Seattle-based Boma Jewelry announced the launch of a grant program providing opportunities to Black jewelry designers.
The family-owned, Thai-owned company has never worked with a Black jewelry designer, and in the wake of the recent country-wide protests against racism and injustice, Boma recognized an area where the they could make a much-needed change.
"Because of the pandemic, I had been planning on putting together a grant program for emerging jewelry designers that lack the capital to grow their resources," said CEO Suzanne Vetillar. "After George Floyd's death and the protests grew across our country, I felt like there had to be something we could do. I looked inward and realized that in our 40-year history as a company, we had never worked with a Black jewelry designer, and that was a big problem that we need to change as soon as possible."
According to Vetillar, the grant offers design mentorship from an industry veteran and designer with Estelle Deve, sampling and production development.
"The grant has been created to give the tools and resources to a grantee that can greatly help them wherever they are in the brand growth," she said.
Many independent jewelry designers are doing all the roles like designing, making jewelry, marketing and more, and this grant gives access to an established system and process at scale.
"If we look at our industry and what is represented, Black jewelry designers especially are not given access and opportunities to these resources," said Vetillar.
She says working with Black jewelry designers is just a small start, there are other areas of the business to evaluate and improve on.
"I'm thinking about all the areas of our business where we should be thinking about diversity, equity and inclusion and making decisions big and small that are more inclusive," said Vetillar.
Applicants can apply on Boma Jewelry's grants page now. The submission deadline is June 22, 2020. To apply visit, www.bomajewelry.com/pages/grants.