We headed to Camden, New Jersey to link up with Terina Nicole who has a bustling craft and upcycling business.
Camden, NJ (103 Miles from the GWB)
Tell our readers a bit about your background, where you born and raised?
I was born and raised in Newark, NJ just 20 mins west of NYC and spent my weekends in the city shopping and frolicking with my mom, grandma, siblings and cousins. NYC always felt like my playground growing up. I was chosen for an Art Magnet program in Irvington, NJ in junior high and that lead me down the path of art and design. I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology for Fashion Design and then changed my major to Accessory Design when I learned that it existed. I got my AAS in Accessory Design there. I later earned a BA in Art from Thomas Edison State College and a MA in Art from NJCU.
How long have you lived in and worked Camden?
I’ve only been in Camden for 3 years, but my husband was born and raised here.
There has been much in the news of the revitalization and renascence taking place in Camden. How have you been accepted there and how would you rate the
art and creative scene there?
Coming from NYC where the art scene is overwhelmingly vast and Newark where the art scene is manageable, meaning I knew all of the players—the artists, the galleries, the schools— so being apart of an exhibit or any creative opportunity was only a phone call or one degree of separation away….in comparison, the art scene in Camden is tiny. There are 2 galleries and I serve on the Board of Directors of the bigger one. And the “arts district” is just being built up now so I would say Camden’s art scene is on the ground floor but it’s only a mile from Philly’s amazing arts scene so it’s not a terrible place for an artist to be a big fish in a small pond.
What cities and states are “Jypsea Leathergoods” mainly found in?
Currently, my line of handbags, jewelry and homegoods is available in boutiques in NJ, PA and Virginia and online at terinanicole.com but I’m always looking to expand into new boutiques!
What social media has worked well for your products?
Eh, I don’t use social media to promote my work as much as I should. It’s more so my life as a mom and a creative and my work is sprinkled in but that will change now that I have given birth to my baby boy, who is named Camden, I can focus more on my brand again. I’m on IG @theterinanicole for my account and the conference is @diymakerscon.
Tell us a bit about DIYMakersCon and how the idea came about?
DIY MAKERSCON was an idea in my heart for a while, longer than I thought actually because I realized later I had a conversation about how this concept would be brilliant 10 years ago! I thought it just came to me last year! LOL
It’s an annual conference that educates, celebrates and gives a platform to women makers. From 10am-6pm at the Kroc Center in Camden, NJ on September 29th we have the most talented artisans coming to teach their specialties to our attendees. Workshops such as Jewelry Metalsmithing, Fashion Upcycling, Leathercrafting, Furniture Reupholstering, Candlemaking and How to Start a Candle Business, Woodworking, Cookie Decorating and more! Plus we have two panel discussions happening where experts in the creative field will share their stories and give tools, resources and sage advice about growing a creative hobby into a successful enterprise.
I came up with this idea because I wanted a place where women can learn to use a power drill without toxic male energy that tends to belittle our efforts. I wanted a warm environment where women can expand both their skills and their networks and take away knowledge that could lead to new business ventures. It’s empowering when a woman knows she can use her own hands to earn more money to take care of herself and her family and that it can also be fun and relaxing (something most women don’t get much of) to build with their hands.
I pitched the idea to my partner, Nneka Saran, because I’ve always admired her. She too started as a handbag designer and ran her own brand for a decade before expanding into furniture-making and DIY blogging. She is a wife and mother of 3 children under he age of 5 but she’s still building beds and painting rooms and designing beautiful events. Nneka is such a creative inspiration to all who know and follow her. Having her as a business partner has been a match made in collaboration Heaven!
You can learn more and purchase tickets for the conference at DIYMAKERSCON.COM.
Where do you draw inspiration and passion from while creating?
Indigenous cultures, art books and museums, nature…all of these things kinda swirl in my mind and gets regurgitated in my design aesthetic.
What is in Terina’s 5 year plan, where do you see yourself and your brands in the future?
I plan to take DIYMAKERSCON to cities around the country to reach more women makers. I want to have Jypsea Leathergoods in more stores around th country and internationally, as a designer. But I want to grow as a fiber artist which is something I’ve only dabbled in this far.
My 14 year old daughter will be in college in 5 years and my newborn will be entering kindergarten so I think it’ll be a perfect time to explore leaving the states to live and work abroad.
You have been featured on HGTV’s Flea Market Flip, The Today Show and many more, is there a publication or tv show out there that you still aspire to be apart of?
Yes! The new show on NBC, “Making It!” with Amy Poehler
Thank you for taking the time to sit down with NYNJ and we wish you continued success.
Thank you for having me.
Written by Seth Goldstein / Seth@NYNJ.COM / NYNJ MEDIA