The Halstead Grant is an annual competition for emerging jewelry artists working primarily in silver. Applicants are asked to submit answers to 15 business questions, in addition to design portfolios, for the opportunity to kick-start their jewelry career. Since 2006, the grant has enabled entrepreneurs to find their place in this challenging industry by helping them to develop a strategy for successfully managing a new business.
Among those applicants for 2019 was BFA-JEM alumna Colleen Schwarz, who found herself as a Top 10 finalist and the recipient of prizes including a cash grant, trophy, and a Halstead book feature with the other winners. Since graduating from the Academy in 2014, Schwarz has remained proactive in gaining a foothold in the field by setting business goals and building on the vast knowledge she acquired from past opportunities. Continue reading below to learn about her experience on the grant application process and her advice on overcoming hurdles to start the next chapter of entrepreneurship.