January 19, 2015

Launch Your Jewelry Business: Live Webinar with Nina!

Wondering how you can turn all of your fabulous jewelry designs and ideas into an actual business? Look no further, Nina has all of the tips and steps you need to take your love for jewelry to the next level. Follow along during a live web seminar to hear ten tips on how to take the next step in making your jewelry dreams a reality.

Nina has over 30 years of experience in running her own business, and wants to share her tips for success with you! During this web seminar you will learn:

  • If you could and should launch your own jewelry business.
  • A detailed jewelry business plan, from book keeping to pricing, branding and marketing
  • How to have the confidence you need for successfully starting a jewelry business & more!

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Sign up here to register for this exciting web seminar hosted by Nina. There will also be a live question and answer period at the end of her presentation, so have questions ready to ask to get an expert’s opinion!

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!

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“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.

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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.

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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

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

 

February 4, 2014

Kiva & Nina Designs Partner to Fund Women Artisans

Not only does Nina Designs produce high quality jewelry supplies and findings, we are devoted to aiding fellow women artisans around the world. Through our Micro Loans program, we have provided women worldwide with an opportunity to grow and expand their livelihood.

Nina Designs is committed to supporting the communities where our products are made, the environment, and our local communities. In 2014, Nina Designs partnered with Kiva to continue and expand our Micro Loans program.

Please take a moment to visit Kiva’s website and learn more about this amazing company! It’s truly amazing what a small amount of money can do to improve the quality of life for someone else.

And remember, with every order you place with Nina Designs, the more Micro Loans we can fund.

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August 29, 2013

Designers to Know :: August Blog Partners

One of the best parts of having a blog is connecting with the handmade jewelry community. Every month I send a wide variety of jewelry supplies to a few lucky bloggers.  I am fortunate enough to admire first hand our talented blog partners and their creations. As usual, the blog partners did not disappoint!

Designs by Dawn Rene is a great source for all things crafty! Dawn makes jewelry, beautiful mixed media art, and scrapbooks. Her Etsy shop showcases her extensive collection of affordable handmade jewelry. Dawn’s designs are simple, earthy and wallet friendly! Stop by her jewelry Etsy shop and Art By Dawn!

Designology LA is an upbeat blog run by the lovely Rhonda. Rhonda’s blog is a mix of jewelry, interior design and lifestyle tips. She She Artisan Jewelry is where Rhonda really showcases her jewelry collection. The jewelry is delicate, light and super feminine. I love how unique the wedding collection is; it is the perfect mix of tradition and trend. Be sure to stop by and browse all of Rhonda’s designs today!

Renetha of Lamplight Crafts has a love for handmade art. Renetha has participated in many beading challenges and giveaways. Her blog is the place to see colorful, rich creations that she is currently working on. Be sure to take a look.

August Blog Partners BLOG

Far left: Designs by Dawn Rene. Center: Designology LA. Right top: Design by Dawn Rene. Right bottom: Lamplight Crafts.

Interested in becoming a Nina Designs blog partner? Read up on our program here and be sure to email DeAnna@NinaDesigns.com. Happy beading!

August 28, 2013

Launch Your Jewelry Business :: Step 1 of 10

Are you ready to make the leap from a home jewelry hobby to running your own jewelry business? What are you waiting for?!

It can seem overwhelming but with clear goals and a bit of elbow grease, you will be running a successful business in no time. With 30 years of experience, I have made every mistake in the book.  In 10 STEPS I will help you avoid those pitfalls while  passing on the tips and advice that have helped my business grow.

Step 1-BLOG

STEP 1: Book Keeping

Book Keeping is the main difference between a hobby and a business.

Invest in a professional book keeper from the get-go. Have her help you set up your books correctly and walk you through the process so that you truly understand everything you need to record in order to track all of your income and expenses in a way that will satisfy the IRS.

Accountants are not Book Keepers! But your accountant can probably recommend one and you can & should have your accountant review your books regularly to confirm compliance and help you understand if you are making a profit or losing money because that is not as straightforward or obvious as it seems.

Take the time to learn how to read basic financial statements and understand a few key concepts including the ones listed here: Profit & Loss Statement (P&L), Balance Sheet, Return on Investment (ROI), Gross Profit vs. Net Profit, Break Even Point, Profit Margins, Cash Flow, Variable vs. Fixed Costs, Cost of Goods Sold or CGS

Fully understanding your personal and business finances is an important part of running a successful business.

