Q & A with Dana

Q & A with Dana

Q & A with Dana

What does jewelry mean to you?
Jewelry is so personal and incredibly sentimental. For my entire life, I have been amazed by how much history a piece of jewelry holds. Each piece in my collection tells a story and has a memory to share.

Where did your love of jewelry originate?
I grew up in the industry. My father has been in the jewelry business his entire life. He started working for a jeweler in Morocco at a very young age and today has a jewelry manufacturing business in Chicago. Growing up, I spent a lot of time in the factory playing with jewelry and dreaming up designs. It suffices to say it's in my DNA.

What is one of your earliest memories of jewelry?
From a young age, Take Your Daughter to Work Day was the best day ever. I would bring my best friends, and we would go to Levy Creations and play in the wax room, creating things out of wax. We'd fill an entire paper plate with wax and carve out snowmen, stars, hearts, etc. I remember the day that my dad said we could carve out a ring and make friendship rings. It was the beginning of my learning that you can create something with your hands - something that can last forever. Since then, the manufacturing process has never ceased to fascinate me. When I travel to our factories overseas, I love sharing the process on Instagram because it is still incredible even after 20 years of creating jewelry.

Can you tell us about your Dad, Izzy? What makes him so special?
My dad has been, and always will be, my greatest mentor! He helped nurture my creative mind when I was 16 years old on a trip to India. I worked out of his office for many years when I founded DRD, and he guided me in many aspects of my career. That being said, he has also disagreed with many of the approaches I've taken and has been a strong voice in my head when I went against his advice. I feel lucky that my relationship allows for disagreements but still constant support. We are both incredibly strong-willed and have very distinct voices, but I believe that opposition at times has pushed me harder to prove myself.

Izzy has found fame via your Instagram, how has he dealt with it?
He doesn't understand it but mostly loves it. A few people in the DRD community have spotted him out and about in Chicago and messaged me about it. One person was on the same flight as him and asked to take a photo. Honestly, I think it's hilarious. My dad has such a strong, infectious personality -- I understand why everyone adores him. 

What's it like having a family business and working with your brother and sister?
I feel incredibly fortunate that my older siblings, Jen and Noah, have joined me on this journey. I trust them to not only have my best interests in mind but the company's as well. They both have such strong skillsets; Noah leads our Bridal team and Jen our Wholesale division. At the end of the day I know I have two passionate, intelligent, and driven people helping me grow DRD. 

What is Female Founded Friday and how did it start?
Female Founded Friday is something I started on the DRD Instagram early in the pandemic. With countless businesses struggling to get by as the pandemic waned on, I realized I had a platform in my social following and did something I thought was small at the time - simply started sharing some of my favorite female-founded brands to drive awareness. Very quickly, I realized there was so much power in it. The DRD community rallied around these founders and supported them. Almost two years later and I am still sharing female-founded businesses and their products on my stories on Fridays. It has evolved into collaborations, partnerships, and real-life friendships.

How can female-owned small businesses like yours make a difference in the marketplace?
By being supportive of other female-founded businesses! You can have mentors and people you look up to, but keep in mind that being supportive of other small businesses pays dividends. My network of like-minded female-founded companies helps me on a day to day basis, and paying it forward is extremely important.

What are some DRD "pinch me!" moments?
There are so many each and every year. I feel incredibly fortunate to have been featured in amazing magazines and worn by many celebrities, but the best pinch me moments are when I'm out and about and see someone in their DRD! I feel so lucky to have watched the DRD girl develop before my eyes.

How has your jewelry style evolved over time?
My design style has changed so much from my first collection, ITSADANA, to now. I started my first line with intricate and bold beaded pieces and transitioned to more delicate styles made of diamonds and gold. However, I think the emphasis on layering and stacking to create your unique look has remained the same.

What DRD pieces do you wear every day?
My name cuffs, my Carly Michelle Evil Eye bracelet (I've been wearing it for 10 years), and my Kristyn Kylie dark blue sapphire band are 100% always on me and have been for over 6+ years. 

What pieces do you reach for when you want to feel glamorous?
Hoops - they are the sexiest earring - always!

What pieces should every woman have in her jewelry box?
The classics! A great everyday stud, a pair of hoops to dress up and down, a beautiful and simple ring stack, and a classic layering necklace. Those are my basics must-haves. I actually made a styling guide on this topic, and you can find it below. 

How would you describe your personal style?
Classic and laid back but polished.

Using one word how would you describe your family?

What is your favorite candy? Just one!
Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - follow along on Instagram to see 
me side hustling as a candy influencer 😂

If you could shop for free at one store, which one would you choose?

What was your first concert?
New Kids on the Block

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Honest, thoughtful and fun!

Who is your favorite follow on Instagram? 

@mosheh because i feel informed and smarter by following him &

@tinx because I love her approach to life.

What's your favorite trip you've ever been on?
African safari while studying abroad.

Diamond and Gold Necklaces, Earrings, and RingsDIamond and Gold Bracelets, Earrings, Necklaces, and Rings
Jewelry being selected from a trayJewelry displayed on a tray

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