The recipe for success often involves mixing many ingredients together. That is true for entrepreneur Nina Crain as well who is the owner of Boho and BohoVino jewelry.
Crain’s path to becoming a business owner - like many before her - took some twists and turns before finding the right mix for success. A little more than a decade ago, Crain moved back to Stark County from Indianapolis. After taking a hand at a couple other business ventures, this venture happened by chance.
"I was a graphic designer in Indianapolis for 20 years," said Crain, who resides in Jackson Township with her husband, Michael, and two children, Olivia, who recently graduated from Jackson High School, and Cessily. "When I moved back here, I struggled a little bit being in a smaller market."
But that struggle led to a chance meeting and ultimately combined her passions into a business.
"I am a part-time chaplain at Akron Children’s Hospital," said Crain, who enjoys gardening, exercise, kayaking and being part of a Bible Study Group. "That spirit led me on a walk. I am a strong Christian. God pointed me what to do.
"I was studying to be a chaplain and finishing my year at Mercy Medical Center. I loved being a chaplain there. I heard God’s voice tell me to meet with the chaplain and to do something with jewelry. It is there that I met Kathleen (Houston). She mentored me in this business. I now know why he wanted me to her."
This meeting led to Crain combining her two passions – designing and making jewelry.
"Kathleen really mentored me," said Crain, who is a graduate of McKinley High School. "She has been in the jewelry design business. She lives in Jackson. She gave me shoe boxes of old jewels to use to create my jewelry. She really encouraged me."
Crain said designing jewelry is like a jigsaw puzzle. She said she often has different pieces lying on tables. Sometimes she lets it sit and come backs to create the necklaces at different times.
Like any small business starting out, getting your product in the right places for people to purchase is challenging. Crain started slow at some flea markets and holiday craft shows but realized that is not where she needed to be. So she approached some salons and asked if they would place her bracelets and necklaces in their shops to sell.
One place she has sold her merchandise at is Dieci Perfetto.
"Nina's Boho pieces have created a lot of excitement and a welcome creative vibe in my salon," said Scott Tuckey. "Everyone is always anticipating what she is bringing in next. Everyone is welcome to stop by and have a look at what Nina has created this month."
Boho and Boho Vino is a family affair.
"My husband, a gifted carpenter, designed custom Boho display cases for the salons," said Crain. "My daughter Cessily and I use wire and jewels to ‘bling them up.’ Each box has a one-of-a-kind wooden 'B' hanging on the outside of it. Women love the box."
Clients also like the unique jewelry.
"I started out making bracelets," said Crain. "The bracelets were self expression. But they were also time consuming to make. The bracelets did not sell as well either."
That is when she moved into making necklaces.
"I enjoy making the necklaces," said the stay-at-home, small business owner, who now has a studio in her home. "Each necklace has a name tag on it that states ‘You are a treasure.’ "
Crain is designing specialty pieces. One of those pieces was for a customer who was ill.
"I made a necklace that had gold crosses on it," she said. "A woman I met saw and liked the necklace. She said she had a family member who was ill. She thought it might help her heal. The lady touches the crosses. It is like a scroll to God. That piece of jewelry was called Peace of Faith. I am also working a piece called Peace of Hope. … I am not sure how that lady is doing."
Crain also started designing jewelry from wine corks. Crain and Karen McHenry, her collaborative partner in this line of jewelry, are working together. McHenry will do the drilling and wrapping of the corks. Crain handles the creative end.
As part of the spiritual journey and having a child with special needs, Crain is donating a portion of sales this year to charity. She also mentioned that she will pay it forward in the future and mentor someone looking into making jewelry.
Crain’s necklaces sell from between $19 and $90. If you are interested in seeing what she has available for sale, you contact her on Facebook at fb.me/bohonina or email firstname.lastname@example.org.