December 2, 2016

Giving Season Extended until Dec 15!

Filed under: Inspiration,philanthropy — Tags: , , @ 2:35 pm

We recently celebrated “Giving Tuesday” at Nina Designs by offering to match contributions by You, our wonderful customers, to the following organizations: The Alameda Food Bank, Futures Without Violence, Human Rights Watch, and The Sierra Club. Your response of support was immediate, generous and greatly appreciated! So, we decided to keep that “Spirit of Giving” going just a little bit longer. We will be accepting donations to any of those four organizations listed on our website (see links below) and we will match your contributions dollar for dollar until Thursday December 15!

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Now more than ever, we feel it is important to support organizations that are making a positive impact on the world. And your heartfelt support so far has been inspiring. If you haven’t had a chance to “share the love” yet, simply add however many units you would like to your shopping cart (each unit is $1). It’s that simple!

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Together We Can Make the World a Better Place for EVERYONE.

Not just on Giving Tuesday but EVERYDAY!

THANK YOU!

With much love and gratitude,

The Staff at Nina Designs

November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving from Nina Designs!

Filed under: Inspiration — Tags: @ 10:45 am

Nina Designs wishes you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving full of fun, laughs, love and delicious foods! To celebrate the holiday, we recently had a potluck here and  everyone brought something fabulous to share.  While we feasted, I asked the Ladies at Nina Designs what they are thankful for this Holiday Season. Here’s what they  had to say:

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Carly, Inventory Manager

“I am grateful for the smell of warm Summer rain and fresh cut grass on a Fall Day. I am grateful for the gift of witnessing love of all kinds in the world around me and for the giving and receiving of my own. I am grateful for the language of birds feeding my ears, the shared wonder of time spent with children and the twinkly, love filled smile of my Anam Cara. I am grateful for my friends and family who stood by my side and never left when life became difficult. I am grateful for you being in this world. ”

Leah, Vice President

“I am thankful for my family and community, for good health, and to be alive during this most unique and special time and place. ”

Nina, President

“I am so thankful to work with such fabulous ladies, both our customers and our staff! Also, I am deeply grateful for my family and our lovely planet. ”

Magdalena, Customer Service Manager

“I am grateful for love in all the ways it manifests in me and in the world.”

Nicky, IT Manager

“I’m thankful to have amazing, creative and supportive co-workers!”

Signe, Marketing Manager

“I am thankful for many things: the love of my family, the support and laughter of my dear friends, my amazing husband and sweet funny dogs Rosie and Daisy. And at this time, I am especially thankful for the small acts of kindness I see happen every day: People sharing, helping, volunteering, donating their time and resources to those in need. I am thankful for those who stand up for the rights of others and stand with them when they feel threatened or afraid. I have faith in human kindness and that gives me hope – and for that I will always be thankful.”

Kirsten, Marketing and Inventory Associate

“I am thankful for my family and friends! And to live in such a diverse, creative and beautiful city!”

 

 What are you thankful for this Holiday Season?

Share your thoughts below in the comments section.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

November 9, 2016

Top 10 Best Gifts for 2016

The holidays are fast approaching – and that can be stressful! For as much as we all look forward to spending time with our loved ones, making holiday dinners, and finding ways to fill our homes with cheer – we may also dread the challenge of finding that “perfect gift.” If you’re like me, you procrastinate until the last minute … I’m talking “power shopping” on December 24th fueled by an eggnog coffee!

Luckily, Nina Designs has put together a carefully curated Collection of Charm Necklace Gift Sets featuring our most popular charms with our new Italian Sterling Silver Chains. There are 10 different sets to choose from, each with a unique theme representing friendship, generational love and shared passions. There is truly something for everyone on your shopping list.

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Each set includes 2, 3 or 4 different Sterling Silver Charms with matching 18” long chains – all for one fabulous price! That’s enough gifts for everyone on your list and a little something special left over for you! And if you need a little extra “add on” to take that gift over the top, check out our matching Ready to Wear Rings and Earrings!  This is truly gift giving made easy! And with our Adjustable Rings, you don’t even have to worry about which size to buy!

