SAN ANTONIO – This International Women’s Day, we’re featuring an Austin woman who makes handcrafted jewelry for celebrities and everyday women, lifts up other women-owned businesses and makes Texas women feel empowered.
Nina Berenato has designed custom pieces for a constellation of celebrities, including Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Lizzo, Janelle Monae and Billie Eilish, to name a few.
Berenato began her career in 2010, when she spent a year as an apprentice in Brooklyn, New York. She learned hand soldering and forming, which became the foundation for how she creates all of her designs today.
She focuses her work on female empowerment, with many of her designs reflecting concepts specific to her, which she says are open to interpretation for others.
Berenato still hand crafts each piece of jewelry, then sends the designs to New York to be molded in silicone. From there, she uses recycled metals to cast all of her pieces, then sends them to Rhode Island to be plated in 14k gold. So from start to finish, each piece is made 100% in the United States.
Each piece of jewelry is coated in white, yellow or rose gold plating, nickel-free, hypoallergenic and 10 times thicker than the industry standard so each piece lasts longer. They’re all hand-finished, and if stones are used in the design, they’re all ethically sourced.
But it’s not just beautiful, handmade jewelry that comes out of her store. Berenato makes it a point to lift up other women-owned businesses, and even dedicates a wall within her Austin store to feature their products.
“It has a big sign over it that says ‘Other Women Makers We Love’ and we’re committed to having at least 70% of those be women of color,” Berenato said. “So we’re trying to make sure that we’re uplifting not only women in our community, but some that are not always pushed to the front.”
She also selects a different nonprofit group each month and donates 3% of monthly sales to that organization. Past recipients include Dress for Success, Out Youth and others.
Berenato also offers jewelry making classes at her store, which is located at 3200 Palm Way #152 in Austin. The classes take place on Saturdays at 3 p.m. They fill up fast, so be sure to register early here.