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Why WJA?


Meeting new people and forming meaningful business relationships is the hallmark of the Women's Jewelry Association and its world-wide network of members.  






The Smithery - Anne Holman and Jen Townsend
Anne Holman and Jen Townsend are independent jewelry artists that each earned their BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design in 2002 and 2010 respectively. In the years since, each has been building her own jewelry business, exhibiting work and teaching jewelry and enameling workshops in art centers as well as undergraduate metalsmithing classes.
Anne and Jen eventually merged their jewelry careers to build a space they both had dreamed to create. Opening in 2014, The Smithery is an artist made shop and metalsmith studio focusing on contemporary jewelry and modern craft located in Columbus, Ohio. Featuring lines of jewelry designed and created in house by Anne and Jen, The Smithery also represents over 70 American and International artists. In addition, The Smithery includes an exhibition gallery and classroom space offering jewelry and enameling workshops.


2019 VETERAN GRANT WINNER (Sponsored by jewelers Mutual)



Nora Hernandez
Nora Micheli Hernandez is currently  a student at Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology at Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. She will be graduating later this year with certificates in jewelry repair, computer aided design, and jewelry technology.  She is a disabled veteran of the U.S. Army.  At home she is a wife and mother to two boys.  She plans on doing custom jewelry and working with other disabled veterans.


2020 Member Grant Recipients

The Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) announced that it has awarded $15,500 in member grants to women around the country. Member Grants are awarded to female, professional-level, WJA members in good standing, in increments of $500 to be used toward professional growth.

Funds for WJA Member Grants are raised by the national organization, as well as by WJA chapters around the country. All applications are reviewed by the WJA Member Grant Committee, chaired by Lauren Johansen, Directory of Membership Strategy and Experience at the American Gem Society. All qualified applicants are entered into random drawing to determine the winners.

Grant Winners are listed by the WJA Chapter that submitted their names:
  • Austin: Elizabeth Gibson
  • Birmingham: Alayna Jones
  • Boston: April Chestnut
  • Chicago: Nancy Hudson, Tina Kato-Rohde, Jeanette Park
  • Colorado: Avery Oatman
  • Dallas: Gayla Moores, Shannon Saxman
  • Houston: Meaghan Gorman
  • Los Angeles: Roselle Angellano
  • Miami: Coco DeSalazar
  • Northern California: Hilary Finck
  • NY Metro: Brecken Branstrator, Amy Delson, Kimberly Yee
  • Ohio/Kentucky: Christina Brandewie, Anne Holman
  • Portland: Elizabeth Simpson
  • Philadelphia: Carly Kent
  • Providence: Joanne Gadwah, Suzanne Wernevi
  • Raleigh: Anna Tinkelenberg
  • San Diego: Christine Lopez
  • Seattle: Gina Hawkins, Ann-Marie Keeney
  • Twin Cities: Erin Bitzan, Brigitta Luttrell, Lisa Torguson
  • Charlotte Preston "Get's it Done" Grant: Sarah Herrin

2019 Cindy Edelstein Jewelry design scholarship



Coco de Salazar
Coco de Salazar, jewelry designer and teaching artist in Miami, FL. Coco has been metalsmithing for nine years and currently teaches fabrication and soldering classes at Jewelry Creations Workshop school in North Miami. Her jewelry line, "de Salazar Jewelry," is designed and fabricated in her private Miami studio. In the daytime, de Salazar is a graphic designer and fine arts photographer, focusing on branding, marketing, and design needs for clients. In her free time, she loves going to the beach, yoga, ballet, and DJing. She holds the President-elect board position for the WJA Miami Chapter.


2019 Gabriel love foundation scholarship


Xabrina Michel'li-Thompson
Xabrina is a 22 year-old graduate of one of South Africa’s leading girl’s schools, Epworth High School. She acquired a number of gemological and jewelry related qualifications through the Gemological Institute of America and is a student member of the Womens Jewelry Association.  Xabrina works in the jewelry industry and as part of her duties and responsibilities has traveled widely, particularly in Asia and the Far East, marketing and sourcing jewelry products. In this process she identified a business opportunity in the pearl market which she researched and introduced to her employer. As a result, a subsidiary company was formed, in which Xabrina was given a share holding. 



  • Qianwen Lu Pratt Institute $5,000
  • Hsinyu Chu GIA $5,000
  • Lauren DelBrocco East Carolina University $3,000
  • Bonnie Cornell GIA $3,000
  • Xun Liu Savannah College of Art and Design $2,500
  • Jennifer Pollard GIA $2,500
  • Mengjie Zhang Pratt Institute $2,000
  • Zoe Larson Massachusetts College of Art and Design $1,500
  • Katie Soule eCornell University $1,500
  • Melissa Cousins GIA $1,000
  • Xichen Li University of Kansas $1,000
  • Laura Marsolek GIA $1,000