Reinvention Story: The Fabulous Nina Forrest

Through just a few emails, I
knew immediately I would  connect with Nina Forrest.  E
arly on, she
asked, “Did
you ever see Love, Loss and What I Wore
by Nora Ephron? I just had the pleasure of seeing it here in Albuquerque. It’s
brilliant.” Somehow, I knew then, she and I had much in common. When I saw
her jewelry designs, she captured me.  I am inspired by the beauty of her designs,
and also by the way she lives her second half of life with joy, strength, and
fun.   Her jewelry is just stunning…I drooled over so
many pieces on her website, and Nina sent me the necklace above which I have
already worn several times. But, ladies, you first must meet Nina.  We had the following online chat:
                1.  Please
give us just a little background about Nina!
I am 66 years of age and have been married
to my second husband for seventeen years after being widowed in 1984.  We have lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico for
15 years.   Including both of my
families, I have four adult children and six grandchildren.  I have also lived extended times in Atlanta,
New York, and Philly, where I grew up.

        2.  When
did you begin designing jewelry?
                At 58 years of age in 2005…although I recently
found a necklace from almost forty years ago where I strung beads on leather

        3.  Why
jewelry?  What is it you love about this
is the most endless source of creative expression I have ever experienced. I
love “the aha” moment when the piece is completed and it is just the way I want
it. And the satisfaction I get when a client says: I got so many compliments
when I wore the piece I purchased and I LOVE it!

Where do you get your inspiration for pieces?
see inspiration in everything….the bead stores, fashion websites, home décor magazines,
museums, nature.
am mesmerized by colors, shapes and textures. My mission is to combine these
elements into stunning, bold pieces of jewelry for the woman who want to be
noticed. If you love clothes but wear them as a backdrop for gorgeous,
striking, signature accessories, my work will resonate with you.
heart, I am a fashionista. As a child, I spent my days gazing into a makeshift
armoire, organizing my dresses and daydreaming of beautiful outfits. My
Saturday shopping expeditions and visits to museums with my mother in downtown
Philadelphia became a means of exploring the world of great design. (It was the
era of elevator operators with white gloves, wooden escalators and no cost
shipping of all the parcels you couldn’t carry sent to your home the next day
by UPS!)
inspired by everything from an Armani dress to a Matisse painting to a humble
paper clip. When my husband Jeff and I moved to Albuquerque in 1998, I
discovered an exquisite blend of artistic culture, beauty and diversity. And
the sweeping vistas, New Mexico sunsets and Santa Fe art became another
wellspring of design inspiration for me.  I actually loved the color purple of a box of
Kleenex I bought in Walmart and used it in one of my pieces 🙂
years of being a passionate crafter – sewing, knitting, painting and dying
textiles – my jewelry design journey began one day in 2005 while visiting a
local bead shop. I spotted some simple necklaces: silk cords strung with
crystal beads. Taken by their easy elegance, I picked up a few supplies, starting
stringing my own necklaces, and was soon swept up in a creative whirlwind that
took me from metal smithing to wire wrapping to enameling.  
a stylish mad scientist, my curiosity and boldness ignited a love for design
experiments. I wrapped wire willy-nilly around stones. I hammered into metal
surfaces and created one-of-a-kind textures. I fused gold on

silver, a Japanese technique I taught
myself, known as keum boo. Combining the unusual with the unexpected became my
passion: wood with jade, rhinestones with recycled glass, shells with smoky
with each day, as the sun rises over the New Mexico Mountains, I continue to
find inspiration and create new one-of-a-kind designs–for women like myself,
who want to journey through life boldly and
colorfully.  (YES! – Pam’s editorial comment!!)

What do you think makes your line different from others?
gear my collections to the over 50 woman, who is very interested in fashion and
the world around her, wants to be noticed and not stay in the background, is
artistic and appreciates hand crafted objects. I pay close attention to some of
the difficulties of wearing jewelry for the women of a certain age,  by using front toggle clasps for easy on,
lighter weight earrings, larger, and adjustable easy to maneuver back clasps.

What advice do you have for middle aged women who would like to pursue
their passions?
realistic. Decide if you want it to be a hobby or a business. Determine if you
want to work on it part time or full time
the passion with the significant people in your life and tell/show them what it
means to you. Enlist their support.
of how you would feel if you did not pursue it and it was a lost opportunity.
it is a business  look into what it will
take to get a particular business model working (ex, service or product, retail
or wholesale, is it a non-custom or custom service or product) and get advice
on implementing that particular model.
what time it involves in addition to the creation of the product or service
(i.e. travel, web site creation, marketing, etc.)
you can’t do it all yourself and figure what tasks to outsource.

7.  How do you overcome the fear associated with
pursuing your passion?
inspiration from others who have already done it.  read HUFF PO REINVENTION!
blogs and solicit feedback from blogs where “seasoned” women frequent (like
over50feeling40) for support.
do it!

8.  Do you believe it is possible to reinvent
yourself later in life?
Reinventing may be finding a passion you never thought about before or it may
be revealing/igniting a passion that has always been inside you but you have
never pursued
NINA FORREST is living her dream.  She wants us to walk feeling strong,
fabulous, and visible…so as a special gift to
you, the readers of www.over50feeling40, she is giving 20% (instead of the
usual 15%) off your first purchase until June 30 for
everyone who goes HERE and signs up for her email list. So after you sign up, please use the code
OVER50 upon checkout.
Now, make sure you visit the other amazing
women of VISIBLE MONDAY and WATCH WHAT I’M WEARING! and MONDAY MINGLE….also enter to win the necklace at the top of the
sidebar from another over 50 inspirational woman…and please have a wonderful
day…how can you fulfill your passions this week??

Join us! Click the Spotlight 


  1. Oh this necklace looks great on you. What a wonderful interview and interesting post. Nina seems like a great lady and a good example living your dreams. Thanks for sharing this artist's work.

    blue hue wonderland

  2. Wow, she started designing at 58! This is so inspiring. 🙂 How awesome to have a business that enables so much creative expression. This was a great interview Pam. Love your daisy shoes.Thank you for the nice comment today. 🙂 xo

  3. Pam, as always, your post resonates!! I love the description of her journey to jewelry designing. AND!! I also resonate with her "places": Philly, Atlanta, and NY!! Those are my places too. Thank you for sharing her artistry here. You never fail to inspire us.

    You're looking great in your beautiful layers. I especially love your glasses and pretty flats. XXOO

  4. You are so right … I love Nina! Can you imagine how much fun we could have if the three of us were together in my four thousand square foot warehouse full of jewelry designing supplies? Our ideas and passions combined could be the start of something fabulous including great friendships. Seed planted!

  5. Timely and inspiring post! Being a 57-year-old "always stayed-at-home mom" who recently found herself in the position where she must start a new life is challenging at best even on a good day. It is a process that sometimes gets discouraging. However, it is most helpful to be reminded that there is no "you are too old to do …….." line drawn in the sand. Thanks!

  6. Thank you for introducing me to Nina and her gorgeous line of jewelry. A truly inspiring woman who has a lot to say about living her life fully. Similar to you, Pam.

  7. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments and compliments. I hope my story who help those who have a dream to fulfill take action. And thank you, Pam, for your support!!

  8. Thanks to all of you for your wonderful comments and compliments. I hope my story who help those who have a dream to fulfill take action. And thank you, Pam, for your support!!

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