September 30, 2020 / Business

Winners of the Halstead Grant

The Halstead Grant is awarded each year to an upcoming jewelry entrepreneur working primarily with silver. Learn more about our recent winners. ...

The Halstead Grant is awarded each year to an upcoming jewelry entrepreneur working primarily with silver. Many of the winners have used winning the grant as a way to accelerate their business. Read on to learn more about our most recent winners.

Each year the Halstead Grant awards a handmade jewelry artist, working primarily in silver, with $7,500 in startup capital, $1,000 in merchandise and more. A group of finalists $1,000 and $250 in merchandise as well. Started in 2006, the Halstead Grant encourages jewelers to step away from the bench for a bit and put some focus on their business skills. The application consists of questions that, when completed, amount to a nearly complete business plan for the next few years. In addition to providing images of their jewelry collection, applicants are asked about their sales goals, marketing strategy, financial goals, and more business related questions. Unlike many other awards in the jewelry industry, judging is based on both the jewelry pieces themselves and the applicant's business plan. The application's postmark deadline is May 1 each year.

To help new and experienced jewelers alike, Halstead also released their Jewelry Business Plan Toolkit to aid business owners in laying out a business plan.

2022 - Octave Jewelry


For Ope Omojola, Octave Jewelry was the natural outcome of a lifelong creative practice prioritizing materiality, color, and movement. A student of Anthropology, communication through dress and adornment fascinated Ope. She first picked up a soldering torch at a weeknight class at the 92nd Street Y. Through independent experimentation and exploration, Ope creates wearable sculptures that speak to personal style, history, and sentimentality.

Octave Jewelry is inspired by the balance between geometric and organic forms and features hand cut stones with lampwork glass and sterling silver details. All stones are hand cut and all glass is handformed in Octave’s New York studio.

2021 - Laura Fortune

undefined After completing a winter residency in the metals studio at Penland School of Craft, Laura Fotrune moved her jewelry studio to Lisbon, Portugal to work in the PANDO art studio.  During this time, Laura focused on illustration work and traveled to Czech Republic, Germany, Morocco, and Romania.  She returned to the US for the summer and took an artist residency in Thomasville, Georgia at Studio 209, where she developed her enamel jewelry designs and drove cross-country to sell her designs at various Renegade Craft Shows in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle.  Laura returned to Lisbon and for four years created her jewelry designs in Portugal and traveled to London, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and her hometown of Tallahassee to sell her work. In 2021, Laura returned to the US were she began her tenure as the artist-in-residence at the William Steeple Davis House and Studio in Orient, New York.

2020 - TIN HAUS

Necklace by TIN HAUS Christina Grace started TIN HAUS in 2016 and launched her debut collection in 2018. TIN HAUS has built a grassroots style reputation and has appeared in magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and Tatler. The TIN HAUS collection is inspired by abstract art, nature, social cause, and the spirit of everyday people. Christina uses sustainable practices, recycled metals, and responsibly sourced gemstones to create her bold-minimalistic statement pieces. Christina is a GIA Graduate Jeweler and is working towards a B.F.A from CSU Long Beach. She was also a finalist in the 2018 Halstead Grant.

2019 - Emma Elizabeth Jewelry

Rosarita cuff by Emma Elizabeth Jewelry Emma's devastating personal loss led to her discovery of jewelry making as a form of therapy. She works with bold lines and angles to fabricate dimensional geometrics. The Emma Elizabeth Jewelry collections are designed to stand out, encourage, uplift and build confidence in the wearer. Most of her pieces are the perfect daytime office look turned night out on the town splendor. Emma earned her B.F.A from Grand Valley State University and studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where her jewelry collection vision began. She was also a finalist in the 2018 Halstead Grant.

2018 - Emily Shaffer Studio

Earrings by Emily Shaffer Studio Emily Shaffer Studio's jewelry collection features a clean, matte finish with oxidized components to create visual depth. She enjoys the limited color palette so there is greater emphasis on the body and linear qualities of her designs. Emily has participated in several juried fine craft shows and was the recipient of the J. Allen Pawling Craft Memorial Award. Emily graduated from Kutztown University with a B.F.A. and B.S., after whish she moved to Maine for an internship and has found her home to create her contemporary jewelry. She was also a finalist in the 2017 Halstead Grant.

2017 - Kristen Baird Jewelry

Earrings with blue stones by Kristen Baird Kristen Baird uses reticulation and ethically-sourced gemstones to create a modern twist on traditional metalsmithing techniques for her fashion and bridal jewelry lines. Based in Savannah, Georgia, Kristen's designs pay homage to the waters, landscapes, and flora of the Southern landscapes. She studied jewelry and metals at Savannah College of Art & Design and is a Graduate Bench Jeweler from the New Approach School of Jewelry Making. She was also a finalist in the 2016 Halstead Grant.

2016 - ENJI Studio

Ring by ENJI Studio Jewelry Niki Grandics creates the modern, edgy accessories behind the ENJI Studio brand. She focuses on ethical practices and is a member of the Ethical Metalsmiths organization. Niki won the Windgate Fellowship in 2014 - the same year she started ENJI Studio and graduated from San Diego State University with degrees in Applied Design and Marketing. She is also a GIA Graduate Jeweler and glass artist in addition to her metalsmith skills. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Halstead Grant. 

To learn more about the Halstead Grant, download an application, and see a complete list of winners visit For tips when applying for the Halstead Grant, visit the resources page and our blog.

Written By: Ashley Maldonado
Ashley is the Content & Digital Marketing Specialist at Halstead. She grew up in the Prescott area and holds degrees in Strategic Communications and International Affairs. She and studio dog Mavis enjoy spending as much time as possible in the employee studio at Halstead.