NEST is truly a family business – we enjoy traveling together, and we’re usually working while we play! We decided Mexico would be the perfect backdrop for our Fall 19/20 photo shoot. We love the culture, the climate, the people, and of course the food!
Our destination was Hotel Xcaret Mexico, an eco-friendly all-inclusive resort situated next the jungle and the Caribbean Sea.
We were able to spend a full day relaxing on the beach, in the ocean, and on river – kayaking, paddle boarding, and making sand castles.
We followed our relaxing day at the beach with an all-day trip to Xcaret theme park. A few highlights from the day included leading a flamingo parade, touring an aviary and butterfly pavilion, climbing real Mayan ruins, making authentic Mexican chocolate, feeding conservation program sea turtles, and viewing rescued manatee.
Our evening entertainment, Xcaret Mexico Espectacular, took us through the history of Mexico with live music and dancing. We were able to enjoy a backstage tour beforehand to see the work that goes into the costumes and props. They keep the designs historically accurate down to the smallest details. One of the dresses took over six months to hand bead. Talk about couture!
Finally, it was the day for our shoot! We started early hoping to beat the bright sunlight for better images – but the sun rises early when it’s August in Mexico! Jana’s daughter, Maddie was our only model this season. She’s the only one that can get up at the crack of dawn and be ready in five minutes. Oh to be young and beautiful!
There was no shortage of amazing backdrops. Jana was our photographer while I styled with whatever collective apparel was available.
Jana’s youngest daughter of course wanted in on the action as well.
We got some great shots, and then gave in to the sun’s hot rays and called it a wrap. Adios Mexico! Hasta Luego!
View the final Look Book here, and enjoy free shipping with code: FALL!
One of our favorite parts of designing a collection is getting to see the final product on a beautiful model, being worn just how we imagined. Follow along for an exclusive Behind The Scenes of this Spring’s photo shoot!
This season’s collection features natural Chrysotine, Amazonite, Larimar, Blue Lace Agate, Turquoise, Jade, and Opal stones as well as Freshwater Pearls and hand carved Mother-of-Pearl – always luxuriously handcrafted in our Dallas, Texas studio.
We chose to shoot our campaign at none other than Julie Soefer’s studio – she’s our go-to for all of our photography needs. Her new studio was designed by NEST Design Group and it was rewarding to get to personally see how well the space functioned!
Our models for the day started getting picture perfect bright and early! Did we mention two of the three models are part of the family? Kayla (the blonde) and Maddie (the brunette) were great additions to our photoshoot. This truly is a family affair!
After hair and makeup (thank you Victoria Callaway!), we started putting together looks. With the help of our stylist, Marzi, we put together the perfect blank canvas for our pieces that transition from daytime to poolside.
Shooting jewelry is truly an art. Janette and Jana were standing by with their keen eyes to adjust every detail – we at NEST pride ourselves on perfection!
After a long day of work, we were thrilled to kick our feet up and have a drink or two. To check out our full Spring ’19 Lookbook, visit nestjewelry.com. And use code SPRING to shop our styles with free shipping!
The NEST Team
It’s the time of year that our calendars get filled with gatherings, parties and get-togethers. Some of these are planned and some get sprung on us last minute. To be prepared for whatever comes my way, I keep the ingredients for my Pimiento Party Dip stocked in my fridge. This dip is so quick and easy to make that it can be whipped up in a moment’s notice if an unexpected guest pops by.
Note of caution: this dip is known to make your guests come back for more so don’t feed it to anyone you don’t want to see again 🙂
Since I began making this my friends now come over with dip expectations so I better not run out!
Pimiento Party Dip is simple so each ingredient is key to its flavor. You must buy a good quality cheese to begin with. The brand 365 is the only shredded cheese I will buy because it tastes freshly shredded. Many times you will find that the packaged shredded cheese has a coating on it. This will not taste the best. If you cannot find the 365 cheese I suggest you buying blocked cheese and shred it yourself.
The other super important ingredient is the mayonnaise. Mr. Kensington’s Organic Mayonnaise will change your thoughts on all other brands of mayonnaise. I also really like their avocado mayonnaise and will use it interchangeably depending on what’s in my fridge at the moment. I buy all of this at Whole Foods but if you don’t have Whole Foods it’s worth finding, you will thank me.
I begin with adding equal parts sharp cheddar shredded cheese and Monterey jack cheese to a large bowl. In these pictures I used an entire bag of each. I previously made smaller batches but stopped doing that because it’s nice to keep the leftovers in the fridge for snacking.
