I am beyond excited to announce that my business is the recipient of the 2017 Halstead Grant sponsored by Halstead Bead Inc. After a Top 5 finish in 2016, I had my eyes set on this year's application and I couldn't be more thrilled about the results! People have been asking what goes into this grant application process so take a look below for a little "behind the scenes" look.
What is the Halstead Grant and how does the application process work?
According to Halstead, "Applicants for the Halstead Grant must submit a jewelry collection along with answers to 15 questions that form the basis of a business plan."
Let me tell you, these questions aren't for the faint of heart. Question 3 from the long answer section about did me in this year...
"Detail your sales goals for the next three years in both revenue dollars and piece quantities. Also detail your anticipated business costs."
There is no "one size fits all" answer as each business is different so the only way one can answer a question of this sort is to sit down and plan every little detail out. While that may sound daunting, I've found that as a creative entrepreneur, it is imperative to be planned and organized with specific goals in place. It's too easy to fall in to the mentality of....
"I'm an artist. Numbers and planning aren't my thing".
Fortunately for me, I'm extremely competitive with myself and after placing Top 5 last year, I hammered it into my brain that I was going to make some huge, and somewhat painful at the time, changes to my business (thanks to very constructive feedback from the judging committee in 2016) and come back in 2017 with an "in it to win in" attitude.
So there are some questions, but what else goes into this?
I'm so glad you asked! The cool part about this grant is that they look at EVERYTHING that has to do with your business...think website, social media platforms, copywriting, photography, financials, community/industry involvement, and yes, even your LinkedIn page. I spent several months making sure each and every detail of my online presence was consistent and conveyed the message I wanted it to convey.
It doesn't seem like that much until one starts looking into all the platforms and graphics, taglines, photos etc. Fortunately, this year I started my application in February after the holiday season and worked about an hour a day on updating/fixing/doing one thing at a time. The best part about this process, the changes and fixes I did weren't just for this application, they were/are for my business and have helped take my branding and brand presence to the next level.
It's a time investment, and it's worth every second.
I have a jewelry business that is under 3 years old. Should I apply?
Yes. Yes, yes, yes!!! Do it. You will learn so much about your business and you'll be so proud when you mail off that submission. The feeling of accomplishment is one that is very hard to describe. Check out the application now and get started thinking about how you can take your biz to the next level in 2018!
I'm so honored to be the recipient of the Halstead Grant this year and even more humbled to be a part of the Halstead Grant Family...forever (that's right Halstead Fam, you can't get rid of me now!). This award is the start of something major with my business...a shift, really. I'm so excited to see where this takes my brand and I hope each of you jump in to experience the ride with me!
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If you have questions, be sure to let me know in the comments! I love talking about all things business, jewelry, design, and german shepherd. (yes, I love my dog and had to slip him into this post!)
Until next time,