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Conversations with Nicole Anne Abreu

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nicole Anne Abreu.

Hi Nicole, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
My love for jewelry started as a kid- I was always mesmerized by my late paternal grandmother’s love for earrings and rings, and my maternal grandmother shared that same love for jewelry. I was taught that jewelry tells a personal story and is symbolic for the work you put in to earn it, the event you are planning to wear it to, or part of your oral family history.

During the pandemic, I decided to look back to my family history and wonder what I can do to not just support myself but to also help me cope with what has been happening in the world. I turned to polymer clay as a hobby, creating canes and jewelry for myself, but then took the dive to start up a business. And that is how Mutya Jewelry was born! Mutya- translating to pearl, amulet, charm, or used to call someone ‘darling’, because behind the jewelry, is a creative vision, my story, and my Filipino heritage.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
At first, I was filled with doubt, not sure if I would even break through to people who do not already know me. I learned that I really had to advertise for myself and to be proud of what I make. After many efforts, I finally managed to have wonderful customers whom I have never met- but trusted my process and believed in my work! Sometimes, creating a piece can be difficult, especially when I feel like I have already tried so many colors and shapes. But there is so much around us, and taking small breaks helps me feel inspired to make even better jewelry each time.

Great, so let’s talk business. Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I mainly create handmade polymer clay jewelry, usually made to order, as well as custom polymer clay jewelry upon requests. I work slowly to ensure that each piece is the best quality and that each person who orders is confident in wearing their pieces. I create a lot of jewelry inspired by my Filipino cultures, such as halo-halo earrings (a shaved ice Filipino dessert) and parol earrings (Filipino Christmas star lanterns).

I also create a lot of elegant pieces, such as my In Bloom earrings (cameo-like hand-sculpted flower earrings) and imitation stone earrings (rainbow fluorite earrings). Like many artists, my work is inspired by my upbringing and heritage. I believe that every artist has stories to tell, and for me, my stories are about my experience as a first-generation Filipino American, the influence my grandmothers had on my view of the world and my culture, and my memories growing up as well as the new memories I make that connect me to nature and the wonderful world around us.

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
I believe persistence and confidence is what helps me keep going in creating jewelry, but also in life. As a new graduate from college who studied Microbiology, one of the most important things I learned is that the world around us is so interconnected, especially in the tiniest things we call cells. In life, I think every action we do and every word we say has such a big impact. With this business, I know that I can still make an impact, whether that be donating funds to a charity, or just making someone’s day by adding a little note that makes them smile or creating the jewelry they had envisioned in their head for so long. I have to be confident in my abilities because I know that I have many people who believe in me, just as I believe in them.

Pricing:

  • Ready to wear earrings run from $18-30
  • Custom earrings run anywhere from $18+ depending on complexity
  • Free studs always included in orders
  • Keychains can run anywhere from $15+ (including customs)
  • Shipping is $3.50; free for orders $50+

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Photographer for Graduation Solo Pic: Arjud Dela Cruz

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