For twenty-three years Maria Nicola has been in the business of making women feel special. She began her career handmaking bridal jewellery, then ran a jewellery and homewares store, hosted private ‘Bubbles and Bling’ parties and now her ingenious necklace design is solving the accessorising dilemmas of women worldwide with its ability to be worn ten, yes, that’s TEN different ways.
After her appearance on last night's episode of Shark Tank we caught up with Maria (pictured) to find out more about her simple, yet versatile 10 Way Necklace.
1. What drew you to jewellery?
“I have loved jewellery ever since I was little. I think it started when my grandmother would visit from Cyprus and bring gold rings with little crystals in them as gifts. She’d spread them out for us to choose from and I would get such a thrill trying different rings on to see which would fit.”
2. How did the idea for the ‘10 Way Necklace’ come about?
"During my many years working in the jewellery industry, the most common request from women when it came to accessories was “value for money”. My clients wanted jewellery they could wear with many different outfits, necklines and that could be worn day or night, without spending a fortune. I know it sounds really cliche, but one night I had a dream about convertible jewellery. I already sold jewellery with magnets, but I knew exactly how this design was going to be different. Now almost 18 months later, my idea for the 10 Way Necklace has expanded to include add-ons such as the Swarovski Crystal Pendant, Crystal Tassel and matching earrings."
3. What’s your jewellery philosophy?
"My jewellery philosophy is “keep it classic”. I believe accessories, should be kept really simple so they won’t date and will go with most of your wardrobe."
4. Tell us about the moment when you sold your first ‘10 Way Necklace’.
"The first time I sold a 10 Way Necklace, it was ALL about the demonstration and still is. I never tire of seeing the look of wonderment on women’s faces when I show them how effortlessly the necklace can be worn 10 different ways, including as a bracelet and necklace set too. Then I bring out the Swarovski Crystal Pendant, (a stunning add-on for the necklace), which is often followed by a long ‘AAAaaaahhh’ from my clients. I just love hearing their response!"
5. What has been the most thrilling moment since then?
"Appearing on Shark Tank! What a roller coaster ride that was! Studying my numbers, memorising my pitch and possible answers and meeting all the Sharks and Naomi has been brilliant. Plus, having my daughter with me as my model on the set was very special. I’ll never forget that day!!"
6. Which celebrity would you love to see wearing the 10 Way Necklace and why?
"I’d love to see my jewellery on Cate Blanchett. She has such a timeless, classic style and I think the 10 Way Necklace, especially with the Swarovski Crystal Pendant would look amazing on her."
7. Are there any new designs in the pipeline?
"I’m always designing and love getting out my tools, stones and crystals to come up with something new. I’ve been working on a line of lariats in semi-precious stones and pearls, but I won’t say anything else about that for now - I’ve got to keep a few things up my sleeve!"
Purchase a 10 Way Necklace here
For more information visit, Maria Nicola