Why did you choose Cuba to visit/base a collection around?Cuba is such a timely topic with it being in the midst of such fundamental transformation. We were inspired by the vibrant colours and sensuality of Havana, and it was somewhere we'd always wanted to visit.
What’s the most important thing you took away from your experiences there?The people were so warm and inquisitive. It was fun to learn about a culture by being immersed in it.
The trip reaffirmed our belief that our jewellery is much more than fashion - it's a means to ignite conversation and connect people, and a great vehicle to learn about a culture with which so much is happening.
How does the collection reflect this?It's a dynamic collection with a lot of bright colours and statement silhouettes - the designs are real conversation pieces.
Were you both into jewellery growing up?Yes, our mom always had an incredible vintage jewellery collection and our dad is a big watch collector so we were always playing dress up with their accessories.
How did you both end up doing jewellery?When we were kids, Jodie used to make beaded jewellery and I was always playing with my dad's medical tools. I eventually taught myself wirework by studying my mum’s jewellery collection. Making jewellery was a fun hobby we could do together.
I had a non-profit in college that fundraised for grass roots initiatives in Africa. Jodie and I designed a capsule jewellery collection to support the initiative. Natalie Portman signed on as a spokesperson for one of the galas and mentioned our jewellery as the gift to give in NY Magazine that year. Shortly thereafter, Jodie and I got fired from our jobs and decided to launch our own wholesale label. After a series of events we landed Bergdorf Goodman as our first account.
What’s it like working with a sibling?The best, because there is a fundamental trust and loyalty. It can be challenging at times but ultimately it's the greatest feeling to work alongside your best friend.
How does your background influence your business today?I'm a psychology / Spanish major and Jodie majored in business. I think our skill sets are really complementary and make for a solid team.
What would you say is the most important thing to you when it comes to designing?Creating wearable statement pieces that are fresh and timeless.
Is there anything you wish you’d been told before you started?Don't worry so much, it will all work out.
Do you have a mantra or quote that you like to come back to?Slow down
Trust the process
Which jewellery trend are you coveting at the moment?Chokers, asymmetrical earrings sets and oversized hoops.
Can you talk a little bit about your philosophy when it comes to production and supporting initiatives in Africa?We're fortunate enough to do what we love and there are so many women around the world that don't have the same opportunities or access that we do. I have a particular affinity for all things Africa - I visited Kenya in 2006 and it inspired me to start a non-profit.
We've been working with women’s cooperatives in Rwanda to hand make Dannijo.com packaging for over four years now. It's a beautiful way to give back and empower women to be a part of our creative process.