Next I added 5-6 heaping tablespoons of mayonnaise. As you get all the ingredients stirred together you can add more if you feel like. I always wait until the end to tweak it because you don’t want it to get too soggy.
Then I finely mince 4-5 slices of pickled jalapeños. This does not add a lot of heat but it adds amazing flavor. If you like it spicy then by all means add more!
I also like to pour a bit of the jalapeño juice to get that great flavor evenly distributed in the dip. I use about 2 tablespoons.
(If any of you don’t like spice at all you can omit the jalapeños and just add the same amount of juice from the pimientos.)
Next, I like to rough chop the pimientos so each delicious bite of dip will be sure to have one. When I first made this recipe I was trying to cut corners so I didn’t chop the pimientos. I found myself digging out the bites of dip that had pimientos and leaving the rest behind. To avoid having pimiento dip without pimientos we are going to take that extra 30 seconds and chop. It’s worth it.
After you add the CHOPPED pimientos to the bowl you can stir it until evenly mixed. I love that it has all the colors of Christmas represented.
After it is all mixed really well I add my secret ingredient. I have made the dip with and without this secret ingredient and although it is still quite delicious without, it is mind blowing with.
And this secret ingredient is……..Dill
The dill adds a complexity that just takes it over the top, not to mention it looks really pretty.
Now that we have the dip made we need a cracker to dip it. Sweet potato crackers are THE perfect pairing. I have tried other substitutes and it just will not do. I find these at Costco.
So now that I have made myself hungry, I am off to the store to pick up all the below ingredients. My family will be so happy!
Festive parties and get-togethers officially kick off with Thanksgiving dinner. This holiday may be focused on food and family, but don’t forget fashion from the Thanksgiving menu! Keep it simple with these no-fuss jewelry options layered over an all black ensemble. Our multi-strand tourmaline necklace is a gorgeous shade of merlot with a little metallic pop – not to mention it’s the perfect length for sit-down events. Pair with a hammered gold cuff and our black druzy clip-ons for the complete autumnal look.
Office Holiday Party
Ahhh, the office holiday party. This is where a professional look is best, but can also be an opportunity to step up your accessory game a notch or two. Let’s be honest – there will be a few coworkers who take the holiday theme a bit too far with their red and green festive-ness. We think the perfect players for this event are our apatite and pave pieces. The blue, black, and bit of sparkle make for an elevated look that’s a bit unexpected but definitely says “holiday.”
“Wild Card” Party
There’s always one “wild card” party you get invited to and have not a clue what to wear. For the growing in popularity “ugly Christmas sweater party,” we suggest going to your not-so-basic gold statement earrings. While your sweater screams “festive” your accessories will be whimsical yet wearable. We know you’ve been eyeing them – this is your excuse to add them to your collection!
Charity events are in full swing around the holidays, and you may feel overwhelmed picking outfits for every event without repeating. Our tip? Let your accessories – not the dress – do the talking. Pull out your tried and true black gown, and pair with this show-stopping amethyst set. All eyes will be on your rich-hued jewels, and you will definitely make a statement. We adore this deep purple set with the gold-trimmed details, and we know you will too.
The holiday season is in full swing and so are your cocktail parties scatted throughout your calendar. Don’t worry about what you’re going to wear – stick to your favorite neutral pieces in your closet and add new statement earrings to change it up. While red is the classic choice, we also love the deep green malachite stones – green is an unexpected choice for the holidays but such a fashion-forward pick. Pair with a red lip to complete your look!
Whether you’re attending a church service or spending quality time with family on Christmas Eve, we think the easiest accessory to throw on is a long pendant necklace. We love this winter white bone tassel piece with hints of gold – it’s the best way to keep your look classy but fashion forward. Complete your look with classic gold hoops (the perfect size!) and a simple but bold ring.
New Year’s Eve
New Years Eve – the last party of the year with the most va va voom! Skip the usual sequin number for some sparkly jewels instead! Our black horn and crystal set is the best way to add some pizazz without going overboard. The crystals reflect light and will shimmer all night, and you will be glad you chose to end your year in these NEST pieces!
We’re seeing it everywhere from cowboy booties to peasant tops – there’s no doubt the American Southwest is an important influence this season. Our go-to that plays into the trend is none other than our multi-colored beaded necklaces. The combination of malachite, turquoise, lapis, tiger’s eye, and horn gives this accessory a southwestern feel while still being incredibly wearable.
