With a love for jewelry-making that began in high school, Duchess Leigh studied the craft by reading books from her local library. Unfortunately, start-up cost hindered her abilities to begin a career in jewelry design for fifteen years.
When Duchess was able to take her first jewelry-making class, the years she spent dreaming of her own studio finally became a reality.
Saving tips from her job, she slowly built up her workspace with tools and supplies and began selling at local craft fairs and working on commissions.
Duchess Leigh uses mainly silver, brass and gemstones in her designs. You can follow her creative process on her Facebook page and her work can be purchased on Etsy with prices ranging from $15 to $105.
Halstead awards a business grant to a new jewelry designer in the bridge segment each summer. The grant awards $6,000 in start-up capital and merchandise to a new design company. If you are starting a new jewelry design business, please check out the 2014 jewelry grant application and eligibility details.