Vietnam “Trip of a Lifetime”

We have incredible news to share with you! This year, we’re rewarding one of our retail partner’s sales associates with a once-in-a-lifetime, 10-day trip to Vietnam as part of our annual holiday sales incentive program.

Epic, right? It’s definitely the biggest holiday sales incentive reward Nina Nguyen Designs has ever offered.

Actually, it might be the most lavish sales incentive ever offered by any jewelry industry professional ever in history.

No one does this! But we are.

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For the month of December, participating associates can log any sales of Nina Nguyen pieces here [link]. The person with the highest sales figures wins round-trip airfare, hotel accommodations, most meals and a tour of the country’s must-see destinations and attractions—with Nina, the ultimate insider, as your personal tour guide.

The trip is scheduled for March 2020.

“I wanted to share this part of my heritage and a place that continues to be very inspiring and special to me, with one of our top-performing brand advocates,” says Nina. “Plus, I figured after the holidays, they’re really going to need a relaxing, fun-filled vacation!”

And that’s just what we have planned. Here’s a rundown of the itinerary, a perfect mix of exploring, shopping, eating, and just generally experiencing the best of this exotic, beautiful country in all its multi-faceted splendor.

Bring your appetite—and a swimsuit!

STOP 1: HO CHI MINH CITY

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Also known as Saigon, your first stop takes you to Vietnam’s biggest city in grand style. You’ll spend days visiting temples, parks, and gardens, shopping the markets, and at night, we’ll be sipping cocktails in some world-class luxury hotspots. We’ll make sure you get to visit the War Remnants Museum, an attraction of interest to many Americans if you want to check it out, but the highlight of our time here will be sampling the street fare; it’s basically, Pho Heaven!

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STOP 2: HOI AN & DA NANG

Nina’s getting a silk dress custom made with a local tailor near this super charming and colorful destination’s world-famous Silk Village and you should, too (or a suit as the case may be, or perhaps it’s just a tie and pocket square). This is one of the most touristy but cool things to do here, the perfect souvenir, with so many fabrics to choose from and your garment is completely made to measure. We can also head to the Cham Islands for seafood and snorkeling and visit the beautiful My Son Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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In nearby Da Nang, you’ll find French Colonial architectural attractions, tranquil beaches, and national parks. We’re staying at Furama Resort Danang, a five-start resort in Danang City, where you’ll get plenty of hang time by the pool and incredible beach.

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STOP 3: HANOI

It’s the city capital, and there’s shopping, street food, and lots of local flavors. We can build a day around whatever you want to experience more of, whether it’s history and culture, more food (yes!), or souvenir shopping. If you want to spa it up (always a fun thing to here), we can make sure to allot some time to do that. You deserve to be pampered!

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If you’re up for it, we can also devote a day to visiting the Hue Imperial Palace, (a.k.a., Hue Imperial City), which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s a three-hour bus ride from Danang, but the site is unforgettable and kind of a must-do for first-time travelers.

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We’ll be announcing the “Trip of A Lifetime” winner (read: sales savant!) on Jan 10 so stay tuned for details.

If you’re a sales associate at one of our retail partners and want to participate in the program, contact us here

Sending lots of love, luck, and gratitude your way. Happy Holidays!

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The Nina Stack on Downtown Denver Lifestyle Magazine

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Take one look at Nina Nguyen’s handcrafted jewelry, and you’ll be sold. The stackable pieces have made Nina famous and helped make her business the success it is today. But the road to becoming a successful jeweler in Denver hasn’t been easy. Nina tells about her inspiring journey that led her to create socially conscious jewelry that is popular among Denver locals.

Original Article

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How did you get into jewelry making?

I was exposed to jewelry at a young age in Vietnam. My mom had a jewelry shop, and I would make jewelry with my uncle. I was around fire and torches making jewelry starting at 7 years old.

When did you start selling jewelry in the US?

I started selling jewelry at a trunk show in Naples, Florida. I have been selling my brand for 7-8 years now.

Who was one of your first customers? 

One of my first customers was Mrs. Marriott, of Marriott hotels. She bought many of my pieces.

