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All That Glitters

Graduate's nature-inspired jewelry design captures national honor.

JEWELRY DESIGNER STEPHANIE HOWELL, ’11, IS INSPIRED BY NATURE, her latest collections referencing the Teton Mountains and lush cedar forests of the American West. It’s a winning formula: her namesake company S. Howell Studios won first place in the 2023 Halstead Grant competition for new jewelry businesses.

The award — which includes a $7,500 prize, $1,000 worth of jewelry supplies, a trip to Prescott, Ariz., and trophy — builds on Howell’s earlier successes; she finished among the top five in the 2019 competition, mere months after launching her business, and was a finalist in 2020.

Howell first studied metalsmithing at Middlesex Community College in Connecticut, earning an associate degree before transferring to Southern. In New Haven, she majored in studio art with a concentration in jewelry and metals, guided by Terrence Lavin, professor of art and design.

“His unwavering commitment to pushing creative boundaries and enhancing my skills significantly impacted my growth as an artist,” says Howell. “Terry’s blend of encouragement, rigorous challenges, and kindness was instrumental in shaping my journey.” Southern offers the only academic program of its kind in Connecticut.

Howell’s handcrafted, small-batch collections include bracelets, earrings, necklaces, and rings. Retail prices range from $25 to $1,250.

In step with the designer’s nature-inspired ethos, the company is a certified member of 1% for the Planet; a minimum of one percent of all sales are donated to approved environmental partners. Howell also uses recycled metal when possible, recycles all precious metal scraps, and sources supplies from companies that share her commitment to the planet.

She outlines all on her website: “If you value intention and sustainability, you’ve come to the right place.”

Read more in the Winter 2024 issue of Southern Alumni Magazine.


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