In 2006 in Baghdad, Tara was serving as a Military Police Officer when her Humvee was struck by an improvised explosive device. She nearly died. She lost her right leg, suffered from a movement disorder, traumatic brain injury, third degree burns, back injuries, and PTSD. It was through beading for occupational therapy that she was exposed to 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.
Tara is currently working on a passion project to create jewelry to honor fallen female warriors. Learn about the In Memoriam Collection and help by contributing to her Hatchfund campaign by December 2.
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.