Versatility

Versatility

noun: the ability to adapt to many different functions or activities

At Nina Nguyen Designs, versatility is the name of the game.  We love mixing and matching metals, stacking on rings and bangles in our own versions of #theninastack, and our new interchangeable Hoops and Jackets!  We believe that everyone has a unique style, and we’re here to help each of you create looks as distinct as you are.

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For any of you fashionistas out there that may be wondering what an earring “jacket” is, let me clarify- the jacket is the actual dangle that you add to your hoops.  Nina Nguyen Designs offers them in Sterling Silver and 18k Gold, in a variety of different styles to wear alone or to wear stacked!

dsc_0342-2.jpgPictured above: Silver Hoops with interchangeable Jackets in Balance Aqua Chalcedony and Petal Silver

Not only do we have lots of fun new pieces for you, but we also have tons of new content! Nina Nguyen Designs spent this past weekend exploring Union Station, Lower Downtown Denver, and our new space at the Oxford Hotel to bring fresh faces and a fun new feel to the blog.  Check out some of the behind the scenes shots below, and on our Instagram @ninanguyend!

IMG_1212.JPGInside the gorgeous Oxford Hotel, home of our new showroom!

 

IMG_1186.JPGHistoric Union Station, pictured above, is right across the street from our new space.

 

IMG_1198.JPGAnd that’s a wrap!

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The Nature Conservancy and Nina Nguyen Designs

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With the busy Holiday Season upon us, it is important to take a step back and think about how to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Protecting the environment is a top priority for us here at Nina Nguyen Designs.  We make every effort to use recycled materials- from the shimmering 18 karat gold you see in pieces like the Fond Emerald Gold Ring, to the recycled cardboard used for our shipping materials.  Nina uses responsibly sourced stones and conflict-free recycled diamonds to do her part in ensuring that the Earth is not depleted of its resources.

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There are many great organizations that you can feel good about supporting, and this#GivingTuesday Nina Nguyen Designs has chosen The Nature Conservancy. They make it a priority to protect Mother Nature, so a portion of our November 28th, 2017 online purchases will be donated to this wonderful organization, so Mother Nature can continue to “fulfill our needs and enrich our lives.”

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The Nature Conservancy uses donations to advance conservation science, to shape practical policies, to safeguard nature, and so much more.  The Conservancy not only makes our local Colorado environment a priority, but extends their reach across the entire globe.  For more information on how donations to The Nature Conservancy are used, please visit www.nature.org.

 

For the Eco-Conscious Fashionista

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The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world, trailing only behind the oil industry. Additionally, the US is the largest importer of garments in the world.  Despite the fact that up to 95% of the textiles that are landfilled each year could be recycled, consumers throw away up to 70 pounds per person each year.  These daunting statistics may leave you confused and angry, but you can make a difference in the environment by making smart purchases.

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That’s where Nina Nguyen Designs comes in.  Nina Nguyen’s commitment to leaving the world a better place than she found it includes her use of organic, responsibly sourced stones, and recycled metals.

Nina isn’t the only designer who holds sustainability close.  Slow fashion is on the rise, with brands like Older Brother, which boasts that garments can be buried in your backyard to decompose after they’ve been loved to death, Dick Moby and their recycled leather sunglass cases, and Tradlands, who recycles any and all unused material remnants, setting the bar high.

Now, fashionistas can rest assured that they are making a positive impact on the Earth by purchasing pieces made by brands that share the same sustainability beliefs as them!

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“I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. I would love for my jewelry to bring this message: that people should always be concerned with where the things they purchase come from, who made them, where the materials came from, how long they last, and what will become of it when its life is over.”  -Nina Nguyen

Handcrafted on the Mekong

by James

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We concluded our excursion on the Mekong with visits to many hard-working families that use local materials to produce a variety of handicrafts and home essentials. Echoing Nina’s combination of focus and creativity, these often women-led businesses demonstrated a relaxed spirit of entrepreneurial enthusiasm.

In fact, I later learned why it was common to see so much self-starting industriousness throughout my travels in Vietnam—95% of Vietnamese support capitalism, by far more than any other country (including the USA) surveyed by the Pew Research Center. With careful planning by our guide, we took to the canals and paths of Tân Phong island and nearby areas to meet as many of these women as we could.

 

Starting by sampan (flat bottomed small wooden boat), we cut through a lush section of Tân Phong to see the first shops before switching to bikes to complete our tour. Among the reed hat makers, tapioca-derived lacework artisans, hanging basket weavers, and others, my favorite was the ease with which a woman could carry on a casual conversation with Nina while also swiftly thatching a roof panel from nipa palm and the comradery among those selling beautiful baskets made from water hyacinth. While I didn’t bring home any thatch roofing, my daughters do now delight in having a sampan-shaped hyacinth basket to display geodes and other little travel treasures.