The Love and Friendship Collections

These sweet Charm Necklace Sets make great Generational Gifts for Mothers, Grandmothers, and Daughters. They also make perfect Thank You Gifts for Bridesmaids or others in your Bridal Party …or just a wonderful way to celebrate your “Besties!”

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The Nature Inspired Collections

Whether you like to ski, hike, swim, or go camping, these fun collections will help you remember the great outdoors. Keep one for yourself and give the other to your hiking buddies!

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Our Charm Necklace Sets are the perfect solution to “easy” gift giving this Holiday Season. Simply slide the charm onto the chain and it’s ready to wear! Add a bow and your gift is ready to go! And it’s all just a mouse click away! With Nina Designs, you can power shop in your PJs!

So what are you waiting for? Get Shopping!

October 6, 2016

How to Grow Your Jewelry Business with Kiva O% Interest Loans

Have you ever had to wait to purchase more inventory, or delay working on a new order, because you were waiting for a payment to come through? Cash-flow is always a challenge for entrepreneurs, and Kiva is here to help.

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WHO IS KIVA?

Kiva is an international nonprofit, founded in 2005 and based in San Francisco, with a mission to connect people through funding to alleviate poverty. Kiva U.S. provides 0% interest loans to small business owners all over the United States. The loans are crowdfunded on the Kiva website by lenders from all over the world. It was originally launched as a pilot in November 2011 under the name Kiva Zip, and was integrated with the main Kiva platform in June 2016. To date, Kiva has lent over $850 million dollars to over 1.5 million entrepreneurs around the world through a global network of over a million lenders.  Learn more about Kiva here.

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WHO IS ELIGIBLE for a KIVA LOAN?

Kiva is for any entrepreneur who can use a 0% interest loan to help take his or her business to the next level.  “Because we don’t look at extensive financial data about you or your business, it’s our hope that we accept everyone that’s serious about their business and our crowdfunding program.”  Whether you’re in the idea phase, start-up mode, or an established business, Kiva could be a great option for you. Entrepreneurs can raise money for any business purpose – working capital, equipment, inventory, marketing, or project-based investments are all ways you can leverage Kiva to help your business grow.”

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WHY might KIVA be right for YOU?

This is your opportunity to grow your business by accessing this great source of capital at 0% Interest and NO Fees! Get in on the ground floor of this exciting new domestic program.

So what are you waiting for? Apply Today!

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September 26, 2016

Help Us Grow a Forest Garden

As many of you already know, for every order you purchase from Nina Designs, we plant a tree. But did you know that your purchases also help create Forest Gardens?

Since 2012, Nina Designs has partnered with Trees for the Future, a public charity dedicated to ending extreme hunger and poverty across Sub Saharan Africa by revitalizing degraded lands and planting trees through seed distribution and agroforestry training.

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So what is a Forest Garden?

“The Forest Garden Program is a simple, replicable and scalable approach with proven success. By planting specific types of trees and crops in a systematic manner over a four year period, families can change their lives forever. Forest Gardens provide families with sustainable food sources, livestock feed, products to sell, fuel wood and up to a 500% increase in their annual income.”

Key impacts

Forest gardens permanently increase the income of impoverished families by maximizing and diversifying on-farm income sources and products that can be sold throughout the year, while at the same time reducing the risks associated with dependence on one or two crops.

Forest gardens empower hungry families to feed themselves by providing a more balanced and nutritious diet through a diverse food production system which produces fruit and vegetables throughout the year.

Forest gardens revitalize degraded lands and increase productivity of rural landscapes by increasing the soil quality through beneficial tree planting, increasing biodiversity potential and reducing the need for external inputs such as chemicals, fuel wood and animal feed.

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Our partnership with Trees for the Future has multiple benefits: Planting Trees helps to protect the environment, as it offsets the carbon associated with our office operations and the orders we ship out to customers, while Forest Gardens help to preserve traditional livelihoods and cultures for generations.

And your purchases make all of this possible!

THANK YOU for helping make the world a better place for everyone!

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September 12, 2016

Jewelry Trend: Mixed Metal Madness

Mixing Metals is still one of the hottest jewelry trends! The old no-no of mixing metals has lost its power, so throw out all of those old rules: no combining prints, no brown belt with black shoes and no mixing metals!

