The Kassandra Lauren Gordon Fund has granted £1,000 to 21 black jewellers in the hope that the money can both support business growth and reduce financial hardship during the ongoing pandemic.
An independent panel of judges made up of industry experts chose the 21 jewellers. The panel included: Melanie Eddy, Satta Matturi, Victoria McKay, Alex Monroe and Roxanne Rajcoomar-Hadden.
The panel commented that it was “overwhelmed by the talent, creativity and enthusiasm of the applicants”.
It added that black jewellers in Britain “face a unique set of challenges”, and that barriers needed to be addressed.
In June, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement, black jeweller and activist Kassandra Lauren Gordon successfully raised £19,483 on a Go Fund Me page, exceeding the original £14,000 target.
328 people, businesses and trade organisations made donations of between £5 and £5,000.
The Goldsmiths’ Company also got involved, donating £6,000 to the fund, taking the total value to £25,483.
The Goldsmiths’ Company Charity team has provided pro bono support for the application process and administered the grants on behalf of the fund.
Speaking on behalf of the judging panel, Alex Monroe, a UK jewellery designer, said: “It was strikingly clear to all of us from the applications, that black jewellers in Britain face a unique set of challenges and that the coronavirus crisis has caused exceptional hardship. We were impressed by the talent and passion of all our applicants and are pleased to be able to award 21 grants to those we felt would benefit from it most at this time.
“The successful applicants demonstrated real talent, both in craft and design, and had well considered business and marketing plans. We acknowledge that many of the applicants have had difficulty accessing other support. The KLG Fund grants will help businesses through an exceptionally difficult time and contribute towards their success.”