December 19, 2014

Micro Loans Change Lives : Support Artisans with Your Purchases

Every time you place an order for beautiful high quality jewelry supplies, something incredible happens; Nina Designs lends money to artisans worldwide. We’ve partnered with Kiva and Novica to supply micro loans to artist all over the globe. Artists who strive to make their skill their livelihood.

Tiraphan Hasub is a jewelry designer who produces beautiful beaded necklaces and earrings. Her designs are bright, colorful and absolutely beautiful.

Tiraphan had this to say about her design process and inspiration: “You could say I’m a fashionista, always trying to look good by wearing nice dresses and jewelry. I believe many women think like me, and that’s what inspired me to create jewelry that is original. My designs tend to be more traditional Thai than modern, so I’m thankful to Novica for showing my collections to the world.”
Stop by Triaphan’s Novica shop and pick up an affordable piece of wearable art!


Maria Uyauri is a Peruvian textile artist who creates charming fabric appliques. The vibrant scenes of life she applies to wall hanging and bags are incredible! She includes scenes from her every day life in her art as well as fantastical ocean and jungle landscapes.

Maria had this to share about her love or textile art: “I love to create. I love to play with the fabrics and colors and I’m always looking for new themes and ideas.”
Spend some time browsing Maria’s Novica shop filled with her incredible fabric creations!


Nareenat is a bag maker, creating functional and fashionable bags. She works with her husband in Thailand to being these affordable bags to life. ”I would love it if people worldwide understood and appreciated the value of handcrafted items. They might not look 100% perfect like the machine-made items, but handicrafts are more valuable as they always have a story behind them.” We couldn’t agree more Nareenat!

Check out Nareenat’s Novica shop and find yourself a beautiful new bag!

Learn more about Nina Designs Micro Loans program and see all of our other philanthropic efforts!

December 9, 2014

How-To Video :: Make a Braided Silk Wrap Bracelet

Silk cord and silk ribbon have lots of uses when it comes to making jewelry. Pair silk cord in any color you wish with silver, bronze, or gold charms for a fun, layered wrap bracelet design. Create a color palette and design that fits your style with a combination of your favorite tiny charms or dangles and silk ribbon for a personalized look!


This bracelet making technique is easy to re-create, and the layered look from the wrap-style bracelet design gives the illusion of wearing more than one bracelet, when it’s actually only one piece to easily put on and take off! Join the trend of stacking and layering bracelets with this fun tutorial and how-to video on making a braided silk wrap bracelet with tiny dangles!

Shop our wide variety of silk cord, and browse the rainbow of colors to choose from! We offer small dangles, and the other findings you’ll need to create your fun and trendy design. See the parts list for this design here.

What colors would you combine to make this look fit your personal style?

November 26, 2014

The Beauty of Batik Scarves, Jewelry & Woodwork

Looking for a beautiful keepsake to gift this holiday season? Give a gorgeous handmade scarf, jewelry box, or piece of jewelry, carefully crafted by skilled artisans. Our collection of hand-batiked jewelry and gifts are sure to be conversation starters. Unique, complex, and one of a kind designs are the result of a special technique passed down for centuries from artist to artist.

Batik is an intricate process, all done by hand, to produce these beautiful and unique patterns. Wax resist is applied in thoughtful patterns and designs to wood, fabric, etc., and then dyed. More wax is applied, and the material is dyed again, and so on. The finished result after removing the wax resist, is a bright mixture of colors, patterns, and one of a kind works of art!

The same idea is used on our gold batik pieces. Resist is added to where silversmiths want to prevent gold plating from attaching. After plating, when the protective resist is removed, the result is a sparkling, two-tone jewelry piece. A true labor of love, for many of these artists have been taught by their elders, and continue to create art with true passion.

Batik Jewelry

Browse all of our beautiful batik wearables and gifts now!

