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

Grants & Scholarships

The Women's Jewelry Association Foundation, Inc. offers a variety of scholarships and grants to support the professional growth and educational endeavors of women in the jewelry and watch industries. Funds for these programs are generously provided by our corporate partners, local WJA chapters, the annual Awards for Excellence gala, and by individual donations. The Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization and donations are tax deductible. 
 

 
Funding Programs Offered: Application Period: Amount of Award:
Responsible Business Education Grant 9/1/24 - 10/31/24 4-month NYU sustainability course
Member Grants 9/1/24 - 10/31/24 $500
WJA Carelle Grant 9/1/24 - 10/31/24 $7,500
WJA Veteran Grant 9/1/24 - 10/31/24 $5,000
The Helene Fortunoff Women in Retail Scholarship 3/1/24- 4/30/24 $7,500
Radiant Minds Technology Scholarship 3/1/24 - 4/30/24 up to $17,500
WJA Diversity Scholarships for GIA Education 3/1/24 - 4/30/24 One of four GIA programs
The Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship 3/1/24 - 4/30/24 $5,000
The Gabriel Love Foundation Scholarship 3/1/24 - 4/30/24 $5,000
Student Scholarships 3/1/24 - 4/30/24 $1,000-$7,000
 
Scholarship Recipient Lotanna Egwuatu
Click here to view recent grant and scholarship winners.

Make a tax-deductible gift to the Foundation to support our grant and scholarship programs.



 

MEMBER GRANTS

 

Member Grants are awarded to professional-level WJA members in increments of $500 to be used toward business/professional growth. Funds for WJA Member Grants are provided by the national organization and WJA chapters around North America.

WJA is pleased to to allocate additional funds towards WJA member grants specifically designated for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and/or People of Color) and LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, +) applicants. WJA members that identify as BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ from any WJA chapter are encouraged to apply for these opportunities and are eligible to be selected for all of WJA's member grant opportunities. 

APPLICATION CRITERIA

  • Grant awards can be used towards career and business growth tools and opportunities, including professional development courses, industry conferences, website services, books, machinery, etc.
  • Ineligible expenses include membership fees to other associations and any materials that are used directly in the jewelry and therefore resold (i.e. metals, castings, gemstones, pearls etc.)
  • Grants will be for costs incurred between January 1, 2025 and December 31, 2025. Following verification and receipt of proof of payment for enrollment and/or materials purchased, grant monies will be distributed directly to the member who has been awarded the grant.
  • All applications will be reviewed and scored by a WJA Member Grant jury. All results of the jurying process are final and no awards can be contested.
     

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA

  • WJA Member Grants are awarded to professional-level WJA members in good standing who have been a member for at least one year prior to applying.
  • Student Members of the WJA are NOT eligible for Member Grants and are instead encouraged to apply for WJA Student Scholarships.
  • A member may only receive one scholarship or grant from the organization in a calendar year and cannot be selected for a member grant two consecutive years in a row.


If you have questions about this grant, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

APPLICATION PERIOD: SEPT 1 - OCT 31, 2024 
This application is currently closed
  
 

Responsible business education grant 
sponsored by platinum guild international

 


WJA Foundation will be awarding Responsible Business Education Grants to two individuals to enroll in a four-month sustainability course at New York University's School of Business Executive Education. Courses such as “Corporate Sustainability” taught by Professor Tensie Whelan, former President of the Rainforest Alliance, are designed for professionals, employed in small and large companies alike, to help their businesses be a positive force for change through sustainable supply chain management, employee and consumer engagement, sustainability marketing and more.

Applicants must submit responses to essay questions demonstrating their commitment to responsible sourcing and sustainability practices in their career and/or business. Applicants may also upload images but these are optional.

Eligible candidates must be current members of the WJA for at least one year prior to applying. 

