When I was younger, I read one of those women’s magazine articles that said something like, “If you’re this shape, height or age, your style should be blah blah blah.” The glossy page that declared the rules for me said I should avoid large prints and chunky jewelry. I remember this so-called advice clearly because, of course, I rebelled. If it was bright and bold and big, I proudly wore it—without apology. On those days when you feel like the media, your trendy girlfriends or even your great grams is trying to put you in a fashion box, break free and forge on in your own style. I bet you’ll feel fabulous!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: Nearly 60 Percent
These days, I adore exquisitely delicate jewelry. But that had to be my decision to make. Old-school rules are old-school for a reason, but some folks still cling to those dated standards. One preconceived notion you might hear from Grandma Marge is that if you want to own quality jewelry, you’ve got to waltz yourself into a traditional jewelry store and rummage through the cases for your perfect pendant. Wrong! Everything from engagement rings to charm bracelets and even snazzy ear cuffs can be purchased elsewhere. In fact, according to one jewelry-focused trade organization, almost 60 percent of women buy their jewelry from a variety of other sources, including online shops, locally owned boutiques and even big-box retailers.
This trend is exciting because it means more of us are supporting creative, independent designers. It also makes exceptional jewelry so much more accessible. Women no longer have to wrestle into a pair of pantyhose just so we can strut around the Tiffany & Co. showroom nervously pretending we can afford every glittery thing!
WOMAN TO WATCH: Nina Berenato, Founder and Designer of Nina Berenato Jewelry
One woman we absolutely love for fearlessly clutching the jewelry industry by its bangles and redefining the spirit of all things bling is the wonderfully imaginative and artistic Nina Berenato. Nina aims to provide women with jewelry items that are not only rockin’ fashion statements, but beautiful pieces of armor that truly differentiate the wearer and provide women with an extra boost of confidence.
Perhaps most striking about Nina’s jewelry collections is the aesthetic. The geometric, quirky pieces incorporate bold, often chunky, metal characteristics—attributes that have established her brand as truly unique—and did not come about by accident. In fact, Nina spent four years as an apprentice for a metalsmith, honing the craft and learning the intricacies of what it takes to physically create a piece of artwork with her own two hands. Hard work notwithstanding, Nina was clearly a natural, and before long, her signature collections were causing quite the stir in the jewelry world.
Photos of her jewelry have graced the pages of some pretty major style publications, including Vogue, Cosmo and W Magazine. And loads of celebs, from Lady Gaga to Lena Dunham, have excitedly donned Nina’s one-of-a-kind creative pieces, all of which are 100 percent produced in the United States.
Continuing to build on her success, last year, Nina opened her first retail store—in her true-to-form unconventional style—in a refurbished and utterly chic 1959 Airstream Bambi trailer in Austin, Texas. And more recently, emboldened by her flourishing triumphs in the jewelry industry, Nina, alongside her dedicated all-women tribe of employees, opened her first brick-and-mortar flagship retail store.
As a designer, Nina has an incredibly eclectic inspiration bank, and isn’t afraid to let her imagination run completely wild. But this passionate artist says she feels most powerful when she’s lifting up other women, helping them achieve their goals. Ladies, let’s all take a cue from Nina and strap on our beautiful armor so we can fearlessly seize the day head-on!
QUITE THE QUOTE
I’ll leave you today with Nina Berenato’s personal mantra. She said:
“Leap and the net will appear.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.