 

We also passed by many of the larger businesses along the main tributary of the Mekong. Sunday morning activity was light, but the size and number of the operations displayed the productivity of the region. The most notable buildings to any river traveler are the beehive-shaped earthen kilns rising dozens of feet above the banks of the river. Fed by massive baskets of rice hulls, these ovens typically dry bricks but also the pottery commonly seen throughout Saigon and further afield.

 

As our guide directs our boat to Vinh Long for the shuttle back to Saigon, we take with us an increased appreciation for the favors, sights, and people of the Mekong Delta. Seeing Nina’s team produce her stunning vision of the Mekong collection reminds me that Saigon is reflection of its place in the Mekong Delta.

 

 

Shop Local: Support your Community

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It’s National Mom & Pop Business Owners Day!

You know, I am so happy to be able to write about the importance of our local, independent retailers here at Nina Nguyen.  Since joining the company and traveling all over visiting and meeting our customers, it has been such a joy to get to know so many incredible families.  The jewelry business has such a wonderful tradition of being a family owned business – I get to meet multi-generations in each store.  It always feels so good to see families working together,and giving back to their communities.  The amount of love these families have for their neighborhoods, and the ways they get involved, is SO inspiring!  I just want to say a huge THANK YOU to all our independent stores for all that you do!

Here are 10 important reasons we need to continue to shop local:

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– Laura Tykodi, Brand Manager

National Puppy Day: Its a Druzylicious Pawty

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Today, March 23, is National Puppy Day! It is no secret that we are dog lovers here at Nina Nguyen Designs. Our company mascot (and second in command) is our fierce and stylish monkey, Baci. Baci is a huge part of our Nina Nguyen family (as we are sure your dog is in yours!) and we adore her. Aside from her daily bacon, endless walks, and belly rubs on demand, we are always looking for more ideas to show her how much we love her!

What better way to show your pup some love than throw an awesome puppy pawty? Check out our marketing and event coordinator Amy’s puppy party. This critter inspired party was full of yummies for the puppies, a ‘puppy and me’ photobooth, and a few human treats as well.

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The party featured a treat bar with doggy bags for the owners to fill up and bring home for their pups. All the treats were homemade with nutritious and dog friendly ingredients.  Check out the menu below.
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The Puppy Pawty Menu:
Pumpkin & Peanut Butter Cupcakes  – Used cupcake tin and frosted w/ peanut butter.
Peanut Butter & Bacon Treats – Used the Carob Frosting from the Donuts to dip half in.
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Guests and their humans got to enjoy not only food and treats, but also had a fun time dressing up and making silly faces for a puppy photobooth.
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While the party was mainly for the critters, human guests each got a few party perks. While enjoying the sun and watching their puppy friends play they got to sip on some puppy themed beers and wine.
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Each guest also was given a set of coasters featuring a geometric illustration of their pup!

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For more pictures and details visit Amy’s original post here: A Diamond Mind Blog

Spring is here at Nina Nguyen Designs!

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Spring is almost here and our current obsession around the Nina Nguyen office is the perfect compliment – terrariums! These beautiful creations are a staple of our new office’s décor. Because they make us so happy, I thought I’d share this fun and easy project with you!

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Here’s what you need:

  • Succulents- try combining a variety of heights and colors to make it more interesting
  • Glass container- there are tons of things that you can make a terrarium out of… the sky’s the limit!
  • Lava rocks/pebbles
  • Activated charcoal
  • Potting soil

Step 1: After you have found the perfect container, add a layer of lava rocks or pebbles for water to drain into. This should be about 1” deep, depending on the size of your container.

Step 2: Sprinkle a light layer of the charcoal on top of your rock layer, about ¼”. This serves to filter the water when it drops down from the soil above. Charcoal is especially important to prevent mold if you are using a closed container.

Step 3: Add your potting soil. Ultimately you want this to be a little bit deeper than the roots of your plants. I found it was easiest to start with only a little bit and then add more once the succulents are in place.

Step 4: This is the best part- plant your succulents! Experiment with the placement until you find a design that you love. Needless to say, Nina was awesome at this step of the process! Once they are in place you just add more potting soil and pack it down around them.

Helpful hint- If you’re planting a pokey cactus, loosely wrap a piece of paper around it to guard the points while you move it around.

Step 5: You can add a top layer of pebbles, moss, or bark if you want. It’s also okay to skip this step.

That’s it! Hooray! Check out these pictures of our terrariums around the office:

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