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 

 

DIY Jewelry Tray

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We at Nina Nguyen Designs have been in the crafting spirit! We are working on some fun and unique ways to display our one of a kind beautiful and organic designs. All stones used in our designs are natural and untreated- no two pieces hand crafted at our Women’s Cooperative in Vietnam are the same.  We love living up to the challenge to create displays that reflect those important characteristics.

In our last DIY, we created a picture frame to hang jewelry. For this DIY, we created a Jewelry Display Tray! It is amazing what you can do with the things around you. We had on hand a beautiful picture frame made of reclaimed barn wood (you might recall this same frame from our DIY Jewelry Frame Display) and a shallow wooden box, so we made one of each.

This project took all of 10 minutes! So simple it seemed as if we were doing it wrong. But it turned out great and we absolutely love it!

Materials

Picture Frame or Shallow Wooden Box (purchased at Frame USA)
Scissors
Fake Grass (we got ours from Save On Crafts)
Styrofoam (we used 1/4″ thick from one of our delivered packages!)
Ruler

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  1. Measure the inside of your box/frame and cut our your styrofoam to the size.
  2. Using the same measurments cut out your grass to the size.
  3. Fit foam into frame/box (if using a frame you can lay it on top of the glass or remove the glass altogether – your choice) and then lay grass on top.
  4. No step 4! You are done! Ridiculously easy and quick wouldn’t you agree?

We love the look of reclaimed wood that has distress mark and a nice gray tint. Our wooden box looks really fresh and new, but is not really our style. We have another project in the works for that…

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Recognize Retail: Studio 2015

Nina Nguyen Designs is thrilled that Studio 2015 will be hosting a Nina Nguyen Trunk Show this Saturday, May 11!

Studio 2015 Trunk Show

Studio 2015 is not your traditional jewelry store. With 42 years of experience co-owner Tom Dougherty’s background in custom design has lead the store to embody more than just diamonds and gemstones.  Studio 2015 embraces the new trend of having no rules – mixing metals, natural elements and layering. This makes Nina Nguyen Designs the ideal fit for their store.

When asked what drew them to Nina Nguyen Designs, Studio 2015 noted it was both the organic look and of the designs and the great price point driven pieces perfect for self-purchasing women.  Since introducing Nina Nguyen Designs in 2012 it has become obvious that Nina Nguyen Designs and Studio 2015 are the perfect match, both embracing nature and empowering women. And that is not all we love about Studio 2015 – their mission to their customer and community amazes us!

While they are known for custom design and bringing in unique designer jewelry to Woodstock, Illinois Studio 2015 does not stop there. They have set an example by going above and beyond their mission of “Commitment to Excellence in Design, Craftsmanship and Customer Service by Utilizing [their] Resources to Meet and Exceed the Expectations of Our Community, Clients and Staff” by using their own personal experience and hardship to reach out to their community through multiple philanthropic outlets. Studio 2015 developed Tommy’s Angels as a venue for their staff members to participate in fundraising functions with donated designed jewelry. They have designed a symbolic necklace to inspire hope and positive energy to wearers and contributed to many other programs including, Woodstock Bunco for Breast Cancer, Boy Scouts of America, and Hooved Animal Humane Society among many others (you can find the list here).

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With Mother’s Day around the corner stop buy Studio 2015 for a gift that will wow the woman that amazes you.

Recognize Retailer: Loy Harn Jewelers

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What started off as a 15 year old’s dream to own his own jewelry store- has grown into a family business; Jason Harn continues his father’s legacy as owner of Loy Harn Jewelers since 2002. With roots to family and community, it’s no surprise that Loy Harn Jewelers has been providing South Carolina with excellent customer service while offering unique and quality designs for over 30 years. Their dedication to build a foundation with their clients has made them a favorite business in Mount Pleasant, SC.  What also makes them a favorite in the Nina Nguyen Designs family is that they share our mission to better the world. All of our stones are ethically sourced and each piece is handcrafted at our Women’s Co-operative in Vietnam. Loy Harn buys locally and also donates to non-profits in their area-making them a perfect partner for us.

When Loy Harn opened his doors in 1980, he was committed to offering an array of beautiful gifts for every customer along with outstanding service. They offer baby and wedding gifts, fashion jewelry to high end luxury piece. Loy Harn not only provides a wide selection but keeps up with latest trends and fashion. With the hot new style of layering and stacking, our Nina Nguyen collection is a hit over there! Fans of Loy Harn love to mix, match, and combine different metals, stones and textures to create a fun edgy look with their jewelry.

ImageNina Nguyen Designs 18″ Divine Lotus

With the stacking and layering options of our Seafoam necklace, Spectrum necklace, and Cordelia bracelets, these top sellers fly out of the cases as quickly as we get them in! Loy Harn also now carries our fun, versatile, and stack-able Lotus Collection.  So hurry over to Loy Harn and stack away with some of your favorite Nina Nguyen Designs pieces! Check out their revamped website too.

