Saturday, November 21, 2009


Aqua Aura Stone Wrapped in
Multi-Layered 18Kt Gold and Sterling Silver Chain
Did you know twenty years after its construction in 1931, the iconic Empire State Building towered above 5th Avenue and 34 Street without occupants?

This is an interesting bit of trivia and the 102-story building is the tallest structure in New York State. New York is also the home base for jewelry brand DANNIJO.

Originally from Jacksonville, Florida sisters Danielle and Jodie Snyder are the creative minds behind DANNIJO.

DANNIJO is a brand that features a diverse collection of stylishly edgy and elegant trinkets composed of Swarovski Crystals, 18-karat gold, vintage brass, rhodium, and sterling silver.

Each piece is so individual and distinctive paying homage to all things beachside, Native American aesthetics, Keith Haring art, and couture. Certain pieces adhere to bold color while others highlight bold arrangements.

The bead detailing of some pieces is reminiscent of African beadwork. Their elegant Mare Necklace features a gorgeous, uncut Aqua Aura crystal caressed by 18-karat gold and silver chains.  A few of the duo's more elaborate pieces consist of a metal mesh resembling some of Swedish designer Hanna Hedman's unique items.

The duo's individualistic design approach is no accident; the sisters blend their personal styles. "Making jewelry is a creative outlet and hobby both Jodie and I enjoyed doing together throughout our college years," says Danielle.

"Her [Jodie] style is more Jackie O-inspired and more classic, while mine is more bohemian and rock n' roll. We strive to infuse both perspectives to give the line uniqueness and to provide different types of women--personalities--with various options."

The sisters are self-taught creating basic jewelry designs in their childhood using their father's "medical tool kit to do wire-work," says Danielle. "In time our designs became more intricate and expressive."

The two women eventually moved to New York knowing that building a jewelry company was inevitable; especially after the public's reception to items they designed two years ago to raise funds for an African non-profit organization, founded by Danielle, called LWALA. The proceeds for the special collection benefited a health facility in Lwala, Kenya.

In 2008, the sisters officially launched their company garnering Bergdorf Goodman as their first retailer. "We believe in building a brand and using it as a platform to make a positive change in the world," Danielle says. "We want DANNIJO to be about something greater than fashion."

Beyonce Knowles, Natalie Portman, Katy Perry, and the Today Show's Natalie Morales wear designs from the brand and support the designers' agenda.

The distinctive pieces of DANNIJO have also been featured on the popular television show Gossip Girl.

Publications including InStyle, Glamour, and Elle feature the jewelry line in their respective editorial layouts.
18K Gold Amadora Stack Rings with Brilliant Diamonds
For more on the designing duo, check out Refinery29's video interview with them at YouTube.
Photo 1 (top right): 
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