FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOMA JEWELRY PLEDGES GRANT PROGRAM TO EMERGING BLACK JEWELRY DESIGNERS
Acknowledging necessary change, Seattle-based Boma Jewelry commits to providing opportunities to Black Jewelry Designers.
Seattle, WA, JUNE 10, 2020 - Boma Jewelry, a Seattle-based company, is announcing the launch of a grant program that will provide design mentorship, sampling development and production opportunities in silver and gold jewelry to Black jewelry designers.
Last week, Malene Barnett, Founder of the Black Artists+Designers Guild issued a powerful statement on Instagram about the lack of support for Black designers.
“While you’re trying to understand racism, a systematic problem, and contemplating whether you are complicit or not, make a list of the following; list the number of opportunities you’ve passed on to Black designers, list events attended and the number of Black designers you’ve interacted with, list the number of Black designers in decision making positions, list the number of award galas celebrating Blackness in design, list the number of programs featuring Black creatives as experts, list the number of Black design students you’ve mentored, list the number of design collaborations with Black designers, list the number of Black designers hired for multi million dollar projects. These are only a FEW areas to explore. If your paper is blank or fewer than a page, it just shows how much work YOU need to do because my list can take up an entire notebook.”
Boma Jewelry was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1981 and soon after built its own manufacturing facility in Bangkok, Thailand in 1985. Today Boma employs a team of 200 skilled silversmiths, artisans, production workers and supervisors who create sustainable, high-quality fine jewelry for luxury brands internationally.
As a vertical company that is family and Thai-owned, Boma is proud of its long history of ethical manufacturing and support for its employees. But Malene’s words have galvanized the team at Boma to confront the fact that in its 40 years of business, Boma has never had the honor of working with a Black jewelry designer. Instead of offering empty words of support, Boma has recognized an area where it must and can make a much-needed change.
Boma Grant Program for Emerging Black Designers
Today Boma announces its first grant program for emerging Black designers by pledging a $7,500 grant of design mentorship, materials, resources, development and sampling expertise to a selected grantee. Boma is partnering with London-based jewelry designer, Estelle Dévé who will provide guided mentorship and one on one coaching with the grantee. The program is designed to scale and work with the grantee based on his or her portfolio and area of brand growth. A common challenge to emerging jewelry designers is the risk and capital needed to test new designs and develop collections. Through the Boma grant program, the grantee will have opportunities to test new designs in the market before expanding production, therefore minimizing the risk of manufacturing goods that go unsold.
“We recognize that we have resources now that many Black jewelry designers have never had access to. It’s unfortunate that it has taken us so long to recognize this lack of opportunity and development, but we want to make it right and contribute to lasting, positive impact for our grantees and partners,” says Boma Jewelry CEO Suzanne Vetillart.
How to Apply
Applications are open to all Black jewelry designers internationally and can be submitted through the online submission form below. The submission deadline is June 22, 2020.
Important Notes (updated June 15)
The selected grantee will receive $7,500 value worth of mentorship, sample development and beginning production. The grant will not be paid in cash. For any questions on the grant please email us at email@example.com.