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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Emmy Red Carpet Style

 

 

Beautiful and funny, these girls are a deadly combination! TV’s funniest actresses stole the Red Carpet with their gorgeous gowns. Our Nina Nguyen Red Carpet Remix will revamp these hilarious yet elegant leading ladies with a Druzylicious™ finish.

KALEY COUCO

 

Kaley Cuoco, of the Big Bang Theory, strutted the Red Carpet in a playful Monique Lhuillier dress with a delicate pink embroidered pattern. As a perfect canvas for color, we would pair up this bold red with the Turquoise Wisdom Necklace and toned down sparkly accents, Nimbus Stud Earrings and Nirvana Ring in White Druzy.

 

SARA HYLAND

 

Modern Family star, Sarah Hyland, glided across the walkway in a Christian Siraiano flowing maxi coral skirt and a white crop top. This simple (but stunning!) outfit is the perfect opportunity to play up with our modern Yantra Earrings and Enlightened Turquoise Ring. To finish it off, the Rinehart Cuff in Black Druzy.

 

 

TAYLOR SCHILLINGS

Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series nominee, Taylor Schilling, traded in her orange jumpsuit for a flattering and elegant Zuhair Murad Couture gown. This understated and timeless gown is a stunning match for our Pallas Druzy Bangles and Samsara Sand Druzy Earrings.

 

Nina Nguyen Featured in INDESIGN April/March 2014

INSTORE Cover

GOLDEN BEGINNINGS: “I used to help my mother trade gold in our hometown of Pleiku, Vietnam. Every Sunday, my mother would set up her little table, and workers from the nearby river who’d panned for gold would line up to sell my mother the gold they had found. My uncle used to make the beautiful sparkly gold dust into rings. My job was to bike to the market to deliver the gold. The gold rings were fastened on a chain for me to easily disguise under my clothes. This was to evade the communists’ eyes and ears on my parents. Being able to work with my family is a major part of my jewelry designing process today.”

FAVORITE STONES: “Anything that is unique, mineral, fossilized and can’t be found in a traditional jewelry store. Right now, I am obsessed with druzy and geodes.” 

                         Maharani Wisdom Cuff

THE GREATER GOOD: “I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. I would love for my jewelry to help 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 will it last, and what will become of it when its life is over.”

DESIGN INSPIRATION: “I first experienced wisteria’s allure as a tourist traveling through Tokyo by bicycle. Pedaling a bicycle path completely surrounded by wisteria, I was immediately fascinated by the graceful purple blossoms cascading into view. Wisteria’s enduring beauty and charm will be represented in my spring 2014 collection.”

Wisteria Melody Necklette

Wisteria Melody Necklette

CELEBRITY CONNECTION:  “In 2013, Miranda Lambert wore our Audrey earrings in black druzy to the season premiere of THE VOICE. That was such a pleasant surprise! Her stylist contacted my PR firm, so I guess my unique design is being mentioned in the celeb stylist circle.”

STYLE EVOLUTION: “I think my work has evolved as my personal preferences evolved. The styling of my design has changed from having a more modern and minimal look to having a somewhat classic, heirloom look while retaining the composition of a modern material”

STANDING ON PRINCIPLE: “In 2009, my line was represented by a New York showroom. I was dealing with the constant pressure from department stores and buyers to produce cheaper products. I don’t know how I did it, but I walked away from some very large purchase orders to focus on bettering my designs. The biggest achievement of my career was when I learned to stay focused on what I do, who I am, who my audience is and what my brand represents.


Q & A  / Getting Personal with Nina Nguyen

WHAT IS ON YOUR MIND WHEN YOU ARE NOT DESIGNING? “Children of Vietnam project. I plan to bring my experience to assist with raising more funds and bringing awareness to the organization.”
WHAT CAN’T YOU RESIST BUYING WHEN OUT SHOPPING? “Is there a hotline for Shoeaholics Anonymous?”
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE VACATION SPOT AND WHY? “I moved to Boulder, Colorado a year ago. There is so much to do and it is always nice to wake up in my own bed since I am on the road so much.”
IF YOU COULD HAVE ANY OTHER CAREER. WHAT WOULD IT BE? “Eco-handbag or eco-apparel designer. Have you tried to look for eco-clothes? I could see myself taking an interest in this industry.”

Inside Spread

by INDESIGN Magazine 

 

Wisteria is Blooming in Nina Nguyen’s Newest Collection

8424 Hi ResWhile winter snow is still falling, Nina Nguyen Designs is already in bloom with the new Spring 2014 collection “Wisteria”.

With its vibrant hues couples with delicate whites and earthy greens, the Wisteria Collection manages to capture the romance and whimsy of its namesake’s flowers.

Nina first experienced Wisteria’s allure as a tourist, traveling through Tokyo by bicycle. Pedaling through a path completely surrounded with Wisteria, Nina was immediately fascinated with the graceful purple blossoms cascading into view. In her Spring 2014 collection, Nina celebrates Wisteria’s enduring beauty and charm.

WISTERIA How To Wear Edited

Just six of the many ways to wear Wisteria

Inspired by the flower, Nina crafted a timeless hybrid between a necklace and a bracelet – called a Necklette – that can be worn to match the wearer’s style and mood. Nina’s Necklette is incredibly versatile, whether worn as one long strand, double wrapped as a necklace, or wound around the wrist as a bracelet. The beads in the strands are made of variety of natural stones, including Amethyst, Moonstone, Green Agate, Blue Lapis and Chrysoprase.

Like Wisteria vine, Nina’s Necklettes can be wound and woven for a formal look or casually draped for a completely different feel. In addition to the wistful climbing ‘vine’ Necklettes, Nina’s spectacular Druzy Enhancers drape like wisteria’s vivid blossoms.

