Natalie Balker Exclusive Interview with Dress and Dish
Natalie Balker, owner and designer of Natalie B. Jewelry, unique vintage jewelry pieces create a sense of timelessness that has made her popular with celebrities such as Vanessa Hudges, Halle Berry, Cameron Diaz, Ashley Tisdale. Recently she sat down with Dress and Dish for an exclusive interview and don’t forget to Like Dress and Dish on Facebook for your chance to win a Natalie B. Jewelry Tibet Inlaid Pendant on Brass Chain!
Dress and Dish: Let’s start with the basics: where are you from?
Natalie B.: I was born in Los Angeles, CA.
I feel like everyone in LA is from somewhere else. It’s awesome that you are born and raised here. Where in LA do you live now?
Where did you study?
Cal State Northridge and the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles to further understand the design world.
What do you love about LA?
The cultural diversities. There is a cool hyper creative mix of styles…kind of a mishmash of fashion. LA provides non-stop daily inspiration for me and not to mention we have the best weather in LA.
What do you never leave the house without?
My two signature fragrances, Comptoir Sud Pacifique Vanille Abricot and Vanille Coco. I like to mix them. It lures people in! Really, everywhere I go people gravitate toward my scent.
Name one thing you can’t live without?
Raspberry frosted Pop Tarts!
If I opened your refrigerator at home what would I find?
What’s your game of choice?
Backgammon with my sister.
For a lady on-the-go like yourself, is there a go to snack around?
Spitz Dill Pickle Sunflower seeds.
Ha! Love it! What did you excel at in school?
WOW. You go girl! So, let’s ask some real questions about you and Natalie B. Jewelry…How did you get started in the beginning before your line became a celebrity favorite? Don’t be modest.
I grew up in a very creative family where both my father and grandfather were costumers in the film industry going back to the golden age of Hollywood.
And your mother?
My mother is an owner of an antique and vintage emporium that caters to the creme of L.A. designers and decorators so at an early age I was already experimenting with design from jewelry to clothing and even furniture.
I believe it. Your house is amazing.
What do you strive to create?
I am careful to not be too trendy because I see my pieces as timeless works of art. The process never ends. My line is known for modernizing vintage to create a sense of timelessness. My signature pieces are the vintage lockets, vintage based buckle bracelets and unique watch band bracelets. I am still pulling pieces out of my archives and reworking them to give them a more current edge! It excites me to see people on the streets wearing something I made from years ago and it still looks current.
Your business continues to grow and so does your staff. What is something an employee would tell me about you, if asked?
I think my employees would say they are always learning something new from me, whether learning the history about a particular piece of jewelry or just new marketing techniques. And they always know to stock the fridge full of Arizona Diet Blueberry ice tea. Seriously! They know not to be around me without it!
What are you doing when you are not working?
I am always being inspired to design. I love to travel especially if it involves the beach! I’ve recently been to Bali, Singapore, and Paris to name a few!
What advice would you give to someone who is starting their own business?
You have to make your passion your business. I believe passion is the key to success.
Photos courtesy of Natalie B. Jewelry.