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Thursday, August 21, 2014

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Jewelry designer has a passion to create

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Natalie Waldman

Artistic, detail-oriented, with great fashion sense, finger dexterity and visualization skills – these are some of the qualities that describe Natalie Waldman, founder and creative director of Natalie B Designs.

“I started my business 15 years ago. At that time, it was more of a hobby. I didn’t set out with a business plan in place. I am an artist with a huge passion to create. That passion was showing up in my jewelry designs,” Waldman said.

Waldman is a powerhouse who designs and operates the business’s social media content while running the jewelry design business from her Toronto studio. Her exquisite pieces are showcased in several fashion magazines as well as in Toronto’s most exclusive stores, and her market has expanded to include women worldwide.

“Back in the ’90s, I saw a brooch on somebody and I really wanted to emulate it. I didn’t know where to get the materials, so I began sourcing. When you really want to find something, you make it happen,” Waldman said.

Beginning with a line of one-of-a-kind brooches, she eventually expanded Natalie B Designs to include a full line of one-of-a-kind fashion jewelry inputting her own distinct personality on each signature piece.

Waldman’s jewelry includes necklaces, bracelets, earrings, belt buckles and brooches. Her creations are made from the finest materials – 22-kt. gold, sterling silver, Swarovski crystals, semi-precious stones and other fine materials.

Travelling the globe, Waldman attends gem and bead shows to buy the components that go into her unique pieces.

“I have a clientele in Florida and do shows once a year that last over a three-day period. I will make over 200 pieces by hand, display and sell them, all while building up my clientele,” said Waldman.

With two distinct lines showcasing her creations, a customer can choose either a one-of-a-kind design or a piece that has been duplicated. 

“In my one-of-a-kind line that’s beaded, I will make that in my studio by hand with pendants. The duplicated pieces are designed by me and will be sent out to be soldered and plated, and then returned back to my studio where I put in the stones. That piece can be made in any quantity that I choose. 

“Some customers request custom-made pieces to co-ordinate with a particular outfit or for a special occasion.  I will often take someone’s old necklace that she may not know what to do with anymore and I will recycle that necklace and turn it into something she can wear again,” Waldman said.

Taking inspiration from vintage designer Larry Verba, Waldman found that she has filled a niche with her brooches. “My brooches look great on sweaters and wraps, are made in 3D and are conversation pieces.”

Natalie B Designs advertises mainly through social media and by word of mouth, selling Waldman’s pieces all over the world through her website. They’re promoted as “passionately hand-made in Canada.” The website showcases Natalie B Designs’ full line of jewelry with creations such as her Juno Ring, Nova Spike Bracelet and Cecilia 22-kt. gold earrings with Swarovski crystals and glass cabochon.

Tessanne Chin, winner of NBC TV’s The Voice, wore Natalie B Designs’ Sophia Cuff, Grace Earrings and Amour Gold Cuff. 

“The Voice contacted me through my website requesting select pieces of jewelry for Tessanne Chin, to be worn while [she was] performing on the show,” Waldman told The CJN with pride.

The passion to create and the jewelry’s unique detailing separates Natalie B Designs from its competitors. The jewelry line has a price-point ranging from $45 to $600 and is described by Waldman as “quality, rich and luxe pieces that are unique.”

“I will continue to grow and build my brand,” she said. “I have a responsibility to give back to the community, and one of the ways I can do that is through my jewelry.”

Waldman has donated several of her pieces over the years to initiatives such as the Baycrest golf tournaments and other charitable causes.

She designed hand-blown heart key chains and donated them to State of Israel Bonds, which handed them out as gifts at events. “If people are receiving my pieces and it goes to a great cause, everyone is happy,” she said.

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