Batik Jewelry 3

November 20, 2014

Explore the Trend : Fringe Jewelry

Fringe is in! Add movement and texture to your finished jewelry designs by using leather cord, silver and bronze charms and pendants, and chain. Fringe jewelry designs are fun, flowing, and flirty! We carry all of the supplies you need to put this trendy look together. Explore and shop our collection of charms, pendants, and jewelry supplies put together for you to create fringe inspired jewelry designs. Have fun mixing and matching colors and metal finishes to fit your style. Embrace the trend with small fringe accents, or make a statement by creating large, bold, repeating patterns in your designs. Browse our gallery of fringe-themed jewelry design ideas to gain inspiration and create your own fringe jewelry looks!

Fringe Jewelry Tips : Make The Look Yours
Create Movement With Chain & Leather Fringe!
Fun & Flirty – Layered, Cascading Chain Creates Texture
Change Your Perspective – Design Vertically!
Odd Couple – Pair Delicate Chain and Chunky Components
Think Green! – Put Leather & Chain Scraps to Use

Fringe Jewelry BLOG


 Shop our specially curated collection now to find all the pieces you need to make this fun and trendy look yours!


November 13, 2014

Hunger Games Inspired Jewelry!

Are you looking for a way to show your love of the upcoming Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 1 movie with a Hunger Games inspired piece of jewelry? Look no further; we have the charms, pendants, gemstones, and leather for jewelry you’ll need to bring Hunger Games inspired jewelry to life!  Whether you are looking for arrow charms, bow and arrow charms, bird charms or stamping blanks to stamp a favorite quote on, we have you covered!

Shop our curated Hunger Games inspired collection and pick up everything you’ll need to design unforgettable jewelry!



November 7, 2014

How-To Video :: Make A Multi-Strand Silk Bracelet

Silk cord and ribbon have numerous uses when it comes to making jewelry. Pair silk cord in any color you wish with silver or gold charms for a fun, layered bracelet design. Create a theme of your choosing with a combination of your favorite tiny charms for a personalized look!


This bracelet making technique is simple to re-create, and the layered look gives the illusion of wearing multiple bracelets, when it’s actually only one piece to easily put on and take off at once. Join the trend of stacking and layering bracelets with this fun tutorial and how-to video on making a multi-strand silk bracelet with charms!

Shop our wide variety of silk cord, and browse the rainbow of colors to choose from! We offer leather, tiny charms, and the other findings you’ll need to create your fabulous design. See the parts list for this design here.

What colors or charms will you choose to make this look yours?

October 29, 2014

Silver Charms from Vietnam

Filed under: Behind the Scenes — Tags: , @ 9:00 am

Silver Charms from Vietnam are some of the recent items added to our line at Nina Designs. This is a new project for us and in keeping with our commitment to Fair Trade, I made a special trip to meet the silversmiths and see if the shop lived up to our standards. It was my first visit to Vietnam and I was very impressed by the dynamic forces at work in a country that has only recently embraced capitalism. It seemed like everyone I met owned several small businesses into which they had thrown themselves 200%. Saigon is a teeming city where past and present collide in a colorful, chaotic tangle. The people I met were warm, friendly and eager to share their harrowing life stories of flight, war and the struggle to survive through the conflict and the regime that followed.

vietname collage 2

The workshop where our Silver Charms are made is located in a town South of Saigon that used to be a popular tourist destination but has fallen on hard times as visitors head to more pristine beaches further North. For the young in particular, the unemployment rate is high. Silver work is not traditional in this area but the young men and women at the shop seem to be taking to it enthusiastically. I was struck by their bright smiles and fierce concentration. The premises are modern and well equipped with imported machinery and supplies. There is a collegiate feel to the organization and everyone seems to own a motorbike and smart phone loaded with the latest apps. It is a testament to the circular nature of history that the new workshop was the brainchild of a Vietnamese immigrant who had fled on a leaky boat decades earlier and learned the jewelry trade as a refugee in the United States.

vietname collage

After many shared meals I returned home excited about our new Vietnamese friends and inspired to find more and more ways that we can work together to bring beautiful Silver Charms to Jewelry Designers around the world.

