Psyche Jewelry by designer Nina Berenato launches retail boutique on Barton Springs in ATX

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Nina Berenato. Photography by Reese Vonderschmidt.

On April 9, 2016 an exclusive, media-only launch party was held to celebrate the opening of Psyche Jewelry’s first boutique. Designer Nina Berenato consented to an interview with writer, Nicolette Mallow for Examiner.com.Founder and Designer of Psyche Jewelry, Nina Berenato, has launched her first ever retail boutique in Austin, Texas and an exclusive, media-only opening party was held on April 9, 2016 during the late afternoon. Beginning a jewelry career in Brooklyn—Berenato has now made a debut in Texas and the party celebrated her arrival and showcase of Psyche design collections. To much delight, attendees of the party were offered the chance to have a piece of metal personally engraved by the artist. Nina Berenato hammered alphabetic letters, initials and quotes into the metal for all guests and it was a pleasure to observe her hands work. The party also featured a braid bar sponsored by PRIV, readings by Psychic Betsy, live music, dessert and wine. Tealights glowing in the background when dusk arrived.

To listen to a recording of their interview, please visit Mallow’s YouTube page or click here.

Psyche Jewelry’s mobile boutique is located at The Picnic near Zilker Park. “The Picnic is Austin’s premier food trailer park located on Barton Springs Road in the heart of Austin.” And Berenato’s mobile, to-go shop will be located here for the foreseeable future. Periodically, Austinite’s can also expect to find her at other local artisans fairs. Her jewelry designs possess a lot of metallic. A lot of gold and silver shines and tantalizes the eyes. Geometric shapes, keys, arrows and circles are evident, too. Despite the strong metallic presence, Nina Berenato intertwines colorful stones into the designs as well. Her designs are dainty and intricate, yet strong and bold. A mixture of Greek and modern day. Berenato has a refreshing skill of combining masculine and feminine to her collective.

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The jewelry collections for Psyche include the following lines: Sophosyne, Hidden Universe, Anti-Symmetry, Time Traveler, Shaman’s Trance, and Warrior. A little more about the name itself, “Psyche is the muse of Designer, Nina Berenato. The myths of the Greek goddess inspire Nina’s designs and reflect the journey toward personal growth. Nina’s work is a reminder of the defining emotions, thoughts and experiences that make each of us unique. The collections evolve with each passing season. Bridges of experience allow the past to inform the present, creating something for this moment. Something wild and beautiful. Something for our journey.”

During the media party for Psyche Jewelry, Designer Nina Berenato took the time to chat with Austin Examiner, Nicolette Mallow. An audio recording of the interview is included above. Take a moment to listen to Berenato speak of her childhood, learning the Greek myths during bedtime stories and how this love of the story lead her to become a jewelry designer. Take a moment to listen to the start of a journey for a jewelry designer, metalsmith and goldsmith. Within the interview, Berenato talks about her passion for design, the launch of her own branding and the learning process of designing her artistic craft. The interview also entails discussion about Berenato’s affinity for time travel, romance, authenticity and cultural influences.

To view Nina Berenato’s collections or purchase jewelry and other design pieces, please refer to Psyche Jewelry’s website at www.psyche-jewelry.com.

Psyche Jewelry To Go Mobile Boutique:

1720 Barton Springs Rd.
Austin, TX 78704

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Note: This article was originally published on Examiner.com in April 2016.  

Crystal Works is still sparkling magic and alchemy in Austin

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Pendant of the Ancient Egyptian goddess, Isis, found at Crystal Works in Austin, Texas. Photography: Nicolette Mallow.

A local gemstone within the city of Austin, Crystal Works is a distinct boutique filled with many treasures and ancient folklore from around the world. Stock full of Swarovski crystal prisms, gemstones, aromatherapy oils, pendants, sage, books and artwork: Crystal Works is a place of alchemy, magic, spirituality and healing. From the outside, before even setting foot inside, guests notice and admire lots of individual crystals on display; dangling from the tops of the windowsill in many different shapes and sizes. Adjacent to the crystals, also levitating inside the window are authentic dream catchers with feathers and rainbow maker mobiles. The term ‘rainbow maker’ is quite literal, meaning these special crystals radiate light the colors of the rainbow. Twirling gently and elegantly with the airflow, these crystals allure and tantalize the eyes by emitting rays of rainbow-colored light beams. Color and light are key elements at Crystal Works.

Upon entrance, the moment guests do cross the doorway; all the energy in the atmosphere transforms and everything becomes particularly peaceful and calm, like standing in a meditation room. Serene music plays in the background. And amidst the serene music, echoes from rock waterfalls can be heard as the water flows about in their stone pools. Tiny bells can be heard jingling softly, too, from dream catchers, charms and spirit bells.

There is no other shop in Austin quite like it, and even the air smells differently within this local alchemist haven. According to the founder and owner, Cathleen Day, “The wonderful smell of Crystal Works comes from our many organic scents. There are no chemicals or artificially scented products. The gemstone fossils and crystals are from all over the world and their colors wash over the eye, causing a delightful endorphin cascade. The ancient folklore ascribed to the stones is intriguing and connect us with beliefs and cultures thousands of years old.”

Alongside many of the gemstones, geodes and minerals are note cards to inform guests as to what each piece represents and the healing powers they’re said to possess. The ancient folklore behind all these stones is quite interesting and there are many books that entail clearer insight into each one. For instance, black onyx gemstones are thought to provide protection. Bloodstones are believed to attract peace, healing and compassion. Tiger’s eye is a warrior stone that brings balance, whereas Rose Quartz is a stone of unconditional love.

Crystal Works is completely filled to the brim with beautiful merchandise. Whether it’s looming from the ceiling, pinned to the wall or resting on the floor, there is no space left empty. It takes several visits to regard and absorb everything Crystal Works has to offer. Some of the more expensive items are locked away in glass cases. However, most of the items can be seen and touched. On the counter tops surrounding the register is unique, one-of-a-kind jewelry made from gems and minerals, separated by colors and stones: Red, blue, violet, green and onyx. Various kinds of cards can be found, too. Educational, scientific and holistic books are stacked in the corner. Additionally there are little Buddha shrines and mirrors scattered about the shop.

For nearly 40 years Crystal Works has been in operation. The store came to be in 1977 when Cathleen Day was “admiring the rainbows from a friends’ sparkling prism and it was decided right then she wanted to begin selling them”. Since then, the shop has flourished from only selling Swarovski crystal prisms to the extensive inventory that it’s become today.

Located on the corner of 12th and Lamar near Enfield, Crystal Works is open seven days a week. Please refer to the website or Yelp for hours of operation. For more information, please call 512-472-5597 or www.crystalworksaustin.com.

Note: This article was originally published on Examiner.com in September 2015

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