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At Nina Designs we love to Mix Metals! Just take a peek at all of our Mixed Metal Design Ideas that the Ladies of Nina Designs have created! With our wide variety of finishes it’s hard not to mix and match.

There are so many different finishes to choose from:

Sterling Silver Charms

24K Satin Gold Plated Charms

Natural Bronze Charms

Silver Plated Bronze Charms

24K Gold Plated Bronze Charms

14K Shiny Gold Plated Charms

Black Silver Finish Charms

14K Solid Gold Charms

 

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And things just got even better! We have created a specially curated Mixed Metal Collection– these Charms, Rings and Pendants feature both Sterling Silver and Natural Bronze in one component! So go ahead and take a peek at one of our best selling pendants the Infinity Heart – a Sterling Silver Heart intertwined with a Bronze Infinity. Or if you want Ready to Wear Jewelry take a peek at our Sterling Silver Rings with Bronze Star and Moon details!

 

Mixed Metal Jewelry Tips:

-Unexpected metal pairings create striking designs-

-Create patterns and designs by alternating metals-

-Don’t Break your Budget! Use Bronze, Silver Plated Bronze or 24K Gold Plated Bronze-

-Matte or Oxidize Sterling Silver Charms-

-Mix and Match Sterling Silver, 24K Gold Plated and Bronze Rings-

-Mix and Match Sterling Silver, 24K Gold Plated and Bronze Bracelets-

 

How do you like to Mix it Up?

Share your comments below!

 

 

August 29, 2016

Use Fall 2016 Pantone Color Palette for Jewelry Inspiration

Fashion Week is just around the corner, which means you’ll want to pump up the color in your Fall Designs. Design on trend jewelry by using the Pantone Fall 2016 Color Palette! This year’s color spectrum features earth tones and exuberant pops of vibrant color! Everything from clothes, bags, shoes and jewelry will be featuring this exciting selection of colors.

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Nina Designs has everything you need to add these trending colors to your jewelry designs! We carry a wide selection of colorful GemstonesDeer Hide Laces and Tassels! If you’re feeling shy about adding color to your designs, browse through our Tassel Design Ideas and Leather Design Ideas! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!

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What colors will you be using this Fall?

Lush Meadow evoking elegance?

Aurora Red exciting and dynamic?

Or Riverside calming, cool and strong?

August 15, 2016

Get Ready to go Back to School with School Spirit Jewelry!

Summer is wrapping up and it is time to go Back to School! But just because Summer is almost over doesn’t mean the fun needs to stop. With a new school year comes a new wardrobe and school supplies! And of course, a new wardrobe must include some fabulous new Jewelry Accessories!

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We’ve put together a Back to School Collection of charms, pendants and tassels for you to create with! Get into the School Spirit by sporting your school mascot, school colors, favorite club or team. Use our Jewelry Tassels as Pom Poms and shop our wide selection of Animal Charms to find your school’s mascot! Or use Stamping Blanks to stamp your school name or slogan – “Go Banana Slugs!”

Putting together a personalized necklace, charm bracelet or pair of earrings is as easy as “1, 2, 3, A, B, C!” Watch this short how-to-video on how to create quick and easy charm necklaces. Make one for yourself, your best friends and your favorite teachers. (Hint: You’ll want to get on their good side!) Mix and match pieces from our Back to School Collection to create one of a kind designs you can wear all year round! Browse our Back to School Design Ideas for some inspiration.

Done with school? That doesn’t mean you have to stop learning! Go ahead and challenge yourself this year by learning new skills. We have How-to Videos for any skill level. And our Classroom is an amazing resource for step-by-step instructions for jewelry projects. We also have you covered when it comes to finished jewelry designs. Browse our Design Ideas and find a project to make your own!

August 8, 2016

What’s that sound? Exploring the Complex Meaning of Ohm

I have chanted Ohm as part of yoga and meditation classes and was familiar with the sound Ohm.  Working at Nina Designs, I see the Ohm symbol regularly as it is offered in many different styles and finishes.  We carry a variety of Ohm charms, pendants, earrings, rings and even one with a diamond.  After admiring so many Ohm pieces, I started to wonder what does the Ohm sound mean and is there any significance to the Ohm symbol.

