HOW IT'S MADE
I started my career in jewelry in 2010 spending a year as an apprentice in Brooklyn. It was there that I learned the ancient metal techniques of hand soldering and forming that became the fundamental processes I use to create my designs.
As a designer, I like to let my mind be free to create and pivot in the moment, so I do not sketch out anything beforehand. Instead, I approach my soldering table with a concept and inspiration and see what happens. This means about 75% of my designs end up in the recycling bin, which are refined and used later for new ideas. Things fall apart or just "don't work" all the time, but when it does work, it's magic! I try not to look at the fashion world so that my designs can be unique and true to me.
I like to challenge the eye to see things that they might not have seen within the negative space or see something they wouldn't have found appealing before. Although each design has a very specific inspiration for me, I like the wearer to decide what it means to them. It wasn't until I got to my current home of Austin that I discovered the power I had with design, to use my jewelry to help the women around me.
I spend hours prototyping, but once a design makes the cut, I send the piece off to New York to be molded in silicone. From there, we can cast as many pieces as we want and they will look almost identical. All of our pieces are cast from recycled metals and you can learn more about my commitment to sustainability here!
From these bronze castings, hand finishing is done with great attention to detail. I think the hand finishing is what keeps my super modern shapes looking warm and organic. If we use stones in the design, these ethically sourced stones are also set by hand.
Now, it's time to make things really shine! Off to Rhode Island, the designs will go to be finished in 14k Gold. I offer yellow, white or rose gold in all of my designs and put my gold plating on 10x thicker than the industry standard so that it will stay on longer. I also plate nickel free, meaning every piece is 100% hypoallergenic.
My team of badass girls will then help to assemble any final chains, ear wires or clasps in our Austin store.
We are so proud of the products that we make and proud of ourselves for doing our part to preserve traditional metalsmithing as both an art form and way for us to sustain ourselves financially.
Thank you for supporting my little dream! - xoxo, Nina Berenato (designer)