Treasure hunt

For Indianapolis jeweler Lynn Andalman of Windsor Jewelry, finding a new line was hit or miss—until she started to sell jewelry from designer Nina Nguyen.

Amidst all the beautifully wrought pendants, necklaces and rings spread out over miles of show space, Lynn Andalman, owner of Windsor Jewelry, goes show shopping and plays a little game with her buyers called “Find a Designer.” It’s similar to hide and seek—without the hiding part. And most times, the buyers discover a true treasure. At the Smart Show in Chicago five years ago, that treasure was the colorful, oh-so-easy to wear collections from Colorado-based designer Nina Nguyen.

Untitled-1

“We found Nina and we’ve been carrying her line ever since,” says Andalman, who along with her husband, Greg Bires, has owned the 100-year old business located in downtown Indianapolis since 1998. “Her collection is fun to wear. Fun to put together. It’s just plain fun.”

With vibrant gemstones, freshwater pearls and brilliant diamonds all set in warm metals ranging from 18K recycled gold to vermeil and oxidized sterling silver, Nina Nguyen’s jewelry is fun indeed. Designed to be mixed, matched and collected, Andalman says her customers have fallen in love with the line, so much so that she’s considerably upped her orders each year. She also organizes one to two annual trunk show for the brand—with Nina in attendance.

Andalman says her top sellers are part of Nguyen’s patent-pending Interchangeable Earring Collection, featuring hoops, studs and jackets that can be mixed and matched with ease to create multiple styles. One look Andalman just loves comes from attaching the jackets to a long, shimmering strand, such as one made of small, shimmering pyrite beads. “Because Nina’s jewelry is so stunning and collectible, women can just keep adding over the years. They keep coming back for more—and so do their husbands.”

Nguyen’s eye for design is keen yet her jewelry is relaxed and natural—a reasonable progression for Nguyen, whose family comes from a jewelry making background in Vietnam. Born in the highlands region of Vietnam, she came to the United States at the age of 12, worked in finance and decided to focus on jewelry design after a meditative 10-week trip to India. Today, she observes fair trade principles when buying gems and diamonds. Her jewelry is also priced for inclusion—prices are accessible, ranging from $75 to $5,000.

For more information about the Nina Nguyen collections, visit the website at www.nina-nguyen.com

Article published by Instore Magazine

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.

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.

31a1d146-48ec-44b2-8de0-ad70a4e3c648.png

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!

The Nature Conservancy and Nina Nguyen Designs

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 5.06.27 PM.png

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.

2015 PHOTOSHOOT  (38).jpg

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.”

logo-nature-notagline (1).png

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

NinaNguyenDesigns-VermeilEarrings-Dangles.jpg

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.

NinaNguyenDesigns-18KGold-Necklace.jpg

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!

NinaNguyenDesigns-18KGold-Montmartre.jpg

“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