What brought you to Denver? 

I have traveled to so many places, and I love Denver! It’s cosmopolitan. I love it here! It’s home.

What can customers expect when they visit your showroom?

My clients who come see me are very familiar with my work. They look at and purchase my designs. I can modify designs and do custom design for customers as well.

Your stackable jewelry pieces are quite popular. What is your most popular piece?

One of my signature items is my patented interchangeable earrings. They are available on our website.

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What makes your jewelry unique?

My designs are luxury, but you can wear my pieces everywhere—to work, yoga, to go out at night.  It’s effortless luxury casual jewelry.

Where can your jewelry be purchased?  

Our jewelry is available in 120 stores nationwide, in our showroom and on our website, Nina-Nguyen.com. Our showroom is by appointment only, so please call 720.459.7664 to make an appointment.

The Allure of Aquamarine

As we near the beginning of March, the days are getting a little longer and warmer, giving us a peek that spring is on its way. Here at Nina Nguyen Designs, we think March’s serene birthstone, aquamarine, is perfectly suited for this seasonal transition.

The word aquamarine comes from the Latin words “aqua” (meaning water) and “marina” (meaning sea), and is reminiscent of the vibrancy and iridescence of the ocean. Like seawater, an aquamarine can flaunt shades from the palest green to a dark, deeply saturated blue. Nina Nguyen Designs’ is proud to offer a fresh and beautiful take on aquamarine that is a muted, milky light blue with a truly organic feel. All of our aquamarine jewelry also features the charming and antique appeal of rose-cut stones. The rose-cut pattern is named after the flower, which it is said to resemble. With a flat base and dome-shaped top, this stone actually “rose” to popularity during the Victorian era.

Visit our website today and shop our stunning aquamarine bangles, rings, necklaces and interchangeable earrings that can be put into different frames or transformed into pendants. With eye-catching translucency and delightful sparkle, it’s hard to beat Nina Nguyen Designs’ aquamarine collection that is uniquely handcrafted with delicate details.

Nina Nguyen Designs’ Adorn Silver Ring in druzy aquamarine.

Did you know aquamarine is a symbol of youth, hope, health and fidelity? It is the birthstone of March, but you’ll want to wear versatile aquamarine all year-long.

All About That Texture: Have You Met Florentine?

Here at Nina Nguyen Designs, each piece of jewelry is handcrafted with a unique combination of colors, various shapes, innovative cuts, sizes and texture. Texture, particularly, is an essential element that helps to truly personalize our creations.

Meet Florentine, Nina Nguyen Designs’ signature hand-hammered texture that Nina spent an entire summer creating and perfecting through a series of trial and error. Inspiration for the striking texture, which features a crisscross motif and satin-like sheen, comes from a trip she took along the Mekong River through Cambodia and Vietnam. She passed through small craft villages where she observed artisans weaving bamboo baskets, and from that moment was determined to create a truly innovative pattern for her jewelry designs that incorporated a basketweave-like appearance.

While cruising along Southeast Asia’s Mekong River, Nina Nguyen passed through craft villages where she observed artisans weaving bamboo baskets. This was her inspiration for Florentine, which has a basketweave-like pattern.

“I love the way the hammer cuts through the surface of the metal, leaving the perfect texture that has a soft finish that’s not quite matte and not quite glossy – for a luxe look with handcrafted flare,” said Nina Nguyen. “In the process, I went through so many hammering techniques, and a basket-full of hammers, to design this perfect pattern that cuts through metal a certain way. I’m over the moon that I could incorporate my labor of love into my designs.”

You can view all of the Nina Nguyen Designs’ pieces featuring the exclusive Florentine pattern on her website. Beautifully textured earrings, rings and bangles—as well as a stunning necklace that’s in the works—are topped off with exquisite black oxidation, high-quality sustainable diamonds, ethically sourced gemstones bordered with 18k recycled gold, and more.

Florentine is the perfect texture that has a soft, satin finish. It is incorporated on Nina Nguyen Designs’ interchangeable earrings that can be turned into a pendant or used as a charm

“I’m so proud to say that our jewelry is not only unique and stylish, but that its beauty goes well beyond aesthetics,” said Nina.
 