Available online at Neiman Marcus ($295 |$395)
Want a neutral option? Arrowheads are always a unique addition to an ensemble.
Forget past associations of charms being only for bracelets – our new favorite charm accessory? The charm statement necklace of course! True to the NEST brand, we use collections of natural stone and horn pieces in our handmade necklaces – giving it a nostalgic heirloom feel.
Available online at Neiman Marcus ($395 | $350)
Like to stay one step ahead of the trends? Add these charm rings to your line up for an über-stylish look.
WE’VE GOT THE BLUES
Blues are having a major moment – our very favorites being the rich royal and playful peacock hues. Go for a classic statement necklace with natural stones for an organic feel this season.
Try mixing different shades of blue in your wardrobe for a chic monochromatic look. These blue drop earrings are sure to elevate any ensemble.
This season’s pearl update is here – and in the most gorgeous shades of grey. We love the subtle but chic hue in these chunky necklaces. Layer over a cozy sweater for a put together laid-back look.
Available online at Neiman Marcus ($395 | $350)
Want a little more va-va-voom? This mother-of-pearl carved owl set is this season’s best conversation piece.
Carved Owl Mother-Of-Pearl Tassel Pendant Necklace – Available online at Saks Fifth Avenue ($395)
Its no secret animal prints are a fall staple. Our take on working the trend into your everyday outfits? Add our beloved spotted horn accessories into the mix! Use to complement a classic neutral outfit or style with bright colors and patterns if you’re feeling fashion-forward.
Can’t get enough? You won’t regret having all of these classics that will stay relevant throughout the seasons.
Carter and Jana Erwin are the proud owners of this charming 1920s bungalow in the Upper Kirby area of Houston, Texas. Jana is the Co-Founder of NEST Jewelry and NEST Design Group, and Carter is an executive in the oil and gas industry. They bought this home after returning from a two-year stint in Aberdeen, Scotland. Living overseas gave them a new love for a more minimalistic lifestyle. Instead of returning to their 4500 sq. ft. home on 5 acres in the country, they decided to downsize, move into town, and experience the convenience of city life.
When they moved back, Jana was newly pregnant and she knew a remodel was out of the question. She had to find a home that was move-in ready; a task she assumed impossible for any interior designer. However, when she walked in the front door of this charming bungalow she instantly knew it was the one. The architecture boasts the original old wood windows and floors. All it needed was a fresh coat of white paint!
Jana has traveled all around the world and it is important to her that the pieces in her home tell a story. She has been collecting artifacts her entire life and she loves furnishings that have a soul and a meaning. Even her work desk is made from an old table that her Great-Grandfather crafted for her Grandmother.
Her artwork has been carried from Europe as mementos of family vacations. Even the pottery used around her home is from Germany, Israel, Mexico, Scotland, Poland and Greece. The accent pillow on her bed is made from an old chenille bedspread that belonged to her Grandmother.
When you step inside this home you can feel the love that each carefully-selected treasure carries with it. To say this home has great energy is an understatement!
Jana loves finding one-of-a-kind pieces from local artists. She has more art than she can fit on the walls so her environment is constantly changing to accommodate her collection.
She also loves to cook and mix-up one of her famous cocktails while looking out over the pool.
Owning both a jewelry and interior design company comes in handy when it’s time to decorate. The large-scale necklaces and all-natural bead strands make perfect accessories!
You can see the same philosophy for the jewelry and interior business used throughout her home; everything is natural. She believes the energy that is put into an object is important and has placed crystals in nearly every room. Her space is a reflection of who she is and that is how she approaches her design projects with her clients.
Behind the Scenes: Q&A with Creative Director and Co-Owner of NEST Jewelry, Janette Wilkinson
NEST Jewelry’s Creative Director and Co-Owner, Janette Wilkinson, sat down with Neiman Marcus to discuss her vision behind the brand.
(You can find the original blog post at www.blog.neimanmarcus.com)
Neiman Marcus: Tell us about your journey toward becoming a renowned jewelry designer.
Janette Wilkinson: It happened mostly by accident. Since a very young age, I have always loved fashion. My earliest memories are of playing in my grandmother’s costume jewelry. I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma, so I didn’t have access to fashion outside of magazines and catalogs. I was pretty good at math and science, so I was encouraged to pursue engineering. I graduated with a degree in electrical engineering and then worked in the semiconductor industry for ten years. I really enjoyed working in semiconductor, even though I wore a protective suit that covered me from head to toe—not so fashionable.
