During my first visit to Bali, when I was still a teenager, I was overwhelmed by the array of hand crafted items and the quality of the work. In college I returned for a month to study Balinese dance, but like so many before me, I fell in love with the culture and determined to find a way to make Bali a permanent part of my life. For many years I had supported my dance habit by making beaded jewelry under the label Nina Designs, so it was natural to begin by working with artists from Penestanan, a village known for beautiful bead work. Soon I expanded and began importing textiles, clothing, wood carvings and silver jewelry in addition to bead work.

Several years later my home and business burned down in the Oakland fire storm. It was a devastating loss but the fire gave me an opportunity to reevaluate my goals. I realized that my bond to Bali was still strong and I wanted to maintain the connection but I knew that I would burn out if I continued to spend most of my time on the road selling. I also needed to concentrate my reduced capital on one product line to avoid spreading myself too thin.

As a jewelry designer I had been frustrated by the lack of interesting silver beads, clasps and findings available from my suppliers. To fill the gap I had already begun to design and produce items for my own use. Bead stores and designers began to place orders and before long beads and findings were a significant percentage of my overall sales. After the fire I decided to expand the line and turn silver jewelry components into my primary business. In addition, I decided to invest in a top of the line catalog, counting on mail order for efficient distribution with minimal travel.

There was only one hitch, in order to sell enough silver to make the business profitable, I needed a reliable production facility that could handle large orders and maintain high quality standards. At this point, I was fortunate to connect with Ida Bagus Wiznawa and his wife Janet, who agreed to jointly launch a facility, Wiz Silver, to produce the silver work.

The first designs in the Nina Designs catalog were inspired by traditional Balinese patterns, as well as ethnic and antique reproductions. Over the past decade, the line has grown to include thousands of styles. To carry on the tradition of innovation I add at least 300 new items a year. My commitment to service and quality remain paramount. And yes, I still love beads!

All silver items are sterling silver. I hope you enjoy these treasures as much as we do.