2018 Highlights: A Year in Review for Nina Nguyen Designs

Some say the best is yet to come, but here at Nina Nguyen Designs, we believe the best is all around us. While we look forward to an exciting and innovative 2019, we also have a lot of significant moments and accomplishments to reflect on from this past year. Here’s a look at our top 2018 highlights:

1. In July, the Nina Nguyen Designs interchangeable earring collection was awarded a patent-pending status which allows these pieces to be transformed for multiple-use, convertible styling. Earrings featured in the collection can individually be turned into a pendant and worn on a necklace, or used as a charm to complement wrap bracelets. This patent-pending earring design—which features mixed metals and saturated colors—was born from Nina Nguyen’s desire to allow customers the chance to personalize their own design aesthetic. “The wealth of options and flexibility within this system serves as a platform to expand with endless designs and provide our customers with opportunity to personalize their styles in an elegant and fashionable way,” said Nina Nguyen. And that’s a wrap!

These interchangeable earrings can individually be turned into a pendant and worn on a necklace, or used as a charm.

2.  As part of our continued commitment and passion for sustainability, we are proud to have redesigned our 18k yellow gold line by accenting our signature, colorful pieces with more sustainable diamonds. “Diamonds are the epitome of elegance and romance, and we’re proud to stand by our recycled, conflict-free diamonds that are sure to elevate any look,” said Nguyen. Since the redesign, the jewelry has been extremely well-received—exceeding Nguyen’s expectations. “We care as much about style as we do sustainability, and it’s truly gratifying to witness skyrocketing sales which indicate that our customers and partners feel the same way,” said Nguyen.

Ethical jewelry has never looked more stylish and glamorous! Our Diamond Lace Pave Gold Ring, part of the redesigned 18k yellow gold collection, is handcrafted with recycled gold and set with sustainable diamonds for an elegant, timeless look.

3. To meet increasing consumer demands, Nina Nguyen Designs invested in a new production facility in Vietnam, which when fully occupied accommodates over 50 employees. The new facility is helping Nina Nguyen Designs to further improve our production process, allowing us to produce even higher quality pieces as well as launch our redesigned gold collection. “We are excited that this new facility sets remarkable standards in the global jewelry industry in terms of craft, scale, speed and environmental impact,” said Nguyen. ”The new facility will potentially quadruple our production capacity to more than 3,000 pieces a month.”

A Nina Nguyen Designs artisan handcrafting jewelry in the new production facility in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam


4. In mid-2018, we honed our ability to track retail store performance. Our improved process is to determine optimum inventory and replenish as pieces sell for a minimum of six months. Then, using the sales data, we can further optimize inventory based on pieces, stones, price point, etc., to always ensure stores have the best-selling pieces in stock for customers.  

5. Last, but certainly not least, several of Nina Nguyen Designs’ retail partner stores saw record-breaking sales of 80 to 100 pieces sold per month, as well as high repurchase rates in 2018 with some partners quadrupling sales in piece count and tripling sales in dollars. “Retailers that have strongly embraced the Nina Nguyen Designs line, as well as followed our streamlined inventory management process, have been overwhelmingly successful in selling our jewelry,” said Nguyen. “2018 certainly reaffirmed that in order to boost sales performance, best selling pieces need to always be represented and replenished.”

Overall, it was an amazing year and we look forward to an equally rewarding 2019.

Home is Where Your Jewels Are!

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photo via theoxfordhotel.com

Nina Nguyen Designs has found an amazing new home! We are sad to leave the beautiful Victorian house where our office has been for the last two years, but couldn’t be more excited about our new office. Located in the heart of downtown Denver in the Oxford Hotel, it has vintage charm with five star amenities. Opened in 1891, the Oxford Hotel is one of the oldest in Denver. We’ll be just steps away from the iconic Union Station.

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photo via theoxfordhotel.com

This new location gives us an amazing new space with opportunities to host guests and events in this iconic building. We can’t wait for you to visit!

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.