25 Jul NINA BERENATO. Yes, the designer of THAT ear cuff and so much more!
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Video Filmed by Crystal Martinez
Story by Crystal Martinez
“One person can change an industry. One person can declare war.” This is the mantra of the newest cool-girl in San Antonio, sharing her gift with our beautiful city. Meet Nina Berenato! She is a talented jewelry maker who got her start as a metal smith in Brooklyn. After opening her first retail store in Austin, Nina has her sights set on the road by bringing her airstream to The Shops at Broadway News, located at 2202 Broadway.
All of Nina’s designs are American made by women and for everybody. Nina Beranato Jewelry has graced the pages of our favorite fashion magazines and has been worn by some of the most famous celebrities around the world, such as Alicia Keys, Lena Dunham, and Lady Gaga.
Stepping into this shop my first thought was on how well the space was designed. It’s clean and airy. It’s chic. The décor oozes American vibes and vintage feels. Once you’ve taken in the breath of fresh air your eyes will zero in on the “need it now” pieces that so elegantly fill this airstream. I’m talking classic investment pieces with an edge. The beauty and individuality of each piece is easy to see. Burgundy immediately gravitated towards the ear cuffs. Nina has done an amazing job of reinventing this fading trend. With the blink of an eye, you’re drawn to these instant fashion obsessions with new, geometric intensity and elegant craftsmanship.
We sat down with Nina both on and off the camera! Catch the episode above and continue to learn more about this incredible woman and her company in the continued interview below.
SLTV: Tell us the deets on how your jewelry is made. So excited to learn.
NB: I personally design and create each new piece for my collections using traditional metalsmithing techniques like soldering and forming. I also do wax carving from time to time, you’ll see an example of that in my upcoming collection, Chaos. I have a studio in Austin where I create the first prototype and then I create a silicone mold of the piece. Each mold is then sent to New Mexico where it is injected with yellow bronze and sent back to us. That is how we are able to make multiples that look the same. From there we hand finish each pieces, it’s plated in 14k gold and then it’s ready!
SLTV: We hear you are an all-woman powerhouse? Can you speak more on that?
NB: For me, it’s always been important to employ women who are often underpaid and misjudged within the work-force. I wanted to create a place where women could come to work and be valued and compensated fairly. Since jewelry is such a traditionally feminine thing I also wanted to create an environment where women who stepped in felt comfortable to talk candidly about their experiences, bond and uplift one another.
SLTV: How is airstream life? Biggest pros and cons.
NB: I love the Airstream life! I love the idea that I can just pick up and go. I have moved a lot in my life and it’s nice to have this mobile space that I am able to bring right to wherever I want to go. I’m selling jewelry, so I don’t need a whole lot of space, so the Airstream is perfect. I was terrified at first to drive it, but now I’m pretty much a pro. Cons… it can get hot.
SLTV: Haha… we hear that. Texas. What would you say you’re most looking forward to in San Antonio now that you’re here? (And by he way, WELCOME!)
NB: I’m most looking forward to exploring. I am already finding all of my favorite food and coffee spots. And I just love discovering the unique personalities of different cities. San Antonio, similar to my line has a personality that is deeply rooted in the past but also feels very modern and relevant. There is a pulse here that I am so excited an curious to explore. Oh, also ART! I’ve already heard of a bunch of exhibits I can’t wait to see!