Meet Your Maker, Nikki of Nikki Cummings Jewelry…the beautiful, creative mind behind the “859” (and other area code) necklaces.
How did Nikki Cummings Jewelry come about?
Nikki Cummings Jewelry was born out of the desperate need to create while recovering from a traumatic car accident in 2005.
I have always been an artist…painting mostly but I found my passion in the theatre. I started working in costumes at Actors Theatre of Louisville in the early 2000’s and absolutely loved it! Of course, the theatre is hardly a lucrative career, so I often sold my paintings on the side to supplement my income. I was selling my paintings at The St. James Art fair in Louisville in 2004 when I witnessed an artist friend in my booth make and sell earrings. This planted a seed that would take root several months later.
One night in July 2005, while my husband Brad was driving me to rehearsal when a woman ran a red light and t-boned us in the intersection. I injured my right hip pretty badly bracing for the impact. In a split second, the course of my life was changed forever.
I was going crazy just lying around waiting to heal; my creative juices were stirring. It was then that I remembered that girl making earrings. So…I taught myself how to make jewelry. After several unsuccessful attempts at returning to backstage work, I realized I needed to start working for myself and so I opened an Etsy shop. Positive thoughts were necessary to get through each day and so I turned to words for healing. I wanted to share these words with others and learned how to hand stamp my jewelry. That then led to personalizing wedding jewelry with quotes, special notes, dates, and names.
(The famous area code necklace)
Later…in 2009, I was listening to one of my favorite Beck albums, “Midnite Vultures.” There’s a lyric on the album that says, “…banging like an 808…” Funny enough, this was not an area code reference, but my “Aha!” moment was born nevertheless. I started hammering area codes like crazy. They’ve been a huge success for me ever since.
I’m still recovering from this accident but having success with Nikki Cummings Jewelry has been a huge help with regaining both mental and physical confidence. Well, that and my hot yoga!
Where are you from and how did you get to Lexington?
I was born and raised in Louisville. In 2013, business opportunities for my husband in the Thoroughbred industry brought us to Lexington.
The first thing I did was google “Bikram Hot Yoga” in Lexington. I found a studio, now called Sterling Hot Yoga Works. Thanks to a recommendation from Jodi, the owner of Sterling, I started following Mindy Rohr’s instagram @love_lexington and all of the people she was following. I felt so plugged into the who, what, where and whens of Lexington. Mindy does such a great job of connecting everyone in this town.
Miss Molly Vintage started carrying my ‘859’ necklaces and when Mindy featured them on her blog, I started gaining attention here in Lexington. Shortly afterward, Love Lexington brought us all together at the first Market 301 last May. It’s been a thrill being an original vendor and watching Market 301 grow. And on top of that, I get to hang out with y’all every month!
Tell us about your family? Kids? Cats? Dogs?
I’m a super proud wife. My husband Brad, always the entrepreneur, started working full-time in 2014 on his dream of making Equilottery a reality, a lottery game based on the results of live horse racing. We are blessed to both be living out our dreams along with our buddy Tater, a 7-yr-old beagle mix.
Outside of making jewelry…what are your other passions?
I love music, fashion, coffee, and bourbon. My go-to-outfit is a concert tee and ripped jeans…with lots of jewelry. I have a hippy heart and expensive taste. I’ve been a vegetarian for 22 years. Laughing is my favorite. Oh…roller skating, disco balls, and pizza too!
Nikki Cummings Lexington Favorites:
Restaurant? Lexington has amazing food! This one is hard. Saul Good and Palmers are my 2 favorites.
Bar? Well, now it’s Manchester Music Hall, but before that and forever in my heart, will be Cosmic Charlie’s. A favorite haunt of mine from the 90’s. I had some friends that played there a lot back in the day when it was just part of Lynagh’s.
Late night grub? HopCats Slays at late night grub
Sweet Treats? North Lime Doughnuts
Lunch spot? My lunch time is usually after yoga, which is on Pasadena, so I love to go over to Coffee Times and Street Scene. That combo is genius! It’s one of my favorite things to do in this city. Coffee Times has a pimento cheese that is the closest I’ve come to my family recipe. Their white chocolate lavender earl grey latte is insane!
Outdoor/recreation spot? The horse farms, any horse farm!