Nina Nguyen, a local Colorado designer, grew up in Central Vietnam surrounded by a family of jewelers and goldsmiths. Her mother’s trading post was where locals came to sell their gold, panned from the Buon Ma Thuot River, which was then refined and used to create gorgeous pieces by Nina’s uncle.

In the late 1980s, her family’s jewelry business was confiscated, and her father was arrested and vanished for several years. With the help of family, Nina’s single mother took her and her five siblings on a journey to migrate to America seeking a better life. After a one year stay as a refugee in the Philippines, Nina’s family was eventually relocated to the Tampa Bay area where she started her life in the US. At the age of 12 she learned very quickly to adapt.

Years later, while on break from her finance career, Nina backpacked through India for ten weeks. She was mesmerized by the raw gemstones she came across - they were vibrant, colorful, and expertly faceted to catch light from every angle. Upon returning from her trip, Nina felt inspired to return to her roots and try her hand at designing and creating her own jewelry. She began creating intricate handwoven and crocheted necklaces out of gold and silver wire, allowing her creativity to soar while incorporating the skills she had learned from her uncle. She decided to forgo a promising career in finance and pursue her dream of designing her own jewelry.

“The road has been one of pure entrepreneurship; hardship, sacrifice, long hours, risk & reward. All of these I have endured, and I have absorbed everything the journey has taught me.”

With her showroom now located in Denver, Colorado, Nina is centrally located, and closer for her frequent trips to her design studio in Vietnam - not to mention the inspiration of the Rocky Mountains.