Skinny Pig Jewelry Influenced by Childhood Memories

Skinny Pig Jewelry Influenced by Childhood Memories

Jasmine Casana

     Skinny Pig Designs is a jewelry business that sells original handmade jewelry at events all around the island. Class of ‘02 alumna and owner Moana-Marie Nazareno focuses on designing unique jewelry with materials that tells a story for its purchasers.

     “I truly love telling a story through my creations, so I’m constantly making new designs almost daily,” said Nazareno. “I appreciate those who are always looking for my newest items and then tell me what they think because it pushes me to learn more and continuously develop my creativity.”

    At a young age, Nazareno developed a love for creating her own jewelry. “It all started when my parents gave me a box of cheap plastic beads and some stretch cord to make bracelets,” said Nazareno. “I loved jewelry making so much, that I borrowed all of the jewelry books that I could find at the library and eventually graduated to making the kind of jewelry that I make now.”

    With the growing popularity of her jewelry among her friend group, Nazareno was able to begin sharing the results of her hobby with others. “I didn’t even care if anybody else wore them. I just really enjoyed making jewelry,” said Nazareno. “In high school, several of my friends noticed me wearing some of the bracelets that I made. They thought they were so cute, so they paid me to custom make a few for them.”

    After graduating from college, Nazareno returned from the break she took from her crafting hobby and decided to establish an online business showcasing her handmade products. “I took a few pictures of my jewelry with my phone and posted them online. A few months went by and nothing happened, so I kind of forgot about it. But to my delight, I eventually received my first sale,” said Nazareno. “I’ll never forget the excitement that I felt that somebody actually wanted to buy something that I made.”

    Along with her making and selling her jewelry, Nazareno continues to work full time as an eighth grade teacher at Kalakaua Middle School. “Both jobs are equally demanding, but I absolutely love both of them, so I can’t imagine giving either of them up,” said Nazareno. “I’ve learned that when you are passionate about what you do, you somehow manage to find the time and energy to do it.”

    By using uncommon materials, Nazareno is able to embed her own unique style into her jewelry. “I could find these things anywhere from shopping in jewelry supply stores to even when I am just walking around at the beach. I’ve even made jewelry out of unconventional materials such as things that I found at hardware stores,” said Nazareno. “I often joke that it’s my ‘diamond in the rough’ technique. I try to find things that seem rough at first and then I transform them into diamonds.”

    Skinny Pig Designs’ jewelry reflects Nazareno’s taste in accessories and her attraction towards items that carry a story. “I think my style of jewelry can be described as dainty and whimsical,” said Nazareno. “I like to have fun and be creative with the jewelry that I make, so I don’t stick with what is simply trendy or popular. I enjoy telling a story with each piece, so I put a lot of thought into every detail.”

    Skinny Pig Designs’ bestseller is Nazareno’s Signature Charm Bracelet. “It’s made with a chain bracelet with several charms of coral, sea shells, freshwater pearls, crystals and glass. It has a very ‘beachy’ vibe and the different colors and textures of the charms make it fun to wear,” said Nazareno. “My Signature Collection always attracts customers’ eyes right away and the Signature bracelet is my best seller out of all of my jewelry. I think this piece is a good representation of my fun and whimsical style.”

    Jewelry from Skinny Pig Designs can be purchased at a Ben Franklin locker in Market City and on the Skinny Pig Designs website