Design Entrepreneurs NYC Spotlight: Marcia Budet

Our design entrepreneur Marcia Budet has an interesting story to tell on how she started her business. Her inspirational story proves that so much can happen in just a year.  And, like our other spotlights, you’ll get to read her fun fact.

Can you tell us about your line?

It is an international award winning line offering creative and innovative fine jewelry, directly influenced by our architectural training. Our collections are made in 18k gold and/or sterling silver with precious and semi precious stones and we also do custom work. We redefine effortless elegance and our work inspires women to embrace sophistication with an edge.

When did you start your line?


Why did you start it?

It was almost a happy accident. I was looking to buy a double ring for myself, but could not find one I really liked, so I decided to design it myself. A colleague saw the piece, sent me a link to an international design competition in Italy and encouraged me to submit my design. I did – and a year later I was at the Gala in Lake Como receiving a Golden Award for it. After that, clients started approaching me and I recognized it to be a business opportunity worth exploring.

What’s your brand signature?

Sophisticated boldness

Can you give us three words to describe the brand?

Elegant, bold and architectural

Favorite piece of your collection?

Asymmetrics + Diamonds, which is the first piece I designed and won an award in Italy.

Why did you apply to DENYC?

Because I knew I would greatly benefit from it. Learning from fellow designers and the training offered have surpassed my expectations.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

New friends, new skills and lots of fun.

Best part of being a NYC designer?

Access to a great variety of suppliers and raw material, great networking, and inspiration overload.

Can you give us a fun fact?

I am a huge, huge sports fan.

Design Entrepreneurs NYC Spotlight: Ayaka Nishi

Our design entrepreneur Ayaka Nishi gives us the inside scoop on her brand, being in the program and a fun fact about her business.

Ayaka Nishi

Can you tell us about your line?

Ayaka Nishi New York is a jewelry brand that is inspired by nature and natural materials. Each unique item is created and handcrafted at Ayaka Nishi’s studio. We work with silver, gold, brass, diamond, natural coral, lava beads and leather. Our jewelry is know for it’s textural details and art aesthetic.

Ayaka Nishi Fish Collection

Ayaka Nishi

When did you start it?

I launched my jewelry brand in 2009.

Why did you start it?

After I received my art history degree in Tokyo, Japan, I worked as a graphic and web designer for five years. After working in the digital design field, I became interested in creating something more personal and tangible. My mother is an Ikebana (Japanese Floral Arrangement) artist and my father worked in the medical field, so my childhood environment fueled my interest in nature and human anatomy. I moved to New York eight years ago to study Jewelry Design at F.I.T. After I graduated, I worked for two CFDA award winning jewelry designers, Philip Crangi and Subversive Jewelry. Then I was truly inspired to create my own brand.

Can you give us three words to describe the brand?

Elegant, Artistic, Noir

What’s your brand signature?

The Bone collection and Spine bracelet.

Whats your favorite piece in your collection?

The Cell cuff

 Why did you apply to DENYC?

I learned design in school, but I haven’t had the opportunity to study business, which is crucial to being successful!

What do you hope to get out of the program?

Business knowledge from the instructors and the opportunity to connect with other talented designers who are serious about making it in the fashion business.

What’s the best part of being a NYC designer?

Sometimes unexpected opportunities arise, like the DENYC program!

Can you tells us a fun fact?

An osteopathic physician became interested in my Bone collection and asked me which bone in my body was used for casting!

Learn more about our design entrepreneur at Ayaka Nishi. 

Design Entrepreneur Spotlight: Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone

Our latest interview is with design entrepreneur Jacqueline Stone of Salt + Stone. Learn more about her company, why she likes being a New York-based designer and check out her fun fact!

When did you start Salt + Stone?

We finished production on our line in May and will officially launch the collection on our website, in July.

Why did you start it?

We wanted to offer fashion forward fine jewelry that was available to our consumer at a reasonable price point. While we do have some high priced items, we believe that true design is priceless. We want our consumers and our fans to rethink fine jewelry and to start to fall in love with it again. We also recognize that behind every fine jewelry purchase is a story. Whether it’s a graduation gift, baby gift, wedding band, engagement or something beautiful for yourself, we want Salt + Stone to be the brand that helps you create that story.

What are three words to describe your brand?

Sophisticated, classic and whimsical.

Salt + Stone Diamond Castle

Why did you apply to DENYC?

Jewelry is our number one love, our passion. We understand that fashion is a business and in order to pursue this craft to our utmost potential we also need to be business-minded. We applied to DENYC to gain a better understanding about marketing, sales, public relations and finances. We wanted to help Salt + Stone grow.

What do you hope to get out of the program?

We hope to make new friends, write a killer business plan and have a stronger vision for where the company is headed.

What is Salt + Stone’s signature?

Our owl rings get us noticed, but it is our celestial chain necklace that achieves the most sales. We can’t keep it in stock!

Salt + Stone Owl Rings

Do you have a favorite piece?

The Celestial Bracelet. It is beautifully constructed and is reminiscent of the starry night sky. It’s a perfect example of our use of clean lines and chaotic stone placement. Beauty lies in the world’s imperfections and we hope to capture some of that magic in our work.

Salt + Stone Celestial Bracelet

What’s the best part of being a NYC designer?

It’s all here! There is more talent concentrated in this city than anywhere in the world. We are blessed to work with some of the most talented goldsmiths and silversmiths on the street (Diamond District).

Can you tell us a fun fact?

The company was started after our lead designer, Jacqueline Stone, came back from a life changing trip to Buzios, Brazil in 2007. This small beach village was made famous in the 1960s as it was a favorite destination of Brigette Bardot. There is a statue of her in the middle of the town. Jacqueline was inspired by the colors, creativity and the joie de vivre of the Brazilian people. She tries to incorporate that spirit in her work.

Learn more about Jacqueline Stone at Salt + Stone.