Western jewelry designer Amy Fortunato of Cowboy’s Sweetheart rounded up top honors in the 2010 Jewelry Design Business Development Grant competition. Her prize package includes $6,000 in cash and jewelry supplies. The annual award is sponsored by jewelry supply wholesaler Halstead Bead, Inc.
The grant is awarded to a new jeweler in the bridge or handmade jewelry segment each year in recognition of design skill and business acumen. Candidates must submit lengthy applications including portfolios of original jewelry and details of their business plans.
“Amy’s work beautifully blends western inspired silversmithing with contemporary design elements. Her line is both fashionable and affordable,” said one competition judge, Hilary Halstead Scott, “her witty branding and accessible price points are perfect for an accessory start-up in the current economy.”
Fortunato received her jewelry training as part of a Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut. Her career has included graphic design and jewelry production for other companies prior to launching Cowboy’s Sweetheart. Fortunato describes the genesis of her company as her answer to the call “Go West, young lady, go West!” After moving to Colorado she began her love affair with the region’s natural surroundings, history and people.
“I attempt to celebrate a little bit of the American West each time I turn out a new piece.” she stated. “I am thrilled to receive this recognition and the opportunity to grow my business.”
Cowboy’s Sweetheart joins a distinguished list of past Grant winners in the industry. Her jewelry collections are available online at www.Cowboys-Sweetheart.com. A complete list of past grant recipients and finalists as well as competition details are on the Jewelry Design Business Development Grant website at www.HalsteadBead.com/grant.