Stayed tuned for next month’s post. I will explore more business tips including how to cut through the Red Tape that  small business owners face.

Interested in more business advice? Our friends at Interweave were kind enough to let me hold my own webinar on jewelry business tips. You can purchase my recent webinar here.

Meet me at Step 2 :: Red Tape

August 27, 2013

Launch Your Jewelry Business :: Red Tape :: Step 2 of 10

In Step 1 we discussed the importance of book keeping to a successful Jewelry Business. Aside from setting up your books, there are several very important steps you need to take to make your jewelry business official and compliant with Federal and State Laws.

Cut the red tape BLOG

The IRS and Small Business Association have great checklists & introductions on their websites.  The list below is only a sample of some of the most important items that will require your attention.

  1. Select a Business Structure: Decide if you want to be a Sole Proprietor, Corporation or LLC (Limited Liability Company). Consult your account because there are tax implications for each choice.
  2. Apply for a federal EIN# if necessary, again, consult your accountant
  3. Employees: There are additional taxes and regulations that come into play if you have employees. Consult an HR professional to be sure you understand your responsibilities. These services are not expensive and will dramatically  decrease your risk of law suits.
  4. State Sales Permit: A state resale license is issued by the state in which you do business and registers you as a wholesale business with your state tax agency. This permit is called different things in different states. For example, the California license is called a Seller’s Permit issued by the State Board of Equalization. In New York, it’s called a Certificate of Authority issued by the Department of Taxation and Finance.
  5. City business license, especially if you have a commercial space
  6. Register your Business Name with the County Clerk. They will require you to do a search to make sure no one else in your industry is using the same name.
  7. You may decide to register a Federal Trademark for greater legal protection. Consult a lawyer about this.
  8. Partnership Agreements.  This is my pet peeve. I have seen too many friendships destroyed in a messy “break up” that could have been avoided with a clear partnership agreement.

There are a variety of taxes that are associated with doing business including city, county, state and federal taxes.

CHECK with your advisors to be sure you have all the permits and licenses you need to operate legally.

Work your way through this list and keep checking back. Next up, STEP 3: Pricing

August 21, 2013

Launch Your Jewelry Business :: Copy Cats :: Step 8 of 10

If you are a good designer I can guarantee that people will copy your designs. There is nothing more frustrating than working hard to develop a great concept and then watching others swoop in and profit from it. I wish I could tell you there is a magic bullet to prevent that from happening but there isn’t. However, there is some protection from copyright laws.

Copyright laws are very complex and I am NOT a lawyer so I am not qualified to give legal advice. Fortunately, I was able to get this quote from Dawn Newton of Fitzgerald, Abbott and Beardsley LLP.

“Unlike fashion designs, jewelry designs may be copyrighted under current law.  To qualify for copyright registration, they must only be an original work of expression, in fixed tangible form.”

When we create new jewelry parts from original sketches at Nina Designs, we apply for a Certificate of Registration with the Copy Right Office of the federal government. If we did not register, our designs would still be covered by copyright laws but we could not recover legal costs in the event of a law suit and winning would be more difficult.  Keep in mind, there are many generic shapes and findings that are not eligible for copyrights.

There is a difference between “obtaining a copyright registration for your work and preventing anyone from creating their own work that bears any similarity.  If your inspiration comes from nature, or anything in the public domain, other designers are also free to draw from those sources of inspiration, and it can be difficult to establish that a designer copied your design if that design is just a faithful replica of a natural phenomenon.  The more unique your design in some aspect, the better the likelihood that you can distinguish your product from others and, if you choose to make a claim for copyright infringement, you have a better chance of succeeding.” –Dawn Newton

step 8

This quote basically boils down to the fact that the more original your design is, the more likely you will be able to defend your copyright. Out lotus pendant is copyrighted but other people still have the right to create their own lotus designs. It would only infringe if it is clearly a copy of our specific design. This has happened! People will make copies with every petal exactly like ours, which is both lazy and just plain silly.

We have detailed guidelines and instructions for how to copyright jewelry designs on our Blog.

Even if your designs have copyright protection, enforcing that protection is very expensive, risky and time consuming. It is also very unpleasant. Pick your battles carefully. Many times, people don’t realize they are infringing on a copyright and a simple phone call is enough to resolve the issue. Other businesses are less cooperative. My rule of thumb is that when someone has clearly created a business plan based on stealing my designs I pursue all avenues to prevent them from continuing.

