Lapis – Pantone Color Spring 2017

Pantone chose lapis and so did Nina Nguyen Designs!

Pantone Spring 2017 – Lapis Blue

Pantone has selected their colors for Spring 2017 and I’m thrilled about the color palate, especially as one of them is named Lapis Blue. I’m crazy about Lapis and I’ve been incorporating it into my line for quite some time. I even tried some different shapes of this mesmerizing blue in my new fine jewelry Heritage Collection.

Lapis Earrings by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Spirit Earrings, 14k yellow gold, lapis

Lapis lazuli has long been regarded as the stone of wisdom and truth. It is associated with the Greek Goddess Athena who was notorious for her keen intellect and strategic planning.

Nina Nguyen Designs - Spirit Necklace in Lapis

Lapis – The Stone of Wisdom

The history between humans and lapis dates back to 6,500 B.C. when enthusiasts would travel over treacherous mountain terrain to secure some of this deep dark blue. Back in the day Lapis was prized as much as turquoise and sapphire. Not only was it used in jewelry, but it was also crushed up and used for medicinal purposes. Additionally, it’s been known to be used as a cosmetic!

Lapis Necklace by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Necklette, 14k yellow gold, lapis

Folklore also tells us that lapis lazuli was a powerful talisman that purified the soul.  The Egyptians were rumored to crush up lapis and gold to make a mask placed on the forehead said to remove demons as it dried. I find it so fascinating that gemstones had such significant meaning in ancient times.

Nina Nguyen Designs - Lapis Spirit Ring

Nina Nguyen Designs, Spirit Ring, sterling silver, lapis

This stunning stone is roughly associated with the astrological sign Sagittarius, but any sign can rock this stone. I’m not sure I believe the hype, so instead of crushing them for medicine or make-up I will wrap my harmony lapis necklette around my wrist on days I need a pick me up! Gemstones have a mystery and power all their own that we may never truly understand.

Lapis Bracelet by Nina Nguyen Designs

Nina Nguyen Designs, Heirloom Bracelet, 22k vermeil, lapis

Nina’s Travels – Mui Ne

mui-ne_2

Mui Ne Sunset

As most of you already know, all of my work is hand-crafted in beautiful Vietnam, my birthplace.  I have an office in Denver, CO and all of my jewelry is hand-made in Saigon.  I split half of my year in the states and half of the year in Vietnam.  I absolutely love to travel and find myself creatively inspired on all of my journeys.  This recent excursion was no exception.  While in Saigon I decided to treat myself to a quick weekend getaway in the gorgeous beach town of Mui Ne.

SONY DSC

Mui Ne Sand Dunes

Fifteen years ago Mui Ne was just a small, sleepy fishy town that was barely a blip on the map with only 25,000 residents.  Today it is a bustling resort town where you can find tourists swimming, surfing, sun-bathing, or shopping.  Kite surfing has recently become an avid pastime as well.  It’s been on my bucket list for a while and I’m so happy I made the trek out there last month.  Three hours and $6 (USD) on the bus will bring you this gorgeous stretch of beach, only 10 kilometers long.

 

crystal-clear-water

Crystal clear waters of Mui Ne

I went with one of my dear friends and our hotel was $20 (USD) or only $10 each!  That is the part I love about traveling in my home country, the cost of living is a dream.  Our hotel was super cute, low key, yet posh and situated right on the beach.  We also made sure to hit up Joe’s, The Art Café, a surfside restaurant that is the only establishment in town that stays open all year.  They have live music every evening.  It’s a perfect ending to a magical day, sitting outside slowly sipping on a beer while the sounds of crashing waves can be heard softly in the background to some chill local tunes.

mui-ne_4

Kite surfing in Mui Ne

If you ever make it out this way, I highly recommend checking out The Fairy Stream.  This low water level stream has a soft current that allows for an adventure of discovery at any pace you choose.  You’ll find toddlers stop to stare and play in tidal pools, teenagers swimming, lovebirds sitting on a rock with their feet dangling in the water, but most of all you’ll find the peace and serenity you’ve been searching for.

 

mui-ne_5

Calm, peaceful beach of Mui Ne

During this last excursion I felt a tremendous amount of pride for my country.  While I’m a dual citizen, it’s the heartbeat of Vietnam that stirs me and always offers tons of creative ideas.  I’m extremely proud of my Heirloom Collection which is a celebration of my heritage and hopefully embraces the beauty and magic of all lands far away.

 

6390slb-by-72dpi

Nina Nguyen Designs, Heritage Collection

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

Opals – The Stone of Lightning

Boulder Opal

Boulder Opal

Originally opals were deemed as evil and bad luck. They were associated with sorcerers as they closely mimic the luminescence of cats’ and toads’ eyes. Over time the connotation for this precious gemstone shifted significantly. The Bedouins believed that opals arrived to us through thunderstorms as they had tiny bolts of lightening captured inside. I like this theory the best as you see flashes of light reflecting off the stone. Any of you fellow opal addicts know exactly what I mean! The Romans believed opals were the most powerful stone of all since they captured the rainbow of color found in all the existing stones. I believe, much like the Europeans, that opals are the stone of hope, purity and truth.

