Roberta Jean “Robin” Kraft, age 65, of Lafayette Indiana and Portsmouth, Virginia, passed away Monday, September 7, 2020. Robin was a long-time member and supporter of SNAG.
She graduated Naperville High school, Naperville Illinois in 1973, obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Painting in 1978 from the University of Illinois, Chicago and a Master of Fine Arts in Jewelry and Metalsmithing from Kent State University in 1991.
Robin was Professor of Jewelry and Metalsmithing at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana from 1994 until her retirement in 2019. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor, devoted to and loved by her students. Her curiosity and thirst for knowledge was infectious and she inspired her students to work hard to meet her expectations.
Robin was an artist in the true sense of the word, approaching her artwork seriously and studiously. Her talent and versatility in material usage enabled her to focus on content. Her work is beautiful, meticulously and painstakingly crafted, eliciting wonder from her audience. Robin’s work had to answer the right questions or would not make it to completion – there was never a ‘good enough’. Her thoughtfulness about a subject was apparent in each piece she made.
SNAG would also like to thank everyone who voted in the 2020 SNAG election. The results are as follows: President: Kat Cole; Board of Directors: Ben Dory, Stacy Rodgers, Demitra Thomloudis; Nominations & Elections Committee: Liz Clark; Constitution & By-Laws changes and waivers: approved. Learn more
SNAG celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2019 and is honoring its membership by highlighting different people on the SNAG website.
Please introduce yourself.
I am the President of Halstead and the founder of the Halstead Grant. I have an MBA in Marketing and Masters of International Management. I am the second generation of Halsteads to lead our company. I’m proud to continue the work that my parents began to support jewelry artists and build an organization on our own terms. I’ve experienced first-hand the transformative power of small businesses for clients, suppliers, employees, owners, and all of their families. I firmly believe that entrepreneurship is one of the most effective paths to positive change in communities. I am passionate about both jewelry and small businesses. I’m so lucky to have this dream job.
How did Halstead begin and how has it progressed or changed over the years?
My father loved anthropology and archaeology. In the 70s, he bought a hank of antique trade beads on a whim. When he showed them to friends at work, they all asked to buy some. Both my parents then began making and selling jewelry at local festivals as a hobby. Over time, the business evolved to sell components instead of finished jewelry. It steadily moved into metals, findings, and chain in addition to beads. The annual printed catalog morphed into a website and full set of resources for the thousands of small jewelry studios we supply around the world.
Our team has grown from that young couple to about 30 employees. We are committed to professional development and personal growth for our entire staff. Many on our leadership team have grown with us from entry-level positions. Everyone who works at Halstead takes free metalsmithing classes in our in-house studio. We set high standards for performance and we achieve results. We offer medical coverage, profit sharing, continuing education, generous paid-time off, and an awesome work environment. Working for a family-owned business is different and we couldn’t be happier about that.