the websites of craft schools and organizations that run classes. Although not technically a grant, many offer scholarships to take their courses. The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, has a list of scholarships outside of the organization to take their courses, in addition to in-house scholarships. GIA offers courses on diamonds, colored gemstones, jewelry, and more.
Lastly, many of the funding organizations listed above have small business resources. For example, WomensNet and The Tory Burch Foundation both have areas on their webpages for grant application tips and small business webinars, respectively. While Artwork Archive may be an inventory software company, their newsletter compiles a list of artist opportunities every month, and that includes grants. Their blog often covers many of these opportunities as well, so it’s definitely worth checking out. The Resources tab of the Halstead Grant webpage offers a number of resources, including grant writing tips, business related readings that may be helpful, a list of professional jewelry organizations, and much, much more.
Additional Funding for Your Jewelry Business
The above-mentioned grants and resources are great options for funding your jewelry business. However, they are not the only option. Loans are another alternative for taking your business to the next level. Our article How to Get Jewelry Business Loan for Your Studio Business walks you through what you need to do. It also covers the different kinds of loans, where to search, and common vocabulary associated with loans (which can be tricky to understand for those new to it – but we’ve explained it all for you!). We also cover CDFI, or Community Development Financial Institutions, in depth in another article. Check out the Business section of our blog for additional resources!
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