If you have questions about this grant, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

APPLICATION PERIOD: SEPT 1 - OCT 31, 2024 
This application is currently closed



ABOUT PLATINUM GUILD INTERNATIONAL

Platinum Guild International is dedicated to promoting platinum and its pure, rare and eternal qualities to the consumer and the jewelry trade. PGI has offices in each of the world's major jewelry markets, providing information, assistance and education on all aspects of platinum jewelry. For more information please visit www.platinumjewelry.com.
 

THE CARELLE/WJA MEMBER GRANT IN HONOR OF BROOKE TIVOL MCGRATH

 

WJA is proud to offer the Carelle Grant in honor of Brooke Tivol McGrath. This is a $7,500 grant intended to support an established jewelry or watch professional (in business for 5+ years) in innovating their business through technological solutions and advancements, helping to boost sales and streamline operations. The candidate should demonstrate an innovative mindset, forward-looking outlook, and positive perspective of their work and the future of the industry.

Eligible candidates must be current members of the WJA for at least one year prior to applying. Applicants are required to submit an essay explaining why they deserve this award, plus images of their jewelry/timepieces and/or business.  Emphasis must be placed on personal dedication and determination and reflect a positive attitude for the industry.

 
Potential uses for the grant include:

  • Investing in technology to help streamline your business
  • Digital education to help boost your consumer reach and drive sales
  • E-commerce solutions to help diversify your revenue streams

 
*Grant funds may NOT be used towards social media and email marketing, and any outsourcing or hiring of staff.

A year after receiving the grant award, the recipient is expected to conduct a presentation, sharing how they’ve used the grant funds and the impact that it’s made on their business and the industry. They will also be asked to serve as a member of the Carelle/WJA Grant selection jury in the subsequent year.

If you have questions about this grant, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

APPLICATION PERIOD: SEPT 1 - OCT 31, 2024
This application is currently closed

ABOUT BROOKE TIVOL MCGRATH

Brooke Tivol McGrath grew up with a strong background in the jewelry industry. Instead of immediately immersing herself in the family business, she chose to forge her own path and cultivate a unique perspective in New York City. In 2007, Brooke accepted the opportunity to work at Carelle under the guidance of Co-Founder and Designer, Chana Regev. Brooke proved to be an invaluable asset to the company, ultimately serving as a driving force behind the successful launch of the Carelle brand. From marketing to design, Brooke played an integral role in developing Carelle's brand identity. Brooke understood the value of joining the Women's Jewelry Association (WJA), as it would firmly establish the new face of Carelle in the jewelry industry.

On January 11, 2011, at the age of 28, Brooke unexpectedly passed away due to a rare blood infection. In honor of Brooke, whose character was defined by strength, innovation, and the will to lead, Carelle has partnered with the WJA to offer a business grant for WJA Members.

 

WJA VETERAN GRANT  
SPONSORED BY JEWELERS MUTUAL

We are proud to offer the WJA Veteran Grant in partnership with Jewelers Mutual. This merit-based grant will be awarded to a deserving US Military veteran to use towards their professional growth within the jewelry and/or watch industries. This grant was established to lend support to women veterans who continue to serve their communities through their work in jewelry.

Click here to read a USA Today article on 2016 Veteran Grant recipient Tara Hutchinson.
 
Applications for this grant are open to members and non-members of the Women's Jewelry Association. Entrants will need to answer several questions and provide proof of honorable discharge with their application. 

If you have questions about this grant, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

 

APPLICATION PERIOD: SEPT 1 - OCT 31, 2024 
This application is currently closed



 
ABOUT JEWELERS MUTUAL

Jewelers Mutual was founded in 1913 by a group of Wisconsin jewelers to meet their unique insurance needs. Later, consumers began putting their trust in Jewelers Mutual to protect their jewelry and the special memories each piece holds. Today, Jewelers Mutual continues to support and move the industry forward by listening to jewelers and consumers and offering products and services to meet their evolving needs. Beyond insurance, Jewelers Mutual’s powerful suite of innovative solutions and digital technology offerings help jewelers strengthen and grow their businesses, mitigate risk, and bring them closer to their customers.  To learn more, visit JewelersMutual.com

If you have questions about this grant, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.


