Women At The Helm 2013

Today, business owners incorporate their beliefs in fairness and equality into their work. Nonprofit directors combine their passion for social justice with managerial prowess. Meet the new wave of out leaders who talk the talk and walk the walk.

NICOLE RIVERA AND
MARIA VASPASIANO
Co-Founders and Designers
Guilty jean. Jewelry

When Maria and Nicole met in 2008, their mutual love of fashion sparked an instant attraction. Inspired by spirituality, self-expression and each other, the pair began taking old pieces of jewelry that didn’t quite represent their vision accurately and giving them a whole new design. They quickly moved on to create entirely original pieces, fusing Maria’s funky, vintage style with Nicole’s dark, bohemian-goth look. “Our passion for creating new expressive accessories, which had been a hobby for both of us since childhood, organically became a business once friends and family started requesting pieces,” they tell us. Today, that business is taking off. Guilty jean. has been featured in HudsonMOD, Fashion Affair Magazine and on Fab.com. Clients appreciate the special attention that Maria and Nicole pay to the energy each individual piece carries. Made of mixed metals, charms and semi-precious stones from around the globe, every handmade piece comes with a stone properties card to enable a deeper, more unique connection between the jewelry and its owner. The ever-growing line of Guilty jean. products is finding happy fashionistas worldwide through multi-brand platforms, including OpenSky.com and numerous open air markets. New Yorkers can find Guilty jean. jewelry at the Hester Street Fair, open seasonally from April through October. And here’s some even sweeter news: Maria recently proposed to Nicole with an exclusive Guilty jean. diamond skull engagement ring and they’re excited to set a date.