by Len Lear
Nina Anderson is certainly not a household name now, but it would not surprise me — or those who admire her work — if her name is featured in fashion magazines in a few years. “Her jewelry is so good,” said Jonathan Williams, owner of Chestnut Hill Cleaning Company, who brought her to our attention. “She deserves to have her work exposed to a wider public.”
Nina, 21, is a lifelong resident of Mt. Airy and graduate of Roxborough High School who will be graduating from Community College of Philadelphia this year.
“I always wanted a form of jewelry or clothing line,” she said last week. “One day I was looking at a choker in a store and thought to myself that I can make my own. I never was a fan of already-made jewelry. I always wanted something that could be custom-made for me.”
Nina, who started making jewelry at age 19, is self-taught, doing a lot of reading to pick up on different techniques. She is also designing four clothing fashion lines that she hopes to have ready by the spring or summer of 2019. Here is an interview we conducted with her recently:
•What kind of materials do you like to work with?
“My favorite materials to work with are my rhinestone custom letters. I love seeing people ask for various different names and sayings to put on them.”
•How do you decide what kinds of pieces to make?
“I usually think about what’s not already in stores. I try to create chokers that I have never seen. I challenge myself to make chokers that are different. Sometimes I use unconventional materials like shoestrings or fabrics I have at home to give the chokers a unique touch.”
•How long does it normally take you to make a piece of jewelry?
“To make one choker it usually takes me 20 minutes.”
•What is the satisfaction you get from making it?
“I get a rush after creating each custom choker. I always take pictures of what I make to show others my craft and skills. Knowing you’re creating a design for a customer is a good feeling! It’s the best feeling ever, knowing your customers love your work.”
•How long have you been selling the jewelry?
“I have been selling my jewelry since 2016.”
•How and where do you sell it?
“I sell my pieces through social media like Instagram. I do delivery and shipping to each customer. I’m also about to get into other shops to start selling my products.”
•What do you charge on average?
“Each choker ranges in price, but my price range is from $15 to $25.”
•How do you plan to expand your business in the future?
“I plan to continue going far with the jewelry by coming up with more distinctive ideas! And with my clothing line, which will also be a huge, exciting part of the Safaridesignss brand!”
•What is the best advice you have ever received?
“Time will always tick, so go after whatever goal you have in mind, no matter how long it takes.” … “That was from Troy Anderson, my father.”
•What jewelry makers do you admire the most?
“I admire Winnie and Per Enevoldsen, who started Pandora jewelry. I admire them the most because they design jewelry made for anyone. I like how you can choose your own charms to match your personality.”
•What is the hardest thing you have ever done?
“One of the hardest things I have ever done was coming up with a whole collection for my clothing line. You’re constantly editing and adding things at the same time. I’m always thinking about what to change or swap out!”
•Do you plan to make this a full-time career?
“Yes. I do plan to make this a full time career I love my job! My brand has came a long way and has many more surprises and fun ideas coming soon.”
•If you could meet anyone on earth for a lengthy conversation, who would it be?
“It would be God, I would love to just get modest directions and wisdom. I would also love to meet Vera Wang.”
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