 

THE Helene fortunoff women in retail SCHOLARSHIP

 

 

  

The WJA Foundation is proud to partner with the Fortunoff family to launch a new scholarship for women in retail in honor of their late mother, Helene Fortunoff. The Helene Fortunoff Women in Retail Scholarship will support retail leaders by providing opportunities for them to further their careers through education and management training.

In memory of Helene’s unwavering commitment to pave the way for women to grow within the industry, this $7,500 scholarship will be awarded annually to a retail professional who wishes to develop their management skills to progress their career in a retail environment. The award will support education for soft and hard skills training, including talent management, project management, effective communication, collaboration, and managing conflict and resolution, merchandising, and marketing.

Rising retail leaders are encouraged to apply for this scholarship opportunity. This includes store level employees (i.e. sales professionals, assistant managers, store managers) and professionals working in inventory, merchandising, marketing, finance, and more.


Training Program / Coursework Criteria

This scholarship is valued for up to $7,500. Coursework must be taken within one year. The program may be online or in-person and is subject to approval by the scholarship jury. Some examples of programs include the Center for Creative Leadership, Dale Carnegie Institute - The Women’s Leadership Experience, NYU Executive Education - Leadership Training for High Potentials, LIM Master of Professional Studies in Fashion Merchandising and Retail Management, Drexel MS in Retail and Merchandising (online), or any college-level coursework in management, marketing, or merchandising.

Applicant Criteria

  • Must be currently employed full time in a retail jewelry store defined as either an independent, regional, or national, global chain.
  • Must have 3-5 years retail sales/ management experience (sales professional, assistant manager, or store manager) and/or broader support roles which include marketing, merchandising, inventory, finance, etc. in a retail organization
  • Open to female or female-identifying applicants.
  • Must be a WJA member in current standing or join WJA upon receipt of scholarship.


If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

APPLICATION PERIOD: MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024
This application is currently closed.
 
ABOUT HELENE FORTUNOFF
 

Helene Fortunoff was a trailblazing woman in the jewelry industry, and one of the Women’s Jewelry Association’s founding members back in 1983. She served as President from 1992 – 1995, led the organization’s fashion group for 15 years, and was recognized with WJA’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Helene recognized the importance of a community for women in the industry, as there were few seats at the table four decades ago for women in the jewelry business. She was named chairman of the Gemological Institute of America’s board of governors. The United States Carat Club, a private and prestigious De Beers group, invited Helene to be the first woman member. In recognition of her long association with Italian jewelry manufacturers, Helene received the honorary appointment as Knight of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy in 1997. In 2001, Helene received the American Gem Society’s Triple Zero Award, and in 2006, received Jewelers of America’s Gem Award for lifetime achievement, which was presented to her by Lauren Bacall, a longtime spokesperson for the Fortunoff brand.

Helene was also an outstanding mentor and believed in the value of supporting her team and developing talent. She carried jewelry by women designers and provided flexible schedules to the employees who were mothers and caregivers.


 RADIANT MINDs TECHNOLOGY SCHOLARSHIP 

 

The WJA Foundation is continuing to invest in professional development and educational opportunities for women from all backgrounds and identities in the jewelry and watch industry. The Foundation is proud of the investments it has made to advance individuals and strengthen communities, and is deeply committed to investing in the development of women who have been and continue to be underrepresented in this industry.  

To honor our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, WJA Foundation, Jewelers Mutual, and Black in Jewelry Coalition are joining together to offer a business technology scholarship with the goal of attracting new talent and strengthen the industry’s talent pool in technology and business operations roles. Technology plays a vital role in the jewelry and watch industry. From e-commerce platforms, CAD, 3D printing, and augmented reality, new technologies are emerging every day. Companies will need to keep up with these trends in order to stay relevant and competitive.