October 23, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas : Support our Micro Loan Recipients

It’s an amazing thing to be able to give back to the artistic community; each time our loyal customers place an order we are able to provide more and more Micro Loans to artisans all over the world. Designing and producing jewelry charms, pendants and findings is rewarding because we are able to help inspire other jewelry designers. To have the opportunity to work with Kiva and Novica to lend money to artisans in order to expand their business is incredible, because we get to see the way these loans are put to use.

Margarita and Martha are a Peruvian mother-daughter team that create incredible holiday ornaments and decorations. Their designs are bright, colorful all while keeping with their cultural traditions and using local materials. Their handicrafts would be a great holiday gift for yourself or a loved one. Take a look at their Novica shop and explore their beautiful work!


“Everything we make uses Peruvian materials that few people take advantage of. We think they are just wonderful,” the women say. “We’d like the whole world to visit Peru, and, of course, to enjoy our favorite handicrafts.” The mother-daughter team provides job opportunities for other women who can also stay at home and take care of their children.


Patrizia creates beautiful bags, scarves and bracelets out of recycled materials. Her designs are not only affordable but extremely environmentally conscious! Take a look at her Novica Shop and explore her fun and functional pieces.



Artist Wahyu practices an Indonesian art form known as batik to produce her stunning bags and purses. As Wikipedia defines, batik is “a technique of manual wax-resist dyeing applied to whole cloth, or cloth made using this technique. The applied wax resists dyes and therefore allows the artisan to color selectively by soaking the cloth in one color, removing the wax with boiling water, and repeating if multiple colors are desired.”

The result is an incredibly stunning fabric that Wahyu then sews and hand beads into purses and bags. These bags are vibrant, versatile and the perfect addition to anyone’s wardrobe. Please take time to look through Wahyu’s Novica Shop and pick up a one of a kind bag.

“I hope that by joining Novica I can improve our family’s quality life and provide my daughter with a better education.” -Wahyu


If you’d like to learn more about our Micro Loans program, please check our website for more details.


October 16, 2014

Explore the Trend : Black and Gold Jewelry

Black and gold finished jewelry is a classic style that you can easily make your own. The combination of black sterling silver and gold vermeil jewelry supplies will add a sophisticated touch to your holiday look. The best part about this jewelry trend is how versatile it is! Pair black and gold jewelry with cocktail dresses or jeans and a sweater, you really can make this look your own!

We have eye catching Design Ideas to help inspire your black and gold jewelry. Go bold or keep it simple, this look is easy to personalize!

Find finished jewelry inspiration and start creating your own black and gold looks!


 Black and Gold Jewelry Tips : Male the Look Yours

Bring on the Glitz and Glamour with Mixed Metals
Build Patterns with High Contrast Components
Find Sophisticated Looks with Statement Pieces
Warm Gold and Cool Black Create Bold Designs
Elevate Any Look – Perfect for Holiday Parties


Find the Supplies You Need : Click to Shop the Specially Curated Collection!

October 8, 2014

Introducing – Solid 14k Gold Charm Collection

We have brought our customers high quality, original jewelry designs in sterling silver, gold plated sterling silver, and bronze for the last 30 years. We are excited to launch our new collection of Solid 14K Gold Charms! This collection of solid 14k gold charms includes 15 of our most popular and iconic charms.  We’ve included both a 14k gold earring top and simple finished chain to make easy, ready to wear jewelry.


Our solid 14k gold charms are a beautiful warm color.  Unlike our other charms, the solid 14k gold collection includes 6mm jump rings, which makes it easy to add charms to a finished chain.

Solid 14k gold is not only lovely, it makes a great keepsake or gift for someone special. These charms would be a perfect way to commemorate a celebration or event. These charms are made in the USA and heirloom quality; they are something to hand down.

Shop our solid 14k gold collection today!




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