 

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

Nina Nguyen Aztec Earrings, 14kt, blue opal, moonstone

October’s birthstones happen to be two of my favorites: tourmaline and opal. I’ll be sharing more about the magic of tourmaline next week, but for now I’d like to focus on this stone of lightening. Not only are they gorgeous, but they happen to be one-of-a-kind. Boulder opals are a vibrant blue that mimic fingerprints in the sense that no two are ever alike.

s8006e-opl-300-dpi

Nina Nguyen Calypso Earrings, silver, various opals

Birthstone gift giving is a tradition carries over from ancient times, when the metaphysical properties of stones were accepted as facts. Between then and now a lot of debate has raged on, hence the reason that you’ll often find not one, but two stones chosen for every month of the year.

 

Nina Nguyen Ambrosia Necklace, 14kt, blue opal

Nina Nguyen Ambrosia Necklace, 14kt, blue opal

No matter what you believe there is no denying that opals always capture your eye’s attention. Their glow is powerful, strong and never subtle. They make a perfect gift for an October baby or for anyone who loves the magic and power of beautiful jewelry.

National Puppy Day: Its a Druzylicious Pawty

pawty

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.

1
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.
IMG_20962
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.
4
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.
IMG_pawty
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.
IMG_20612
Each guest also was given a set of coasters featuring a geometric illustration of their pup!

IMG_2069

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

Wrap yourself in Happy with a Harmony Birthstone Necklette

harmony all

If you’re looking to give a gift (or gift yourself!) a special piece of jewelry in the near future, then you might want to consider the Harmony Birthstone Necklette.

Birthstone jewelry makes a great gift, something unique and personal that carries a story and the promise of beautiful things to come.  Want to know more about birthstone jewelry?  Then this blog is for you!

The history of birthstones began centuries ago, with the creation of sacred breastplate of Aaron.   Aaron was the brother of Moses, and became the leader of the Levitical tribe of Israel.  Aaron’s sacred breastplate was adorned with 12 gemstones, and a connection was made between those 12 gemstones to the 12 months of the year and then the 12 signs of the Zodiac.  The Hebrew names for the stones on the breastplate have proven difficult to identify with any certainty as different translations of scripture identify different stones.

While ancient, traditional birthstones were society-based, in 1912, the modern birthstone chart was born when, in an effort to standardize birthstones, the American National Association of Jewelers met in Kansas and officially adopted a list, which, with some slight modifications, is still used today.

Throughout history, gemstones have been believed to hold magical and therapeutic powers.  Because gemstones come from the earth, each one has a special vibration.  Gemstones and crystals each have a unique structure and composition, which gives each one a particular vibration rate and quality.

Harmony, an extension of the popular Nina Nguyen Designs “Wisteria” Collection, is a fashionable, fun and affordable way to add gemstone jewelry featuring birthstone gems, to every woman’s jewelry wardrobe.  The exclusive Necklette design is available in a variety of gemstone choices, including Garnet, Amethyst, Aquamarine, White Topaz, Emerald, Moonstone, Ruby, Peridot, Sapphire, Pink Topaz, Citrine and Blue Topaz.

The versatility of this latest collection, enhanced by the ombre beads and resort feel, creates a sense of wrapping yourself up in happy, when slipping one (or more!) of these pieces on.

HARMONY WAYS TO WEAR

Jewelry from the Harmony collection is also a great choice for Mother’s Day, Graduations, Holidays, and any special occasion when you want give a personal, thoughtful gift.

For more information on Harmony, or any of the Nina Nguyen Designs Collections, visit Nina-Nguyen.com, email info@nina-nguyen.com or call 720-459-7664.

Retailer Spotlight: Studio 2015 – Mother’s Day Trunk Show

STUDIO 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mothers are treasured because of what they do for their families every day, and this Sunday you should honor a mother in your life for all she has done for you!  And for over 25 years, Studio 2015 has helped celebrate countless mothers in their community of Woodstock, Illinois.

After a great Mother’s Day Trunk Show last year, Studio 2015 is bringing Nina Nguyen Designs back for another fantastic event!  Since 1914, Mother’s Day has been officially recognized in the United States as a national holiday, celebrated on the second Sunday of May each year. This Mother’s Day is extra special, as it is the 100th Anniversary!

At Studio 2015 you are guarantee excellence in design, craftsmanship, and customer service from their friendly and accommodating staff. They are known for their eclectic, organic, and unique selection of gifts, including Nina Nguyen Designs. Studio 2015 will be showcasing classic Nina Nguyen Designs favorites to our newest collection, Wisteria. With the hot new trend of organic, raw gemstones Nina Nguyen Designs has the perfect gifts for the mothers in your life!

Mother’s Day Gift Guide:

MOTHERS DAY3

 Studio 2015 Nina Nguyen Designs – Mother’s Day Trunk Show 

Studio 2015
11701 Catalpa Lane
Woodstock, IL, 60098

Thursday, May 8 10am-7pm
Friday, May 9 10am-5pm
Saturday, May 10 9am-4pm

 

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