Creativity is the best defense. Creating a steady stream of innovative, new designs is a more reliable formula for success than getting continually bogged down in copyright disputes.

When you are ready, meet me at Step 9: Celebrate Your Mistakes!

August 20, 2013

Are You Ready for Business?

If you are enthusiastic about making jewelry, you have probably had women stop you in the street and ask to purchase your creations, or had a friend ask you to make a gift for someone special. At some point, the question “Should I start a jewelry business?” is unavoidable. There are many wonderful aspects of owning a jewelry business including creativity, making women look and feel gorgeous, time flexibility and the ability to work at home, which is especially appealing to Moms.

Are You Ready for Business BLOG

Starting a Jewelry Business is tempting but before you decide to make the leap, ask yourself a few crucial questions:

–          Am I ready to spend many hours a week working ON my business

–          What in my already busy schedule am I willing to give up to free up this time?

–           What is my real goal? Generating income or funding my hobby?

It is crucial to be clear about your Goal! If you just want to fund your hobby, you will only have to spend about 20% of your time on  administrative tasks leaving 80% for jewelry design and creation. If you are serious about generating income you will spend up to 90% of your time working on BUSINESS issues rather than making jewelry. Are you Cool with that?

The Joys of starting Small: I really believe in this model!

-No Huge investment necessary

-Gives you a chance to see if being an entrepreneur suits you.

-You can learn from your mistakes without dire consequences.

-You have time to get to know your customer profile. Do my actual customers match the profile of my target market?

-You can fund your own growth from profits.

-You can grow at your own pace because you don’t have bank payments or investors breathing down your back.

If you decide that owning a jewelry business is right for you, I can help you get started. Click here for Step 1 of 10 to Launching a Jewelry Business.

July 8, 2013

Home Studio Organization Tips On A Budget

Is your home bead studio a complete mess? Is your jewelry inventory so unorganized you get discouraged to even sit down and design? It’s ok to admit it! It’s safe to say, many of us have been there.

If you are like me, going out and buying expensive plastic jewelry organizers is not appealing. There is a certain charm to taking time and making your work station as functionable and creative as you are! It’s time to pull out the yellow pages and find all the thrift, consignment and second hand shops around town.

Marcy's Studio BLOG

Above is Marcy’s spacious and organized home jewelry studio. Wood drawers and vintage glass dishes create the perfect home for Marcy’s extensive and eclectic bead inventory. 

-For beads and gemstones still on strands: hang strung jewels from a cork board using heavy duty thumb tacks to keep them secure. Or, mount hooks on the wall close to where you bead! Keep what you need within an arms reach!

-For loose beads:

-Collect or gather mini glass jars with lids to keep beads organized by shape, style or color. You can find these jars at many second hand stores or save old spice jars!

-While you are at the thrift store, look for spinning spice racks with jars. These racks are great for portable bead storage.

-Dig through the garage for old tool bins, tool or tackle boxes. These are also easy to find second hand. Not only are these boxes interesting to look at, you don’t need to spend much money to pick up a couple!

-Muffin tins or any small baking tin work great for large component or chunky beads.

-Vintage glass serving dishes are also a great way to showcase your current favorite beads.

-If you can find them, vintage type case drawers are perfect for keeping beads organized. (They look just like the photos above of Marcy’s studio.)

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and get your bead stash organized? With a little planning and some time at the second hand shops, you can make your dream work station!

June 5, 2013

Designers You Need to Know :: May Blog Partners Part 2

Melissa Trudinger of Bead Recipes is a talented designer who is heavily involved in the beading community. Melissa’s blog is an outlet for her two passions; beading and cooking. Yum! Stop by Bead Recipes for the perfect mix of jewelry inspiration and insights.

TJewellicious by Tanti is an up and coming jewelry designer and blogger. Tanti’s style is colorful and cheerful. We love how all of her pieces are named: Simply Yellow, Harvest, Roseberry, Viola Glam. Like many other designers, Tanti promotes her work on her Facebook page. Like her page and spend some time browsing her playful jewelry.

April May-2-Blog

Karla Morgan of Texas Pepper Jams impressed us with her creative and stylish use of Nina Designs bronze jewelry components. See Karla’s creations on her blog, Texas Pepper Jams.

Do you want to be a Nina Designs blog partner? Email DeAnna@NinaDesigns.com for more information!

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