The annual award is given in honor of Brooke Tivol McGrath
The Women’s Jewelry Association (WJA) has awarded the 2016 Carelle-WJA Grant to Melissa Spencer of Spencer Fine Jewelry in Los Angeles.
The $5,000 grant is given each year in memory of Brooke Tivol McGrath, a fourth-generation jeweler from the Tivol family, of Tivol Fine Jewelry in Kansas City, Mo., and Overland Park, Kan. McGrath was was the marketing director at Carelle when she died in 2011, at 28, from a rare blood infection. The award is funded by Carelle and donations to WJA’s scholarship fund.
The grant is intended to help establish a designer’s business. Candidates must be members of WJA and in their first five years of operating their business.
“Winning the Carelle-WJA Grant in memory of Brooke Tivol McGrath is a great honor,” said Spencer in a statement. “The award will fuel the production of a beautifully interactive website, which is the most important next step of my business so that I may best connect with my customers. I have learned that Brooke and I would have shared many passions, including French language studies, travel, and most importantly, jewelry design. In accepting this award I aspire to honor her legacy.”
Spencer creates jewelry portrait miniatures through her trademarked Spencer Portrait gemstone. She projects an image into a gemstone and sets it with customizable frames of 18k gold, sterling silver, diamonds, and gemstones. (An example, featuring Spencer’s portrait, is pictured above.)
(Photo courtesy of WJA)