The technology sector lags behind on gender diversity. According to recent statistics, although women make up almost half of the workforce in the United States, women are still underrepresented in technology. And among the 25% of women working in technology, women of color are profoundly underrepresented - with Black and Latinx women accounting for only 3% and 1%, respectively. A 2020 report from McKinsey found that diverse companies perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged employees, and retain workers better than companies that do not focus on diversity and inclusion.

The Radiant Minds Technology Scholarship is available to women of color inside and outside the industry who are interested in serving in organizational roles in the jewelry industry that require technological skill sets related to front and back-end development, user experience design and coding. 

The selected scholarship recipient will be awarded funding up to $17,500 to pay for a training and certification program at an agreed upon institute or school. During this program, the recipient will also have exposure to various leaders within the Jewelers Mutual organization for guidance and advice.

Training and Certification Program Criteria

This scholarship is valued for up to $17,500 for a training and certification program. Coursework must be taken withing one year. The program may be online or in-person and is subject to approval by the scholarship jury. Some examples of programs include the Flatiron School (software engineering, data science, or product design) or General Assembly (software engineering or UX design).

Applicant Criteria

·       Must be age 18 or older to apply
·       Currently enrolled at a training and certification program or show proof of acceptance to a training and certification program starting  by the fall of 2023
·       Applicant must be based in the United States
·       Applicant identifies as a woman of color

If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com..

APPLICATION PERIOD: MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024
This application is currently closed.
 

WJA DIVERSITY SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GIA EDUCATION

 


 

The Women's Jewelry Association Foundation is committed to advancing the careers of women in the jewelry and watch industry through professional development and educational opportunities.

The Foundation, in partnership with GIA, is offering scholarships for GIA education courses (both online and in-person) for students wishing to advance their careers in the areas of jewelry essentials, jewelry design, diamonds, and colored stones. To further our goal of providing access and opportunities to WJA members from underserved and underrepresented communities, this scholarship is open to BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+ applicants. 

Through its giving, the Foundation believes in supporting underserved and underrepresented communities to help increase their career opportunities, and bolster their passion and professional education within the jewelry industry.

Application Criteria:

  • Must be a WJA member in current standing or join WJA upon receipt of scholarship
  • Identifies as a member from an underserved and underrepresented community, including BIPOC and/or LGBTQIA+
  • Funds to be used for one of four indicated GIA education programs or to register for a course or lab class to finish current GIA program/degree
     
If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.
 
APPLICATION PERIOD: MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024
This application is currently closed.

 

 

THE CINDY EDELSTEIN JEWELRY DESIGN SCHOLARSHIP

 

 

                                      

 

The Women’s Jewelry Association established the Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship in memory of one of the jewelry industry’s most beloved and respected members who died suddenly in 2016 of cardiac arrest. Edelstein was a champion of the jewelry design community and especially understood the unique challenges that newcomers to the field faced. For that reason, the scholarship is targeted to emerging fine jewelry designers or artisans, and memorializes her tireless pursuit of educating, mentoring, and coaching these entrepreneurs.

In memory of Edelstein's equally unwavering commitment to WJA and the careers of women, only women who are current WJA members are eligible to apply. The recipient can pursue either design or business courses, providing they are focused on improving her artistry and/or her designer jewelry/watch business. 

The Cindy Edelstein Jewelry Design Scholarship will be given annually in the amount of $5,000.

If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

 

APPLICATION PERIOD: MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024
This application is currently closed.
 
ABOUT CINDY EDELSTEIN
 

The late Cindy Edelstein began her career as an editor at JCK Magazine. It was her years as JCK fashion editor that gave her the opportunity to fall in love with jewelry designers and their work. She founded Jeweler's Resource Bureau (JRB) in 1991 with one goal -- to support the growth of designer fine jewelry as a retail category, an art form, and a community. Over the years she and her husband, Frank Stankus, who joined JRB in 1996, built a menu of marketing and publishing services that offers expert advice, custom publications, and the kind of targeted marketing tools that designer entrepreneurs need to run their businesses most effectively. Stankus continues to operate JRB today.

