our first interview and GIVEAWAY!

Well, it's here! Our first artist interview and giveaway to be featured on the site is with Nicki Martin, of Viridian Handcrafts. She designs and crafts those beautiful leather flower necklaces, brooches, rings, and headbands you have recently seen in the shop.

A: Thanks so much for being a part of this today Nicki!

NM: Thanks for having me here! It's a pleasure to chat with you, and I'd love to give your readers a little "peek behind the curtain" of what I do.

A: Tell us a little bit about yourself:

NM: I'm Nicki Martin, accessory & jewelry designer and the owner of Viridian Handcrafts. I've been "crafty" all my life and have dabbled in everything from knitting to sculpture, but when I decided to make Viridian a full-time occupation I was drawn towards creating unique accessories and jewelry. Leather is, of course, my favorite medium, and I love anything that sparkles so crystals and beads feature largely in my work.

A: Why did you decide to become an artist?

NM: Because I wasn't as happy doing anything else! I actually studied business in college, but realized pretty early on that I wouldn't make it far in the corporate world so I needed to find something more creative to do with myself. I also have a bit of a problem being told what to do, so even though Viridian keeps me quite busy it's work I don't mind doing. I'm so grateful that I get to do what I love for a living!

A: How has your jewelry changed/ developed over time?

NM: Well, my style has definitely become more intricate, and my leather flowers have gone through many incarnations since I started making them. There is so much you can do with leather, and I'm constantly learning new tricks and ways to manipulate it. I've also become more daring with color and more willing to experiment with different color combinations.

A: What inspires you?

NM: Inspiration can come from anywhere, but I most often find it right here in my studio! I love to look through my supplies and wait for a single bead or piece of fabric to catch my eye, then design an entire piece around that first glance. When all else fails, I go bead shopping- all those colorful strands never fail to spark ideas (it can get overwhelming, in fact!)

A: Do you have a quote you live by?

NM: "Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful" -William Morris
That must explain why I have no sentimental chotchkes around... sorry Mom!

A: 3 things you couldn’t live without...

NM: Coffee, a sharp pair of scissors, and lip gloss!

Here are a few pictures of Nicki's studio:

beads, beads, beads!

leather in fun spring colors!

showing us how the magic is done!
GIVEAWAY QUESTION: The days are getting longer, the temperature is slowly climbing... soon we'll see signs of spring everywhere! Do you have a piece of jewelry or accessory in your collection that makes you "think spring?" Tell us about it and you are entered to win this beautiful one-of-a kind Viridian necklace valued at $26.50


  1. Very cute...Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. What makes me think of spring is a bracelet I inherited from my mother. When my father was stationed in Hawaii during WWII, he sent my mother a bracelet made of painted butterfly wings encased in glass. The vibrant blues and oranges make me think of warm weather.

  3. I think that it is great that Nicki is following her passion and what a gift you have. The piece of jewelry that makes me think "Spring" is a clay pin that my children bought me 20 years ago. It is 3 pastel tulips - "because that is your favorite flower and there are three of us kids". Inexpensive but priceless. Thanks!

  4. My mom had a pair of gold hibiscus earrings that her daughters and daughters-in-law all admired. As a special gift she gave each of us a pair. They remind us of the fun times we have had with her at her Florida home. I only wear them spring through summer, always glad to take them out and sad to put them away. I think Nicki's jewelry looks lovely and she is so lucky to be doing something she loves.

  5. Fascinating story, and I love seeing the beads and studio "behind the scenes" of where Nicki gets her inspiration. I have a turquoise necklace w/other natural gemstones that always reminds me of spring and the nature elements that spring brings. Thanks for sharing the story! Jackie

  6. My favorite piece of jewelry, one I wear all the time, is a necklace with charms given to me by my youngest daughter and her best friend (my part time daughter)..I touch it and think spring, life, growing things, and feel happy. My daughter's birthday is in April-early spring-and anything reminding me of her, brings thoughts of beautiful sunshine and flowers because she is all that and more to me.

  7. My silver ring...it is plain, about 3/4 of an inch. I wear it all spring and summer...I end up with a tan line on that finger! I have seen Nicki's work up close in your store...simply beautiful...I was going to put one in my daughter's Easter basket...I better get into Angelina's before they are gone!! Enjoy the sun! Rosie

  8. I have a beautiful silver and pearl daisy necklace and earring set that my twin sister gave me years ago on our birthday. Whenever I put it on, even in the middle of winter, it makes me think "Spring!"

  9. Very cute necklace! I better stop by to get some of Nicki's work! I think of spring whenever I see my flower necklace and bracelet set. The pinks and reds remind me of all the flowers blooming. Hopefully spring gets here quick! (:

  10. I'd have to say my favorite is my wedding day jewelry given to me by my mom. It's super dainty yet makes a statement and every spring I make sure to wear it.I I always think of my spring wedding day, which was sunny, and there was not a cloud was in the sky!!! Agh come on spring any day now;)

  11. I have a necklace my brother sent me from Afghanistan and its beads with flowers on them. Its bright colors and flowers always make me think of spring.

  12. I actually have a pink pearl necklace that I just won from a giveaway and it has spring melting all over it!

  13. I have a beaded bead necklace made with pink opals! It reminds me of spring every time I wear it. thanks for the giveaway.

  14. Mr. EB reminds me of spring. He is a rabbit pin that resembles the dapper rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and just as whimsical. He is in oranges, yellows and golds with beads & charms looking at his watch. Those colors and the time change are always the first signs of spring for me.

  15. I'd have to go with my Nicki Martin ring ;-) Dark brown leather with a light pink pearl center!

  16. I have purchse 3 Nicki Martin pieces...Two for friends, one for me.

    As for spring...A nickel size filigree charm with a hibicus in the lower left corner. It was my mother's and reminds me of her...as does the red Poppy Nicki Martin pin.

    Thanks for the interview.Nice to know how she works.