One of our favorite parts about the Smart Show this weekend was talking with Nina Nguyen and ordering pieces of her newest jewelry. Nina’s world travels and life experiences inspire her creation of intricate, colorful, and artistic jewelry. Read below for more information on a truly inspiring designer, and check out some of the incredible pieces you can find at G. Thrapp Jewelers, just in time for Spring and Summer!Nina used to help her mother trade gold in her hometown of Pleiku, Vietnam. On Sunday, her 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 their gold. Nina’s uncle used to make the beautiful sparkly gold dust into rings. As a girl growing up in war-torn Vietnam, Nina loved to help him with this process in his jewelry casting foundry. It was her job to bike to the market to deliver the gold. The gold rings were fastened on a chain for her to easily disguise under her clothes. This was to evade the communists’ eyes and ears on her parents. Being able to work closely with her family is a major part of her designing process.
After relocating to the United States, Nina continued to design jewelry as a hobby, using stones that are unique, mineral and fossilized, and can’t traditionally be found in jewelry stores. Lately, she’s incorporated stones such as druzy and geodes in her pieces. Now, she has a very successful line of jewelry that has been featured in magazines and jewelry stores all over the world. Not to mention, her jewelry has debuted on famous artists such as Miranda Lambert! Each of her pieces is designed in her Colorado studio and then handcrafted by artisans in Nina Nguyen Designs’ very own Women’s Co-Operative. The women employed at the Co-Op are given professional training, higher-than-average wages, full benefits, as well as education for their children. Nina holds the same high standards for their work conditions as she does for the beauty and quality of her products. Nina remarks,”I think all products should be made in a manner that benefits everyone involved. People should always be concerned with where the things they purchase come from, who made them, where the materials are from, and what will become of it when its life is over.”
Want to hear more about her story and inspiration? View her bio for more information.
Here are a few of the pieces we purchased from Nina at the Smart Show in Chicago!
Visit G. Thrapp Jewelers to see more of Nina’s collection or browse her page on our website gthrapp.com/. Please call Lauren at 317-255-5555 if you have any questions about pieces mentioned in this blog.