In 2000, Edelstein and JRB launched the first American trade show on the craft show circuit to include international studio jewelers, called globalDESIGN. This event is held annually at the American Craft Council's American Craft Show in Baltimore each February. Stankus continues to manage globalDESIGN for JRB.

In 1990, Edelstein received the WJA Award for Editorial Excellence. In 1995, she was awarded the prestigious Benne Award by the American Jewelry Design Council. In 1996, she was the winner of the Contemporary Design Group's award as Best Designer Advocate. And in 2001 she was recognized again by WJA with an Excellence in Marketing award. 


 

THE GABRIEL LOVE FOUNDATION SCHOLARSHIP

 

 


 

The WJA-Gabriel Love Foundation Student Scholarship in partnership with Gabriel & Co. is a $5,000 scholarship awarded to a deserving female student enrolled in non-design courses through a jewelry, metalsmithing or watch program at an accredited college, university, or training school (between August 1, 2023 and July 31, 2024). This scholarship has been established to help provide funding for students to achieve professional growth within the jewelry and watch industries and in their communities at large. Consideration will be given to students who are able to clearly articulate a desire to participate in charitable efforts in the future or how they will use their career in jewelry/watches to improve communities.

Applications for this scholarship are open to members and non-members of the Women's Jewelry Association. Applicants must complete the online application, which is part of the student scholarship application and selection process.

If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.


APPLICATION PERIOD:
MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024

This application is currently closed

(part of the student scholarship application & selection process).


About Gabriel & Co.:

Gabriel & Co. is a New York City based jewelry design house which was founded in 1989 by brothers Jack and Dominick Gabriel. Family owned and operated, the company began in New York City and has since evolved into one of the most prolific fine jewelry brands in the U.S., sold at more than 1,200 retailers nationwide. The story of Gabriel & Co. is one of passion, integrity, service and trust. Gabriel creates beautifully unique and distinctive pieces that are designed to reflect the true beauty that is unique in all of us. Each piece is passionately designed and created as a crafted personal experience. By infusing human passion into natural elements, Gabriel creates jewelry that enhances and celebrates beauty and personal achievements. Individually numbered, each piece is as unique as the woman who wears it. Gabriel & Co. has consistently won awards since 2011 in both JCK & Instore Magazines for being one of the most innovative and best performing brands in the jewelry industry.
 
The Gabriel Love™ Foundation was created to continue Gabriel’s history of philanthropy and to expand its charitable arm. We have dedicated our work of designing and creating jewelry to realize this vision as a way to share our love of life. By donating a portion of our profits that support philanthropic efforts, we have established our pathways toward improving life and helping those who are in need to a better future.

 

 

Student scholarships

 

How it works:
The WJA Foundation provides scholarships to female-identifying students enrolled in jewelry, metalsmithing or watch programs at an accredited college, university, or training school between August 1, 2024 and July 31, 2025. Recipients are selected by a jury in early June and are awarded scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $7,000.

Scholarships are awarded in three categories:

  • Designer/Creator (based on images of finished pieces that are designed and created by the student)
  • Designer (based on designs by the student, includes CAD and drawings)
  • Non-Designer (essay-based for those studying to be a gemologist, appraiser, watchmaker, bench jeweler, or retailer)


Due to fund regulations, scholarships are paid directly to the school. Recipients must email their bill(s) to WJA Headquarters, and a check will be send directly to the institution.

 

Application Criteria:

  • Female or female-identifying student
  • Enrolled in a jewelry, metalsmithing or watch program at an accredited college, university, or training school within the United States

*Student applicants are NOT required to be members of WJA but are encouraged to join for free by clicking here.

If you have questions about this scholarship, contact Rachel Jurisz at rachel@womensjewelryassociation.com.

APPLICATION PERIOD: MAR 1 - APR 30, 2024

This application is currently closed