PRESCOTT, AZ (August 18, 2015): Halstead awards top honors to Samantha Skelton, artist and owner of Samantha Skelton Jewelry Designs based in Fairview, Pennsylvania. The 10th annual Halstead Grant recognizes jewelry design excellence and business strategy acumen with $5,000 in cash and $1,000 in jewelry supplies, promotion on HalsteadBead.com and industry exposure.
Skelton studied fine art in undergraduate at Edinboro University and earned an MFA with a focus on metalsmithing from Miami University in 2013. Her delicate, sculptural jewelry has a modern, urban aesthetic. Skelton's business includes custom jewelry, wholesale and gallery consignment in addition to art fairs and online sales.
Skelton says, "I have worked so hard to grow my jewelry design company and being recognized as the 2015 Halstead Grant winner is such an honor. I'm beyond excited! Prior to the application process, I had been working towards small goals. But, being able to see a big picture has really helped me take the next steps forward."
Skelton's jewelry designs are heavily influenced by her training as a metal sculpture artist. She says, “Alongside my sculptures, I found myself making smaller sculptural jewelry, almost as a sketch for larger pieces. It allowed me to play with form in a much faster and more direct way.”
Hilary Halstead Scott, President of Halstead and founder of the Halstead Grant says, "Samantha has a rare blend of cohesive, original jewelry work and knockout business smarts. The craftsmanship in her pieces and the strategic touches throughout her small business plan show impressive attention to detail. This young woman is going places. "
Image: Samantha Skelton, "Textured Cage Pendant", Polished and patinaed sterling silver.
About the Halstead Grant
The Halstead Grant competition began in 2006 to inspire the pursuit of excellence in design and business practices in the jewelry arts community. Halstead Scott says, “The health of the jewelry industry depends on the continuous flow of new talent and design creativity. The Grant has helped talented jewelry artists gain a foothold in this challenging field.”
Applicants must submit a design portfolio in addition to elements of a successful business plan including marketing strategy, production capacity and financial analysis. Past winners include well-known brands such as Belle Brooke Designs and Ananda Khalsa. 10 Finalists are also recognized each year.
Halstead's mission is to support jewelry entrepreneurs with quality jewelry supplies and great service. The company was founded 40 years ago and is now managed by the second generation of the Halstead family. Visit HalsteadBead.com to learn more, connect on social media and see videos of the team in action.
10 Finalists (2015)