Jewelry designer Ope Omojola has big plans for her independent fine brand, Octave Jewelry. And now she also has a new chunk of change to help her execute on them.
The jewelry designer was recently chosen as the winner of the 17th annual Halstead Grant for Emerging Jewelers, and will receive a $7,500 cash grant, $1,000 in jewelry supplies, a trip to Prescott, Ariz. (where family-owned bead supplier and grant founder Halstead Bead is based), a detailed feedback report from the judging committee, and a trophy. The Halstead Grant is awarded to jewelry businesses in their first five years, and Omojola founded her small business in 2017.
She tells The Zing Report, “It feels wonderful to have received this grant. The application process required a lot of reflection about my version of success, my capacity, and an honest portrayal of my ideal vision for the future. It’s exciting to have put it all together and have my vision supported by Halstead’s judging committee.”
The designer plans to use the grant money, “for studio improvements so I can grow in place, new product development, education and creative expansion, and inventory to support sustainable business growth.”
Halstead’s president, Hilary Halstead Scott said, “Ope is a rare creative talent. She masterfully combines lapidary stone cutting, hot glass working, and metalsmithing skills to create a bold, fashion-forward jewelry collection. We were thrilled to see such an innovative combination of materials and techniques.”
Nigerian-born Omojola started her jewelry career by signing up for a weeknight class at the 92nd Street Y in NYC. Specializing in earrings, Octave Jewelry features hand cut stones with lamp work glass and sterling silver, and ranges in price from $200-$800. “It’s incredibly validating to have explained my vision and see it supported in such a tangible way, and I’m so excited to continue to move towards my goals,” says the designer. “Thanks to the Halstead team for the support, and such wonderfully detailed feedback!”
The Halstead Grant also awards finalists and semi-finalists $500 and $250 respectively. This year’s finalists are Caitlin Albritton Jewelry, Stellar Metal Jewelry, and Phantasm jewelry. The semi-finalists are Katelyn Elyse Jewelry, Jennifer Metesh Studios, Earthbound Silver, 9th Generation, Benjamin Ripley Jewelry, and Mae & Lang Jewels. See them all below.
The 2023 Halstead Grant will begin calling for entries in January 2023.