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Jeweler wins national award

October 16, 2019
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Emma Hoekstra
Emma Hoekstra. Courtesy Halstead

A local jeweler has earned national praise.

Emma Hoekstra, the owner of Emma Elizabeth Jewelry in Grand Rapids, won the 2019 Halstead Grant for new jewelry businesses.

Emma Elizabeth Jewelry is based locally and sells nationally.

Hoekstra received a $7,500 cash grant, $1,000 in jewelry supplies, a trip to Prescott, Arizona, the cover and a feature spread in the grant publication “Reveal,” a feature profile and jewelry showcase in the 2020 Halstead catalog and a signature trophy. 

“We are thrilled to present this award to such a deserving emerging artist,” said Hilary Halstead Scott, president of Halstead and grant founder.

“Emma applied to the grant three years in a row, and we have seen her business develop by leaps and bounds each year.” 

She was a top-5 finalist in the 2018 Halstead Grant competition. 

Hoekstra graduated with a B.F.A. from Grand Valley State University in 2017. Her jewelry career began after the death of her boyfriend. Metalsmithing classes allowed Hoekstra to channel her grief into art. She studied abroad in Florence, Italy, where she began envisioning her jewelry collection.

She is a member of SNAG and the American Craft Council. 

Hoekstra’s pieces use "simple geometric shapes in new ways" and are meant to be worn in the office or on a night out. She also creates commissioned bespoke jewelry for clients. Emma’s jewelry can be found online and at various festivals and events.

The Halstead Grant began in 2006 to bring the business plan concept to the jewelry community and encourage makers to establish "clear goals and measurable steps toward self-sufficiency."

The application process guides participants through the elements of a complete strategy for entrepreneurship. Participants all receive general feedback from the competition jurors, with finalists receiving individual feedback reports. 

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