Ohm is an ancient Sanskrit word that is considered by many Eastern religions as the Primal Sound.  In these religions, it is believed that God created sound first and therefore Ohm is the seed sound of all creation. It is further believed that the Universe, the Gods, and all matter come from the sound Ohm. Therefore, Ohm encompasses everything: the beginning, the middle and the end of all.  It is the past, the present and the future.

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Ohm is considered the most sacred and famous mantra.  Ohm is usually chanted at the beginning and end of most Sanskrit recitations, mantras, prayers, and texts.  In our times, this sacred incantation is also made during meditation and spiritual activities such as yoga. Ohm is believed to have the same frequency as the Universe.  Chanting Ohm can have a physical effect on the body, as it slows the over stimulated nervous system and calms the mind.

Ohm is one of the most important symbols in Hinduism.  Ohm is found as part of the iconography in ancient and medieval era manuscripts, temples, monasteries and spiritual retreats not only in Hinduism, but in Buddhism and Jainism as well.

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The symbol of Ohm consists of 5 parts: 3 curves, 1 semicircle, and 1 dot.

The Unconscious State:  The upper curve represents the state of deep sleep or the unconscious. In this state, the subconscious is shut down and the sleeper does not dream.

The Waking State:  The lower large curve represents the waking state of consciousness, it connects us to our own sense of something greater and is the state of consciousness most humans are in. In this state the consciousness is turned outward and we encounter the world through our five senses.

The Dream State: The Middle curve which lies between the first two curves, represents the dream state. In this state, consciousness is between deep sleep and waking and it is turned within.

Pure Consciousness: The dot or Bindhi signifies the fourth state of consciousness, which is the state of pure consciousness. This is also referred to as “The Absolute State” or “Turiya.” It is a peaceful, quiet state where the consciousness is focused neither inward nor outward.

Illusion/Maya State: The Semicircle that separates the dot from the 3 other curves, represents “Maya” or the Illusions that prevent us from realizing or reaching the highest state of consciousness.

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The Ohm pieces at Nina Designs can be a great support for those on a spiritual path, moving from the unconsciousness to pure consciousness, reminding us to breathe deeply.  I am so excited to start making Ohm jewelry now that I have a better understanding of what Ohm means and symbolizes!  I will definitely start with styles A646, A910, A1190 and see where the inspiration carries me of to.

How about you? Are there any symbols that hold deep, spiritual or personal meaning to you that you like to incorporate into your designs? We’d love to hear about them! Please share your inspirations in the comments section below.

August 1, 2016

Meet our Staff – Say Hello to Marcy!

Who are those fabulous ladies at Nina Designs? What sparks their creativity?

Each month we would like to introduce a different member of our staff to you and let them share their artistic passion and inspiration…in their own words…

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Marcy, Associate Designer

I like to make Talisman Jewelry. I started making jewelry when I was about 10. It was a journey my mom and I started together and we still love to share inspiration and treasures.

I love that jewelry changes how someone feels on the inside and how they are perceived on the outside.

I like to think that someone who wears my jewelry does so because they have a connection with it. I believe that connection has the power to unleash magical qualities in that person. If nothing else, the power to see and appreciate more beauty around them.

Along with jewelry, I do a little bit of painting, collaging, bookmaking and photography. Those were part of my interdisciplinary major in art school. Jewelry has taken over my free time for the most part, but I still like to go back to those crafts and perhaps in the future, one of them will take center stage again.

I think it is important to learn something new when creating. I’m always exploring new techniques, color combinations or different shape combinations. It’s good to keep in mind that an idea doesn’t always work and just because it doesn’t work, it’s still an important part of the process, not lost time. Once you feel free to explore, the inspiration is endless.

I love so many of our pieces that it’s hard to choose my favorites! I love the detail and textures in our cast pieces. I like pairing nature pieces with magical elements and tribal designs. The geometric pieces are fun to use because they are like puzzle pieces. You can arrange them in so many different ways to create interesting relationships between hard lines and curved lines. The relationship between circles and triangles is very interesting and pleasing to my eyes.

I’m currently in love with the following styles: S6011, A1655, A1613, S2989, S2990, S3039S2993, A1553, A1024, P22, A1251, and A1276. And I always come back to our circle links. I love using them to frame charms and gems!  All sizes and finishes!

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