Christina Nicole Villarreal AKA C.N.V Creator of CNV Gemz, Certified Jewelry Designer from GIA (Gemological Institute of America) has been designing and creating jewelry since 2013. Everything she creates has a sentimental value creating a hopeless romantic relationship between the customer and their jewelry
Christina was kind enough to do a Q&A with WOT, talking about her work and much more.
Tell us what do you do?
I believe jewelry is Art for the body. I take the time to handpick and hand make every piece that goes into my Jewelry. The reaction from the receiver is priceless and brings me so much joy. To have a piece of jewelry that means something completely changes the vibration in the room. 40% of my business is custom orders created by my customers. 60% is Jewelry I have designed.
Would you say you are free from the 9-5 life? How do you spend your days now?
In a sense I Am free from the 9-5 life; however, that does not mean that I work less. Now there is just no time to stop me from working. When I feel passionate about design, I can work on it for hours. Some days go 10 hours +. I have found balance by setting alarms to remind me to take a break. On top of designing and making my own jewelry by hand; I run my own website, take my own photos for my jewelry, I sell it, I also teach it to younger girls as a mentor. so, between all of that, the days can get long. The Great news is when I put 125% into my business, I see the growth and the doors open. I am grateful to be doing the job I love to do.
Now we know you show some of your revenue stats on social media, not many would do this. How do you deal with critics or negative responses?
I honor all feedback. Through the years I have been growing in my skill of making jewelry as well as have made some mistakes out of ignorance. All feedback is good feedback to me. It has pushed me into educating myself by taking classes in silversmithing as well as Jewelry design.
Have you always been entrepreneurial? Tell me about your first experience as a kid.
When I was 10 years old, I had already realized I had the gift of art. I would charge 10 cents to face paint. I would just sit by the playground where the kids played and once, they saw my painting my little sisters faces, the whole neighborhood would want their face painted too. That was the beginning of my Art Career.
If you had an extra 6 hours a day, what would you do?
I would do more Jewelry Designing. My plan is to have a Jewelry Rendering for every piece of jewelry I create. Renderings can take a week depending on the design. An extra 6 hours a day would be perfect to cut that time in half.
What has been the single most important jewelry making skill you have learned and why?
In 2019 I graduated from GIA University in Carlsbad California. I became a certified jewelry designer and opened my horizon in the jewelry world. From my peers to my teachers I felt passion in every direction. It pushed me into a new level of art and proved to me that once I put my mind to something, I can do anything. It was then I seen my full potential and was one of my best summers thus far.
What sacrifices have you had to make as an entrepreneur to become the person you are now?
The biggest sacrifice for me is time. There are several events, and occasions with friends and family that I would love to join, but when I am focused on my jewelry, it’s like nothing else matters. It is a job that requires patients and it takes time.
We all have our good days and bad days. What is your typical bad day and typical good day look like? How do you stay motivated all the time?
I do my best not to look at my day as bad or good, which assists me with inspiration. Either it works or it does not work is how I choose to see it. The best part of not having to work a 9-5 is having the freedom to choose a new way that does work. For example, if I did not feel inspired or creative, I may take a ride and listen to some music. I also may decide to paint to change my routine. I also do a lot of meditating.
Tell us about your proudest achievement.
My greatest achievement so far has been graduating GIA University last year in 2019 and becoming a certified Jewelry Designer.
What is your best advice for those about to embark on the field of teaching?
Listen. When teaching young girls to make jewelry; I noticed that listening to their feedback and questions fuel my creativity as well. Their imagination has no limits, and they will not give in until they at least try to do it. That to me is true freedom. It takes self-control and patience to listen. I am learning that sometimes I AM the student as well as the teacher.