Neda - Diamond Nexus Featured Model and Designer

Diamond Nexus Cover Model and Fashion Designer Neda Stevic uses work inspired by the elements in her latest designs, which she is auctioning off along with some lovely Diamond Nexus jewelry in order to raise money for Veteran's Outreach of Wisconsin.

Neda, tell us a little bit about the items you are auctioning off and how you have been inspired to create them.

Here is the first photo (taken by me) of my model friend Ashley Abboushi in Cape Town, South Africa last month. I made this upcycled necklace from a white leather jacket, and a block of Pink Himalayan salt. The inspiration behind this necklace was a beach I discovered on top of Table Mountain (yes, there are beaches on top of that mountain!). The beach had the most amazing rocks and white sand, and we hiked all the way to the top and back to the bottom on this 6-hour trip. It was some of the most surreal natural beauty I had seen anywhere in the world!

Ashley Abboushi

I chose white leather so that I could recycle this jacket, but also so that it would enhance the white in the pink-flecked salt crystals, to mimic the mesmerizing white sand on top of Table Mountain, and also along the coastline of South Africa. I saw more of it on my trip to the Cape of Good Hope, and while visiting Simon's Colony, which is a white sand beach filled with penguins!

Many of us are interested in why you chose to make a necklace from salt. I personally love wearing crystals but had never thought to incorporate salt. Tell us why you chose Himalayan salt as a finding in your jewelry.

I chose to create the pink Himalayan salt crystals from this block of salt and use it for the necklace, because it possesses healing properties. In fact, in Poland, people who worked in salt mines rarely became sick. Once this odd fact was discovered, salt therapy became a way for people to help re-balance their systems and recharge. There are 2 such spas in IL which I have checked out myself. But aside from any healing properties this necklace may possess, I'm most proud of the fact that there is nothing like it in the world! I had this idea and looked online to make sure it hasn't already been done, and was pleased to find nothing like this at all.

Besides Himalayan salt crystals, what other types of unusual materials do you use in your creations?

Ashley Abboushi

Photo by Professional Photographer Suzanne Swart of Cape Town, and the model is Ashley Abboushi.

This photo which inspired me to make the rubber necklace and bracelet (out of bicycle tires) was shot by Steven Greaves of Studio & Photography in Cape Town, S. Africa

My inspiration for this necklace comes from the incredible, smooth black boulders which rise out of the water all along the coast line in South Africa. Since I'm a bit of a science geek, I fashioned the bracelet into an infinite Mobius strip, comprised of individual Mobius strips.

Here is an example of the boulders which inspired me down there:

Boulder in Cape Town

The boulder was shot by Steven Greaves of Studio 7 Photography in Cape Town.

We were supposed to shoot together, but there was a change of plans on my end so I needed to cancel, unfortunately.

I went to Cape Town for 2 weeks not only to visit my friend Ashley (one of the Diamond Nexus models too, who has worked her way around the world for the past 2 years). But I signed up with Moda Models down there, and they represented me during my short stay for work.

Congratulations! Where can we view your portfolio?

Fans can view my portfolio here

Tell us, what are your hopes with these amazing pieces of Shady Lady creations?

For Memorial Day, I'd like to auction off these 2 items on Facebook and give 100% of the proceeds to the Veterans Outreach of WI non-profit organization. They recently nominated me as Ambassador to help get the word out about them. They are a 100% run Volunteer organization, and 100% of all donations go right back into the community to help furnish new apartments for recently homeless Veterans. They only have about 1 month of operating expenses left (rent for warehouse), and I just found this out.

One final thought: for my work as a Professional Model, I have had the opportunity to travel all over the world. Just this year alone, I've traveled to Belgium, Spain, and South Africa so far. Lake Como, Italy is next in August. I uncover something new and interesting from each trip, and try to convey it in my Shady Lady pieces by fusing recycled and unusual elements together to represent what I experienced. Sometimes it involves an unusual object from a flea market abroad, or sometimes it involves grabbing a hammer and breaking apart a Pink Himalayan salt block in my backyard.

Do you have a website that people can visit to order your work?

I don't have a website, but people can check out my Shady Lady wearable art on my Facebook page here

Simply like my page, and fans will be able to bid on the auction items this weekend, starting this Saturday, May 24th at 12pm CT and ending Monday evening, May 26th.

Diamond Nexus is very happy to be donating Round cut Diamond Simulant stud earrings with .93 carats of beautiful stones in lovely 14k White Gold screwback settings for this auction this coming weekend. We want to thank all Veterans past and present for their service and we are proud of the work that Veterans Outreach is doing on their behalf.