The first pieces of jewelry I designed were just for myself. Red coral jewelry was a big trend, and I wanted a coral necklace that had a bold scale, but was still simple. I couldn’t really find what I was looking for, so I decided to make it myself. One day I was in Neiman Marcus NorthPark shopping for a gift and five people stopped me to ask where I had purchased my necklace. I immediately called my sister, Jana Erwin, and the next thing you know we were partners in a jewelry business we named NEST.
NM: And the name NEST, where did it come from?
JW: When Jana and I began brainstorming the name of our jewelry line, we wanted something that emphasized the natural, bold, and simple nature of our pieces. We were traveling around the world collecting things and bringing them back home to create our collections. We felt like birds gathering their natural materials and bringing them back home to create their nests. In that discovery, the name NEST was born.
NM: We love family-owned businesses. Tell us how you and your sister decided on partnering together to create NEST Jewelry.
JW: My sister is an accredited Interior Designer and was running her own high-end design firm in Houston. She understood the details of starting a company, which allowed me to focus on the fashion. Although she is our CEO, it is nice to have another creative eye to look over the pieces that I am working on. We have gradually turned NEST into a family business. I have a very close family that enjoys working, playing, and even traveling together! We have vacationed together in some beautiful places including Greece, Scotland, Mexico, Costa Rica, The Bahamas, and many beaches, mountains, and lakes across the U.S. Our vacations always end up being a great time for vision planning, and over the years my nieces gained interest in listening to our business meetings. After my oldest niece graduated from college, she started working for us, helping with production and also PR. And my younger niece often models our pieces.
NM: Where do you find inspiration designing new collections, season after season?
JW: Nature — every piece of jewelry we make has some sort of natural element. Over the years we have used stone, wood, horn, bone, metals, leather, stingray, and even shark’s teeth. We keep our materials authentic. When we select stones, we let their inherent beauty begin the design process. After we determine the perfect cut of stone, we begin enhancing it with hand-trimmed gold, hand-knotted silk, or we add other natural products like horn. Our customers often tell us that they love the way our pieces feel as much as they love the way they look. The natural energy that the stones carry and the attention to detail and handmade quality truly come through.
NM: Hard to narrow it down, we know, but what is your favorite NEST piece?
JW: Definitely our Cluster Necklace! We’ve created this style in many different colors of turquoise and jasper, mother-of-pearl, and even horn. The NEST Cluster Necklace is the definition of a statement piece!
NM: Can you give us a sneak peek into where you think the fashion industry is headed and how NEST fits into that world?
JW: I think there is such an appreciation and longing for things that are made by hand with natural materials and for pieces that have a story. Jewelry needs to feel special and unique, and that is exactly what we do!
NEST Designs – Interior Design Firm
Co-founder, Jana Erwin, has been designing interiors her entire life and prior to launching NEST Jewelry she ran a large high end design firm in Houston, Texas. Now she is getting back to her roots. She has teamed up with her former employee and partner-in-crime, Audrey Tehauno, to bring all the things we love about NEST jewelry into your homes and businesses. The philosophy of Nest Designs is to beautifully allow an interior to reflect the client. They never do the same look twice because each job is completely unique and customized for the individual.
NEST Designs offers full service architectural and interior design for projects large and small, near and far, commercial and residential. The design packages are as customized as the interiors they design. Want to do the work and orders yourself and just need a design scheme laid out for you? Perfect! We love to put packages together that include space planning, furniture selections and imagery sheets for overall aesthetics. Maybe the hands off approach is more your style and you need someone who can oversee every detail. We can do that too!
Find our portfolio under the INTERIORS tab.
The One Who Started It All
It is hard to believe it’s been nearly a decade since we were sitting around a table, drinking tea and dreaming of starting a jewelry company. It all began one Saturday when our designer, Janette Wilkinson, went shopping at Neiman Marcus wearing a piece of jewelry she had made herself. At the time she was achieving great success as an engineer in the semi-conductor industry, but her lifelong love for fashion led her to pick up her engineering tools and craft a few pieces to go with her outfit. Several people in the store stopped her to ask where they could get the jewelry and as the saying goes, “the rest is history.” Although our company has grown much larger since then, Janette still has her hands on every piece of Nest that you wear. She immerses herself in the current trends and designs each and every piece to be fashionable and also classic. In the picture above, we had all just hiked up a mountain in Greece but of course Janette did it perfectly accessorized!
Do what you love and love what you do.