Oscars Celebrity Remix

Celeb Remix…Oscar Style!

Last night in Hollywood, the stars graced the red carpet for the most anticipated awards of the year, the OSCARS! The 85th Annual Academy Awards, hosted by Seth MacFarlane, was nothing short of glamorous.  Before we look at the traditional accessories, we’d like to call out the best fashion accessory of the night – mom.  Respect goes out to Bradley Cooper, Charlize Theron, Chris Evans and other who opted to bring mom to this glamorous occasion.
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One of the most talked about celebs from last night for her personality shining through, both onstage and backstage was Jennifer Lawrence. Jennifer took home the Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook. Unfortunately, Miss Lawrence tripped up the stairs upon receiving her Oscar, but that didn’t bring her down –once reaching the podium her fellow peers stood to their feet to give her a standing ovation.  Jennifer glowed in a Dior Haute Couture gown; she made it her own by highlighting the beautiful back with a lovely Chopard necklace.  Her beautiful earrings are simple and sophisticated much like the Nina Nguyen White Druzy Bella Earrings and White Pearl Spectrum Necklace from the Pagoda Collection.  They would make a beautiful statement on their own.
ImageSandra Bullock looked stunning on the red carpet in a sheer black Elie Saab Haute Couture gown. With a simple hairstyle, swept back on one side by a beautiful barrette the look was classic, simple and striking. She chose to top off her accessories with diamond studs; however, we would have chosen the Nina Nguyen Nimbus White DruzyEarrings from the Bamboo Collection.  These earrings would be perfect to compliment her hairstyle and really show off the sparkle in her dress.
ImageJennifer Hudson took the red carpet by storm showing up in this dazzling Roberto Cavalli Couture dress. She accessorized with Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and a Jimmy Choo clutch. Jennifer performed “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” from Dreamgirls during the movie musicals tribute. We would have paired this dress with the NinaNguyen Stella Geode Earrings from the Pagoda Collection. The color of the stones would really pick up the hue in her dress and add to the glam!

Blogger Spotlight – Justina Blakeney

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For this blogger spotlight we’re  showcasing Justina Blakeney. Justina is an interior stylist and designer that specializes in creative reuse. With four books under her belt, a popular lifestyle blog and over 1,250,000 followers on Pinterest, her bohemian style, approachable voice and her Jungalow (part jungle/part bungalow) inspire people all over the world to get wild with their home decor.
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Justina LOVES the Nina Nguyen Stella Geode Earrings. Recently, Justina featured these earrings on her blog titled “My Kinda Bling and how I transform into a Samurai mom” which can be found here. “As soon as I put them on I felt like I got my sexy back–they’re like heels for my ears. Crystals are so damn cool and are glamorous, earthy, boho and oh so me.”-Justina
“If my life were a movie, it would be about a lady that discovers beauty in the most unexpected places, and slowly learns to create beauty herself–she learns to weave straw into gold and turn trash into treasures. I’d be played by Maya Rudolph–my husband would be played by Adrian Brody, or maybe John Cusack, and it would be a romantic comedy–the kind with a lot of magical realism and really over-the-top sets and costumes and stuff. Our baby daughter, Ida Sky could probably play herself–she loves a camera. The movie would take place in our Jungalow. There would be flashbacks to my hippie upbringing in Berkeley, my college years studying World Arts and Cultures at UCLA and the seven years I spent living and working as a designer in Italy…and it would most definitely be a musical.” -Justina

Check out Justina’s blog here. Also check her out on twitter and pinterest!

55th Annual Grammy Awards Celebrity Remix

Last night marked the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, and we are excited to bring you the red carpet rundown.  Known as “music’s biggest night”, the greatest stars walked the red carpet before the ceremony to show off their Grammy style. 

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Taylor Swift is known for her girl next door attitude and always flawless look.  Dressed in a stunning J. Mendel gown, Swift brought a romantic grecian look to the Grammys.  Her go-to sparkly asthetic has resaulted in yet another stunning, sultry ensemble. With the high silver neckline and beautifully flowing white silk we chose the Nina Nguyen Cephied Earrings to compliment this goddess like style.
 
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Adding another goddess to our list is the always stunning Rhianna, making a show stopping appearance in a beautiful sheer Azzedine Alaia dress.  From the structured bodice to the dramatic train, her beautiful crimson gown was a highlight at the awards show.  The lovely color of her dress made our choice of the Nina Nguyen Divine Lotus Bracelet a simple one for gaining that red carpet rock star look.
 
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Jennifer Lopez showed some skin in her elegant Anthony Vaccarello gown, her one shoulder thigh-high gown made her look sexy and sophisticated.  Jennifer always makes an entrance with her bold fashion statements, so she would rock the Nina Nguyen Lennox Ring to compliment the dark sultry look.