What is your name? Where are you from?
My Name is Dana Valente I am from a small town called Leechburg, 45 minutes north of Pittsburgh, PA.
Tell me about Nina Ramone!
Nina Ramone is named after my beautiful female German Shepherd, Miss Nina Ramone...and to me it sounds poetic! It all started in October of 2008. I began making jewelry for myself, for friends, and for fun. I had gotten so much positive feedback, someone suggested I get involved with Etsy. I used to make jewelry all the time when I was younger, so I think it was natural that I ended up going back to it, once I was older and more focused.
Can you describe your creative process? What are some of your inspirations?
I get a lot of pieces from antique shops, estate sales, and strange off the wall kind of places.
I am always inspired by my mother and grandmother, since playing with their jewelry was my favorite past time when I was a child. I can find inspiration for design ideas everywhere really. There are times I find myself making my own interpretation of something that catches my eye. I can be inspired by something I see in a magazine to a rock in my garden . I tend to study things a little closer these days and find myself wondering, Hmm... What can I make with that?
How long have you been designing? Do you have formal training?
I have no formal training. I have been designing things my whole life and not just jewelry. My father is an amazing carpenter among other things and my mother is an amazing seamstress and artist. I think I ended up getting my creativity from both of them.
I noticed most of your pieces are one of a kind. At what point and how do you decide that a piece is ready?
I try to mix vintage or recycled materials with new pieces. A lot of times I will only have one of something, so I can’t recreate it even if I want to. I personally like having things that no one else can ever get, so that adds to the aspect of trying to keep all pieces one of a kind. I usually wear a piece around my studio to see how it looks and feels. I will hang it on my mannequin and just stare at it. It may sound silly, but the jewelry will tell me when it’s finished.
What kind of girl do you imagine wearing your pieces? How often do you wear your own designs?
I wear my own designs everyday. Even if it is just a simple pair of earrings. If I have somewhere special to go, I will make something to complement my outfit. I imagine that the women who wear my designs are outgoing, outspoken, intelligent, fearless individuals who enjoy life and don’t take things too seriously. I did have the honor of designing a wedding day necklace for a customer. It was her something old and something blue. I custom painted a vintage brooch and used it in the piece. That is such a wonderful feeling, to know that on one of the most important days in this woman’s life, she is wearing something that I made especially for her.
All your pieces are certainly statement pieces, including the cowl neck scarves!!! How important are accessories in any outfit?
Most of my designs look great paired with a simple tee shirt, making the jewelry itself the “outfit”. I love accessorizing! As far as the cowl scarves go, yes, they are a bit of a statement. However, when you live in Western PA and have to deal with cold winter days, they are more practical than anything. I wear mine all the time, even in the house near a drafty window. They are so warm and comfy.
What advice do you have for girls that may be a little shy to wear such bold scarves or necklaces?
Go for it! You only live once, so you should always be yourself. If you like something, wear it. Don’t let anyone else dictate who or what you can be. People often say things to me like “ Well, that looks great on you but I could never pull something like that off”. That is bull, if you are confident in yourself and who you are you can wear whatever you like and will shine from within.
Win either a $30 gift card or a necklace worth up to $60 from Nina Ramone!!!
AlphaBetaChic x Nina Ramone
Fashion Giveaway Rules
+1 Visit Nina Ramone HERE and tell me what's your FAVORITE ITEM
+1 Follow my blog via Google Friend Connect HERE
For EXTRA Entries
+1 Add Nina Ramone to your favorite Etsy sellers (include etsy username)
+1 Heart as many of your fav items in the Nina Ramone Etsy store (+1 entry for each item you heart, include item link)
+1 Comment on any of my older outfit posts (but not limited to) here, here, here, here, here, or here (+1 for each comment, include post name)
+1 Blog, Twitter, Facebook this giveaway as many times as you like (+1 entry for each, include links)
For Twitter use "Win a $30 gift card to Nina Ramone on @PresidentP3's fashion blog http://bit.ly/NinaRamoneGiveaway!"
+1 Add me to your blogroll (include blog url)
LASTLY +15 FIFTEEN ENTRIES
if you purchase something using this
special 10% off discount code
Don't forget to post a separate comment here for EACH entry!!! You can enter as many times as you like!
*Please include links to your blog post, twitter/facebook status, etsy username, email, or Nina Ramone product page when necessary so I can verify your entry and/or contact you if you win!!!*
Open internationally. This giveaway ends on May 23, 2010 at midnight! Good luck!