Growing up in a war torn Vietnam, Nina spent much of her spare time helping her uncle in his jewelry studio. He worked with gemstones that were mined in the nearby countryside and gold that was panned in the local rivers and streams. Since that early age Nina has been surrounded by precious handmade jewelry.
In the late 1980s, her family’s jewelry business was confiscated and her father was arrested and vanished for several years.
With the help of family, Nina’s single mother took her and her five siblings to America seeking a better life. With a one year stay as a refugee in the Philippines, Nina’s family was eventually relocated to the Tampa Bay area where she started her life in the US. At the age of 12 she learned very quickly to adapt. Exceling in school, she matriculated to Computer Science at the University of Florida and while not able to finish the degree due to the tech bust of the late 90s, she went on to the world of finance where she worked for an investment company and obtained several Securities licenses.
How it begins:
Nina started her jewelry business upon returning from ten weeks backpacking through India. Mesmerized by the stones and gold, she was reminded of her happy childhood. She decided to forgo a promising career in finance and pursue her dream of designing her own jewelry.
“The road has been one of pure entrepreneurship; Hardships, sacrifice, long hours, risk & reward. All of these I have endured and I have absorbed everything the journey has taught me.”
As Nina’s brand out-grew her ability to produce jewelry for the dozen jewelry retailers and department stores that were buying her line, Nina knew she needed to seek a manufacturer to produce her designs. Nina traveled to Thailand, India and China, but did not find what she was looking for. Instead, Nina found factories which did not satisfy a holistic approach to handmade jewelry design and manufacture. It occurred to her to visit Vietnam, where her uncle and remaining family members helped put together a socially conscious jewelry studio.
“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.”
A socially conscious entrepreneur and an advocate for fair labor practice, Nina, a lover of nature and caregiver to the earth, takes great pride in knowing her jewelry is produced using sustainable and earth conscious materials. She strives for organic gemstones, hand-crafted recycled metals and time-honored jewelry-making processes that are married to create designs as individual and unique as the customers who treasure her collections. Nina’s unique talent for capturing cutting edge designs that embrace classic and timeless styles mixed with global inspiration, speak to her love and passion all things beautiful.