Although it has become popular across the country and even around the world, cork jewelry is relatively new to the Canton area. And Nina Gordon Crain is fueling the fire. A Canton native and Jackson Township resident, Gordon Crain began experimenting with using cork in her necklace designs. She calls it BohoVino, a spinoff of her Boho jewelry collection.
The word “boho” is short for Bohemian (a time when women wore long, layered, comfortable clothing). “That’s how I’ve always expressed myself regarding fashion. Although that is what I identify with, I want my work to appeal to all kinds of women, whether their personal expressions are simple, fancy or elegant,” Gordon Crain said. “I think women find my jewelry intriguing because they are originals – little pieces of art. They’re unique – just like each woman is unique.”
The idea to use cork in her designs came from Gordon Crain’s local customer and fan, Karen McHenry. The two artists create for hours adding jewels to the cork designs.
Gordon Crain owned a successful graphic design/branding firm in Minneapolis for 20 years, coining it a one-of-a-kind “Rainstorming” service. In three hours, she created thumbnail sketches on-the-spot and promised companies that they would have a logo or marketing concept they loved that very day.
Returning home to Canton in 2006, she created a cooking service for seniors called SunnySuppers. Gordon Crain was also a volunteer for hospice, and was so inspired by a chaplain who spoke of his role, that she trained to become a chaplain. This ultimately led to a very rewarding part-time position as a chaplain at Akron Children’s Hospital for Palliative Care patients
“Creating jewelry is like eating chocolate cake for me! I absolutely love it. I also love being an entrepreneur and love working for myself. I’m most comfortable being a self-starter. One of the best parts about my independent work life is that I can keep my family first,” said Gordon Crain.
“We live in a culture that is hard on women,” she said. “We have to look a certain way, we have to dress a certain way, we have to be the right weight … so many unrealistic expectations. I want women, when they wear their Boho or BohoVino jewelry, to think about what a treasure they are. That’s why the words “You are a treasure” appear on every hang tag.
No doubt about it, Gordon Crain is happiest when she’s creating. For two decades, she used her creative gifts to grow corporations. Those creative juices have now spilled over into the world of jewelry.
After all, once an artist, always an artist. It’s in her blood.