In 2006 in Baghdad, Tara was serving as a Military Police Officer when an improvised explosive device her Humvee and she nearly died. She lost her right leg, suffered from a movement disorder, traumatic brain injury, third degree burns, back injuries, and PTSD. Through beading for occupational therapy, Tara discovered jewelry making .
Hutchinson’s grit and tenacity kept her moving and within a year, her movement disorder was almost undetectable. In the process, she discovered a career path that fills her soul as an artist and gives back to people in jewelry with a feel-good-about-yourself message. She crafts modern, one-of-a-kind designs using gold and silver and color gemstones like opal, apatite, chrysoprase, morganite, and aquamarine. She says that like life, most of her jewelry is not perfectly symmetrical or smooth.
The Halstead Grant competition began in 2006 to inspire the pursuit of excellence in design and business practices in the jewelry arts community. Applicants must submit a design portfolio in addition to elements of a successful business plan including marketing strategy, production capacity and financial analysis.
Meet the 2016 winner of the Halstead Grant, ENJI Studio Jewelry.