The druzy stones used in Nina’s Enhancers are formed naturally, over millions of years, as quartz crystals inside or on top of other stones. Complimenting the varied colors of Wisteria, the Enhancers come in 4 shades with fun names like Kyoto Blush and Tokyo at Midnight. The Enhancers are designed to be paired with a Necklette, whether worn as a necklace or a bracelet.

The result is a collection that is timeless in its appeal, with pieces that can be worn season after season, and evolve to remain always fashion-forward.

Read the Press Release 

Wisteria: A Whimiscal New Collection By Nina Nguyen Designs

Depending on where you live, you may well know the magical beauty of Wisteria. — It has a sweetly intoxicating fragrance emanating from white, blue, purple or Lilac flowers with cascading petals. And vines that are strong enough to pull down buildings.

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Wisteria flower tunnel at Kawachi Fuji Garden in Kitakyushu, Japan.

Nina Nguyen discovered Wisteria while bicycling around Tokyo in 2005. She was immediately captivated by its vibrant color and delicate, whimsical flowers cascading down.

Nina’s memories of Japan deeply inspired Nina Nguyen Design’s coming Fall 2013 collection, has been she named Wisteria in homage to its wistful color and style.

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The pieces in the collection are both delicate and graceful in design, yet timeless in their beauty. Like the Wisteria vines, which wrap around trees and trellises, the pieces – dubbed ‘necklettes’ – can be wrapped as a bracelet or worn as one-strand or multiple-strand necklaces.

Recently Nina has also collaborated with renowned high-fashion photographer Joanna Kustra to capture the beauty of Wisteria and her other collections in photographs. Nina traveled to London to work with Joanna, and the result of their collaboration is simply mesmerizing.

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As Nina discovered in Tokyo, Wisteria grows plentifully in Japan, where it is seen as a symbol of love and victory over hardship. Wisteria is allowed to grow wild in many places in Japan and can be seen twining up and around through trees, especially in the mountains.

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For Nina, Wisteria symbolizes many of the qualities shared by women around the world – love, grace, honor, strength and passion. It also personifies her own creative expansion, as each of her collections grows organically from her own experiences and interests.

In coming weeks, she’ll share more of her 2014 Wisteria-inspired collection here on the Nina Nguyen Designs blog. Check back soon to see more of Wisteria’s wistful beauty!

Nina Nguyen Captures India’s Natural Beauty

Final in a three part series

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If you’ve never been to India, your perception of the country is probably this – crowded, noisy cities.

Cows wandering the streets. Maybe an occasional elephant lumbering by.

Nina Nguyen and her now-husband immersed themselves in every part of it during their two months in India. They spent the most time in the bustling streets of Dehli, Agra, Bundi, Jaipur, Goa and Mumbai. But when they needed a change of scenery, they explored t

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he country’s fabulous beaches and mysterious deserts.

India’s purity made a lasting impression on Nina long after her 2004 journey. And with her artist’s eye, she has captured the country’s allure with her new Maharani Collection from Nina Nguyen Designs. In some pieces, the stones used have been sliced and minimally polished to bring out their vibrant, sometimes contrasting colors. Other pieces, feature the stones which are more refined and echo the colors of the ocean.

In her travels through India, Nina explored beach-front villages that were barely touched by development. Then there were the seemingly endless deserts, their sands shaped by the wind into mind-boggling patters. And camels, of course, who kept their distance at the watering holes where they stopped to take

a drink and munch on vegetation.

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The tranquility of these landscapes helped Nina find the peace

and clarity of mind she needed to embark on a new path. Inspired by the beauty around her, she decided to make jewelry design her new career, not just a hobby. Today, the success of her business allows her to employ women as jewelry makers at Nina Nguyen Studio, a co-operative she started to provide good-paying jobs to women in Vietnam.

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For Nina Nguyen, a trip of a lifetime revealed a new career … and a mission to inspire and empower others.

Part 1: Latest Collection from Nina Nguyen Designs Inspired by India

Part 2: For Nina Nguyen, India Changed Everything

For Nina Nguyen, India Changed Everything

Second in a series of three

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The warmth and beauty Nina Nguyen found in the people she met in India left an impression that remains with her today.

To Nina, it seemed that they approached life without judgment. They made a decision, moved forward, and never looked back. Their approach to life felt like freedom to Nina. Traveling the country in 2004, she felt her creativity sparked by the accepting spirit of the people.  She also felt artistically inspired by the vibrant saris and colorful gemstones embedded in the jewelry worn on the sub-continent. Upon returning to the United States, she left her career in the financial services industry to start her own jewelry design firm, Nina Nguyen Designs.

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Nina’s creativity and love for beauty were evident as a child. As a young girl growing up in war-torn Vietnam, Nina helped out her uncle, a goldsmith, in his jewelry casting foundry where he worked with locally panned gold. After her family moved to the United States, first passing through a Philippine refugee camp, Nina continued to design jewelry throughout high school and college as a hobby. But she had never really considered jewelry design as a career until her journey through India.

Blue Turquoise and gold necklace and Earings

Since starting her own company, Nina had wanted to create a line that reflected her love of India and its transformative influence in her life. This spring, she accomplished her goal with the launch of her Maharani collection.

Nina chose the name Maharani for a good reason. Maharani is Sanskrit for “great queen,” and the pieces in Nina Nguyen Design’s Maharani Collection have the ability to make any woman feel like royality.

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With its bold styling and innate elegance, Nina Nguyen Design’s Maharani Collection is a fitting “thank you” to the people of India who helped her feel free to follow her passion.

Part 1: Latest Collection from Nina Nguyen Designs Inspired by India

Part 3: Nina Nguyen Captures India’s Natural Beauty